Credits: @toki_pokelun/Twitter

ICYMI: Unreal Engine 5 is… unreal, featuring boxing with ancestors and more

Over the past week there have been some surprising announcements made in the gaming industry, which have been spreading like wildfire. In this series, we’ll be covering the past week’s gaming news: In Case You Missed It!

1. Unreal Software is making everything a whole lot more real

Over the past week, the game industry gathered for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023. One of the biggest things to come out of the conference was Epic Games’ State of Unreal event, in which the latest updates for Unreal Engine were revealed to the world. To summarise, it was pretty unreal.

The event featured key tools coming to creators, including the main UE 5.2 release, Unreal Editor for Fortnite, and MetaHuman Animator.

The content itself is better to be shown than described, which you can view anytime on their livestream. Generally speaking, the state of Unreal is making the development and publishing of games a lot more easier and better. Take the Unreal Editor for Fortnite, for example. It uses a new scripting language, alongside the game’s existing toolset featured in its creative mode to combine and enhance customisation capabilities to create new game logic.

The presentation also featured Hellblade 2 or, more specifically, an animation demo that displays the technological feats made capable by Unreal Engine for the future of facial animation. By using only an iPhone, creators can reproduce any facial performance as high-fidelity animation in real time. The ability to capture an individual’s performance with every detail and nuance into a MetaHuman is phenomenal, and leaves potential for more realistic-looking stories in the future.

It’s only a matter of time before all these features are utilised to their full potential, and we can’t wait to see what the community has in store for the rest of us.

2. Drifting just became a lot more bricky

Welcome to Bricklandia, home of a massive open-world LEGO® driving adventure. Race anywhere, play with anyone, build your dream rides, and defeat a cast of wild racing rivals for the coveted Sky Trophy!”

A new family-friendly racing game is speeding onto your shelves this May, as famous publishers 2K – best known for their sports and Borderlands projects – are having a new take on the LEGO IP. The game will feature a ‘LEGO-like’ driving experience, with a story mode and open-world exploration to accompany it. It isn’t by any means your Forza Horizon, but a fun racing game that maximises the creativity of the LEGO brick – especially as you can switch between constructed vehicles you build in the garage!

You can race for the sky trophy on May 19 2023, when LEGO 2K Drive launches for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

3. Spark your way through the ages with these punches!

An up-and-coming video game is in early development by ZHEESHEE studios, called Tenet of the Spark, which was announced on March 8, 2023. This announcement is quite underground, as the game’s development stemmed from one of the CG Studio’s cinematics that was made last year.

“Last year we created a cool video called ‘THE SPARK’, It’s a story about [a] young boxer and his ancestors. We really love that world so we decide to make our first game.”

The project caught our attention as it promises a linear, story-driven, third-person action and stealth game with an engaging plot. Although very little is known about the game’s story, the early gameplay seems to be something truly unique, as you switch between the character’s ancestors – unlocking new game worlds and mechanics as you choose the best strategies to pass each level.

It’s on theme with other announcements this week, as the indie game will be run using Unreal Engine – so you can expect those immersive and unique visuals as you ‘find the spark’.

4. Ash and Pikachu’s nostalgic farewell

Pokémon’s Season 25, Ultimate Journeys: The Series, concluded on Friday 24 March 2023 in Japan. Why is this so special? Hasn’t Pokémon been running for decades anyways?

Well, In Case You Missed It, this is the end of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu’s story in the franchise. The title ‘The Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!’ is fitting for the end of an era, as the lead protagonist takes a step down after 26 years. After finally being crowned the very best like no one ever was, the franchise is moving on with a new set of protagonists in its 26th season Pokémon Horizons.

We all want to say #ThankYouAshAndPikachu like the rest of the world for their many adventures, battles and memories that have brought us joy for 1,232 episodes.

That wraps up all the major news that’s taken the games industry by storm over the past week, ICYMI!


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