We've been excited about the Unreal 5 engine since it was first teased in 2020. Promising out-of-this-world graphics (or perhaps that should be of-this-world, since it looks so real), the engine could finally make PS5 games look truly next-gen. And it's now available to developers.
As part of its State of Unreal 2022 keynote yesterday (below), Epic Games announced that Unreal 5 is finally available for developers to use. And along with lots of high-tech detail, the keynote previewed some seriously impressive graphics. (Fancy your chances? Check out the latest PS5 restock news.)
Perhaps the most exciting announcement of the keynote was the fact that the next Tomb Raider instalment will be made in Unreal 5. We've already seen the engine in action, with Epic giving us a preview of a game that I really wish was actually real – and seeing as that was full of ancient worlds, it could give us a decent idea of what Tomb Raider might look like in Unreal 5.
Crystal Dynamics is incredibly excited about the future of Unreal and how it will help us take our storytelling to the next level. That's why we're proud to announce that our next #tombraider game is being built on Unreal Engine 5! pic.twitter.com/UFMiWzJAZcApril 5, 2022
While the PS5 has already given us some great graphics (as well as sparking debates about facial hair), it's hard not to feel like it hasn't reached the heights it's capable of yet. It always takes consoles a while to hit their stride as software catches up with the hardware – and Unreal 5 could be what unleashes the PS5's true potential.
Perhaps the most impressive preview of Unreal 5 comes in the form of The Matrix Awakens, a short demo featuring a stunningly realistic city scene. That city itself is now available to sample in Unreal 5, which itself is free to download now.
According to Epic, the new engine allows developers to render 3D objects with literally billions of said triangles, and create "as much geometric detail as the eye can see". Epic calls these triangles Nanites, while its new, reactive lighting system is called Lumen. All in all, the new engine represents a quantum leap for 3D artists and game developers as well as gamers.
We can't wait for the next generation of games to land, and – if we've actually managed to get hold of a PS5 by then – to immerse ourselves in some truly next-gen graphics. And hey, in the meantime, maybe Sony can re-render those terrifying Gran Turismo 7 people in Unreal 5.
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