Unreal Engine 5: PS5 and Xbox Series games are not going to look like photorealistic demos anytime soon

Play news Unreal Engine 5: PS5 and Xbox Series games are not going to look like photorealistic demos anytime soon

Following technical demos of all kinds, Unreal Engine 5 was contacted by developers around the world in the wake of its release last April. Enough to see superheroes rushing at full speed into ultra-detailed metropolises as well as creations of confusing realism. The latest slap in the face has just invaded the net. But beware, future games on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series are unlikely to look alike. In this article, we explain why and how.

Find above in the auto-play video “Etchū-Daimon Station” under Unreal Engine 5, amazing realism.

A single station. That’s what it takes to create a social media craze in recent days. So no, no SNCF achievement this time, but an artist who recreated Etchū-Daimon (Japan) station under Unreal Engine 5. It all takes the form of a map video in three minutes, with a camera navigating gently in broad daylight, along the rails, before the scene plunges into the darkness, printing a tremendous sense of anxiety. And the least we can say is that it’s confusingly realistic. “Here is my latest environment, loosely based on an actual train station in Toyama” explains on the page Art station “Subjectn” aka Lorenzo Drago, 3D artist, to whom we owe this amazing job. “I worked with modeling, texturing, lighting and animation”.

The video “Etchū-Daimon Station” thus illustrates again the capabilities that Unreal Engine 5 offers, new version of the game engine from the company Epic Games (Fortnite) available for free since last month in its official version. The last few weeks have been marked by testing of artists and “modders” on the software, as with the arrival of the heroes Spider-Man and Superman to ultra-realistic metropolises. The animations are far from perfect, but the action is fluid and the result more than promising. We can also mention the recent demonstration of the Xbox studio The Coalition (Gears). Three demos that also converge to a fourth: Matrix Awakens, the first experience during Unreal Engine 5 available to the general public on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, released in December 2021. The two superheroes have been integrated into the city, acting as a part of the project while the Coalition team was actively involved in its creation. A very impressive experience.

“Etchū-Daimon Station” by Lorenzo Drago (Unreal Engine 5)

Unreal Engine 5: PS5 and Xbox Series games are not going to look like photorealistic demos anytime soonUnreal Engine 5: PS5 and Xbox Series games are not going to look like photorealistic demos anytime soonUnreal Engine 5: PS5 and Xbox Series games are not going to look like photorealistic demos anytime soon

A milestone

A lot of creations that demonstrate the potential of Unreal Engine 5. “To create gigantic, complex worlds that can be played on a console (here PS5 – editor’s note) in incredible detail without seeing elements that suddenly appear on the screen. That’s our goal with this engine.” explained during the presentation of the software (May 2020) Kim Libreri, Director of New Technologies at Epic Games. For the occasion, the company did not come empty-handed, with a superb real-time demo on PlayStation 5 as a starter. Because yes, in addition to the PC – but also smartphones -, Unreal Engine 5 will mainly be expressed on next generation consoles. We already know that more triple-A will use it: Hellblade II, STALKER 2, but also the next Tomb Raider and the future part of the saga The Witcher. Nearly 80 companies are currently partnering with Epic Games.

Companies that will therefore benefit from the technological advances of Unreal Engine 5 and, above all, “Lumen”, a system integrated in the engine that makes it possible to simulate realistic and detailed lighting simply and quickly. There is also “Nanite”, to create large-scale worlds with a high level of detail without bringing machines to their knees, via a system that simplifies polygons; and MetaHuman, an engine that easily models faces of disturbing authenticity. Lumen is the technology that can be seen in Lorenzo Dragos Etchū-Daimon Station as Nanite and MetaHuman combo splurge in Matrix Awakens. The experience that features the heroes of the famous saga is so real that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish 3D from real elements. Not to mention that it all runs on PS5 and Xbox Series, with a huge procedurally created open world.

Too far from the real game

But here these projects are what they are: experiments, and represent in the state a kind of ideal for the public and the developers. At the moment, it’s always bringing a complete video game to life with state-of-the-art graphics a matter of compromise. For in addition to everything displayed on the screen, there is a long list of things to be controlled by the PS5 and Xbox series: the behavior of NPCs, scripts to trigger events, the player’s impact on the environment, etc. Things like Lorenzo Drago did not have to worry about for his video. In addition, the man has noted on YouTube that it does not run in real time, but is a “high resolution” that reproduces about seven frames per second. According to him, the Etchū-Daimon Station could make 30-50 fps in a lower quality on a machine with a configuration comparable to the next generation consoles (“RTX 2080 and Ryzen 7 3700x”).

Thirty frames per second at 1440p, does it ring a bell? Yes, these are the terms and conditions under which the Matrix Awakens runs on PS5 and Xbox Series. We are of course on something more concrete than Lorenzo Drago’s work, but this is also an experience without a playful goal, created just for the pleasure of the eye, to explore the field of possibilities on Unreal Engine 5. It will therefore still take some time for us to get to this level of detail in 4K / 60 fps (the bar set by this generation) plus all the things that a classic game has to handle. After all, Unreal Engine 4 had also asked to wait before delivering its full potential. In short, photorealism is not for now. Admittedly, Hellblade II and STALKER 2 seem to be flirting with this ideal.

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