If history repeats itself, Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 represents the future of games development. So far the only major title we’ve seen on the tech is Zombie’s procedurally-generated horror Daylight, but we’ve compiled a list of the most promising upcoming projects.
A virtual reality spin-off of EVE Online, EVE: Valkyrie is a first-person dogfighting sim that began as a tech demo prototype and grew into a full-fledged CCP project. Everybody who’s had their hands on the game at trade shows has been blown away by it, and that’s even before CCP implements its trademark single-shard technology. We expect by the time its done it will find a way to make Valkyrie’s action relevant to the MMO, and vice versa – sort of like DUST 514.
We don’t yet know if CCP will take any particular advantage of UE4’s power, but dogfighting in space offers some terrific opportunities to make a good-looking game. Not only does the black background save a lot of effort (hooray space!) but think of all the explosions, weapon effects and cosmic bodies like stars, asteroid belts and nebulae. It could be utterly gorgeous, and in-development screens certainly look great.
Let It Die
Originally conceived of as Lily Bergamo, Let It Die is Grasshopper Manufacture’s first PS4 – and UE4 – title. A free to play action game, it has players facing off against the ghost data of other, defeated players – every time you die, you leave a ghost of your own in the world. These ghosts can be robbed of their gear, which you’ll need if you want to survive. Goichi Suda’s intent was to make a game that made dying feel like it wasn’t a big deal. Also, you start off in your pants, which is obviously rad.
We haven’t seen very much of the game yet – just a few brief snippets during Sony’s E3 2014 conference – so it’s hard to judge just how much advantage Grasshopper is taking of the new tech. However, it has quite extensive experience with UE3 – it’s last three major triple-A releases – and we can expect this familiarity to serve it well, even if the gritty horror aesthetic seems a departure from Grasshopper’s usual OTT style.
A beautiful indie partially funded by the Nordic Game Program, Solus is a single-player, first-person exploration and survival game set on an uninhabited alien planet which is perhaps humanity’s last hope. Following a catastrophic landing, and with no hope of rescue from Earth, players work to unlock the secrets of the strange world, scavenge for parts to build a communicator and weather the extreme conditions brought about by a fully dynamic environment including details like tides. The project supports Oculus Rift, and will be fully modabble to allow users to create their own sharable environments.
Solus is a spiritual successor to Teotl’s earlier, award-winning project The Ball, and set in the same universe. It’s being built by a small team, with the footage in the video above based on a build created in just four months of part time work by three members. There are now eight staff on board, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.
H-Hour: World’s Elite
Tactical shooters are coming back into fashion, and H-Hour: World’s Elite is one of the most promising. Built by some of the original team members behind the SOCOM series, World’s Elite was prototyped in UE3 but the final build is being developed in UE4. As such, the assets we’ve seen so far aren’t representative of final quality.
Nevertheless, the premise alone was enough to bring Kickstarter backers flocking in, and gameplay is already looking particularly promising. Obviously this footage is pre-alpha, but you can look at some early H-Hour: World’s Elite gameplay as well as highlights from the shooter’s first international test.
Alright alright, we know, we know – you think it’s not the Fable you know and love. Or you dislike and mistrust all things Fable. But let’s just quietly accept that and move on, shall we? Call it by another name if you must, so we can get down to examining the interesting premise without exercising our adjustment disorders.
So: Table Wedge Ends is an action game with multiple classes, RPG elements and interesting asymmetrical multiplayer. Four heroes are out to storm a dungeon and deliver it of its valuables, while a fifth player acts as villain and tries to keep them out. This is an idea with legs; it’s an idea that has been requested over and over since Nintendo unveiled the Wii U’s Game Pad, and one tabletop and pen-and-paper gamers bring up all the time, and now it’s finally happening and you’re still upset over some ancient oak tree promise instead of getting excited. The beta kicks off in northern autumn on Xbox One, and it already looks lovely.
It’s been years since the initial reveal but we’ve only recently begun to find out more about Epic’s own Unreal Engine 4 project. A third-person shooter, Fortnite is set in a world in which demons routinely pour out of portals. Players can close these doorways to hell if they can defend the Atlas device long enough – and they’ll only survive if they do so.
That’s not the whole story though; the demons only come at night, but during the day players can explore the procedurally-generated world to scavenge resources, then construct defences and weapons to help them through their night-time battles. Four character classes have been revealed so far, with more expected. You can sign up to participate in testing if that’s your bag.