Unreal's Latest VR Tech Demo Looks Pretty, Well, Unreal

Virtual reality is already at the point where it demos better than ever before. But, as Epic's latest demo for the technology shows, it's also fast becoming a must have.

At the Connect 2 conference in California today, Tim Sweeney, chief executive of Epic Games, lifted the lid on the company's latest slice of gameplay. It's called Bullet Train and while it's not intended to be anything more than a tech demo, it is fully playable.

The player navigates their way through a round of armed opponents with their fists and a variety of weapons operated through gestures, finishing off with a bullet time-slowing battle against a drone.

The demo ran on a computer using two GTX 980 Ti's, according to NVIDIA, and utilised the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Touch controller. Sweeney also announced that the demo would be playable on the GTX 980 notebooks that were unveiled earlier this week.

Epic is planning to release more playable tech, and VR-focused, demos in the months to come. It's an exciting time to be a gamer — especially on PC.


    So can we download this now?

    Shit yeah!
    These are the kinds of games I was envisioning when VR became a tangible reality. London Heist looked like fun - this looks *ahem* epic.
    I don't have a gaming PC right now but demos and proof of concepts like this are convincing me I need one. As much as I'm looking forward to Playstation VR, it's highly unlikely that it'll deliver on experiences on this level.

    Just wait for it. I can already here they cries of the unintelligent. Its like training our children to use real guns, they will say. This will just increase violent crimes, they will say. Fuck off, I will say.

      That was EXACTLY what I was going to say. I mean the unintelligent. I REALLY don't think it's a good idea to have people simulating gun fights in realistic environments like this. Holding a real gun prop maybe as well?

      How can you not see that's a bad idea? Sure 95% of people will be fine. But EVERY SINGLE mass shooting from here on, the shooter will have a vast collection of these games. And will have put many hours into them. Because they're practising for real. Sucks but I think for that reason alone we should be very, very careful about these new developments in gaming.

        Agreed. The problem with that argument is, you have the wrong culprit. I've seen this against nuclear power and other scientific and technological inventions as well.
        It's not the science that is bad for us, it's us. Instead of holding ourselves responsible we hold some ideology responsible.
        You know VR can also be used to better education and training and other areas of life as well?

        If you choose to play a realistic shooter, you need to be able to still know right from wrong, and should be accountable. You can't blame it on some media you chose to consume.

        That's like saying I was too drunk, I'm sorry. So let's ban drinking.

        Last edited 27/09/15 7:53 pm

          That's NOT what I'm saying. I just think restrictions should be made, like don't make the peripherals functionally identical to weapons. In no way am i saying VR is a bad thing. And maybe "stab a bystander simulator" shouldn't be allowed for sale. Hell it shouldn't even be made but we both know it will be.

            Training to fight is not in itself bad either. You can fight for good or learn self defense, Olympic shooter. It's all about what you decide to do with what you gain. So I don't think there is any harm in making the experience realistic.

            If you choose to play "stab a bystander simulator" (someone chose to make it), you should still know that you are playing a game. If you stabbed someone in real life, after playing this game, its the guy that stabbed in real life, that's accountable, and not the people that made the game or the peripherals.

            Children have played with toy guns for ages and continue to do so, but they clearly understand the difference between shooting someone in real life and while playing in the playground.

            The point is, although I see your point (with respect), it shouldn't be. Because this line of thinking to a certain extent takes away part of the responsibility from the actual criminal to someone or something else. Which is IMO, what actually encourages such behavior.

            Last edited 29/09/15 12:24 pm

        If you have homicidal tendencies it doesn't matter what form of media you partake in you will expand and grow and the cause of you killing someone won't be a game but will be your initial homicidal feelings.

        What about people playing paint ball all the time using simulated weapon mods, you can't stop people from being mentally ill or you can do is accept people are mentally ill and have measures to help them.

          What if? It's an opinion i have. I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise. I can't say it better than i already have.

    "The demo ran on a computer using two GTX 980 Ti’s, according to NVIDIA, "

    This is bad news in a sense. What this means is that mainstream high fidelity VR is still at least 3 years away.

    Which is when the power equivalent of 2 X 980Ti will become a viable platform by having enough units sold to afford high fidelity AAA development. Even then, not everyone that has that power will buy your specific game.

    Just because a few million people at the most bought this kind of power, doesn't mean they are even close to bringing in the necessary investments.

    Since we are at the advent (market perspective) of 14nm fab, people think that it will always be the case where you can buy twice the power for the same price within 18 months.

    However this has not been the case since 28nm fab. Although the process is being pushed further primarily due to smartphone efficiency demands, the same square area of silicon costs more and more to fab.

    Having said this what we see from an electronics perspective, is a heavy underutilisation of already available hardware. Where your ultra fidelity game only uses 15% of your GPU. That is because the electronics is already there, but isn't prevalent enough for developers to sit down for a few years and optimise for it.

    Bottom line is, this original claim, which looks boastful when first read only means we have a long way to go.

    Last edited 26/09/15 12:25 pm

      3 years isn't that long though. When I look back I don't know where the last 10 years went! Seriously last I checked I was 27 I swear!

    I was impressed until I saw the Valve VR demo a few scrolls up

    Could be a good game, but is the YT quality just poor or are the graphics very underwhelming?

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