Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals

Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals

The uncanny valley might be a problem for video games featuring living characters, but cars? The better gaming hardware gets, the better these shiny motor vehicles look. To the point where I think I like these video game cars better than the real thing.

These shots from the upcoming Project Cars are so damn shiny. And aspirational. I bet this is what Kaz wants Gran Turismo to look like when it hits PS4. Like a glossy car brochure come to life, the "new car" smell wafting all around you at 200mph.

I've been playing this game on and off for a few months now. It's very pretty, but sadly, my PC can't quite make screens like this.

And if you're wondering how they were made, here's the developers:

As usual, all shots show purely in-game footage that has not been made in any special photo mode, using no post-processing or filters that aren't available during the actual gameplay — What you see below is what you experience while driving!

Project Cars will be out on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U later this year.

Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals
Now These Are Some Next-Gen Visuals


    Looks fantastic. Anyone know how it plays?

      Or how powerful the PC is that is getting this level of visual splendour? What is the spec?

      These are obviously the Wii U shots, so I reckon it plays awesome ;)

    So next-gen visuals include badly aliased shadows like in red car pic? I guess when it's moving you're probably not going to notice though.

      Yeah I thought that one looked weird :/

      Well shite, considering last-gen visuals included poor aliasing on both fronts, I think we can front a few dodgy shadows in light of everything else. There's a point where being picky gets a bit ridiculous

      OMG you took the dithering words out of my mouth, the images look terrible, the jaggies are unbelievable and that's in stills.. imagine the sawtooth effect on it moving... yeuch.

      Post the originals (if they are better HD images) or don't bother at all

    Where's the next gen leaves??

      Was thinking those leaves looked abnormally high text. And the physics consideration when they touch the ground.

      Last edited 22/01/14 9:57 am

    The uncanny valley might be a problem for video games featuring living characters, but cars?

    Umm...... what?

      It is something close to a rhetorical question. It's saying that living characters (more specifically, human and human-like characters) can hit uncanny valley problems, but cars don't have that problem. It is clear from some of these pictures that photorealism has not quite been reached, but the point is that cars don't cause the repulsive effects that almost real characters do.

      The reason, I'm guessing, is that we aren't cars. The uncanny valley doesn't seem to hit other animals as hard as it does humans either.

        I'd say Naughty Dog have managed to avoid the uncanny valley completely though. The cast from both Uncharted and especially The Last of Us have had more or less real looking characters that never once seemed out of place or caused myself at least, to think "this is just weird, I am not sure if I like this".

          I think the reason is because we are already on the other side. We aren't at perfect realism by any means, but in my opinion the most disturbing characters are from around 10 years ago, give or take.

          (And as said, cars avoided it entirely by virtue of not being human)

          Last edited 22/01/14 12:44 am

            You're all kind of right. We don't really hit the uncanny valley in any video games purely because the models aren't accurate enough.

            I think what Luke is referencing and melding with the uncanny valley is the effect that causes it, namely that since we are used to looking at faces and recognising micro-nuances that we're particularly good at spotting a fake.

            Cars and other objects it's much easier to pass off with CGI and if it's good enough it's nearly indistinguishable. That said I find a lot of these photoreal screens tend to use way too many specular reflections and perfect lighting which is so hard to get in real life that it immediately makes me think CGI as a photographer.

            The uncanny valley on the other hand is a strange effect when human face analogs get so close to realistic that we don't consciously see the signs it's fake but our brains tell us something is wrong. The best example of this are those really creepy realistic looking porcelain dolls.

            Models from 10 years ago may be ugly, but that's something very different to uncanny valley. Games like Last of Us do a lot of things right and look great, but are unrealistic enough that are brains see it as animated.

              Ah! Thank you, somebody else who understands what the uncanny valley is instead of linking to a photo of Commander Shepard looking weird.
              Videogames can't really reach that point because you can't convince someone that a game is real. Nobody believes that they're actually controlling a space marine dude on another planet.

              Although when I read about it the effect of the uncanny valley causes an illness. Seems a lot of people tend to ignore that.

              I'm not saying the ugly models from the early 2000s were uncanny valley stuff. They were just ugly.
              I'm talking about stuff like Dead Rising's still living characters and other games from around that time. I found those disturbing.

          I think all videogames avoid the uncanny valley because we can't confuse it with real life.

    I don't understand. Real life is never as shiny as these games... Which makes it look like shit

    I would really like to know the rig specs required to play this at full pelt.

      I just got a bloody Geforce GTX 780... lets hope it holds up.

        Hopefully it isn't one of those in-game situations where the developers conveniently neglect to mention the series of Titans they needed to use to achieve this level of awesome.

    Well i can see it looking this good on pc, maybe xbox one and ps4. But not on WiiU

      It definitely won't look anything like this on XB1 or PS4.

    So if your PC can't get these visuals Luke, what PC can?
    I kinda assumed you would have a pretty powerful PC.

      Surely having an epic pc would be a tax deduction for a video game journalist?

        Having something as a tax deduction doesn't necessarily make it affordable.... You still have to pay for the thing.
        Then for computer hardware, you actually just claim on the depreciation each year as a certain percentage of is price.

    Next-gen visuals are nice, but what about next-gen collisions? I do enjoy "riding the wall" around corners and coming off with barely a scratch (or rather, a few extra "points" off my overall car health), but sometimes you just want to plough that fucker into a wall and watch the front end crumble in a way consistent with something close to real-life.

    It's like how a 190km/h head-on crash in GTA: V nets you some damage, but you can still happily get out and walk somewhere.

    If not a gameplay feature, then perhaps a gameplay mode?

      Physics in pretty much all games is done with rigid-body physics engines. This includes car/racing games. While mechanical damage can be simulated fine, the visual damage can only be approximated.
      Realistic car collisions requires a soft-body physics engine, which near exponentially increases the number of calculations which needs to be performed. PhysX implements some functions which allows soft-body physics-like effects, particularly with cloth, but they are highly optimised approximations for specific situations. If you want to see what is possible with soft-body vehicle physics, look up "Rigs of Rods" on google/youtube. Pretty insane crash physics, but the rest of the game looks and plays like garbage, as so much of the PC's resources are dedicated to physics.
      We will get there eventually, perhaps with the gpgpu functions on the PS4/Xbone APU's this can be achieved in mainstream games without sacrificing the rest of the gameplay.

        "the rest of the game looks and plays like garbage". Really? I just watched a quick video and the quality wasn't too bad. Comparable to say GTA: SA, which would have been awesome with soft-body physics.

        But thanks for the info. I'm not very well versed in a lot of this, so it's good to know and understand it.

    I see Project Cars articles often, and always praising its visuals... but when I play it, it never looks that good.

    Also, the driving physics aren't that great.
    That being said, I haven't played it in about a year now, so I don't know how far it has come.

    I have it on Steam now, maybe I should fire it up and take a look at the newest update.

    Last edited 23/01/14 9:28 am

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