Finnish studio Remedy, creator of Alan Wake, has claimed that its new animation tool will leave Rockstar's L.A Noire standing.
The work-in-progress tech is being used on the studio's new project, widely believed to be Alan Wake 2.
According to Edge, the tech "uses motion capture as a starting point for generating scans of actors (in this case, Alan Wake's physical model, lkka Villi) accurate to mm, including 64 facial poses from which [Remedy] claims every human expression can be derived".
The tool has been created by lead animator John Root, who previously held the same post at id and Epic Games.
It reportedly allows Remedy to take a model of an actor, then use sliders to adjust expressions based on captured positions. From here, animators can edit a realistic human face in real time, rather than rely on bespoke performances for every scene or manually animate expressions.
"LA Noire has set a bar for facial animation," said Remedy CEO Matthias Myllyrinne. Raising one hand, then placing his other significantly higher, he added: "But [Rockstar's game] is here, we're aiming to be here."
Edge calls the demo it saw - which will not be released publicly - "strikingly nuanced". Root says he has plans to evolve it, too, with colour mapping, a system which simulates blood flow beneath the skin.
The tech is the latest to emerge in something of a battle to eradicate what has been termed the 'uncanny valley' - the difference between in-game animation and real-life facial animation. Both L.A Noire creator Team Bondi and Heavy Rain maker Quantic Dream believe their solution is industry-leading.
But who do you reckon will come out on top, readers?