Thief reboot uses Unreal Engine 3, not 4
Adding itself to 2013′s already plentiful list of reboots, Thief promises to be a game built for PC – including its UI – and ported backwards to the PS4 and current generation of consoles. Unfortunately, according to a Videogamer.com interview, the Eidos title uses the ageing Unreal 3 engine.
Talking to Videogamer, Stephane Roy, the game’s producer, said that Thief on PS4 will look ”really, really close” to the PC version, in something we’d hope is meant to imply some great PS4 technology. This doesn’t seem to be the case, however, since it has been confirmed that Thief will be using current generation technology, limiting the visuals on PC.
The Unreal 3 engine has been around since 2006, with 2013 marking the engines 7th year. UE3 has become popular with indie developers, because it’s so durable and dynamic, with relatively cheap and easy processes able to produce visually appealing results, but in recent years the engine has begun to show its age, with developers such as Tripwire (Red Orchestra 2) modifying the engine to update it for better visuals.
Roy explained that “when we started, Unreal 4 was still in development,” elucidating on Eidos’ decision to stick with UE3.
“We worked a lot to improve the tools for the artists and the designers. The game is big, we have to produce a lot of assets. Light and shadow gameplay is amazingly important on our side so we worked very hard to boost the rendering aspect of the engine, how to deal with the light. So I think it’s a question of flexibility. With Unreal it’s possible to do it. So yes, it’s Unreal 3, but [there are] some modifications.”
The use of UE3 will come as a surprise to many, since Epic have pushed for their flagship new engine to showcase new games for the new generation. Thief will, because of the use of UE3, probably be considered part of this generation, especially on the PC, because of this.
However, Roy ensures us that “there is no compromise about the quality of the game we want to give you to make sure that you are going to have fun and that you are going to believe in this universe.”
We at PCGMedia are curious as to whether Thief on PC looks ‘almost identical’ to the PS4 version because the PS4 is powerful, or because the PC version is lackluster. Time will tell.