Epic Games fully launches Unreal Engine 5 alongside Lyra

Much has been said about the heights of graphical fidelity that developers will now be able to achieve thanks to Unreal Engine 5.

Two years after unveiling its latest engine in 2020, Epic Games has officially released Unreal Engine 5. This is the same gaming engine that a handful of upcoming games will use in the years to come, and was also used by last year's demo, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience.

Among the many new features of Unreal Engine 5 is Nanite, which lets developers use film-quality visual assets without compromising performance.

For its full launch, Epic dropped photorealistic sample images as well as a breakdown of all the enhancements along with a playable demo.

Unreal Engine 5 was the highlight of the recently concluded State of Unreal event, where Epic Games' founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, stepped onto the stage to explain what makes the company's new engine better than the rest of the competition. More importantly, Epic used this opportunity to give developers a starter kit for their projects. Lyra Starter Game is a downloadable shooter that serves as a convenient learning resource for those who would like to create games using Unreal Engine 5, as well as learn more about what the engine can do.

The City Sample is the same city from The Matrix Awakens experience.

Another sample project, The City Sample, is more of a showcase of the creation of the Matrix Awakens demo. The "game" comes complete with crowds of NPCs, vehicles, and buildings, as well as everything making up a bustling city.

Epic's presentation was geared toward developers and how Unreal Engine 5 can help them create bigger and better-looking games by having a wide assortment of features such as next-gen real-time rendering, a more robust open-world toolset, a fully procedural audio engine, as well as an improved path tracer, built-in character, and nomination tools, and many more.

Perhaps it should not come off as a surprise that several developers have already confirmed that they will use Unreal Engine 5 for their next projects.

The Coalition was one of the first to do so last year, revealing that the next game in its Xbox-exclusive Gears of War franchise will use Unreal Engine 5. Other developers that have committed to Unreal Engine 5 include Firesprite Games, Psyonix, SNK, BioWare, Crystal Dynamics, and CD Projekt RED. We also know of a handful of other "smaller" projects that will use Unreal Engine 5 like Game Science's Black Myth: Wukong and Midnight Society's upcoming PvP title.

With Unreal Engine 5 out in the wild, we can expect more games to use the latest Unreal Engine going forward.

Ultimately, this is just the start for Unreal Engine 5. As Epic has always done, the company will continue to tweak Unreal Engine 5 in the coming years. Of course, you can expect Epic to prioritize its games for these developments, such as when it upgraded Fortnite's engine to use Unreal Engine 5.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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