A new video featuring an Unreal Engine 4 rendition of Mario running around and bouncing off walls has taken the internet by storm and has gone viral. You can see the video in action below, where a visually updated Mario with all the moves from Super Mario 64 runs around in demo stages and tutorial levels from the Unreal Engine 4.
The video comes courtesy of 3D art designer Aryok Pinera, who is apparently working on video games according to his Patreon description.
In the YouTube video Pinera describes how he went about making the demo and putting together the five minute clip that showcases Nintendo's prized mascot running around in highly realistic environments with physically-based lighting, dynamic reflections and real-time shadows, stating...
[...] all the environment assets were taken from the Unreal marketplace, all the character actions were scripted using blueprints only, all animations were re-created from scratch as well as the PBR ready textures.
Some of you might recognize some of the stages from previous demos of the Unreal Engine 4. For instance, we see Mario collecting coins – coins that were textured and modeled by Leonardo Soares for use in the Unreal Engine – from the great hall of the Demon Knight. Some of you might be familiar with the Demon Knight UE4 demo that showcased things like Global Illumination and the new volumetric particle effects in Epic's advanced game engine. Many of these features are only exclusive to PC gaming since the Xbox One and PS4 aren't quite up to par to handle those kind of features, but but Epic was thinking ahead.
We also get to see the brief subway scene that was used for a variety of other tech demos, including one that showed off the new advanced lighting techniques by Geomerics for their Enlighten middleware technology.
The space segment is also pretty short and sweet but we get to see Mario up close and how the model reacts to some of the more realistic lighting techniques employed by the Unreal Engine.
Most impressive about all of this is that after getting the ripped model from one of Nintendo's latest Mario titles, Pinera managed to hand-animate Mario and give him proper, gravity-oriented, physics-based actions using the Unreal Engine 4's Blueprints.
The Blueprints allow non-programmers the ability to design complex actions and mechanics without requiring a deep knowledge of coding. You can use context-oriented GUI tools to assign actions, gravity, reactions and boundaries to objects, entities and characters within the Unreal Engine 4 without having to dive heavy into the manual C++ scripts.
A lot of people are very impressed with what Pinera was able to accomplish with Mario in the Unreal Engine 4, and the real highlight is that the character is fully playable and capable of interacting with various scenes. The only thing Pinera would need is a decent set of maps and he could make a go at having a fully playable Mario-style platformer. And I think it's safe to say that we could definitely use more Mario 64-style platformers.