Why Unreal Engine 5 is a literal game changer
The Unreal Engine 5 has finally been released. Here's what you need to know about the Fortnite, Witcher 4 and Tomb Raider engine.
Epic Games has unveiled the Unreal Engine 5 for general developer use. We've already seen the engine in action with Epic's own Fortnite and The Matrix Awakens, but in the coming months and years we'll see what it can really do.
With the likes of The Witcher 4, Tomb Raider and Kingdom Hearts all signing on to use the engine for upcoming releases, let's take a look at what makes it so exciting.
What is a game engine?
A good place to start is to analyse what a game engine actually does. Making a video game is complicated. Extremely complicated. You can't just go into a piece of coding software and pump out a Call of Duty game. You need all kinds of programs, visual components and much more to produce a Triple A release.
Game engines serve as a framework for a game. One of the most important functions of a game engine is to assist in the visual presentation of a game. Engines provide basic 2D or 3D environments developers can build their games within.
They also often come with a suite of visual development tools, including models that can be altered or simply placed in the game as they are. Engines are also instrumental in the development of animation.
On top of the visual engine, they also include audio engines and physics engines. The physical laws of our universe aren't inherently present in a video game world, so they need to be approximated and added. This would be extremely difficult to do without the help of an engine.
That's a very basic rundown of how these programs work. Some of the most popular video game engines include Unity and Unreal 4, now replaced by Unreal 5.
What's different about Unreal Engine 5?
So why are so many developers jumping out of their skin to get on board with Unreal 5? Well, Epic already proved itself with previous Unreal Engines, which were behind games like Street Fighter V, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Borderlands 3. They've upped the ante with Unreal Engine 5 in a number of ways.
A big selling point for Unreal 5 is Nanite. This innovation will allow photographic source material to be fully imported into games. This could be an unbelievable game changer when it comes to visual realism in the industry.
Epic Games has also acquired RealityCapture technology, which allows 3D models to be generated from a collection of multi-angle photographs. It's pretty clear that Epic is gunning for photorealism with the Unreal Engine 5, so it's easy to see why game developers are so excited. A teaser for the upcoming Unreal-powered game Instinction shows the kind of visual presentation that's possible.
A key theme in the development of Unreal Engine 5 is collaboration. Epic has worked closely with Sony throughout the development of Unreal 5 to ensure it will take full advantage of all the Next Gen features the PlayStation 5 has to offer. The engine will also be fully supported by Xbox Series X.
Additionally, when CD Projekt RED announced the upcoming Witcher game, the developer made it very clear that it is all in on Unreal 5. The new relationship was described as a "long-term, fulfilling tech partnership", in which CDPR would work closely with Epic to optimise the engine, particularly for open-world experiences.
Unreal Engine 5 games
Here are just some upcoming blockbusters set to be built with Unreal 5:
- Upcoming The Witcher game
- Upcoming Tomb Raider game
- Upcoming Gears of War game
- Upcoming mobile Game of Thrones game
- Kingdom Hearts 4
- Stalker 2
Best computer deals
We will soon have a litany of ultra-realistic Unreal 5 games to play through. You'll need a top-of-the-line machine to fully enjoy what these games have to offer. Grab one at a major discount with one of these deals.
Note: We can't guarantee that any of these computers will be able to run every Unreal 5 production until the required specs are released for each individual game. But these high-end machines will certainly give you the best chance to handle what the Unreal Engine 5 will throw at you.
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