The introduction of the iPhone 4 brought about a new level of possibilities for iPhone game developers. The increase in screen resolution, coupled with the much higher contrast has meant games looks sharper, brighter and generally pretty sexy. But despite that, nothing has really jumped out and made anyone think “wow…”. Well, until now anyway.
The Unreal engine has landed on the iPhone in the form of Citadel, a free-roaming dual-stick controlled environment set in a castle amongst lush surroundings. While the game doesn’t offer much in terms of substance – there’s no enemies or objectives for example – it’s a quite incredible demonstration of what the iPhone is capable of, and surely it’s now only a matter of time before this technology is used to build an actual full game.
What is most exciting about this is not just how it looks (and as you can see from the above screenshot, it looks gorgeous) but how well the game moves. Silky smooth animations mean as you move around the mini-world there’s no stuttering or jerkiness, at least not on my iPhone 4, and you feel like the phone’s insides have a lot more to offer.
I wouldn’t like to promise anything, and I wouldn’t bet my house on it, but at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me to see a version of Unreal Tournament on the iPhone sometime in the next 6 months. Either that, or something similar which utilises this engine. And when it comes, it’s going to be spectacular.
A game it isn’t, but as a technical demo Citadel is astounding.