IGN: NaturalMotion’s Euphoria Technology

Not so long ago, ragdoll physics kicked the level of gaming’s interactive realism up a notch; gone were the days of obtuse death animations that defied the laws of physics. With GTA IV, Rockstar intends on pushing the level of realism even further. With the powerful Euphoria technology quietly doing its thing behind the scenes, the developers have put a considerable amount of effort into the smaller details that most games tend to overlook.

IGN has a new preview up focusing on some of the ways Euphoria helps bring the game to life, touching on elements such as crowd dynamics and environment awareness.

“Niko Bellic, the central antihero, is injected with surprising physicality thanks to his freeform movements. In the most basic examples, Niko’s stance adjusts depending on the grade of the ground he’s standing on, and he is seemingly spatially aware of his environment.”

Along with a detailed account of the drunken stumbling scene mentioned in other previews, there’s also a bit of info about how Euphoria is used in car crashes, as noted below.

“During car chases, this also comes into play pretty spectacularly. Niko, as well as enemies in the game, are affected by inertia � to the point where rear-ending a car causes people in the front to fly through the windshield and into the air, arms in a controlled flail. The impact is sickening and realistic; bodies don’t just ragdoll in GTA IV, they roll end over end or side-on, before coming to a natural pause.”

Delightful, innit?