The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 Demo Delivers Next-Level Photorealism Now on PS5/XSX

Nathan Birch
The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine V5.1

It’s been a over a year and a half since Epic Games provided a first glimpse at Unreal Engine 5 in action, but we still don’t have a particularly clear vision of the cutting-edge tech can do. Epic did release a demo devs could tinker with, but no commercially-available UE5 games have been released yet. Well, just minutes ago during The Game Awards we got a first peek at The Matrix Awakens, an Unreal Engine 5 “experience” creating by Epic Games in conjunction with Matrix director Lana Wachowski. The results were impressive, showing off a photorealistic Neo and Trinity, an impressive world and effects, and more. Best of all, you can play it for yourself, right now! But first, check out a quick teaser for The Matrix Awakens, below.

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And here's a fuller walkthrough of the experience, courtesy of Epic Games.

For those unable to play or watch at the moment, The Matrix Awakens opens with several scenes from the original Matrix, now convincingly recreated in Photorealistic detail in Unreal Engine 5. There is still somewhat of an uncanny valley effect, but only because the original movie is so well-known. The demo then segues into a series of interactive driving and shooting scenes. While the level of interactivity isn’t terribly high, Epic claims the city Neo and Trinity are racing through isn’t just a backdrop – it’s actually fully interactive. According to a VentureBeat article, it features a staggering “seven thousand buildings made of thousands of modular pieces, 45,073 parked cars (of which 38,146 are drivable), over 260 km of roads, 512 km of sidewalk, 1,248 intersections, 27,848 lamp posts, and 12,422 manholes” . This is all built using Unreal Engine 5’s new Nanite and Lumen systems, as well as real-time ray tracing (something not seen in the earlier UE5 demos).

The Matrix Awakens can be downloaded now on Xbox Series X/S and PS5. What do you think? Impressed by Epic's latest Unreal Engine 5 flexing?

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