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Unreal engine 5

Unreal Engine 5 Initial Impressions and Thoughts

Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut, put up a post about how he's not terribly impressed by the new Unreal Engine 5 tech demo that came out earlier this week. While it's technically impressive, he argues that it's not (from a gamer's perspective, at least) that much of a next-gen upgrade as we might have expected.

It does in fact sound like it is going to reduce the work load significantly allowing them to directly use assets rather than trying to bake them down to usable assets in a game engine. However from a pure visual standpoint, this seems less like a generational leap and more like cranking the settings from High up to Ultra in a video game.

Our friend Belbel

If you haven't seen it, you should absolutely check it out. It is incredibly impressive, whether you see it as a large jump or not.

And of course, because I am me, I had to put in my two cents in a comment, too:

I am not impressed on the gamer’s side of things for literally the same reasons as you. I like pretty games — Jedi Fallen Order and Final Fantasy VII Remake are gorgeous on my non-Pro PS4 — but there’s not a machine or screen in my house capable of 4k+ resolution.

And I am okay with that. Because honestly, there hasn’t been a single time where I have seen a 4k experience that’s wowed me enough to pay the price for a purposeful upgrade. I might get a 4k TV near Black Friday this year if there are any deals going that are worth it because of the XBX or PS5, but in terms of it being something that is a make-or-break feature, it’s just a moot point.

From a dev standpoint, the way that UE5 works is amazing and should free up some dev time to really dig in on storytelling and immersion. And that’s what I think is important. When they don’t have to concentrate on splitting up the assets and spending the person-hours on that, there’s more likely to be innovation in other areas.

I tend to prefer stylized games anyway, and I like the Breath of the Wild-style graphics over the God of War kind, honestly. On a similar note, I am terribly disappointed that Sony has gone out and stated they won’t have a handheld Vita-type machine to compete with the Switch. That is what I was wanting out of the new generation. Being tied to a TV or monitor is generally not how I want to game these days (admittedly, the Switch Lite screen has made my old-man eyes go through the ringer a few times). That also may be because we only have 1 TV in our house, too.

TL;DR: it's pretty, but I don't see the big deal in 4k+ graphics. I like stylized visuals, impressive gameplay and narrative, and comfort and convenience over next-gen graphics tech, but am really excited to see how the new engine frees up dev time to focus on those things.

What do you think? How do you feel about the new UE5 tech? Are you blown away enough to run out and grab a PS5 on release day? Did this change your mind, one way or the other? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or on Discord!

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