Video Game Engines

The team at Cloud Imperium Games are using the Amazon Lumberyard engine, a modified engine made by the online retail giant and based off of Crytek’s CryEngine software. If it’s ever finished — and after raising millions and millions of dollars through crowdfunding, it better be — then Star Citizen should push your graphics card to its breaking point. Thrones of Britannia Creative Assembly’s Total War series is one of the most revered strategy franchises around. After two successful trips into Games Workshop’s grim fantasy universe in Total War: Warhammer and its sequel, Creative Assembly has announced its next historical game, Total War: Three Kingdoms, set at

But there was a surprise along the way: a brand-new subseries within the broader franchise, dubbed Total War Saga. The first such saga will be Thrones of Britannia. This new Saga subseries is meant to focus on specific historical “flashpoints,” as opposed to broad eras that last hundreds of years. In this case, Thrones of Britannia will focus on the British isles just after King Alfred the Great’s defeat of the invading Vikings, and the fragile peace that accompanied it. Despite being a more contained experience, by all accounts it will still have a large scope filled with many settlements to develop or conquer. And of course, the franchise’s signature blend of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics will return. Fortunately, the game’s graphics haven’t suffered despite its smaller scope. Gameplay footage shows complex effects like light glinting off individual shields, helmets, and weapons — even on a battlefield with thousands of such items moving independently. Speaking of which, the series’ trademark ability to render massive numbers of units at once looks as jaw-dropping as ever. The game may be a $40 release, but it will push your rig as hard as any full-priced game. The Crew 2 Racing games often make great candidates to show off the graphical horsepower of their platforms.

Next up in this proud tradition of flaunting fantastic visuals is The Crew 2. The kicker? Not only does this title let you race cars across a scaled-down version of the US, but it plants your butt in the seats of boats and planes, too. That means America — rendered in exquisite detail — is yours to explore from the air, the sea, and the asphalt. From rolling waves in San Francisco Bay, to the skyline of Manhattan, to the mud of deep forests, The Crew 2 has recreated America’s diverse environments in stunning detail. The vehicles themselves look gorgeous too, and while each plane, bike, and automobile is more or less photorealistic, the gameplay … well, the gameplay is about as far from realistic as it gets. After all, The Crew 2 is a title where it’s possible to fling your car up to the top of skyscrapers. Life-like graphics? Sure. Life-like physics? Not so much. Witchfire The Vanishing of Ethan Carter from Polish developer The Astronauts was an indie horror-mystery game released in 2014.