It won't be long before we start seeing Unreal Engine 5 games out in the wild. Epic Games has announced that its new engine is now available to the public, promising that it will allow developers "to achieve movie-quality photo realism" in upcoming games for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.
We are already seeing developers confirm that they have Unreal Engine 5 games in production. CDPR will be using it for The Witcher 4, Studio Wildcard is utilizing it for ARK 2, and Bloober Team has teased that it will be powering a new Layers of Fear game. Of course, all of these games are still a little ways off, although there are a couple of Unreal Engine 5 games that are on the near horizon.
Below you'll find five upcoming Unreal Engine 5 games that we believe will be among the first to showcase Epic's new creation – delivering more detailed character models, more densely populated worlds, and a host of other advancements that we're struggling to properly conceptualize. So if you want a reminder of what Unreal Engine 5 games can and will look like, keep on reading for some of the most exciting demos and trailers so far.
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is being built with Unreal Engine 5 to bring the "Hellblade franchise to levels never seen before". Thanks to gameplay showcased towards the end of last year, we got to see first-hand just how the upcoming sequel is "leveraging the power of Xbox Series X" on the latest engine. Watching Senua in motion as she goes up against a giant was impressive to say the least. The transition from cutscene to gameplay looks seamless, and there's a noticeable jump from Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (created on Unreal Engine 4) to Hellblade 2. Showcasing an impressive level of detail with realistic lighting, the sequel looks set to be a true new-gen experience that will demonstrate how powerful Unreal Engine 5 games be on Xbox Series X.
Black Myth: Wukong
The Unreal Engine 5 gameplay trailer for Black Myth: Wukong caught the attention of so many last year, and it's easy to see why. The footage for the upcoming action adventure RPG from Chinese developer Game Science really is an impressive showcase of just what the engine is capable of. Running in 4K at 60FPS (opens in new tab), you can't help but want to marvel at the slick, fluid motions of the player-character, and admire the way they make indents in the crisp snowfall as they engage in combat. The environments look impeccably detailed, with a variety of different terrains on display that all come to life as blows are traded between fighters. The giant enemies and eye catching attacks on display only add to the spectacle.
With Redfall scheduled to launch 'Summer 2022' there's a good chance that it'll be one of the first full Unreal Engine 5 games that we'll get to play. Arkane, the developer behind Dishonored and Prey, is using Unreal Engine 5 to power its open-world, co-op vampire game – which is promising to let you and your buddies tear across a beautifully lit, intricately detailed island while wielding a host of otherworldly powers. We're hoping to see more of Redfall soon, particularly as it's one of the key Xbox Series X exclusives for the year; if its in-engine reveal trailer (opens in new tab) is anything to go by, Arkane will be pushing for new levels of immersion and fidelity with Redfall as the studio leaves the ID Tech engine behind for Epic's alternative.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl
If you really want to get a good sense of just what Unreal Engine 5 is capable of, then Stalker 2's game overview demo (opens in new tab) is here to help. The character models in the atmospheric post-apocalyptic FPS look incredible, with textures and minute details that bring the different factions to life with impressive realism. From the dried dirt splatters on combat boots to the rusted gear, and the scratched, worn handle of a knife, it's really quite amazing to see just how real everything looks. Not only that, but it also showcases an individual showing off their teeth, with developer GSC Game World saying that every human in the game has a "one of a kind smile" - it's amazing to see just how realistic and expressive the face looks. In fact, GSC Game World is said to have used "cutting-edge photogrammetric and scanning technologies" to bring its open-world to life with "benchmark-setting graphics". Stalker 2 demonstrates just how the engine is helping developers realize its world and characters.
The Coalition's new game
The Gears of War series is said to be moving over to Unreal Engine 5. While we still don't know much about the next instalment, developer The Coalition have released some tech demos running on the engine that showcase an incredible level of detail. The character rendering test (opens in new tab) released back in June 2021, for example, is staggeringly realistic. In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a real person. The smallest of details really breathe life into the rendering – from the way the light reflects from the surface of the characters' eyes to the smallest hairs and pores, it really does feel like you're looking at the face new-gen hardware graphics. With The Coalition pushing Unreal Engine 4 with Gears 5, and working closely on the development of UE5 with Epic, you should pay close attention to the moves the studio is making in this space in the near future.
If you have a PS5 or an Xbox Series X, you can actually preview the power of Unreal Engine 5 for yourself. Epic Games released The Matrix Awakens on December 9, 2021, which is a playable tech demo (opens in new tab) designed to show how densely detailed and beautifully lit urban open worlds might be in the future. It's also a supremely impressive showcase for the new Metahuman-tech which is driving character models forward. Check it out if you can.
Keep up to date with the latest upcoming releases with our roundup of new games of 2022 and beyond.