eriously, the team at Eurogamer don't sleep and they're powered by a quantum computer, artificial intelligence, Project Looking Glass technology, and they're probably part of the Q team.
Anyway, the team of DF Direct comprising of Alex Battaglia, John Linneman, and Rich Leadbetter go into a deep dive of the Unreal Engine 5-powered masterpiece "The Matrix Awakens". If you don't know what The Matrix Awakens is, it is a next-gen console exclusive -- so PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S consoles only -- and has the very best real-time graphics... ever.
The Matrix Awakens was made with a team of just 20 to 30 people that were handling assets, while there were around 50 to 70 people total. In the end, there were around 200 people helping out in the Slack channel with marketing and other things to do with the experience, but it wasn't a huge team nor did they have AAA game budgets to play with... what they did have were assets from the Matrix movies, and Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5 technology.
- 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
- 7,000 buildings
- 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
The Matrix Awakens uses everything Epic Games built for Unreal Engine 5, it's almost as if Unreal Engine 5 was created -- especially over the last 20 years of the engine's development since the first Matrix dropped in 1999 -- just for The Matrix Awakens.
You can wake up in the "real-world" of The Matrix Awakens with Unreal Enginges and its following technologies: World Partition, Nanite, Lumen, Chaos, Houdini, Rule Processor, Mass Framework, Niagara, Metahuman, Metasounds, and TSR.
All of those photo-realistic graphics and real-time assets are powered incredibly with the next-gen consoles and Unreal Engine 5, with UE5's impressive temporal super-resolution (TSR) technology used on The Matrix Awakens.
This saw the PS5 and Xbox Series X rendering at between 1404p and 1620p, with Eurogamer noting that both of the flagship next-gen consoles running The Matrix Awakens "looks suitably 4K in nature". During the most intense actions sequences of the experience, "1080p or perhaps power seems to be ineffect, which pushes the TSR system hard".
"At the entry-level, it's incredible to see Xbox Series S deliver this at all but it does so fairly effectively, albeit with some very chunky artefacts. Here, the reconstruction target is 1080p, but 875p looks to be the max native rendering resolution with pixel counts significantly below 720p too. It should be stressed that TSR can be transformative though, adding significantly to overall image quality, to the point where Epic allows you to toggle it on and off in the engine showcase section of the demo. Series S does appear to be feature complete, but in addition to resolution cuts, feature reduction in detail and RT does seem to be in play".
I agree with the final thoughts of the team at Eurogamer in that The Matrix Awakens is one of the very best examples of graphics technology, real-time rendering, and the enhanced powers of the next-gen consoles. It's a pity it's not available on the PC, but the next-gen consoles have super-fast PCIe 4.0-based SSDs in every single console.
On the PC, you'd need a super-fast PCIe 4.0-capable SSD and while you can buy them easily... not EVERYONE has them. The crazy next-gen world of The Matrix Awakens isn't for the faint-hearted, and by faint hearted, I mean a beefy next-gen gaming PC or console.
I personally purchased a PlayStation 5 earlier this year with super high scalping fees, just because I wanted one. I purchased two games: Spider-Man Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart solely because they have some of the best graphics I've ever seen... and as a graphics and technology enthusiast, I needed to see it with my own eyes.
On a huge 77-inch LG 4K 120Hz OLED TV, those games on the PS5 look better than virtually anything I can run on the PC out of the box without mods. But holy hell, does The Matrix Awakens have some of the best real-time graphics I've ever seen.
The city that was built for The Matrix Awakens is astonishingly beautiful... I actually couldn't believe that I got to play it as it was rendering in front of me. Being able to blow out the tires of the cars on the highway when the agents are driving after you, climbing out of cars, and jumping onto the bonnets to get to you.
You're firing bullets into the tires so the cars flip and the agents die and can't get you, and the entire time it's running in real-time on your console and it has better visual effects than the multi-hundred-million-dollar VFX used in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
The Matrix Awakens is that good.
It truly lets us tumble further down into the rabbit hole, and now we're way further away and into Wonderland.
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