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Unreal Engine 5 officially revealed which may power the next generation of fighting games

Coming in late 2021

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 13, 2020 at 8:55 a.m. PDT • Comments: 39

Epic and their Unreal Engine have held a strong presence within the fighting game community for multiple console generations at this point, and now we've seen what the next generation may have in store for us.

During the Summer Game Fest showcase this morning, Epic unveiled Unreal Engine 5 with the first real-time PlayStation 5 footage which shows off what the next generation of fighting games may be working with.

The big push for Unreal Engine 5 going into the next generation of hardware centers around the implementation of real-time lighting and scalable graphics on a level we haven't seen on consoles before.

Dynamic global illumination, called Lumen in UE5, allows games to react to changes in lighting and environments as they happen instead of requiring pre-baked light sources and rendering.

Paired with the Nanite "virtualized micropolygon geometry" processes, games can more easily be scaled between platforms of different specs and hardware power which Epic believes will improve graphical assets with no loss in quality or pop-in like we've seen in UE3 and UE4.

The ultimate goal for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC is to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life, and put it within practical reach of development teams of all sizes with an expanded and more cohesive approach to game making.

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Almost every major fighting game released during the current console generation used Unreal Engine 4 to power their systems which likely means that devs at Capcom, Bandai Namco, SNK and so many others are looking towards what's going to bring them to next gen with Unreal Engine 5 now probably being the most eligible bachelor around.

Dragon Ball FighterZ, Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Jump Force, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Rising Thunder, Samurai Shodown, Soul Calibur 6, Street Fighter 5, Tekken 7 and Fighting EX Layer were all built on Unreal Engine 4 as well as the upcoming Guilty Gear Strive.

Unreal Engine 3 was used to create Guilty Gear Xrd (plus its expansions), both Injustice titles and Mortal Kombat 9–11 meaning even the system initially shown 16 years ago still has a presence in the current FGC.

What could UE5 bring to the table for fighting games? It's hard to say now since we're over a year away from its launch, but the groundwork seems to be there for some never before possible graphics fidelity levels along with the improved lighting and more interactable effects in the environment like rocks and dust kicking up off of the ground.

Epic also discussed AI-powered tools which can help make animations and character limb placement look more natural which some fighting game devs could use to speed up the process of attack animations and collisions instead of going frame-by-frame traditionally.

Unreal Engine 5 will not be ready for the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X it seems, however, as Epic revealed the engine will be available in preview form in early 2021 with a full release set for later that year though they're designing for forward compatibility which means developers could begin projects on UE4 and move them to the new goods when it becomes available.

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