Epic brings Unreal Engine 3 to iPhone, iPad

Free Epic Citadel app showcases tech running on Apple's iOS devices, paves way for Chair Entertainment-developed action RPG Project Sword later this year.

At last month's QuakeCon convention in Dallas, id Software chief technology officer John Carmack showed off an iPhone version of Rage using the id Tech 5 engine. Not to be outdone, Epic Games today used Apple's annual music-themed press conference to unveil its own Unreal Engine 3 technology running on the computer maker's iOS line of handheld media players.

Epic Citadel will let users explore a world "inspired by" Chair's Project Sword.

During the event, Epic Games president Mike Capps and Chair Entertainment creative director Donald Mustard showed off Project Sword (tentative title), the first Unreal Engine 3 game for iOS devices. Developed by Chair and due out later this year, Project Sword is a mix of action, adventure, and role-playing game elements in a sword-swinging medieval setting. Acquired by Epic in 2008, Chair is best known as the developer behind the Xbox Live Arcade games Shadow Complex and Undertow.

While Project Sword won't be available for some time, Epic is releasing a free app on the iTunes Store that will show off Unreal Engine 3's performance on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch platforms. That app, Epic Citadel, allows players to explore a castle in the game's setting and is intended in part to show off what developers can do using Unreal Engine 3 for Apple's devices. Epic noted the tech demo was created by "a small team" of programmers, artists, and testers in eight weeks.

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61 comments
imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

"I feel kind of insulted that modern console games are running on the same engine as an iPhone games... Time for Unreal Engine 4" well the fact is ps3/x360 hardly have more power than the iphone well the cpu and gpu are better but the iphone has just as much ram, this is starting to show how dated consoles are. new engine wont make ps3/x360 hardware any better. unreal 3 on pc is not far off cryengine 3.

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

The iphone could really be the next big thing for hand held gaming. This thing looks amazing. near ps3 level on a hand held is amazing, Amazing the iphone has more power than computers from around 10 years ago just think where tech could be in another 10 years. you might have your computer in your pocket.

0takuN1nja
0takuN1nja

I can't wait, this looks awesome. Browsing around in this world was a cool experience. The graphics and scenery were on point. I'll be happy when the game comes out, definite buy.

xatman911
xatman911

I hope they port this to Andriod. High end Andriod devices cost the same if not cheaper than the lastest fix of iPhone but have higher spec hardware.

ChamomileBaths
ChamomileBaths

If Apple put buttons on their iDevices they'd ruin the appeal to about 90% of their users. Some small third party company might want to release some buttons or something. But I don't really care anymore, I'm fine without it. And this game looks unbelievable on an iPhone 4 (tried it last night)

leeko_link
leeko_link

Looks good if you're going to make boring mini-games for it. As realistically as the Unreal Engine 3 is, if the game sucks the engine would be wasted. Hopefully the iProducts (iPhone, iPod, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.) are the last platforms the engine got milked on.

yabbal
yabbal

Apple really need to release a "game edition" iPod touch with dpad and buttons, then they would have an amazing portable games device.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Checked it out yesterday. The graphics look great. I'd say somewhere between PS2/Xbox and PS3/Xbox 360. It was the lighting effects and textures that were most impressive. Textures looked great up close and far away. The controls were a little clunky, but all you do is walk around and look at the environment, so... Certainly is promising for future iPhone/iPod/iPad games.

Balck_soul
Balck_soul

looks good can't wait for it to come on android phone >:D my humming bird core is drooling on my galaxy s

luffy11234
luffy11234

i just got a ipad today for my birthday (its actually on the 6th) but really .-. that indeed looks good

Flint247
Flint247

That does indeed look stunning. o.o

moe3000
moe3000

any chance off nintendo 3ds version

moe3000
moe3000

Chair Entertainment creative director Donald Mustard hehehehe lol

Evenios
Evenios

this is one of the best iphone/ipad/ipod apps demostrations ive seen. if companys can work to push better graphics out of the devices maybe they might do better for games...however the only thing i say is that since the lack traditonal gaming controls and buttons they still will not be as great for gaming as the ds, and psp. and 3ds. but still a very nice tech demo!

UniqueG0D
UniqueG0D

@Wizallah Gadgets? :) oooh Its not an mp3 player!! Its an Ipod!! Wow :) Its not a cell phone its an iphone!!! :) You know what is a gadget? When Graham Bell first invented the telephone it was a gadget :) Stewe Jobs just took the cell phone and made it the "most selling device" of the world :) Thats what Stewe invents.... he is a marketing genius...not an electronic genius... Apple sells us "computers, mp3 players, cell phones and e-book readers" in different names, they steal ideas and put an "I" infront of them :)

Wizallah
Wizallah

You may not like the Apple iphone/ipad but that doesn't mean it's a failure and it's definitely not broken. So many people "hate" the ipad but yet it's still one of the number one selling gadgets on the market.

SunOfAtom
SunOfAtom

Speaking of the various touchscreen failures of Apple, does anyone else prefer buttons over touchscreen? Or is it just me?

SunOfAtom
SunOfAtom

Absolutely ridiculous - the iPad, frankly, is a broken piece of hardware and gaming will never take off on Steve Jobs' shiny slate of metal. I can't even begin to imagine the awkwardness of an FPS with touchscreen controls...

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

downloading Epic Citadel now to check it out...

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

How the hell are you going to compare a 360 to the iPad? Just because the Unreal Engine is on the iPad doesn't mean you are going to get quality products on it. I would never jump into a trendy product like that just because someone released a gaming engine on the platform.. Apple is just extremely money hungry and trying to broaden its audience for impulse buying. 1ghz and 512mb of ram? Yeah.. okay. Have fun with your games.

fattass21
fattass21

as time goes on, tech gets better and better. handheld graphics will surely get better and better. never thought i would see this happen, but what the hell, freaking awesome.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@bluefire1360 - that's nice for the graphics, but they'll mean squat if the game and/or controls are poor. I'm not saying they will be, I'm just saying that graphics do not a good game make... they help, but they're not the be all and end all. If they made it so I could plug in a peripheral to the iPad, drop the price a bit and make some great games, I'm there

mardinn
mardinn

Now how to implement this awesome engine into a game?!

gimlifn
gimlifn

the graphics and the controls I thought were very good. The lighting and river were very impressive for a handheld phone. It will be interesting to see what companies will be able to do with Unreal engine on the iOS.

TheVGamer
TheVGamer

What does this mean? Time for Unreal 4!!! But seriously if you can have the same graphics on iPad that you have on Xbox360, that means it's time for next generation of hardware and software.

bluefire1360
bluefire1360

bluefire1360 Posted Sep 3, 2010 12:46 am GMT -12 Well that's quite a blow to PSP and DS... --------------- Not really... -------------- Yes really, if apple pays out epic to put the unreal engine on iOS Only then games pumped out are going to be leagues better in terms of graphical eye candy then both psp and ds.

Kycon90
Kycon90

bluefire1360 Posted Sep 3, 2010 12:46 am GMT -12 Well that's quite a blow to PSP and DS... --------------- Not really...

bluefire1360
bluefire1360

Well that's quite a blow to PSP and DS...

SDSkarface
SDSkarface

we need to see more iphone/ipod touch games running at Native res 960x640 i wonder if the A4 can handle it?

Rothgarr
Rothgarr

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPad I highly suggest you download the tech demo (called Epic Citadel). There's no gameplay in it (you just walk around a beautifully-rendered town/castle/outdoors) but it runs at 60FPS in 960x640 or 1024x768. I've never seen anything look close to this on my DS or PSP. If they can keep the framerate up once characters/gameplay is added this will be a great game, especially when Apple's gaming service goes live. I still prefer physical controls over a touch screen for most types of games, though...

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

@ Jmonti i agree, it would be cheaper getting another phone (which still makes calls) and a dedicated gaming device (which has better games) individually. @ Mickleohb just because it has the engine, it doesnt mean it will run gears of war or unreal tournament.......the frame rate would be 0 if it tried.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

When the iPad is £200 or below and accepts flash, I'm in. Until then, I'll stick with a DS, PSP or my laptop.

Jmonti
Jmonti

lol... a phone is a phone.. if i want to play games, i would use the psp or ds or whatever.. whats the use of playing games on a phone?? well just my 2 cents

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

WTH! Anyway it should be interesting to see what would be possible with the engine on such devices

ganesh69
ganesh69

woooooww!!!! but its not for my iphone 3g :( Anyway am confused whether to upgrade to iphone 3gs or iphone 4.I dont care about the camera i just want to play all upcoming iphone games without any lag.will iphone 3gs do the job? Or should i save more and get the iphone 4???

ForsakenWicked
ForsakenWicked

I wonder if Shadow Complex will make it to the iphone.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

thats great and all, but I have a few games that make my 3GS run so hot that the game slows down until it crashes. It may be able to do some amazing things, but just not for prolonged times. I guess I could keep it in an ice bath.

KillerJuan77
KillerJuan77

They better release it on the iPod Touch 3GS...

Blade8Aus
Blade8Aus

@ChiefFreeman Cryengine 3 would be fantastic, but I'm not so sure it's possible... id Tech 5 is currently not planned on being licensed unfortunately :( it sure would be great though. On a positive note however, id Tech 4 should become open source next year, which means anyone with the know-how has free access to a fantastic engine that could be ported to not only iPhone OS, but Android too :D

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

@Blade8Aus Hehe --don't discount ID's Rage engine yet! And who knows; we may very well see a form of CryEngine 3 ported to the iPhone if Crytek wants to get in the mix. That would truly be "unreal".

Blade8Aus
Blade8Aus

Here we go, even more Unreal Engine dominance.

MARl0
MARl0

@ChiefFreeman: If you think it looks amazing on your 3GS, you should see it running on an iPhone 4 with the retina display. Holy **** it is amazing.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

My GOD!!! I cannot believe how amazing this looks on my 3GS!! It literally looks like Oblivion (if not slightly better) on my tiny iPhone screen. Absolutely amazing for a handheld. I know its only a tech demo, but if the final game (with characters, animations added) looks even close to this, I'll crap my pants! Almost too good to be true!

lock445
lock445

Actually quite promising.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

wow, that's awesome. Now we get both Unreal engine III and the Rage engine working on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Impressive looking stuff that blows aay what was on the PS2 and Xbox.

4-Legged-Shark
4-Legged-Shark

so i just tested it out and it is mind-blowingly beautiful. the best graphics i have ever seen on a portable device. Surpasses Oblivion in every respect except textures.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

oxygene
oxygene

Just downloaded epic citadel off of the app store. On my iphone 4 it looks unbeliveable. I am really wondering how it will run once there's more going on other than a city tour. Still, if I would have saw one-tenth of these graphics running on a handheld yet alone a cell phone ten years ago, I would have soiled myself in amazement. Bravo epic, bravo.

JoSilver
JoSilver

Does that mean UDK user will soon be able to make Iphone apps?