Epic Games recently showcased Unreal Engine 5’s latest capabilities during its State of Unreal keynote at GDC 2023. The company presented a handful of new demos, including one from Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 developer Ninja Theory featuring Epic’s new MetaHuman Animator. The tool allows indie developers to capture realistic facial performances using just an iPhone, making it more accessible than ever before. Epic plans to launch the animator this summer.
In addition, Epic presented a demo featuring a digital recreation of Rivian’s R1T electric truck, which served as an excellent showcase for UE 5’s new Substrate shading system. This technology allows artists to create different shading models and layer them as they see fit. Epic demonstrated how Substrate can allow different material layers to interact with one another without creating lighting artifacts. The demo also highlighted Epic’s new Procedural Content Generation tools, which enable artists to create expansive, highly detailed levels from a small set of hand-crafted assets.
While gamers are eagerly anticipating the release of UE5, the tech has yet to go mainstream. Aside from Fortnite and The Matrix Awakens, there are currently no UE5 games available to play. The first games using UE5 probably won’t arrive until the end of the year at the earliest. However, if all goes according to plan, Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is slated to release this year, and two other UE5 projects, Lords of the Fallen and Black Myth: Wukong, are also in development.
In conclusion, Epic Games demonstrated Unreal Engine 5’s latest capabilities during its recent State of Unreal keynote at GDC 2023. The demos included Ninja Theory’s use of the new MetaHuman Animator and a showcase of UE5’s new Substrate shading system with a digital recreation of Rivian’s R1T electric truck. While UE5 has yet to go mainstream, Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is expected to release this year, and two other UE5 projects are in development.