The Matrix Awakens is the must-see next-gen showcase
The Matrix Awakens shows us why the world needed new consoles
I have heard a lot of gamers question the need for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, and with the past year giving use mostly cross-generation game launches, I can see why. Right now, most gamers see PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S as systems that are capable of little more than a resolution/frame rate boost over their predecessors, delivering shaper visuals, but failing to deliver the “generational leap” that many of us expect. Enter The Matrix Awakens.Â Â
Epic Games has launched a new interactive tech demo for Unreal Engine 5 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S called The Matrix Awakens, a demo that features performances by Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. The demo was also created by members of the original film team, including Lana Wachowski. This demo showcases the power of today’s consoles when their capabilities are utilised explicitly, and it is breathtaking.Â Â
The tech demo is split into three sections, with the first being a character showcase that features high-detail models of Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), rendered as they look today and how they looked 20 years ago within The Matrix. The second section is a chase scene, a playable section where a linear set piece is played out within a fully open world environment. This is where we finally get to see the next-generation capabilities of Unreal Engine 5.Â
Lastly, there is a fully playable open world section where players can travel through a fully rendered city, drive vehicles, and explore what could easily be the most highly detailed in-game city that has ever been created.
If you question the need for systems like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, just watch the video below. This is what next-generation consoles can achieve, but only when developers abandon last-generation hardware.
The visuals seen in The Matrix Awakens are better than the CGI seen in many movies. The fact that these visuals can be rendered in real-time on a modern console is astounding, and it’s only a matter of time before full games get released with this level of polish.
These are the experiences that can only be achieved with a massive leap in hardware/software capabilities. The lighting showcased in the city is mind-bending, and the level of detail shown is astounding. Better still, if you own a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S, you can download and play this tech demo today.
Sadly, there is no PC version
As it stands, The Matrix Awakens is a console-only experience. The tech demo lacks a PC version, which means that only console gamers will be able to experience this next-generation showcase. PC gamers will need to stick to the demo’s YouTube video, at least for now.Â
For tech demos like this, it makes sense for them to be console exclusive. They are not designed to be full games, and some PC gamers will undoubtedly try to install the demo on a system that is not up for the task. This would result in poor framerates and a poor reception for the demo. With consoles, Epic Games can define the user experience with relatively little effort. Making this demo console-only makes sense given the fact that the demo is a not-for-profit creation.Â
Within the demo’s city are over 7,000 buildings, 45,073 parked vehicles (most of which are drivable), over 17,000 simulated traffic vehicles, 35,000 MetaHuman pedestrians, and 260 km of road. This tech demo is massive, and it showcases why the we needed next-generation consoles.Â
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