Future Graphics Face Off In This Next Gen DEATHMATCH

Future Graphics Face Off In This Next Gen DEATHMATCH

These aren’t just future graphics. These are future graphics going head-to-head, mano-a-mano. This is next gen graphics death match.

Welcome to another edition of Kotaku Thunderdome: Here, two realtime tech demos enter, one leaves.

Earlier this week, Square Enix showed off its graphics created by its brand new game engine tech, the Luminous Engine.

Tonight, Epic games unveiled its new game engine, the Unreal Engine 4.

Two next gen game engine with two realtime demos. Both give a peek at what the next generation will look like and what tech will power it.

So, which demo looks best? Which one impresses you the most?

This is the tech that will be powering some of the biggest games of the next gen.


    • whilst i think the square enix delivered the most graphically impressive, its gotta be unreal 4, simply because square have no intention of reselling their engine to third parties

      • while you are right that UE4 will have a larger developer base and therefore easier to use just because you can share your problems with others, I would certainly think Enix plans to resell that engine and thus why they were showing it off.

        • They’ve stated they’re keeping it in-house. I think, though, this means it will be afforded to devs who’re being published by Square Enix, but only for the games Square Enix are publishing.

  • I like the stylized look of the Square Enix one, but that’s all in the design I’m guessing. The detail is most definitely in Unreal.

  • Was ‘texture pop’ and Unreal thing… or was it a hallmark of the machines it was running on?

    • It was a conscious choice by the developers of Unreal, and those in the games. You can get games running on Unreal that don’t have the pop, but it was a big element of the engine(same sort of philosophy as the texture pop in RAGE, though for completely different tech reasons).

  • 2 very different demos, but to me the RAGE engine seemed “prettier”. Would like to see what the U4 engine can do with hair.

  • I will be 47 this year and have played a serious amount of games since pong.
    All I can think to say is “Man they’re getting good are’nt they”

  • The scale of the U4 demo was mighty impressive. But the fidelity of the Luminous engine is outrageous. The U4 devil-magma man is a little shiny and U3 like when up close (I really wish they had fixed that). The Sub Surface Scattering on the Luminous engine is nuts too, it makes the human characters look much more believable, while avoid the uncanny valley. For me it’s luminous by a nose.

  • To me Luminous looks better. But square are not selling the license so FF will look great, but majority of games will be running with U4. They also seem to be making it a lot easier for people to use, they have a good licensing scheme as well. Pretty impressed with both at the end of the day 🙂

  • you know what square enix used unreal for games like last remnant so it doesnt matter what engine they use it still works, i would like to see the tools and interface from luminous engine before i judge it against unreals udk

  • Square usually utilizes their in-house engine for their flagship game Final Fantasy while they use other engines for other games.

  • Look, comparing the two tech demos, they both look awesome. No question. But they do both have their specialities, and if I had the chance to make all my game ideas reality, both would be used over the course of time.

    I do prefer the Luminous Engine, because, and this is fact, that although U4 is awesome, it is still somewhat “cartoon-y(?)”, at least with its tech demo.
    The fact they are not making Luminous public (like Unreals UDK) though makes me cry a bit inside. I’d love to play around with it just to see what I could do.

  • The Square/Enix demo was all too fast paced, too many fast cuts. It didnt stop long enough to show you anything of note. It was just a a short action clip.
    At least the Epic demo was paced slowly, showing the various features of what Unreal Engine 4 can do. From a technical standpoint the Unreal Engine is the clear winner.

    Regardless. . . I can see an over use of particle effects being all the rage in the next generation.
    Sparks! Everything must have sparks!

    • After all the complaining about greys from this gen. We will go drastically in the opposite direction by making everything sparkle. Besides it worked for those stupid twilight vampires

    • there are videos out there of the luminous devs altering the demo in real time and showing what it can do.

  • They both looked like arse. Sure, they look great, but neither of these videos even scratches the level of polish that CGI animated feature films have been experiencing since Toy Story. I think we have to wait until next-next-gen before graphics can give way to imagination. Seriously, our current gen consoles can’t even fill all of the pixels natively on our current gen TVs. They can’t draw long distances or in seamless detail, they can’t refresh their render rate to 60 frame per second (let alone some of the higher rates that current gen TVs are offering). Current gen games, with the exception of some Wii first party titles, mostly load like a horses arse. Current gen over promised and under delivered, massively. I don’t expect the next gen to be any different, in terms of the graphical powered that gets hyped for each generation. The problem is that these demos, made to impress, still cannot be mistaken for a film in the trained eyes of a serious gamer. Square came closer to that, but it committed the greater sin of *looking like a Square game*.

  • Damn, they both look like hollywood CGI. It’s unbelievable to me that in a decade we’ll look back on these like we do on the original UT engine…

  • Yeah, I’m gonna vote Luminous.

    Unreal 4 doesn’t look as natural to me. There’s something off about that character’s hands or the way the lava flows that makes it seem less natural. Agni shows a lot more diverse objects in the world and let’s be honest, that’s pretty awesome beard tech they got.

  • Luminous FTW, any CG artist will tell you its harder to do humans or animals like dogs than inaminate objects like suits of armour also I would say they did a great job of avoiding the “uncanny valley” in the FF demo.
    Hopefully Sqeenix will at least let games like the next Deus-Ex and Just Cause titles that they own and publish to use it.
    Either way both these demo’s are either running on $5,000+ pc’s ,pc clusters or workstations and not representative of what your next $500 console will be capable of.The Star Wars 1313 or Ubi Watch Dog demos are a much more realistic glimpse of future games and even then only if Sony/MS are willing to make a considerable loss at luanch.

    • Since it is slated for the next-gen console, I would say it is representative of the next console you will purchase (unless it’s the wii-u, hah).

  • hard to choose, the unreal engine can clearly do some pretty cool shit with liquid flows and particles, and the lighting was so spot on I didn’t notice it, but the square enix tech has some pretty good facial animation & hair. But I’m not seeing how the new square enix tech is a massive leap forward from the tech used for deus ex: hr, on the other side of the same coin, the unreal tech looks like a culmination of stuff they’ve been working on for a few years… which is pretty much what it is…

    I’ll wait for some more in detailed video overviews before I make a decision on this

  • Hands down ArmA3 has most photo realistic graphics ever! For heavens sake 😛 even a news channel accidentally used game footage of armA2 because they thought it was real 🙂 that’s gota say something

  • By the looks of the two videos, Square does better skin, glass (that potion that got smashed looked great), hair and small stuff (was that ants crawling on her hand?). Unreal does better terrain, particle effects, and armour. I’ve always felt Epic can’t make skin look good, Marcus Wright looks like he’s made of wax compared to the faces in Final Fantasy XIII.

    If it’s outsourced, game developers should pick the engine based on what their game contains (and of course how easy it is to develop for). Dark Souls would look better in Unreal for example, games like Heavy Rain or LA Noire would suit Square’s engine more.

  • Even if square decided to license the engine, I’d put money on UE4 crushing Luminous. Purely because the unreal development tools tend to be exponentially better than anything else.

  • Like I said on Youtube, the tech demo of Luminous Studio is like a CGI engine running in real-time. It has Maya integrated on it in real-time, it got the powerfull post-processing Yebis 2 middleware. The amount of geometry on the scenes are phenomenal, as the lighting system, physics, and all are breath-taking. BUT … It’s more showing a vision of what we can expect for Playstation 5 or 6 generation, than showing a realistic vision of the next gen. I would be happy to know on what spec was running the demo.
    Square said the engine is pretty flexible, that is a good thing for them.

    Speaking of UE4. It is a damn good engine, it couple power and flexibility. I hope in a near futur, I can get my hands on it. And the elemental tech demo is much more credible to show next gen, instead of looking 2 or 3 generations ahead like Agni’s demo.
    Very good lighting, particles, destruction, radiosity, etc.

    So, I will conclude my post by :
    Both are excellent engines. I don’t have a favorite one. As long as developpers can make great games with those, I’m an happy personn.

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