Killing Floor 2 Gore Goes Next-Gen With NVIDIA GameWorks’ PhysX Flex

Featured Stories, NVIDIA GameWorks

Late last year we gave you a sneak peek at the technology Tripwire Interactive is developing for Killing Floor 2, their co-op action-survival game that’s now available on Steam Early Access. At the conclusion of that story we teased the future integration of NVIDIA PhysX Flex, next-generation PhysX technology that enables more spectacular and realistic physics-led effects.

Today, we’re giving you an exclusive first look at that technology, in action in Killing Floor 2.

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But what exactly is Flex, how does it differ from PhysX seen in other games, and how is it utilized in Killing Floor 2?

Traditionally, GPU-accelerated PhysX effects are created using a combination of specialized techniques for rigid bodies, fluids, clothing, destruction, and other material types. NVIDIA GameWorks’ SDK includes PhysX, PhysX Cloth, PhysX Destruction, and PhysX Particle modules for this purpose. With Flex, a unified particle system is instead used for all effects, materials and objects, enabling previously-impossible interactions and effects. For example, a water balloon made of rubber can be realistically destroyed by a bullet, the water within can burst out when the bullet strikes, and it can then cause the destroyed balloon to float on its surface. Here’s a quick video to demonstrate some of the possibilities.

In the current implementation in Killing Floor 2, Flex is powering bile, blood, and gibs galore. These features are best seen with the Bloat, a rotund vomiting enemy. As the Bloat waddles towards players he’ll vomit Flex-powered bile as a ranged attack, and when gibbed his lungs, intestines and skull will spew forth, in addition to buckets of blood and smaller giblets. Blood and bile intermix, body parts and fluids are scattered by explosions and the Siren’s scream, and everything interacts realistically with geometry and objects. And should another Bloat be popped, the force of his internals exploding outward will further manipulate the disgusting Flex-powered mess that’s already been created.

On less powerful enemies who have arms, legs and heads that can be shot or cut off, blood will gush like a fountain, painting the terrain in Flex-powered claret that can be manipulated and interacted with.

And as mentioned, the Siren’s scream will generate a forceful wave that manipulates all blood, bile and body parts.

When Killing Floor 2 exits Early Access, it will be the first game to ship with PhysX Flex, raising the bar not only for physics-led effects, but also gore. For other developers, Flex is integrated into NVIDIA’s custom Unreal Engine 4 branch, enabling the creation of next-gen effects for any Unreal Engine 4 game.