Unreal Engine 5 Officially Released

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Unreal Engine 5

Epic Games revealed Unreal Engine 5 two years ago with an amazing tech demo, the next-gen games engine is officially available now. It’s been released with a playable shooter, Lyra.

Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine 5 is Epic’s new in the line of game engines available to game developers and it is available for all. While the release of a new game engine isn’t typically news that thrills people until, well, video games start getting made with them, Epic initially revealed Unreal Engine 5 with a blockbuster tech demo.

Called Lumen in the Land of Nanite, the tech demo was made to specifically demonstrate two of the marquis features of Unreal Engine 5. Lumen is a dynamic illumination tool where the light adjusts to the world naturally and easily.

Nanite, meanwhile, lets developers import film-quality visual assets into the game while keeping a real-time frame rate and without drops in infidelity.

While tech demos are an early glimpse at what a new engine is capable of, Lumen in the Land of Nanite shared an early look at the power of next-gen consoles and made its heroine, Lumen, popular enough to guest in Fortnite.

Since then Epic has revealed several other features designed to streamline the process of creating highly-detailed games. One particular genre Epic Games is looking to enhance is open-world games. Unreal Engine 5’s progress in this genre can be seen first-hand with The Matrix Awakens, an open-world experience developed in Unreal Engine 5.

Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine 5 Will Keep Changing

Developers known for open-world games are lining up already as CD Projekt Red recently revealed that the next Witcher game will be developed on Unreal Engine 5. And according to Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri, the relationship with Epic and developers means that if CDPR finds areas for modification for Unreal Engine 5, these can find their way back to Epic and be used by other developers.

“We’re gonna learn so much about how to take open-world type games to the next level,” Libreri says. “I’m sure the whole community is going to benefit from that relationship.”

Libreri says The Coalition, another AAA studio that announced it is working with UE5 for its next game, has already added contributions and advances to UE5 that were executed into the Matrix Awakens.

“It makes us very proud. The Coalition they have a special place in our hearts when it comes to UE5. They’ve actually added functionality to the engine that we brought back into the engine,” Libreri says.

These include high-level lighting techniques that were previously only available on high-end computers that, thanks to The Coalition, can run on modern consoles in a cost-effective way, as well as optimization techniques that allow things like The Matrix Awakens to run on lower-powered consoles like the Xbox Series S.

Unreal Engine 5

“Because there’s such a great community we love the idea that a great developer — no matter how big or small they are — if they have an awesome idea that makes the workflows better, the visual better, the gameplay truly next-gen we’ll take that stuff back.”

There’s Lyra, a shooter that’s you can play right now. But more than that, for developers thinking of making a shooter on Unreal Engine 5, Lyra is customizable and a reliable basis for your next project.

There’s also City Sample, which is the entire city, buildings, vehicles, and crowds from The Matrix Awakens. This sample task is perfect for anyone looking to see how far they can take their open-world game world.

Many of the developers are already working with Unreal Engine 5. CD Projekt Red, The Coalition, and Epic Games are all developing games on the new game engine, some of which were revealed during today’s State of Unreal presentation.

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