The Unreal Engine 5 has been a dream for developers and gamers since its first presentation a year ago. Now, engine creation tools are available in early access for studios that want to start working on it.
The Unreal Engine is the flagship engine for video game studios. You can’t count the number of titles that have been developed on it. The fifth iteration, introduced a year ago, is now available in early access for developers. Epic Games shows us a bit about her baby’s abilities and gives us a glimpse of tomorrow’s games in a video (at the bottom of the article).
The Unreal Engine 5 is therefore downloadable for all developers. Its particularity is to be free, Epic asking for a percentage of sales on the games that use it. For the moment, it is not the complete engine that is available, but a demo: Valley of the Ancients. This is the same environment we were able to see in the first video published by Epic in 2020.
As we can see, the engine is very flexible and leaves a lot of possibilities for developers to create their environments, all while being resource-efficient. In addition to a more photorealistic rendering than ever, the Unreal Engine 5 offers different tools, like Lumen for light management. This solution promises dynamic and automatic lighting to help developers in their creations. An important thing at a time when this aspect is much talked about in video games, as shown by the fascination of players for ray-tracing. More open worlds without any loading time are also easily conceivable with such an engine.
AMD has already taken the opportunity to announce its collaboration with Epic, evoking the future technologies of its graphics cards that can work together with this engine, such as the Temporal Super Resolution, the equivalent of the DLSS from Nvidia.
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For now, this is just a demo to show the engine’s capabilities to the developers. The latter will be able to begin to bite each other while waiting for the full version that will not arrive anytime soon. Indeed, Epic Games evokes the year 2022 before making it available.
It will then take much longer to see the first third-party games use the Unreal Engine 5, and therefore hope for a rendering as bluffing as that of the video. The very first title to benefit from it would be none other than Epic’s goose with golden eggs, namely Fortnite. The latter should pass under this new engine by 2022.
Studios have already announced they want to work on the Unreal Engine 5. This is the case of The Coalitation, behind Gears of War 4 and 5, which belong to Microsoft. A rather amusing announcement when you think about it, since Gears of War first name, developed by Epic Games at the time, was the basis of a simple demo for the Unreal Engine 3.
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The Unreal Engine is undoubtedly the most popular engine in the industry, praised for its flexibility and ease of use, in addition to its «free». Many recent games use it. Fortnite, of course, but also Days Gone, Final Fantasy 7 or Hellblade. Less «realistic» games also use it, like Octopath Traveler.
To download the demo, it goes directly through the Epic Games Store. On the main page, just click on Unreal Engine in the left column. In the new window, several tabs appear at the top of the page. Click UE5 on the right, then click Download Early Access. Attention, this engine is intended for developers and you will not be able to do anything if you do not have some notions.