Epic has unveiled Unreal Engine 4 with stunning screenshots that showcase what will hopefully be possible with the next generation of consoles.
In a Wired article, Epic staff discussed the tech, which was shown behind closed doors and under NDA at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year.
The screenshots above are taken from the 153 second Unreal Engine 4 real-time demo powered by the Nvidia Kepler GTX 680. It shows an armoured demon knight in a mountain fortress. Lava flows as the knight wields a huge hammer as he enters a metal corridor before looking out at mountain peaks. It's designed to show lens flare, distortion, environmental destruction and other fancy graphics techniques.
The engine itself introduces dynamic lighting, which, according to Wired, behaves in response to its own inherent properties rather than programmed effects.
"There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our engine team and our studio to drag this industry into the next generation," said Gears of War design director Cliff Bleszinski. "It is up to Epic, and Tim Sweeney in particular, to motivate Sony and Microsoft not to phone in what these next consoles are going to be. It needs to be a quantum leap. They need to damn near render Avatar in real time, because I want it and gamers want it - even if they don't know they want it."
Sweeney added: "We're much more in sync with the console makers than any other developer is. That means we can give detailed recommendations with a complete understanding of what is going to be commercially possible."
Apparently Epic has seen the specs of the PS4 and next Xbox and is "actively lobbying" for them to be more powerful.
Epic will reveal Unreal Engine 4 to the public at the E3 trade show in June.