Unreal Videos Give Us A Glimpse At The Graphics Of The Future

Epic Games held a little showcase at the Game Developers Conference earlier today, called State of Unreal. Designed as a way to keep everyone who makes games up to date on what’s in store for the industry-dominating Unreal Engine, the highlights are also obviously interesting to anyone who plays games as well.

Both Epic and some external studios took the opportunity to show off some of the stuff they’ve been working on in Unreal Engine 5. The shortest video, and perhaps most impressive, is this clip from Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, which highlights some incredible facial animation capabilities (using Metahuman, which we’ve written about previously):

State of Unreal – Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II | GDC 2023

It still doesn’t look real, there’s something about the exaggeration of the lips and her teeth that I can’t fully explain, but it still looks amazing.

Another subject of the technical showcase was action RPG Lords of the Fallen, with a more conventional look at how games are made using the engine:

Lords of the Fallen – State of Unreal Technical Showcase Trailer GDC | Wishlist: PC, PS5 & Xbox X/S

Next up is this gameplay demo from Infinitesimals, a backyard bugs game that I’m pretty sure was first announced years ago, but which is still in development. This clip is a little more developer-focused, but still gives you a look at how Unreal Engine 5 handles the scale of a large open world:

Infinitesimals – Unreal 5 Gameplay Demo | State of Unreal 2023

And finally we’ve got this driving video, which is not just an ad for Unreal Engine and Epic’s Quixel, but for EV company Rivian as well (their car’s dash screens run on the Unreal Engine). This one is showing off some lovely foliage, along with some impressive driving physics as well (it’s particularly neat how the car will hit small rocks that will then fly away):

Unreal Engine 5.2 – Next-Gen Graphics Tech Demo | State of Unreal 2023

While it’s expected to take everything shown at these presentations with a grain of salt, it’s encouraging that three of the four videos here were of actual games currently in development, meaning that the usual “well, your actual games aren’t going to look this good” caveats we normally need on these posts aren’t quite as needed here.

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