If you exclude the reports about Fortnite and Epic Games Store, it's been a long time since we've heard anything about Epic Games itself. Apparently, the company has decided to remind us of itself with a bang. As part of Summer Game Fest, the developer presented Unreal Engine 5's technology demo for PlayStation 5, giving us a foretaste of what the ninth generation consoles will offer.
The presentation of Unreal Engine 5, called Lumen in the Land of Nanite was implemented in the convention of an TPP action game, in which we visit mysterious ruins together with a female protagonist. Epic Games presented several novelties, but it was the two technologies mentioned in the demo's title: Nanite and Lumen in the Land of Nanite that played the primary role. The first one enables the developers - according to the devs' words - "to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see". In practice, this makes it possible to import high quality objects (for example those used in films) directly into the game engine in real time, without losing quality. Lumen, on the other hand, is responsible for the dynamic lighting, matching it with the scenery, slope angles and number of light sources, etc., even in open, kilometre-long locations.
Both technologies will create an even more realistic environment, while saving devs time both in designing it and generating a so-called light map - the artists can simply move the lighting in the editor to achieve the desired effect. This is complemented by other, no less important improvements, including in the audio layer.
Lumen in the Land of Nanite is in fact the first real presentation of how games will look like on ninth generation consoles. Epic Games' ambition is to blur the difference between gaming graphics and CGI scenes created for cinematic productions. All this is to be within the reach of both major developers and smaller studios. Of course, there is still the question of optimization, but we can hope that Epic Games will not disappoint in this respect.