Look down at the ground. No, not in real life, in a video game. Sure, your focus is usually on other characters, enemies, buildings, and — in a third-person game — your own character, but the appearance of the ground plays a subtle but important role in how well a game looks. It’s the foundation upon which everything else is built, both figuratively and literally.

Gaijin Entertainment understands this and is thus doing a lot of work to improve how landscapes look and even act in War Thunder. How does ground “act”? As the dev blog about the new Dagor Engine states, vehicle suspension currently only reacts to large items on the ground, but when the new engine goes live, even slightly uneven surfaces will make your ride a little bumpier. Check out the video below for a look at how this outstanding detail will work in game.

As for the appearance of the ground, it’s clearly much improved, as the blog shows, even on ultra-low-quality settings. It’s one of a number of environmental changes the new graphics engine will bring to the game, including changes to weather and anti-aliasing effects. Just like World of Tanks, War Thunder is realizing that just because war is dirty and muddy doesn’t mean it can’t also be pretty.