“Deep Downgrade” – This is the term used to describe the recently unveiled Deep Down for PlayStation 4. I was particularly bothered by the use of this term. After all, how is the game a “downgrade” when its original showing wasn’t really an actual game but rather a graphical tech demo? If they had showed a game instead of a graphics demo and then we had seen that the graphics had been toned down in subsequent showings, it would have fit the term “downgrade”, but it certainly doesn’t in this case.
Deep Down was originally unveiled during Sony’s PlayStation Meeting Conference in February 2013. At the time, it was nothing more than a graphics tech demo for their Panta Rhei engine. They simply gave it the name “Deep Down – Working Title” to show that they are going to release a game based on the concept using their Panta Rhei engine.
So where did the term “downgrade” actually appear? We have to go all the way back to the release of this trailer in August, which showed the in-game monsters in quick flashes, barely for a few seconds. These quick flashes were then captured by users online and used to judge the game until the eventual re-reveal at Sony’s Pre TGS 2013 Conference.
Frankly, the compression of YouTube along with the quick flashes didn’t really make a case in favor of the game. Still, with the news that the title will be online-only and the subsequent announcement of it being a Free-to-Play title, people started referring to Deep Down as a “downgrade”.
The original Deep Down tech demo showcased some gameplay that could be expected from the final game. In terms of visuals, the emphasis was on a new lighting technique that was used to showcase the fire breathing dragon. The game finally got a full blown public reveal at Sony’s Pre-TGS conference and then got a live public demo later on at TGS.
Once the gameplay was out, further fuel was added to the internet fire with regards to the game being a “downgrade”. People were still trying to compare it to the original reveal and expressed disappointment over the toned down graphics – which actually wasn’t the case here. The game still supports a dynamic lighting model with Sparse Voxel Global Illumination (SVGI) and Fluid Simulation used for the dragon’s fire. Capcom has shown how this fire differs from typical in-game fire that we’ve seen so far in games. You can check out this comparison in the gif below.
This is not the only impressive thing about Deep Down. Beside the fire, the game also utilize SVGI lighting in-game. This is the first time such a taxing form of lighting is being used for any console game. While this is not as physically correct as the SVOGI lighting technique that was showcased in the earlier Unreal Engine 4 tech demo, it is still nothing short of impressive. Unreal Engine 4 showed the beauty of SVOGI lighting with its very first tech demo but then seemingly removed it from the later revisions of the engine. SVOGI lighting technique is still too taxing for next generation hardware, although it can work on the very high-end PC GPUs that can sustain the additional load.
While the game is still in development, it is entirely possible that the graphics will receive enhancements and the final product may end up looking “quite” close to the “tech demo” that was showcased at the PlayStation Meeting conference earlier this year. As far as we can tell, the game is still a long way off from its final release and a beta is scheduled for early next year on PlayStation 4. The game apparently runs at 720p and 60 fps currently but don’t take it as the final resolution of the game.
If you are still not impressed by Deep Down and are still calling it a “downgrade” and a “disappointment” from the initial reveal, do take a look at the in-game, real-time GIF below, which showcases all these beautiful next generation particle effects in full swing.
So what do you think of Deep Down as a next generation title? Are you impressed by its graphics? Let us know in the comments below.
Stay tuned to GearNuke for latest news and info on Deep Down.