Unreal Engine 5 puts actual real people into Lords of the Fallen

The upcoming PS5 game Lords of the Fallen wowed us earlier this week at GDC when developer Hexworks showed how it's using Unreal Engine 5 to put actual real people into its game's world.

Character customisation in video games has come a long way from the days of tweaking haircuts and adding a badly drawn tattoo to a pre-made character. Unreal Engine 5's MetaHuman tools means characters in games can be designed with incredible realism by simply adjusting sliders. And as the GDC MetaHuman Animator demo showed, these digital doubles can be given life with just an iPhone and some talent.

But the developer behind Lords of the Fallen is keen to wrap all this tech up in a way that gives gamers more creativity when deciding how their protagonist will look. Hexworks will enable players of its upcoming role-playing game (it's similar in scope to Elden Ring) to create their in-game personas from 3D scans of real people for unrivalled realism. Watch the new tech demo below.

Hexworks was only created in 2020 just to make Lords of the Fallen, a soft relaunch of the old PlayStation 4 RPG. The studio has 75 employees and takes an indie approach to creating games, meaning any tech that can speed up the development process and deliver AAA quality visuals is adopted.

The tech demo showcases how Unreal Engine 5 is making life for small development teams a little easier. We see how the customisation system enables adaptable armour and cloth dynamics while the new Lumen Global Illumination system ensures the world comes alive and there's no need for complex and lengthy render times.

 The upcoming game features a "the vast interconnected world" where players can move between two competing visual designs with effortless ease. The use of Unreal Engine 5 means these environments can be design with incredible detail at speed, enabling this agile developer to compete against larger studios.

If you've not yet managed to get a PlayStation 5 then now is a great time, not only is Sony's console more readily available but the recent launch of its VR headset ensures this games console is the best around at the moment. Read my PSVR 2 review to see what the fuss is about.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.