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Why we're all in awe of Uncharted 4's physics

The rolling stones.

The most popular thing on Reddit this afternoon was this gif of rocks sliding in Uncharted 4. Look at 'em go!

People are losing their collective s*** over this incredibly detailed physics simulation. So what's going on here? We asked our Digital Foundry expert John Linneman to shed some light on the matter:

"Uncharted 4 makes extensive usage of both pre-calculated 'cinematic physics' and real-time on the fly physics. Most of what players encounter will be of the real-time variety. The rocky sections where players are asked to slide take an interesting approach where, upon contact, chunks of rocks are spawned and proceed to realistically slide downwards. When combined with the motion blur and particles, the effect is convincing.

"The game also features a robust wind simulation which allows the artists to control the speed and strength of the gusts. This can impact things such as hair, grass, and trees leading to a variety of possible scenarios. The more cinematic physics tend to be limited to scripted sequences, such as the jeep escape sequence shown at E3, but display some impressive results."

It's worth noting that not everything in Uncharted 4's environments are this malleable. The rocks are part of a surface Drake slides down, so special attention has been given to making them more dynamic than other parts of the scenery. Still, those are some damn fine physics!

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