DF Direct Weekly: Unrecorded’s ‘viral’ trailer is just a taste of the UE5 surprises to come

DF Direct Weekly: Unrecorded's 'viral' trailer is just a taste of the UE5 surprises to come

DF Direct Weekly is our regularly scheduled show that focuses on the latest gaming and technology news – and sometimes that’s problematic because there isn’t always much of note to discuss. Last week was leading up to the arrival of a remarkable video trailer for Unrecorded, the upcoming tactical shooter from developer Drama. Ultra-realistic, excellent GoPro-style camera simulations combined with great material work and lighting created a slice of gameplay that many would consider fake – but it’s not.

Of course, we’ve seen something similar before. Last year, a lot of attention was paid to a replay camera view taken from the game Raid 4, which also went ‘viral’ – and for similar reasons. The same kind of overcast/blown-out lighting is in full effect, while camera motion adds an extra layer of realism. These techniques have a similar effect in Unrecorded, but with a twist – Unreal Engine 5’s material system and ray-traced lighting create a more realistic effect.

As UE5 becomes more widely adopted by developers alongside Lumen and Nanite, we think you’ll see a lot more of these types of videos – not just the extreme reality seen here, but in terms of elevated levels of achievement in visuals more generally. With Unrecorded, the only real question from our perspective is whether that dynamic camera is actually compatible with gameplay or whether it will result in many users suffering from motion sickness. Based on Ride 4, a more traditional camera set-up offers a more game-like presentation.

The gradual arrival of Unreal Engine 5 features to shipping games continues with the upcoming release of Legend of Avium, scheduled for July 20th. It’s a fantasy style game reminiscent of Heretic, Hexen and even the famous DF favourite, Lichdom Battlemage – but it’s pulling out the stops with both Lumen and Nanite in effect, which means beautiful lighting and some highly detailed visuals. With GPUs like the RTX 2080 Super and RX 5700 XT requiring relatively modern eight-core CPUs, the use of next-gen features directly translates into recommended specifications that cause some concern.

Here’s DF Direct Weekly #108, featuring Rich Leadbetter, Alex Battaglia and Oliver McKenzie talking games, tech and ‘going gold’.
  • 00:00:00 Introduction
  • 00:00:45 News 01: Unrecorded footage released
  • 00:09:28 News 02: Aveum’s immortal UE5 features
  • 00:19:12 News 03: Horizon Burning Shores Launch!
  • 00:26:36 News 04: ASUS ROG Ally specs leak
  • 00:34:48 News 05: STALKER shown with path tracing
  • 00:41:35 Supporter Q1: Can Cyberpunk RT run overdrive mode on PS5/Series X?
  • 00:49:01 Supporter Q2: If AMD sells APUs with more graphics power, will they sell well?
  • 00:55:21 Supporter Q3: Does “going gold” really matter for modern games?
  • 01:01:00 Supporter Q4: Will RTX Remix work with emulated games?
  • 01:02:40 Supporter Q5: When will we get another Digital Foundry office tour?

Perhaps surprisingly, these specs can be broadly mapped onto current-gen consoles that have Unreal Engine 5 targets – but we can add a significant asterix to that. It turns out that these recommended specs are targeting 1080p and 1440p at 60 frames per second. There’s no mention of image reconstruction via upscaling – be it via Epic’s own TSR or alternative solutions like FSR2 or DLSS, but native resolution rendering with Lumen and Nanite is tough on the hardware. The developers are keen to emphasize the high frame-rate angle, but of course, we’ll see that it’s possible to run the game on lower-spec PCs – it’s just that you’ll need to take a hit on resolution and/or frames. Every Aveum Legends looks really promising, and you can be sure we’ll be taking a closer look at it closer to the July release date.

In this week’s Direct, we spend some time sharing first impressions on Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores expansion. We’ve got full coverage of that coming soon, but suffice it to say – the game that won our award for Best Game Graphics of 2022 is moving on to 2023. Burning Shores is simply beautiful, Guerrilla is capable of pushing. Visual quality is even higher thanks to bot anchors supporting last-gen PS4 consoles. The density of detail and an exceptional cloud simulation system that effortlessly one-ups the Forbidden West are just a few highlights. It’s definitely worth buying if you’ve completed Forbidden West.

There’s a lot more to the direct, but as always, our supporting Q+A session continues to deliver the goods. We share our views on the extent to which Cyberpunk 2077 RT OverDrive could be viable on consoles, we discuss what ‘going gold’ really means in the current gaming era, and how Nvidia’s RTX Remix path-tracing injection technology Let us face the question of applicability. Besides the simulation, will there ever be another Digital Foundry office tour? We closed our office and went ‘full remote’ in 2018 considering it might be a little difficult, but we’re committed to other types of behind-the-scenes content on the DF Supporter Program. Here is an example!

All of which are seamlessly integrated into our Patreon! Last year we relaunched it with a view to using your support to deliver more PC content – and that’s starting now as a newcomer to our ranks bolsters our PC game review. We’re looking to provide more PC coverage and more optimized settings, while also starting work on a new approach to PC hardware reviews, where we’re looking to deliver new types of content that will set us apart from other outlets. Join us!

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