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Epic Launches Unreal Engine 5

Newsroom Apr 7, 2022
Epic Games has unveiled its next-generation video game engine.
What are the new changes and tools?
What does it mean in regard to game development?

Epic Games has unveiled its next-generation video game engine, nearly two years after it was initially announced. Today, the firm announced that Unreal Engine 5 is officially available for download as part of the State of Unreal event.

The revised engine includes a number of improvements for developers, such as improved efficiency and a redesigned user interface, but the most notable changes happen because of a handful of technologies aimed at producing more photorealistic visuals.

These include Lumen, a completely dynamic global lighting solution for more realistic illumination, and Nanite, which Epic claims, can allow you to create videogames and experiences with "tremendous quantities of geometric complexity." There are many more appropriate tools, such as the ability to divide off segments of an open environment to allow teams to work on different areas independently. Overall, these capabilities are anticipated to make things easier to create large-scale, high-fidelity games; CD Projekt Red has already indicated that it will use the tool to create the next Witcher.

While this is the first time the engine is generally available to game developers, a few important UE5 products have already been made public by Epic. Last December, Epic launched The Matrix Awakens, an impressive tech demo that combined the similarities of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss with a massive open world populated by the developer's Metahuman avatars.

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Epic CTO Kim Libreri thinks it's great that they can test with user experience flows before anyone else, and he even said so. It's extremely important to customers because it eliminates the need for them to go through that. They don't wind up presenting ill-conceived procedures in front of users. It's fantastic from that standpoint, specifically with something as large as the Matrix demo and Fortnite.

As part of the Unreal Engine 5 launch today, Epic is also making a snippet of the city from The Matrix Awakens — minus the Hollywood actors — available for videogame developers to build on. Epic is also releasing Lyra, an experimental multiplayer shooter game built on the Epic engine that looks similar to the video game Unreal Tournament, and it is described as a "hands-on learning resource" for game developers.

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Outside of gaming, engines like Unreal have grown in popularity for a number of other purposes, most notably in film and television. The Mandalorian, for example, made use of Unreal for its digital scenes.

Libreri feels that with technologies like Unreal Engine 5 and a new generation of gaming technology, we'll see more of this kind of crossover between mediums. Previously, he stated that developers would create movie-quality assets that would subsequently be downsized to be used for a game. These distinctions are becoming increasingly hazy, offering up a lot of new possibilities.

That is all for this article, it does show how far we have come and we can’t wait to see what comes next and how developers use the engine.

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