Wednesday, April 6th 2022

Epic Games Announces The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience

Epic Games is excited to announce that The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience is now available to download for free on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. This boundary-pushing technical demo is an original concept set within the world of Warner Bros' The Matrix. Written and cinematically directed by Lana Wachowski, it features Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity and—in a reality-flipping twist—also playing themselves.

The project reunited many of the crew that worked on the seminal The Matrix trilogy, including James McTeigue, Kym Barrett, John Gaeta, Kim Libreri, Jerome Platteaux, George Borshukov, and Michael F Gay, in collaboration with teams across both Epic Games and partners, such as SideFX, Evil Eye Pictures, The Coalition, WetaFX (formerly Weta Digital), and many others.
Wachowski, Libreri, and Gaeta have been friends since the days of the trilogy. "When I told them I was making another Matrix film, they suggested I come and play in the Epic sandbox," says Wachowski. "And Holy Sh*t, what a sandbox it is!

"I imagine the first company to build an actual Matrix—a fully immersive, persistent world—will be a game company and Epic is certainly paving the way there. It's mind-boggling how far games have come in twenty years.

"Keanu, Carrie, and I had a blast making this demo. The Epic sandbox is pretty special because they love experimenting and dreaming big. Whatever the future of cinematic storytelling, Epic will play no small part in its evolution."

With Wachowski and many of the original crew onboard, the team set out to create something with Unreal Engine 5 that's nothing short of spectacular: an experience that merges artforms in exciting new ways. The demo starts out with a cinematic that features exceptionally realistic digital humans, before morphing into a fast-paced interactive experience of car chases and third-person shooter action.

All of this takes place in a huge, bustling, and explorable open-world city that—like the simulated world of The Matrix—is incredibly rich and complex. Sixteen kilometers square, photoreal, and quickly traversable, it's populated with realistic inhabitants and traffic. The experience is a tangible demonstration that UE5 offers all the components you need to build immersive, ultra-high-fidelity environments.

Despite the city's complexity, a relatively small core team was able to create the experience thanks to a set of procedural tools including SideFX's Houdini. Procedural rules define how the world is generated: from the size of the roads and the height of the buildings, all the way down to the amount of debris on the sidewalks.

Using this workflow, you can modify the input rules and the whole city will change, redefined by those new instructions. For small teams looking to build open worlds, that is incredibly powerful. It means you can regenerate the entire city, right up until the last day of delivery, and continue to adjust and improve it. This opens up so many creative possibilities—and proves that any team can make a triple-A-game-quality open world in UE5, irrespective of size.

As for the city in The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, it's a living, breathing environment that never stops. Because the systems that drive its actors are part of a global simulation that is evaluated continuously, the activity that takes place in the city is far more consistent and believable. Block after block, it ticks with photorealistic AI-driven characters and vehicles—whether you're looking at them or not.

This isn't just a demonstration of the visually stunning environments it's now possible to build, however—it also opens the door to a completely new way of storytelling. The high-fidelity simulation capabilities of UE5 are enabling an entirely new process: cinematic creation through simulation.

Many of the action scenes in the demo originated with crew members driving cars around the city to capture exciting shots. The team was able to use the simulated universe to author cinematic content, like live-action moviemakers scouting a city to find the best streets to tell their story—but without the physical constraints of the real world.

Where our sample project Valley of the Ancient gave a glimpse at some of the new technology available in UE5, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience goes a step further: it's an interactive experience running in real time that you can download on your Xbox Series X/S or PlayStation 5 today.

The demo features the performance and likeness of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as incredibly realistic digital humans. To achieve this, Epic's 3Lateral team captured high-fidelity 3D scans of the actor's faces and 4D captures of their performances in their Novi Sad studio.


The open-world city environment includes hero character IO, who was the launch character for MetaHuman Creator, as well as thousands of MetaHuman agents, demonstrating exciting new possibilities for high-fidelity in-game characters at scale.

AI systems drive the characters and vehicles, while procedural systems built using Houdini generate the city. Unreal Engine 5's World Partition system makes the development of the vast environment more manageable.

The movement of vehicles, character clothing, and the destruction of buildings are all simulated in engine using Unreal Engine's Chaos physics system. During the chase experience, because the car crashes are simulated in real time with Chaos, the same crash will never occur twice. It's unique at every run.

The technical demo also puts previously showcased UE5 features Nanite and Lumen through their paces. In a dense, open-world city environment, UE5's virtualized micropolygon geometry system comes into its own.

The city comprises seven million instanced assets, made up of millions of polygons each. There are 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. Nanite intelligently streams and processes those billions of polygons, rendering everything at film quality, super fast.

Unreal Engine 5's fully dynamic global illumination system Lumen leverages real-time ray tracing to deliver incredibly realistic lighting and reflections throughout the interactive parts of the demo. Real-time ray tracing is also used for the cinematic element to generate the beautiful, realistic soft shadows of the characters.

Temporal Super Resolution, UE5's next-gen upsampling algorithm, delivers four times more work per pixel than would otherwise be possible, all at the same framerate. That brings more geometric detail, better lighting, and richer effects at higher resolutions to the experience.

The ability to take these technologies and build vast open worlds presents thrilling possibilities as we enter the era of the Metaverse. The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience offers a glimpse at what those worlds could look like. They could be highly stylized like the environments in Fortnite—or they could look almost as real as the physical world.

The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience is not a game, but this tech demo offers a vision for what the future of interactive content could be; from incredibly rich and complex cities and environments, to photoreal, visually arresting cinematic spectacles.

With the release of Unreal Engine 5, creators will have the power to build rich and varied worlds. For consumers and players, a new universe of experiences is on the horizon. And for all of us, the future of interactive storytelling and entertainment is just beginning.

Availability

The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience is now available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Announcement Video

Source: Epic Games
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58 Comments on Epic Games Announces The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience

#1
zlobby
Just when you thought the Matrix franchise couldn't sink any lower.
Posted on Reply
#2
lexluthermiester
UskompufThe Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience is now available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
PC.... We have you now...
zlobbyJust when you thought the Matrix franchise couldn't sink any lower.
Ironic opinion...
Posted on Reply
#3
Vayra86
zlobbyJust when you thought the Matrix franchise couldn't sink any lower.
Yeah I won't even bother watching the abomination they released in cinema. I'll rip it somewhere to confirm how shit it is.

So now they try to boost mindshare with this... righteo

The dialogue quality in the trailer speaks volumes. It tries so hard to be funny, its really not. Bottom level comedy... holy crap. I thought the Matrix was about evolutionary questions, this sure isn't following Darwin's law; more like race to bottom.

Also... the amount of nonsense for a pre-cooked CGI trailer in an engine...
"As for the city in The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, it's a living, breathing environment that never stops. Because the systems that drive its actors are part of a global simulation that is evaluated continuously, the activity that takes place in the city is far more consistent and believable. Block after block, it ticks with photorealistic AI-driven characters and vehicles—whether you're looking at them or not."

Mhm. Sure :D You didn't tailor-make every scene you're showing, but you wasted money on creating a whole logic underneath so that it all magically fits? I suppose console peasants believe that shit.
Posted on Reply
#4
zlobby
Vayra86Yeah I won't even bother watching the abomination they released in cinema. I'll rip it somewhere to confirm how shit it is.

So now they try to boost mindshare with this... righteo

The dialogue quality in the trailer speaks volumes. It tries so hard to be funny, its really not. Bottom level comedy... holy crap. I thought the Matrix was about evolutionary questions, this sure isn't following Darwin's law; more like race to bottom.

Also... the amount of nonsense for a pre-cooked CGI trailer in an engine...
"As for the city in The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, it's a living, breathing environment that never stops. Because the systems that drive its actors are part of a global simulation that is evaluated continuously, the activity that takes place in the city is far more consistent and believable. Block after block, it ticks with photorealistic AI-driven characters and vehicles—whether you're looking at them or not."

Mhm. Sure :D You didn't tailor-make every scene you're showing, but you wasted money on creating a whole logic underneath so that it all magically fits? I suppose console peasants believe that shit.
It is also available on HMAX in Atmos and DV.

But yeah, wouldn't spend a dime on it otherwise.
Posted on Reply
#5
BorisDG
That's old news? I played it like back on the day when was announced on the Game Awards....
Posted on Reply
#6
DeathtoGnomes
While this doesnt belong on the front page, it should have been combined with the U5 PR story.

Of all the games Epic could choose for the first U5 demo, they had to pick this game. Its a poor choice, but its probably the easiest for them to work with in a short time.
Posted on Reply
#7
zlobby
BorisDGThat's old news? I played it like back on the day when was announced on the Game Awards....
This alone speaks about the popularity of these 'Game Awards'. :)
DeathtoGnomesWhile this doesnt belong on the front page, it should have been combined with the U5 PR story.

Of all the games Epic could choose for the first U5 demo, they had to pick this game. Its a poor choice, but its probably the easiest for them to work with in a short time.
I believe they paid a pretty penny for the IP loicences...
Posted on Reply
#9
Prima.Vera
Wait. No PC version?!? Are they 'tarded??
Posted on Reply
#10
DeathtoGnomes
zlobbyI believe they paid a pretty penny for the IP loicences...
yea even if only to use it as a graphics demo.
Prima.VeraWait. No PC version?!? Are they 'tarded??
what? you expecting miracles? :D
Posted on Reply
#11
zlobby
lexluthermiesterWow, tough crowd..
What do you expect? To openly accept and praise every PC/'progressive' steaming pile of goo that WannabeBrothers, sibling Wachowski and Sweeny Todd shove in our throats?
Posted on Reply
#12
Sithaer
zlobbyWhat do you expect? To openly accept and praise every PC/'progressive' steaming pile of goo that WannabeBrothers, sibling Wachowski and Sweeny Todd shove in our throats?
Idk, personally I think as a techdemo its quite impressive on its own and I'm curious how the first AAA UE 5 games will look like and run.
As for the new movie in the franchise, watched it and its not terrible imo but definitely the weakest part. 'did not watch it in cinema, I don't like crowds when I watch movies so I never go there'

It was also announced that the next Tomb Raider will use UE 5, now thats something I'm even more curious about.

Dunno sometimes it feels like ppl just complain for the sake of it and nitpick whatever they can when its not necessary.
Posted on Reply
#13
Makaveli
I was playing around with it last night pretty cool demo. Also noticed it runs much better off my PCIe 4.0 drive than my Sata SSD Raid 0 setup.

[MEDIA=twitter]1511420495069073409[/MEDIA]
Posted on Reply
#14
zlobby
SithaerIdk, personally I think as a techdemo its quite impressive on its own and I'm curious how the first AAA UE 5 games will look like and run.
As for the new movie in the franchise, watched it and its not terrible imo but definitely the weakest part. 'did not watch it in cinema, I don't like crowds when I watch movies so I never go there'

It was also announced that the next Tomb Raider will use UE 5, now thats something I'm even more curious about.

Dunno sometimes it feels like ppl just complain for the sake of it and nitpick whatever they can when its not necessary.
Yes, the key thing here is 'personally'. Lex' comment sounds judgemental, as in 'Ugh! Why don't you love it? It's great! It is you who cannot understand it!' way.

I just expressed my opinion that I don't blindly praise anything. I'm not telling anyone what to do or what not to do.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheLostSwede
Apparently it requires more than 12 GB of VRAM.
[MEDIA=twitter]1511507668627771402[/MEDIA]
Posted on Reply
#16
Chomiq
Vayra86Yeah I won't even bother watching the abomination they released in cinema. I'll rip it somewhere to confirm how shit it is.
It depends on the perspective - it's a good satire on franchise being milked by a corporation.

It's a terrible Matrix sequel, but in my book there are no good Matrix sequels.
Posted on Reply
#18
Fahad
zlobbyYes, the key thing here is 'personally'. Lex' comment sounds judgemental, as in 'Ugh! Why don't you love it? It's great! It is you who cannot understand it!' way.

I just expressed my opinion that I don't blindly praise anything. I'm not telling anyone what to do or what not to do.
If it was branded anything other than The Matrix you would have praised it, because as a technical demo, it IS impressive. Your fanboism is showing.
Posted on Reply
#19
DeathtoGnomes
Fahadbecause as a technical demo, it IS impressive.
if people are properly informed that it is only a tech demo nothing more, people shouldnt be disappointed with the gameplay.
Posted on Reply
#20
Frizz
I wonder if this will bring current console hardware back to the 30fps trend
Posted on Reply
#21
Chomiq
FrizzI wonder if this will bring current console hardware back to the 30fps trend
This gives me flashbacks to Enter The Matrix:
Posted on Reply
#22
lexluthermiester
zlobbyWhat do you expect? To openly accept and praise every PC/'progressive' steaming pile of goo that WannabeBrothers, sibling Wachowski and Sweeny Todd shove in our throats?
Are you blind, or did you not watch that video? Seriously impressive. If you and others don't think the latest Matrix offerings are worthy efforts, hey that's cool. Can't please everyone...
ChomiqIt's a terrible Matrix sequel, but in my book there are no good Matrix sequels.
That is your book. Not every agrees. Some of us enjoyed them all greatly and fail to understand what all the complaining & whining is and has been about.
MakaveliI was playing around with it last night pretty cool demo. Also noticed it runs much better off my PCIe 4.0 drive than my Sata SSD Raid 0 setup.

[MEDIA=twitter]1511420495069073409[/MEDIA]
Nice!
TheLostSwedeApparently it requires more than 12 GB of VRAM.
[MEDIA=twitter]1511507668627771402[/MEDIA]
For 4k? Yeah, very likely. No surprise there. Now who was it that was saying we were going to need GPU's with lots of VRAM very soon?...

People with Radeon 16GB and 3090/3090ti cards are going to have fun with this one. Everyone else will have to play at lower setting or at 1440p/1080p resolutions. I'm ok with that.
Prima.VeraWait. No PC version?!? Are they 'tarded??
It's coming. It'll likely be Steam and Epic. GOG would be nice too!
Posted on Reply
#23
Chomiq
Prima.VeraWait. No PC version?!? Are they 'tarded??
It's not a game, it's an "experience" i.e. one scripted sequence and a world to walk around in.
Posted on Reply
#24
lexluthermiester
ChomiqIt's not a game, it's an "experience" i.e. one scripted sequence and a world to walk around in.
It'll likely be a game soon enough. And even if it's just a tech demo, it's still bad ass..
Posted on Reply
#25
zlobby
FahadIf it was branded anything other than The Matrix you would have praised it, because as a technical demo, it IS impressive. Your fanboism is showing.
Nah, I'm just hard to impress. That's all.
Posted on Reply
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