Unreal Engine 5 Demo Recreates Japan Train Station In Perfect Detail

In the beginning, video game technology progressed by leaps and bounds, from a few pixels to countless pixels, from polygons to whatever they use in The last of us part 2. With games reaching the level of visual fidelity they have now, it’s hard to be impressed by sheer “realism.” That said, it’s not impossiblebecause I’ve spent the last 15 minutes watching a YouTube video of an empty train station which, if no one had told me it was an Unreal Engine 5 demo, I would have sworn that she was real.

The images come from 3D environment artist Lorenzo Drago, who recreated Toyoma, Japan’s Etchū-Daimon station in Unreal Engine 5, with the stated goal of getting as close to photorealism as possible. Enhancing the effect is a virtual camera that moves like a smartphone would, vertical orientation and all.

The result is incredibly effective. The sound of cicadas and announcements from the station loudspeakers heighten the immersion, while the light reflects off the wet concrete in remarkable detail. The only thing that feels disabled is the flashlight effect used to represent the scene at night. It looks like a flashlight from a video game, awkwardly centered and emanating out of nowhere in particular.

While that’s not necessarily an indication of what games will look like in Unreal Engine 5 – rendering people and their interactions with inanimate objects is a whole different ball game – it is the technology that powers a bunch of great games to come, and it’s exciting to watch developers play with it to see what it’s capable of – from a Matrix simulation to a very cool PlayStation 5 demo.

When it comes to big budget games built with Unreal Engine 5, you can expect the upcoming Tomb Raider and Witcher titles, for starters.