It’s been nearly a year and a half since Epic Games gave us our first look at Unreal Engine 5, but we still don’t have a good idea of what the cutting-edge technology can do. Epic did release a demo for developers to play with; however, there are currently no commercially published UE5 games. We received a first look at The Matrix Awakens, an Unreal Engine 5 “experience” created by Epic Games in collaboration with Matrix filmmaker Lana Wachowski, only minutes ago during The Game Awards. The result was stunning, with a photorealistic Neo and Trinity, a stunning world and effects, and more.
And, courtesy of Epic Games, here’s a more in-depth look at the game.
For those who can’t play or watch right now, The Matrix Awakens starts with numerous sequences from the original Matrix, which have been faithfully reproduced in photorealistic detail in Unreal Engine 5. The uncanny valley effect is still present, but only because the original film is so well-known. Following then, the demo transitions into a sequence of interactive driving and shooting situations. While the level of involvement isn’t high, Epic boasts that the metropolis Neo and Trinity are racing through is more than just a backdrop — it’s fully interactive.
It has a stunning “7,000 buildings composed of thousands of modular components, 45,073 parked automobiles (of which 38,146 are drivable), over 260 km of roads, 512 km of the walkway, 1,248 crossroads, 27,848 lamp posts, and 12,422 manholes,” according to a VentureBeat story. The new Nanite and Lumen technologies in Unreal Engine 5, as well as real-time ray tracing, were used to create this (something not seen in the earlier UE5 demos).
The Matrix Awakens can be downloaded now on Xbox Series X/S and PS5.