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Just around 30 lucky GDC attendees saw Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 demo. And one such person was Wired's Stu Horvath, who describes the two minute demonstration as "breathtakingly photo-realistic" in an exclusive reveal. The demo apparently follows the demon knight seen above, as he wakes from a frozen sleep ... only to set everything on fire. That scamp!

The demo runs on Nvidia's Kepler GTX 680 – a graphics card often described as "next-gen" – and it follows the armored demon dude as he shows off his fancy, graphics-heavy castle. Just 14 Epic employees put together the demo, which apparently runs in real-time within the Unreal Engine 4 environment (a feat for modern game engines, including UE3). Don't be surprised if we see this demo show up in a future Epic game – the company's past demos for Unreal Engine lead to some of Epic's biggest games.

Lighting is also improved, according to the piece, with "dynamic lighting" within the engine rather than being individually implemented after the fact. "The number of man-years that required was astounding," Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski said. But with all the additions, Epic's new engine requires much more horsepower; horsepower for which Epic is pushing the likes of Microsoft and Sony. Whether Epic (and us gamers) will get that horsepower, however, remains to be seen.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.