Luminous Engine

By now most people have likely seen the Agni’s Philosophy tech demo from the PS4 announcement, by Square Enix, so hopefully this isn’t news to anyone. It looks gorgeous, it really does. Unfortunately, the thing that upsets me every time Square Enix shows an engine demo or a tech demo is that the truth is right there breathing its foul odor down your neck every single time.

Square Enix cannot make games. So, this beautiful engine and this technology that a lot of really talented people worked to bring to life, is going to fall off the map within a year because the only game that gets made using this engine is going to be absolutely terrible. We’ve seen it happen time and time again, every time Square Enix makes a game. Even if the game isn’t terrible, in the case of FFX which was amazing (and also not made by Square Enux), the engine will be lucky to see more than one game – it will be astronomically lucky if it sees one good game. It happened last time with the Crystal Tools engine. FF13 and FF13-2 are miserably bad games, and there is no doubt in my mind that Lightning Returns will be even worse. As for Type 0, I can’t speak for that, and FF13 Versus will never come out. The entire FF13 project is a complete failure so who knows.

The images don’t do as much justice as the video, but they will suffice. I am interested in seeing what comes out of this engine, as the image quality continues to increase in video games to near-professional 3D Artist levels (I am not saying the artists in development companies aren’t professional, I am saying compare the game graphics to the artists character renders from programs like 3D Studio Max and the computer render wins every single time hands down), but I know already that I will be disappointed game-play wise.

If a developer like Naughty Dog or Ubisoft or Crytek – companies who undoubtedly know how to make beautiful scenery and gorgeous cinematics that don’t steal the show from the game itself – could get licensed to use this engine for a next-gen Uncharted game, or anything else, it would be the bees knees. Let them do that and make those launch titles, I would buy a PS4 with no hesitation whatsoever, even despite it’s already-publicized drawbacks like the fact that you need to keep your PS3 (not that I wasn’t going to).


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