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Unreal 3.0 Engine: All Games Look the Same

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No doubt we've seen it several times. There is a flavor of the week look that we get tired of. As developers use lighting techniques and others like Bump/Normal mapping in similar ways, games start to look same. And as gamers we get tired quickly. The Cell shading thing was a developer fad for a while that gamers complained about. The new Zelda changed its look because of gamers complaints. Prince of Persion adopts a gritty look that is becoming so common. "Prey" looks just like "Doom III" somewhat because it uses the same engine. Gamers grow tired of the redundant "looks" of games very quickly.


So, will using the Unreal Engine (3.0) lead to games that all look like Gears of War, and will we get tired of that more quickly than in the past? It's all about the gameplay, right? Well what if every screenshot of every game looked like Gods of War, and you could only tell the difference by playing it?


Obviously developers can come up with a unique art style, but the dark/gritty/metal/futuristic atmosphere seems like the way to go, and the Unreal Engine can render all those shiny surfaces well. Why not make all games with environments like that? Will we see a glut of games that all look the same?


Or is this gen no different than any other, and this isn't really more of a concern that previously.

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I wouldn't blame the Unreal Engine. After all, those World War 2 games that use the Q3A engine don't look very much like it. The problem really is that too many devs are working the same tired scenarios, not what engines they use to do it.


It is partly engine-inspired, I'll grant you. Cel-Shading was a neat effect that plenty of people tried to explore, and there is an element of getting carried away with the shiny surfaces and over-exposed lights just as people did with multi-colour lighting effects and lens flares once upon a time. But that's more down to it being a relatively obvious thing to do with shaders than any specific engine.

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