A short snippet of an upcoming first-person shooter is making the rounds online this week, but it looks so real you might not even recognize it as a video game at first if it was just flashing on your feed. At a glance, it looks more like footage recorded by body cameras worn by police officers that only show up in our news feeds for gruesome reasons.

In the video, we see the first-person perspective of a man with a gun chasing someone through a warehouse. The game, called Cancel registrationuses Epic Games’ popular Unreal Engine 5, which is already implemented in Fortniteand which you will soon see in countless games, including Arkane Studio’s upcoming red fall. But while red fall And Fortnite look more like animated movies, Cancel registration looks so much like real life. You could easily mistake it for a video you’d see on the news, which may be why the clip was shared outside of gaming spaces alone.

Games using the latest Unreal Engine always make a great first impression, but there’s nothing technologically groundbreaking about it Cancel registration video. Following the virality of this clip, Cancel registrationThe small French Drama developer responded to netizens who thought the game looked so real it must be some kind of “scam”.

“The game is developed on Unreal Engine 5, and game footage is captured from an executable and played using a keyboard and mouse,” Drama said in a post to Cancel registration Steam page. “It’s not a VR game. In reality, it seems rather flattering to compare Unrecord’s graphics to reality, but fortunately, a game is known to focus first on gameplay and the universe on which we focus primarily.

On the game’s Discord channel, the developers shared another video of a player moving through the same environment, just to show that this is actually a video game and not some kind of trick. .

Cancel registration Level designer and environment artist Michele Evangelista also clarified to Motherboard on Discord that the environment we see in the video was not an actual environment that was simply “scanned” into the game (sometimes this process is referred to as photogrammetry).

“A lot of people think the whole environment is scanned, but it’s not, it’s handcrafted using megascansstore assets and bespoke assets manufactured by us.

So how does a small team of developers using common game development tools manage to produce a video that can be mistaken for real life? It’s not that Cancel registration has more polygons or more sophisticated shaders than other games. Instead, it cleverly raises the media aesthetic where most of us actually see violence in the real world: body camera footage, which has become more visible in recent years as more and more of police departments in need, and a growing interest in police shootings from the public.

Cancel registration Is not alone. On Thursday, developer Digital Cybercherries” released a new trailer For Paranormal Taleswhich he described as a “bodycam horror game”. Ready or Nota SWAT shooter that Cancel registration cites as an influence in his pitch deck, lets you see what other members of your team are seeing through their helmet cameras. Even last year Call of Duty: Modern Warfare allows players to watch their friends through a helmet camera.

Rather than trying to make the player feel like a cop or a soldier, these games feel more real as they mimic a type of media we all unfortunately know and associate with real-world violence. The fisheye effect, the camera shake, the way two hands holding a gun clumsily reach for the frame. We watch a lot of these videos for working at Motherboard and when one comes across our desk, more often than not it means we’re about to see something awful. Besides injecting realism, these games undermine our familiarity with police body camera footage that generates a sense of tension and even dread for the player.

The fact that Cancel registrationThe intended audience responded so strongly proves it’s an effective stylistic choice. Unsurprisingly, the media he conjures up also makes some potential players uncomfortable.

“Anti-police pro-police?” reads a title for a section in Drama’s recently published post. “As a French studio addressing a global audience, the game does not engage in any foreign policy or be inspired by any real events. The game will obviously avoid all undesirable topics such as discrimination, racism , violence against women and minorities… We also respect and understand people who may feel disturbed by the images in the game. Art cannot fight against interpretation.

It’s also not the first time that video games have evoked media that we associate with real-world violence. 2007 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare shocked audiences when it included a level where the player takes control of an AC-130 gunship. He seemed almost indistinguishable from the grainy night vision footage we saw in the news back in the days of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong Cancel registrationstylistic choices. Other games have depicted uncomfortable violence through the affected lens of specific media that heightens the feeling of dread. rock stars Manhunt series (VHS) and Kane and Lynch 2 (cell phone camera) certainly come to mind. But the fact that game developers are now taking inspiration from police body cameras at home, as opposed to videos of wars abroad, shows just how much fear and violence have captured our imaginations in recent years.