If you attended the Game Awards 2021 ceremony, you probably remember the looks of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. But they were not there for a game, at least almost not, but for the Matrix Awakens demo, which runs under Unreal Engine 5. If you have not already done so, we advise you to download it immediately, as it will be removed from the Xbox and PlayStation stores on July 9th.
What exactly is The Matrix Awakens?
The Matrix Awakens is not a game. It’s a free technical demo that runs in real time under the Unreal Engine 5 engine, but which can be played!
And that’s the whole difference. We’ve been treated to several Unreal Engine 5 demos over the last two years, but they were always videos of what could be done in the future with the Epic Games engine. But this time it is more true than ever.
The playable demo titled “The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience” is available on Xbox Series X | S and PS5, but you only have a few days left to download it, as Epic Games will be released on July 9, 2022 . Hurry up!
Download for Xbox
The future is here already
How was this demo designed? What’s behind it? This is revealed by our colleagues from Eurogamer after talking to Epic Games.
If the characters of Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) look so realistic, it’s because they were created with Epic Games’ MetaHuman technology, as we described earlier this year. 2021
The playable technical demo is of course very scripted, but that does not stop it from being very impressive when you know that everything is running in real time. Explosions are calculated, for example, in real time using the physics system Chaos from Epic.
Does the world created for this demo seem too stiff for you at first? So wait until you reach the last third where you can roam freely as well as take control of vehicles. It is the Nanite technology, dedicated to geometry, that hits the mark here along with Lumen, which controls the lights. It is also possible to play with the possibilities of, for example, changing the position of the sun. Ray Tracing works wonders here.
We also learn that to further enhance overall reproduction, Epic relies heavily on its super temporal resolution (TSR) solution, which injects data from past images into the present to improve quality. Using tools and procedure generation, Epic Games was able to create a realistic and cohesive world for a city the size of downtown Los Angeles (Downtown District). Here are the numbers.
- The city is 4,138 km wide and 4,968 km long, slightly larger than the size of downtown Los Angeles
- The city area is 15.79 km2
- The city is 14,519 km long
- There are 260 km of roads in the city
- There are 512 km of sidewalks in the city
- There are 1,248 intersections in the city
- There are 45,073 cars parked, of which 38,146 can be driven and destroyed
- There are 17,000 simulated vehicles on the road which are devastating
- 7,000 buildings
- Only 27,848 street lights
- 12,422 manholes
- Nearly 10 million unique and duplicate assets were created to create the city
- The whole world is illuminated only by the sun, the sky and the emitting materials on the masks. No light sources were placed for the tens of thousands of street lights and headlights. In night mode, almost all the lighting comes from the buildings’ millions of emission windows
- 35,000 simulated MetaHuman pedestrians
- Average number of polygons? 7,000 buildings consisting of thousands of assets, and each asset alone can represent up to millions of polygons. We therefore have several billion polygons to make up only the city’s buildings
This is the same team that took care of this Matrix demo as the one that was previously responsible for the Unreal Engine 5 demos. To get an insight into what Unreal Engine 5 looks like in a real game, we recommend watching the first Hellblade 2 gameplay video released tonight.
Finally, note that while it is already quite impressive to watch the demo videos on your phone, the experience will be even more striking on your 4K TV.