We take a look under the hood of Epic's latest powerhouse development platform

The top 14 game engines: Unreal Engine 4

Company: Epic Games
Platforms (UE4): Consoles (TBA), PC, PS4
Used in (UE3): Gears of War, Infinity Blade, Mass Effect, Dishonored, BioShock Infinite

The latest version of Epic’s widely used Unreal Engine is here. Version 4 has been completely redesigned for a new generation of rapid, high-productivity development.

Built as a pure C++ engine with extensive plug-in architecture and a desirable visual toolset, Unreal Engine 4 is built to be adaptable.

“It’s an engine that a 300-person team can count on for shipping triple-A projects, and one that a three-person indie development team can depend on for a graphical edge over the competition,” offers Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney.

“Unreal Engine 4’s code is tighter and more polished than ever before. While the engine is running, you can tweak code, compile it, reload it and debug it for an incredibly tight, interactive style of programming.”

The engine’s latest additions include a blueprint visual scripting system, new file and asset management systems to make managing game data more efficient and the Unreal Content Browser to display game assets in an attractive design that is optimised for productivity.

UE3 and UDK are also part of Epic’s stable, and together they offer more cost-effective avenues for studios and young developers looking to cut their teeth on industry standard tools. As for UE4, expect to hear more about support for consoles and other platforms at GDC.

“The industry is going through a generational change led by triple-A console gaming, and a revolution in business models led by mobile, PC online and free-to-play games of all sizes, from Clash of Clans to League of Legends,” says Sweeney.

“Our mission with the Unreal Engine is to arm developers with tools representing the best of both worlds, enabling triple-A production values on all platforms, and the productivity and flexibility to build games of all sizes and genres.”

You can view all of the top 14 game engine profiles as they are published here.

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