Titanfall is one of the big games being shown in conjunction with the Xbox One. Have you seen it? It's a multiplayer blend of parkour, jetpacks, giant mechs, and adrenaline. The pilots versus mechs combat is something that shouldn't work as well as it does..
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"We didn’t choose this engine because it was going to be 60, we chose this engine knowing that we’d be spending the next two years making it fast."
Why did Respawn use the Source engine if they knew it would need to be overhauled for their purposes? Was it easier to start with a Source foundation than start from scratch or use another engine?
They mention a bit in the article that having a running engine that was easy to mod and had a lot of preexisting gameplay code made prototyping really easy in their early days. After that it was probably just expedient to continue using the same codebase, changing what they had to, rather than trying to recreate their work in CryEngine or Unreal (or whatever). These days building a new engine from scratch is a pretty huge endeavor and was probably never in the cards for them as a relatively small AAA startup.
To be fair Portal 2 is gorgeous, it's as pretty as games come. Although it's very stylised and the visuals are very simple.
They used to use some variation of the quake engine, and source is also from the quake engine. Probably nothing to do with the decision though.