The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 experience has finally arrived. Available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. And it’s free to download on those consoles right now.
The first is a character showcase, with Epic successfully creating digital models of both Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), but also as they were in the original Matrix trilogy.
Thanks to Unreal Engine’s, The Matrix Awakens city feels more real incredible global illumination and real-time raytracing (“The entire world is lit by only the sun, sky and emissive materials on meshes,” claims Epic), the detail of the procedurally generated buildings, and how dense it all is in terms of cars and foot traffic.
There's also the ability to switch to a debug camera, to better view the full extent of the world delivered by the Epic team. The Matrix Awakens is all about delivering a dense cityscape, packed with traffic and pedestrians - and the extent of that density in terms of cars and NPC, not to mention sun position, can be tweaked within debug menus.
In Matrix Awaken, action sequence, which introduces the player characters created by using Meta Human system matches up to custom-scanned iconic characters. With Neo flying off leaving Trinity at the wheel, what transpires next is essentially Virtua Cop-style gallery shooting gallery rendered with next-level visuals. It's a highway shoot-out reminiscent of The Matrix Reloaded except this time, you're in the thick of the action.
A really nice touch in the demo occurs after the chase scene, where the action pauses for a series of sweeping scenes that showcase exactly how Nanite, time of day, temporal super resolution and the mass AI systems actually work.
In fact, Epic included these stats with their press release via Eurogamer.
The city is 4.138 km wide and 4.968 km long, slightly larger than the size of downtown Los Angeles
The city surface is 15.79 km2
The city perimeter is 14.519 km long
There are 260 km of roads in the city
There are 512 km of sidewalk in the city
There are 1,248 intersections in the city
There are 45,073 parked cars, of which 38,146 are drivable and destructible
There are 17,000 simulated traffic vehicles on the road that are destructible
27,848 lamp posts on the street side only
12,422 sewer holes
Almost 10 million unique and duplicated assets were created to make the city
The entire world is lit by only the sun, sky and emissive materials on meshes. No light sources were placed for the tens of thousands of street lights and headlights. In night mode, nearly all lighting comes from the millions of emissive building windows
35,000 simulated MetaHuman pedestrians
Average polygon count? 7000k buildings made of 1000s of assets and each asset could be up to millions of polygons so we have several billions of polygons to make up just the buildings of the city.
This is one vision for the future of gaming and it's astonishing to behold: that fact that Nanite is running well on consoles and can be combined with ray tracing features is exceptionally impressive. And also impressive is what Epic plans to do with this demo.