Epic dropped some big news on Wednesday, as the company announced that it has a new edition of the Unreal Engine on the way and the potential is pretty spectacular. Unreal Engine 5 will release alongside the new console generation, giving the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X the potential to make games that look and play like nothing we’ve ever seen.
The point of the demo was to show what Unreal Engine 5 is capable of. They released a nine-minute video showing someone travel through what appears to be a long lost city in a desert world. The effects are spectacular, the lighting is perfect, and the cinematography is breathtaking.
The video is incredible and the potential of what Unreal Engine 5 can do should have video game fans everywhere excited. The problem is that this code is also probably not actually what games will look like when the new consoles finally release.
Demo code is infamous for being created for the demo alone. This showcase was meant to show what Unreal Engine 5 will be able to do at its peak, but it’s also being shown in a short cinematic format. Who knows how it will respond once you start letting players get involved and running off the beaten path laid before them or crashing into things they’re not supposed to crash into.
This does not mean that the developers are lying or trying to pull a fast one on the consumer. They wanted to show us the Unreal Engine 5 at its peak, and that’s what they did. It’s amazing that we got to see what it has the potential to be. I’m hopeful that one day we will see games that look exactly like this, but it’s important to take it all with a grain of salt. This is what video games can one day become, it does not mean that’s what they currently are.
For those in need of a quick crash course, an engine for video games is the base for a lot of games. While developers can take that engine and go in all kinds of artistic directions, having a base engine gives devs the ability to develop games quicker. Instead of starting from scratch, they already have something to build off of. This saves time, effort, and money. It already takes long enough to make a game, building your own engine from scratch will make it take even longer.
So what Epic does is they create an engine, the Unreal Engine 5, and sell it to development companies so they can build off of it and make their own games. What’s awesome about this is once it gets in the hand of developers they can really do whatever they want with it — games like Fortnite, Outer Worlds, Final Fantast VII: Remake, and Gears 5 used Unreal Engine 4.
No two games look the same despite all using the same engine. That’s why these new engines are always so exciting. It’s a chance for developers to make even more games and be even more creative. Even if none of these games ever look like the demo, you can be confident that we’re going to get some visually remarkable games in the future.