Snag The Stunning Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine Tech Demo Before It Vanishes Forever
Epic Games' Unreal Engine
has been evolving ever since its first appearance as the engine powering its namesake, the original Unreal
, in 1998. The second iteration
wowed us with its wide-open landscapes, the third version
came in with impressive new lighting tech, and the fourth full-number revision
brought physical-based rendering and substantial improvements on the editor side.
While there's not any retail software using it yet, Unreal Engine 5 is already here
, and it has come along with some fairly incredible capabilities. Thanks to its all-new lighting and geometry engines, it can render scenes with absurd polycounts and ray-traced lights at interactive frame rates. There's no better showpiece for this than the Matrix Awakens demo
available on the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series consoles. Sure, other demos
might look better, but you can actually download this one on your own hardware and see it running in real-time.
You probably know all this already, especially if you're a regular HotHardware
reader. What you may not be aware of is that The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience
was a time-limited demo, and that it will be removed from both PlayStation and Xbox marketplaces on July 9th. That's the day after tomorrow.
According to Epic, as long as you've downloaded it before—that is to say, as long as you've added it to your account on the relevant service—you'll still be able to download and play (or watch, really) the demo. However, if you haven't, you won't be able to get it again. So saying, even if you don't particularly want the demo on your system's limited storage, it might not be a bad idea to go ahead and add it to your account in case you ever want to wow someone with the capabilities of your current-gen game console.
The free Unreal City Sample is the same city created for the Matrix Awakens demo.
It's fair to note that most of the interactive part of this demo is available for free
on the Unreal Engine marketplace, but that version has been stripped of anything to do specifically with the Matrix property. Arguably the coolest parts of this demo are the ones early on where it blends live-action video with real-time rendering and asks you to discern the difference. It's not as hard as the demo would like you to think, but it's a whole lot harder than picking out retail game characters on an FMV backdrop.
We've e-mailed Epic to ask why the game is being removed from stores, but haven't heard back yet. We'll update this post if we do.