First looks at System Shock 3 and Oddworld Soulstorm showcase Unity’s HD render pipeline

Unity’s keynotes have taken a big step up today, along with its ambitions to be a competitive option in the triple-A space. That was visible in two huge big reveals at the event, in the shape of System Shock 3 and Oddworld Soulstorm.

Both games were shown off for the first time in public. With Alpha footage of System Shock 3 and a lengthy cinematic from Soulstorm on offer. Now this is the Unity keynote, not E3, so the initial demos were followed not by gameplay but by in-editor demos, where the creative talent showed off the power and flexibility and power of Unity.

And with the games came their creators, Warren Spector introduced System Shock 3, which is now being developed on Unity. This comes soon after the developer, Otherside, purchased the IP rights from Starbreeze, in order to go it alone.

The video part of the demo looked great, with everything that series fans could want. The keynote then switched to discussing how Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) was allowing for some of the impressive lighting and material effects on show, and how easy it was for the team to create those effects. Best to watch the video for the details on that.

Lorne Lanning was also present for a much-hyped first appearance for Oddworld Soulstorm. The game is coming in 2020 and today we just saw a cinematic from the title. Which was followed by a discussion of how the team used the HDRP along with subsurface scattering to create some very lifelike affects, in real-time, entirely within the current toolset.

Neither of these games are exactly triple-A admittedly, but they’re the kind of top-tier, triple-I titles that Unity needs to woo in order to make the next step up that chain. Along with the earlier call of Duty Mobile announcement, the company has certainly put the Unity keynote on the map like never before.

Read all our GDC 2019 coverage here.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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