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Next-gen Havok engine to be shown at GDC

Havok 4.5 will go on show at GDC in San Francisco next week, with the company using a brand new demo to show off the enhanced behavioural engine.

The next-generation of the Havok engine will be shown at GDC, the company confirmed to our sister site this afternoon.

"We've got Havok 4.5, which is now fully optimised for next-generation," said a spokesperson for Havok. "But it's Havok behaviour really; we'll be showing it as a finished product."

So far the engine has featured in games such as Crackdown, F.E.A.R, Dead Rising and Oblivion, placing itself as a market leader in middleware physics.

The demo being shown in San Francisco next week won't feature as part of a next-generation game, but it will show off what Havok believes to be its key feature: the behavioural engine.

"We're very excited about Havok behaviour," the spokesperson added. "I think the most interesting thing one of the beta clients said to me was, instead of artists having to get their head around the game engine, it's actually designed for the way they work."

"So what you see is what you get, instead of artists having to go over and back to programmers, saying, 'Oh, that's not what I wanted'. It gives control to the creators."

Despite facing stiff competition - particularly from Epic's Unreal Engine 3, which was recently licensed by leading publishers Capcom, Activision and Square Enix - Havok hasn't lost heart, and remains confident of its ability to stand out in the next-generation.

"I think that it's a competitor in the market, but we've been having an extremely good time from a commercial perspective," the spokesperson added. "In the middleware space there are a certain number of companies operating that are strong and successful with top publishers and developers. We would consider ourselves to be one of them and other guys would be too." will bring you all the news on Havok 4.5 next week.

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Robert Purchese: Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.
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