Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Unreal Engine 5 is finally ready for a new generation of games

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Unreal Engine 5 is finally here after almost a year of early access. Epic Games has officially released UE5 for developers, which promises both more photo-realistic visuals and easier-to-use image creation tools.

The most obvious upgrades to the new Unreal Engine affect the basics of 3D rendering. The Nanite geometry system allows producers to use objects with millions of polygons each, while scaling gracefully and preserving playable frame rates. Lumen, meanwhile, provides dynamic global lighting that adapts to everything from the time of day to a character’s flashlight. You’ve seen early results in Epic’s The matrix awakens tech demo – UE5 can render extremely detailed scenes with more natural lighting than you may have seen in the past.

epic games

There are some behind-the-scenes improvements that should also affect the games you play. It’s now much easier for developers to create open-world games thanks to systems that both automatically divide regions (to make them easier to stream) and let multiple developers work on the same region at the same time. There are new and improved tools to create models, animations and audio without resorting to external editors, and companies that create videos or still images can generate very high quality output that would normally require a time consuming offline renderer.

It will take some time for the content to use the new engine. At best, studios have had less than a year to test the engine and get started on their projects. Even Black myth: Wukong (one of the first Unreal Engine 5 titles announced) won’t be available until 2023 and the next Witcher game has no release date. Still, the launch actually sets the stage for the next wave of games and special video effects. You could see a significant leap in realism from games that take better advantage of the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and the latest PC graphics cards.

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