release, stunning tech demo, The Witcher and Tomb Raider

Epic Games announced the availability of Unreal Engine 5 to all developers and took the opportunity to deliver impressive demonstrations.

Unreal Engine 5: Release, Stunning Tech Demo, The Witcher and Tomb Raider
A demo of Unreal Engine 5 // Source: The Coalition

One a little less than two years after the first presentation, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 is now available for free to all developers worldwide. For the occasion, the company had prepared a series of announcements.

The engine of a new generation of games

In particular, the Unreal Engine 5 was awaited, because thanks to its novelties it should finally make it possible to play the new generation of games that the PS5 value Xbox Series† However, it should not be limited to these platforms. The UE 5 might as well target an Android smartphone, an older generation console, or a PC.

As the engine introduces many new features, Epic Games focuses its communication on two key features: Lumen and Nanite. The first is a dynamic Global Illumination (GI) system, ie a ready-to-use realistic lighting system for developers. For the latter, it is mainly the dynamic character that changes the situation and that the creation of light cards pre-assemble (baking) to view the final view. A time saver that should be noticeable.

Unreal Engine 5: Release, Stunning Tech Demo, The Witcher and Tomb Raider
Source: Epic Games

Rather, Naniet is designed for creating large universes with a level of detail in the very important models. Epic Games is clearly targeting open world games with this feature, which should dynamically add the most complex 3D models without worrying about the triangle cost, the engine that manages their simplification on the fly (LOD).

Studios around the world have embraced it

This presentation was also an opportunity for Epic Games to reassure its investors by showing the muscles. Thus, the company has unveiled an impressive list of studios already working on Unreal Engine 5 games thanks to its various preview programs or specific partnerships.

Unreal Engine 5: Release, Stunning Tech Demo, The Witcher and Tomb Raider
The studios at work with the Unreal Engine 5 //Source: Epic Games

You can see several major studios or publishers in the industry such as 2K (Borderlands, XCOM, Civilization, Bioshock), Chinese giant Tencent Games, Xbox Game Studios and its subsidiaries (Hellblade 2, known, State of decay 3Perfect Dark), but also PlayStation Studios via the Haven studio and a mention from PlayStation VR 2

Before Epic Games, there were two main studios to highlight. CD Projekt Red on the one hand, who recently unveiled work on the next game The Witcher under the Unreal Engine 5† This is a major win for Epic Games, showing that it can convince open world game developers. Traditionally a game genre where studios preferred to create their own engine rather than using the Unreal Engine.

Enjoy more information on why @CDPROJEKTRED has chosen to use #UE5 to build new open world games, including a new saga for The Witcher!

— Unreal Engine (@UnrealEngine) Apr 5, 2022

The second studio to be featured was Eidos Montreal, who were able to announce that it was working on a new Tomb Raider game, again under Unreal Engine 5.

The Coalition’s stunning demo

Whoever says presentation of a game engine also says presentation of a stunning technical demo to impress the gallery. This time it’s not coming directly from Epic Games, but rather from The Coalition’s studio. You know this Microsoft studio for its work on the Gears of War series. It is also known as one of the best Unreal Engine studios in the world.

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The studio therefore took turns presenting its work on Unreal Engine 5 metahumans, to easily create very realistic faces, and for initial tests of the environment in an open world. Microsoft promises that it is possible to create a real-time representation of the demo “The Cavern”, without specifying the necessary hardware. Also keep in mind that this is a simple tech demo and not a game announcement.

However, rumor has it that The Coalition is well underway on a re-licensed game, pending a more ambitious project around the Gears series.

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