Halo’s rumored move to Unreal Engine 5 makes sense – but it’s still a tragedy

There is a new trend in video game development. Game studios, even big ones, are packing up their own custom engines and switching to Unreal Engine instead. We’ve seen it with CDPR and The Witcher, we’ve seen it with Crystal Dynamics and Tomb Raider, and now it’s happening to another major franchise: Halo.

343 Industries, the franchise’s beleaguered custodian, faced a lot of criticism when Halo Infinite was first revealed, mostly for its graphics. Despite significant improvements to the game’s launch and beyond, it’s clear the game didn’t live up to expectations, and now the developer is starting from pretty much scratch on the next Halo game, with at least 95 devs fired and one change Unreal Engine 5 planned, according to a Bloomberg report.

It’s that story that dominates this week’s Digital Foundry Direct discussions, with John Linneman, Alex Battaglia and special guest Sam Machkovech offering their views on the subject.

In my opinion it’s a tragedy, both for the developers involved and for the Slipspace engine that powers Halo Infinite. The demise of in-house engines inevitably means a loss of diversity when it comes to rendering techniques, art styles, and more, and even contributes to problems like the stutter-struggle epidemic — our term for shader assembly stuttering, the PC -Games most commonly plagued Unreal Engine 4 has been released in recent years. There’s also a lot of power in the hands of Unreal Engine developers Epic, who have done a fine job of pushing graphical rendering techniques over the years, but (understandably) have their own preferences for how games play, look, and should be played be developed.

Custom engines have the leeway to do something different, to emphasize graphical techniques, features, or development styles that better suit a single team or player base, but they also appear to pose an often unacceptable risk to developers and publishers who choose to do so Having to justify extra time and money to hire, nurture and train new employees for an internal engine. It’s the maintenance side that often seems to be the stumbling block, as the talented developers of games as diverse as Halo Infinite, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, and Cyberpunk 2077 struggle to fix long-standing bugs or add much-requested features to messy, spaghettified codebases, the legacy of years or even decades of internal engine development.

In that sense, moving to Unreal Engine 5 allows for a clean break, a chance to shed the old crap and start fresh from a solid foundation – I just hope it doesn’t stifle ambition or lead to a generation of fade, cookie -Cutter game graphics. Hi-Fi Rush is a great counterexample of what you can do to subvert the looks of an Unreal Engine game and end up with something special, so fingers crossed other developers notice.

  • 00:00:00 introduction
  • 00:01:53 News 01: Halo Developer Suffering Layoffs, Moving to UE5?
  • 00:17:37 News 02: Important live service games cancelled
  • 00:27:11 News 03: Added DLSS 3 to Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2
  • 00:36:21 News 04: The Witcher 3 gets RT performance boosts
  • 00:43:11 News 05: Goldeneye launches on Xbox, Switch
  • 00:53:56 News 06: PS5 beta firmware adds 1440p VRR support
  • 01:05:04 DF Supporter Q1: Sam, you called the RTX 4090 a bargain. What other bargains can you recommend?
  • 01:09:04 DF Supporter Q2: Have you tested copying the shader cache from one PC to another to eliminate shader stuttering?
  • 01:10:08 DF Supporter Q3: Could Square Enix face financial difficulties after Forspoken’s bad reception?
  • 01:13:51 DF Backers Q4: With PS VR2 pre-orders reportedly lower than expected, could VR2 go the Vita route?
  • 01:18:58 DF Supporter Q5: Do you think it’s safe to move to Windows 11 on a gaming rig?

Elsewhere in the show, Alex, John and Sam discuss the recent cancellation of live service games – which seem destined to either make huge sums of money or die almost instantly – and in more positive news, the RT improvements for The Witcher 3 and the addition of DLSS 3 to Cyberpunk and Dying Light 2.

We’ve recently covered Goldeneye 007’s Xbox and Switch releases in full, so this week we come to the latest news: a new PS5 beta firmware that adds VRR to 1440p – it was previously only available at 1080p or 4K. Given the number of gaming monitors that hit that 1440p 120Hz+ VRR spec, it makes a lot of sense. The update also adds Discord voice calling to PS5, ensuring you don’t need a headset that supports Bluetooth (to mobile Discord) and 2.4GHz (to PS5) at the same time to chat with friends across platforms. A few other changes are also being discussed, with the topic appearing to be quality of life improvements that won’t radically alter the experience, but will bring the PS5 user experience closer to the high bar set by the latest iteration of the PS4 operating system.

We also had some great supporter questions, discussed PS VR2 pre-orders, tested copying the shader cache from one PC to another – sort of a manual shader butler?! – and that the RTX 4090 is a “bargain” according to Sam. Additionally, Windows 11 is actually “safe” for gaming these days – or is Windows 10 still the way to go?

I won’t spoil the answers to these questions, but I do want to mention that you can submit your own questions for us to answer direct by Joining the DF Patreon. It supports our work and gives you access to a really nice community of like-minded people on Discord. So: join in!

https://www.eurogamer.net/digitalfoundry-2023-df-direct-weekly-on-halos-switch-to-ue5-and-the-new-ps5-beta-firmware Halo’s rumored move to Unreal Engine 5 makes sense – but it’s still a tragedy

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button