Unreal Engine 5 is one of the most promising graphics engines today. Since its presentation in May 2020 we have witnessed its enormous technical capabilities with demos like ‘The Matrix Awakens’. The absolute realism that Epic Games pursues, however, still has a way to go, but this interesting and ambitious journey is leaving us truly remarkable progress.
During the State of Unreal at GDC 2023, the creators of ‘Fortnite’ have presented Unreal 5.2, the most recent version of the game engine that comes with a set of new features that open the door to more realistic titles. Taking a significant leap at the graphic level while maintaining a balance between the efforts of the development teams and the GPU requirements is one of the great challenges of the industry.
A ride in a Rivian R1T to show the new Unreal Engine
What better way to present the new version of the graphics engine than with a visual demonstration. Epic Games has invited us to immerse ourselves in a ride in a around natural with a Rivian R1T. As we can see, the setting is littered with vegetation, rocks, and is even crossed by a river. The level of detail and lighting are a true delight, but even more so the possibilities that come for developers.
In Unreal Engine 5.2 it will be much easier and faster to create large virtual worlds with outstanding graphic quality. This will be possible thanks to the new Procedural Content Generation Framework (PCG), which offers new rules and parameters to build scenes with a high number of parts with the graphics engine. This may become a key benefit for next-generation game development.
Another novelty in this version is Substrate, a new way of creating materials that can modify the appearance of what objects in real time and in linear content creation. There are also improvements to the scene creation and control system, which allows for a dynamic workflow and allows you to combine shots from different angles, although the latter is more oriented towards the world of cinema than video games.
In the demo, precisely, we see these three improvements in action. The entire natural environment has been built thanks to PCG, and developers can add and remove elements simply by dragging and dropping them. Substrate comes into action when suddenly the color of the car is changed. This example, they explain, can be replicated on any object, changing its visual properties in seconds.
Unreal Engine 5.2 also comes with performance and stability improvements, but the final version has not yet been released. Epic Games hopes that developers will test new features and help find issues before the general release, which will open the door for all these improvements to come to future games. The previous version can already be downloaded from the Epic Games launcher and from GitHub.
Images: Epic Games (screenshot of the event)
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