Unreal Engine 4 was showcased during last week's E3, and while what we saw was quite appealing, middleware rival Crytek has gone on record to say that Unreal Engine 4 is simply not impressive.
"CryEngine 3 already exists at the quality of Unreal Engine 4. It already exists for three years now. You can go back three years ago to the GDC videos. What we put out there is pretty much what Unreal Engine 4 put out now. And what many others are doing now too. We haven't really put out our latest stuff yet," Crytek managing director Cevat Yerli told GamesBeat.
He continued, "Pretty soon you're going to see the next iteration of CryEngine, and I'm not putting a number behind it, just the next iteration of CryEngine. Very soon. But we already said, CryEngine 3 is next-gen ready since three years ago. We stand by that. If I look at what people call next-gen technology now, it's what we were seeing three years ago. We already had massive particle systems, we already had GPU rendering, all these things. Deferred shading. We had tessellation already since we shipped Crysis 2. We already had DX11. We didn't just talk it up as tech demos, we have games that are shipped and are doing it."
"We will, very soon, be able to render out film CG quality rendering in real-time. In the next two years"
Yerli added that he believes Crytek still has an edge over the competition in terms of productivity and being able to do things in real-time.
"I think the biggest difference here between the engines is still the productivity. We have invented, back in 2001, what we called 'what you see is what you play,' which is real-time editing of the game in the sandbox using the production tools. We did this in 2001, we put out a video at GDC 2001, and since then it's been the heart of our technology. That's something that even until today, our competitors, our main competitor, has still not 100 percent achieved. We're talking about 10 years later, still not achieved," he stated.
He added, "So in productivity and efficiency, it's something where we claim we're the fastest toolkit around. Because we're 100 percent real-time. We're the only engine that is 100 percent real-time. Look at our competitors and you will feel that every time they change a light or a shadow, it computes for hours. In our case, the lighting is real-time."
Elsewhere in the interview, Yerli also comments on just how far video game graphics have come. When asked about "Pixar quality" visuals in games, Yerli remarked, "I think we are going to be very close soon to rendering computer-generated (CG) film quality. I'm not necessarily pointing to Pixar. But we will, very soon, be able to render out film CG quality rendering in real-time. In the next two years."
"I said already a couple of years ago, we'll be able to do Shrek-quality graphics in 2012, and we can today. In 2008 I gave a speech on the future of computer graphics, I said in 2012 we'll have Shrek quality, and today we are Shrek quality. I think in two years more… But then again, film will be further head as well. And then we'll catch up again. It's going to be like that for a while."