Unreal Engine 5: let’s try to understand what Epic Games announced during the State of Unreal 2022

During a recent event, called State of Unreal 2022, Epic Games has announced the availability for all of version 1.0 of Unreal Engine 5. What changes compared to the preview version, which was accessible in beta for months? Actually little or nothing, in general terms, but a lot in practical terms. The point is that this is the first version declared ready for production of the games.

Not that there have been no lack of demo examples made with the pre-launch version of Unreal Engine 5, such as Matrix: The Awakening or The Cavern, and Fortnite itself is now moved by UE 5, but let’s say that now the software is more stable and has several improvements over the preview version, of course.

Lumen and Nanite


Unreal Engine 5 aims for photorealism
Unreal Engine 5 aims for photorealism

Unreal Engine offers state-of-the-art features, making it the most powerful commercial engine in the world. Version 5 takes this a step further, with the inclusion of new technologies such as Lumena solution for global illumination considered an alternative to ray tracing, because of high quality but less expensive in terms of performance, and Nanite, a virtualized geometry system that uses a new format for internal meshes and a new technology to render pixel-scaled details and more complex objects, considering only the elements that can be perceived. Basically it allows you to use more complex 3D objects with a higher triangle count, without sacrificing too much performance, with some operations that are managed automatically by the system, such as the LOD (Level of Detail), which theoretically no longer requires massive manual interventions, a very convenient feature when importing objects with a very high polygonal count, such as those made by photogrammetry. To sum it up: higher visual quality for faster production speed. The dream is obviously to be able to use cinematic-quality resources with video games and metaverses without sacrificing them too much, aiming for photorealism.

In reality Lumen and Nanite are nothing new in the 1.0 version of the Unreal Engine 5, since we are talking about the two technologies most used by Epic Game in the marketing field since the announcement of the new version of the engine, but being among the essential and more features showy of the same it is natural that the attention is focused on them.

Together with the Unreal Engine 5 Epic Games has released several useful resources for learning the new engine. One of these is called Lyra and it’s a real game, made for the purpose of being dissected and scrutinized by budding developers. This is a sci-fi online shooter that doesn’t offer much in playful terms, because it isn’t meant to play. Examining it you will see examples of application of new technologies, Lumen and Nanite, as well as how to manage the workflow effectively, putting together all the pieces needed to produce a video game.

Another demo released is that of Matrix: The Awakeningdesigned to examine how Unreal Engine 5’s new open world creation features work. By default, developers can work on individual sections of their worlds more efficiently, which CD Projekt Red apparently liked. will use for the new The Witcher.

The announcements


Lyra is a tutorial game
Lyra is a tutorial game

In videogame terms, the State of Unreal meant little, if we think of the announcements made. The Coalitionthe studio that owns the Gears series, showed a technical demo called “The Cavern“, the result of the collaboration with Epic Games. The demo is certainly spectacular and it is likely that the work done to make it will also reflect in the future games of the software house. Some suspect that it could even be a real game in disguise, a suggestive hypothesis however little useful in practical terms, at least without having more concrete data. The competence remains, that is, there is no doubt that the collaboration in the development of the Unreal Engine 5 will bear fruit, which hopefully we will soon be able to enjoy.

Therefore, let’s expect that The Coalition will be able to exploit the Epic Game engine in a way superior to many other high studies, since in fact it can approach it from the inside, not a small detail when it comes to having to work on such complex technologies. But this was already known, given that the agreement between the two software houses had been known for some time.


The Coalition demo has some impressive details
The Coalition demo has some impressive details

It is The Coalition itself that has emphasized this point on Xbox Wire: “We had access to Unreal Engine 5 immediately and immediately saw the benefits of moving the development of our future titles to use the new tools and new features, which allow for higher quality graphics, larger and more interactive environments and many more. things we like about Unreal Engine 5.“The Coalition also stressed that it will share the knowledge acquired with the other Xbox Game Studios, particularly not just, productively speaking, but which is difficult to perceive the concrete impact on a network of studios such as the Xbox and, consequently, on the market.

The most relevant announcement, speaking of real video games, was that of Crystal Dynamics, which not only confirmed the development of a new Tomb Raider, but also stated that it will point to photorealism thanks to Unreal Engine 5.


Matrix: Awakening is an early demo of Unreal Engine 5
Matrix: Awakening is an early demo of Unreal Engine 5

Again the details provided were very scarce. There is talk of an adventure that mixes action scenes and animated sequences of cinematic quality, nothing that could not be expected watching the last chapters of the series. Some clues have made concrete the hypothesis that it could be a reboot of the first episode, that of 1996, but this is all to be verified. In fact, nothing is known. So what was the use of the announcement? The problem of gamers is that they always think they are the ultimate recipients of software house communication, when in reality similar ads often have very different purposes. For example, Epic Games may have agreed with Square Enix to be able to exhibit a prestigious franchise like the Tomb Raider one at the launch of its engine, which is no small feat for its salability. “One of the most prestigious videogame franchises ever will be developed with Unreal Engine 5”: does that sound better?


Unreal Engine 5 will allow you to better manage open worlds
Unreal Engine 5 will allow you to better manage open worlds

Something similar also happened with CD Projekt Red, which during the State of Unreal motivated the farewell to its proprietary engine to switch to Unreal Engine 5. Again, for gamers there is very little, but for who still develops with a proprietary engine there is so much to think about. Of course, nothing has been seen or heard of the new The Witcher. Between us, it is likely that at present there is nothing to know or see at all, apart from some general information that is not disclosed because it is subject to changes in the course of construction.

In addition, after what happened with Cyberpunk 2077, it is certain that the Polish studio will go with the ads, so as not to risk another colossal fool. So why are you already talking twice about a game that doesn’t exist yet? Because she needs to do it to attract workforce. We talked about it at length in a dedicated special, so we won’t dwell too much on the subject.


Lumen and Nanite are two cutting-edge graphics technologies
Lumen and Nanite are two cutting-edge graphics technologies

In summary, after the aforementioned Cyberpunk 2077 case, CD Projekt entered a major crisis, between developers who left due to the terrible working conditions, others who left because of how the whole thing was handled and others who they have been sent away. The haemorrhage was not compensated by new entries, given the reputation that the Polish studio has made and the greater possibilities that have opened up to many professionals thanks to remote work. The bottom line is that CD Projekt cannot shut up and must necessarily be seen active if it wants to hope to attract developers. Showing up together with Epic Games is certainly useful in this regard.

In general, State of Unreal 2022 wasn’t very rich in terms of announcements, but evidently its purpose was another. In addition to launching the Unreal Engine 5, Epic Games used it to reaffirm its dominant position on the market, being accompanied by prestigious studios, which have unveiled projects of sure appeal. Who else can afford that much?

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