Gears 5 developer The Coalition unveils a demo of The Matrix Awakens (opens in new tab) During yesterday’s Unreal State event.This is one of the first examples of a game designed and built with Unreal Engine 5, and we have to say, UE5 games look amazing (opens in new tab).
The team’s Cavern Cinematic Tech Test touts 10 million cinematic-quality polygon assets, rendered in real-time with 100 times more detail than previous engines.
But moving to a new engine is no mean feat, right?There are many new aspects to learn for aspiring UE5 developers (opens in new tab)– Nanite geometry system, World Partition, Lumen and Meta Human and more.
During the production of their Aplha Point demo, we’ve been learning about The Coalition’s journey from UE4 to UE5, and how their approach has evolved as The Matrix Awakens take shape.
Xbox News (opens in new tab) Talked to Kate Rayner, studio technical director at The Coalition, who expressed her surprise at how easy the team’s transition was. “The biggest surprise for me was how finished the engine was and how easy it was to bring UE4 content into UE5 seamlessly.”
Discussing the switch, she recalled that “it was very smooth, and it only took us about two weeks to get the team to switch. As of now, our entire studio has transitioned to UE5.”
The team actually switched to UE5 about a month after their Alpha Point demo build that aired at GDC last year.They started building it in UE4, but as Colin Penty Making Alpha Points (opens in new tab) vid, “This demo runs very slow in UE4. Artists were complaining right before we switched to UE4.”
Kate expanded on this while speaking to Xbox News, “As we built this demo with next-gen content in UE4 and added more and more assets to it, it did start to get bogged down and slow, but once we put the It came into UE5 and it came to life right away. We never looked back.”
The real win, she said, was in the modularity of the engine architecture. Adopting plugins that include content, not just code, extends the engine’s capabilities for teams and gives them the flexibility they need to create amazing things.
The team used UE5’s Meta Human (opens in new tab) features, enhances their current character designs with new skins, eyeballs, etc., and actually does a fantastic job of keeping it out of the uncanny valley…mostly.
Either way, The Matrix and the team’s latest demo, The Cave, are a testament to the level of adoption of the new engine.
CD Projekt RED has migrated to UE5 for the upcoming Witcher game (opens in new tab)instead of using their new iteration of REDengine, which seems to be going well for them – at least when it comes to open-world environment design.
We’re looking forward to more projects using UE5, and hopefully we’ll start seeing some graphics card stock so we can actually play next-gen games without having to downgrade ourselves to potato graphics.