Gamers, Start Your Engines! 6 Top Gaming Engines Face Off



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Very good article, though I kind of hoped for at least a mention of CD Projekt's RED Engine that powerd The Witcher 2. It was some of the more impressive displays of graphics tech I've seen this past year.



The Radeon HD 3200 in my laptop(yup not much of a PC gamer. I still enjoy Red Alert 2 more than Battlefield 3) doesnt have enough muscle for any of these engines lol. 

Maybe Source.....on low detail....maybe. 



Similar boat. I want to game on PC, but I'm stuck with an old laptop. don't have the fund to build a rig. I did the canyourunit test, and I swear the website laughed at me for half the games i tested



Terrific article! Thanks...

 I noticed that 3D effects was not mentioned in relationship to any of the engines. Is that because there are so few examples or that the numbers are not there of people running 3D consistently on the PC or consoles?



I'm excited to see what Kojima's new Fox Engine looks like when his new title is officially announced.



First: Battlefield 3 is playable at 1920x180 and Ultra settings with a single GTX 580 or above. The processor doesn't matter at all, provided it has at least two cores. Extra video cards aren't needed, unless you're playing at giant resolutions. Does Nvidia pay you to write otherwise?

Second: Yeah, the Creation engine is a steaming pile of crap from a dozen dogs. How many years did it take before PC technology advanced enough to manage playable frame rates with Oblivion? Four? Five? I built a i7 with a GTX 580 and 12Gb of RAM--very modest by today's standards, but should absolutely crush a six-year old game. It doesn't. Sure, everything's maxed out, but it still stutters and sputters once in a while, whenever there's too much for the engine to handle, confined as it is to kiddie console design limitations.



I have a single GTX 580 with only 4 GB of RAM (one stick died!) and I play BF3 and many other games on Ultra at 1920x1200 on a 30" flat screen. No lag or hiccups during gameplay at all.



You mentioned Doom 4 in the coming soon for id Tech 5.  I'm pretty sure that project has been put on hold by Bethesda after the poor showing from RAGE.

RAGE sucked, and I've sworn off id products because of it.



But John Carmack said....



Unreal 3 engine has been around forever and is in pretty much the default for everything. If I'm not mistaken, it debuted in 2006 with Gears of War. And yes, it's too easy to make everything look like everything's coated with vasoline.

I was wondering what Scaleform was, I saw it on my Skyrim box (thanks).

I still see BINK video show up in modern games. Sure it's designed for games, but it was also designed in the 90s! GPUs can now accelerate H264 and 1080p should not make a modern gaming machine break a sweat.


h e x e n

If I built a game right now it would be with the Frostbite 2 engine, I'd just have to work for EA :p

I have a screenshot of something similar to your BF3 picture as my desktop background and have had more than one person think it's a real photo.

Absolutely beautiful engine.



I thought the engine that ran S.T.A.L.K.E.R. looked pretty good when it wasnt crashing. It was the first to support DX 10.1 and was later one of the first to use DX11. If S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 ever comes out it will be multi-platform as well!



Speaking of Game Engines, I'll just leave this here...

I sure hope they're working on  AA4 with Cryengine 3 for the rest of us.


The Corrupted One

You forgot about Unity, (my favorite)

Unity 3D is freaking beast.

It deserves way more attention.

It's so easy to use, (it can work from Python!)



Unigine also supports Linux, OSX, Windows, PS3, Android, and iOS.  It's felxibiltiy is worht noting in terms of platform support so I think this should be mentioned.


+1 for Linux support!



Gamebryo/Creation = Windows XP Home of game engines.  Anything past 2 CPU cores and 2 GB of RAM is basically a waste of resources.  You would think that only using such limited resources on a high-end machine (with a quad-core and at least 8 GB of RAM) would not stress it at all.  Not only is the system still stressed, but the game can still look and run like shit.  I feel kinda bad for Xbox and PS3 players who run into major bugs and stuff because they have to keep reloading previous saved games and try not to do anything to trigger the errors while PC gamers can just "console" their way past it (unless the game ends up freezing or CTD).

Everything else on that list is pretty good.  If anything, I would say the graphical glitches in the Unreal Engine 3 are pretty prominent in Bioware games.  At times, Mass Effect can look like a garbled mess of high-res and low-res textures.  I think Dragon Age Origins might've fried my GPU (though I still blame the manufacturer for the quality).  For the Crytek engine, I used to only be able to run Crysis 1 on Medium (AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ w/ Diamond Radeon HD 3650) for "playable" framerates.  Now I can bump it up to Ultra while still retaining those "acceptable" framerates.  My only experience with the Frostbite 2 engine was during the BF3 Beta so I can only say that it looks and runs like the Crytek engine on my current rig.



You're right, Gamebryo is a dinosaur that needs to be put down.  I would hope Skyrim is the last game Bethesda uses it for, but I bet the "Creation" engine shows up in Fallout IV as well.



What about Codemaster's Dirt3 engine EGO?



I was wondering the same. Dirt 3 looked great, even on older hardware. F1 2011 took it even further by showing the little movements here or there on the F1 cars. At least the engine will see use beyond racing games.



frostbite 2: the lowdown:  the word is ballyhoo, not ballyhood



Actually, I was going for ballyhooed. Still, thanks for pointing it out.

As for which engines made the cut, there are plenty of interesting engines out there, but we tried to focus mostly on high profile engines that either have been or will be used by multiple developers and/or multiple games.



You missed the best engine of all.  The Avalanche engine used in Just Cause 2.



+1  The huge view distances, the easy use and setup of NVidia 3D Vision, the great graphics and the relative absence of bugs are all things that made this one of my favorite games of 2011.



Articles like this are why I keep coming back to MaxPC. Information presently fairly is interesting. Inflammatory headline grabbing, by feeding chum to the reactionary elements of the web community is not interesting. Keep more articles like this coming!



What makes you think id tech 5 is a top game engine? Call it Carmack's Wasted Effort.

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