Latest version of UE3 portrays environmental beauty

We knew that Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 — that powers not only the company’s very own Gears of War franchise, but Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Asylum and upcoming Arkham City, the more recently released Enslaved: Odyssey of the West — was in for an upgrade.

Last we heard any of it was back in March, when Epic’s VP Mark Rein promised things that were “going to blow your mind.” While this latest iteration did not really do such thing, we admit that it’s looking damn good and we wouldn’t mind seeing some of it in any – or all, actually – of the aforementioned games and franchises.

As highlighted and featured in the video, some of the upgrades include directional light shafts, high quality depth of field for filmmakers, color grading, cascaded shadow maps, seamless time of day transitions, weather effects, point light shafts, material layer blending and improved foliage rendering as well as full Scaleform graphics user interface package and SteamWorks support for online services, according to Epic.