Hellblade 2 looks frighteningly real in the new Unreal Engine 5 tech demo

Epic Games held their State Of Unreal presentation last night, where they talked about the new tech coming to Unreal Engine 5.2, unveiled Fortnite’s Creative 2.0 mode, and debuted new looks at upcoming UE5-developed games such as Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. The first hack-and-slashing adventure already has pretty lifelike faces, but the spooky sequel is taking things a step further with some frighteningly realistic tech.

Senua’s actor Melina Juergens came on stage to debut Metahuman Animator – an upgrade to Epic’s digital human-building tech – and in just a few minutes, her expressive acting was transplanted onto a digital character. Some of the characters on-screen looked nothing like Jurgens. A stylized little boy mimicked her expressions to a tee, for instance. You can see it in action in this video.

The Metahuman presentation was then followed by the above tech demo/trailer/cutscene with Senua talking directly into the camera about killing gods and other cryptic subjects. Her lips are practically quivering, and watching her face, I was discovering facial muscles I didn’t know existed. Developer Ninja Theory’s impressive facial animation should be expected after we saw their detailed dev process for recreating Iceland.

Other games on display include the kind-of-reboot The Lords Of The Fallen, which boasted its gorgeous dark fantasy environments. NCSOFT introduced a trailer for Project M, a Matrix-style action-adventure, although its debut trailer plays like a concept piece. Definitely one of the most tech demo-y trailers I’ve seen in a while. Finally, we have King Arthur: Legends Rise, a top-down, squad-based RPG that reimagines Arthurian legends, obviously. It’s “coming soon” to Steam.

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