Epic Games and CEO Tim Sweeney showcased their new Unreal Engine 5 today, and it's breathtaking.
Epic Games, the company behind battle royale mainstay Fortnite, premiered demo footage of their latest game engine during Summer Game Fest yesterday. The engine, Unreal Engine 5, is able to create some stunningly detailed environments with realistic light and shadow.
The demo is called "Lumen in the Land of Nanite," and the gameplay in the video runs in real-time on the new PlayStation 5.
Watch the full demo below.
The Tomb Raider-esque demo isn't a real game, but it was created to be playable in order to showcase the capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 and its new tools, Lumen and Nanite. Lumen controls the gameplay lighting system, and Nanite creates all that spectacular detail in the graphics.
Just to give you an idea of numbers—one single statue in the game is rendered with 33 million triangles.
The engine can populate a room with hundreds of these statues, resulting in billions and billions of triangles and a level of detail unseen in gameplay before now. The demo, as a whole, contains hundreds of billions of triangles.
The graphics quality is not limited to small gameplay spaces, either, but can continue to the horizon.
Previous versions of the Unreal Engine have been used in video games as well as films and television. Disney used the Unreal Engine, for instance, to create 3D environments and landscapes in The Mandalorian. Technology like LED walls and game engines allow a production to "travel" to new locations without ever leaving a sound stage.
Many leaders in the industry are touting the technology as something that will change film and TV production forever.
So, this demo is not only showing what next-generation gameplay might look like but also how the same technology might be used in movie and TV production to create even more immersive and detailed environments.
Unreal Engine 5 will be available in late 2021.
Take a look at how Unreal has already changed the game in filmmaking. Then check out how StageCraft and Unreal were used on The Mandalorian and allowed them to create the exact places and times they needed.