We all know the Unreal Engine. And if you don’t know exactly what the Unreal Engine is, you’ve almost certainly used it many times. It’s one of, if not the most popular, gaming engines available and their recent keynote at GDC 2018 shows how they are upping the ante again.

In the above video, you’ll see some of the most cutting edge rendering technologies available. At the helm of it all is Unreal (and Nvidia’s) work to bringing real-time raytracing in gaming. What this means in layman’s terms is that lighting in gaming has gotten a significant upgrade.

The technology behind these upgrades are a bit over my head. But when you watch the video above, and you see the rendered scenes, I want you to notice a couple things. The most important being the eyes. Notice the skin and expressions around the eyes. Those small nuances make a world of difference when conveying emotion, especially during the Andy Serkis segment.

This will give games more impactful cutscenes, and allow much more emotion to be conveyed through these characters. Next I want you to notice the skin. You might not be able to tell, but the “subsurface scattering” has improved as well. This is how the skin looks when light is refracted upon it. And lastly, during the Star Wars scene, look at the lighting. What you’re seeing is real-time ray tracing, the “holy grail” in graphical advancements. The way they can achieve perfect shadows, shadow diffusions, light patterns, refractions and reflections, all in a dynamic environment, is fucking badass. And I can’t wait to see this tech work its way into our games.