With The Matrix Resurrections film on the verge of release, it’s a good time to be a fan of the long-running franchise. Before fans get seated in theaters, though, another opportunity to enter the Matrix has arisen in the form of an Unreal Engine 5 experience called The Matrix Awakens.
Though not directly tied to the Matrix Resurrections film sequel, The Matrix Awakens lets players navigate through some familiar experiences from The Matrix franchise, such as main characters Neo and Trinity racing through traffic to dodge attacks by Matrix agents, all while Neo fires back with his own gun.
Although The Matrix Awakens is a stand-alone experience, it didn’t stop the films’ stars from showing up. Appearing on-stage at The Game Awards ceremony, Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie Anne-Moss (Trinity) briefly discussed the demo, while footage appeared behind them on-screen. While it didn’t quite generate the same level of hype as when Keanu Reeves appeared at E3 to introduce Cyberpunk 2077 and his character, Johnny Silverhand, it nonetheless created excitement.
Previously, Epic Games had revealed the Unreal Engine 5 with demonstrations of what it can do, but not in a way that players could get their hands on it and try it out for themselves, unless they happened to somehow acquire a PS5 dev kit. Though the demo dazzled many, Epic Games sought this opportunity to let players try it out for themselves. With The Matrix Awakens, interested players can download the UE5 experience now for free on next-gen consoles PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. There’s no word on a PC version of the experience.
The UE5 demo, which only runs for about ten minutes, seamlessly combines real-life footage with computer generated scenes. While The Matrix helped to popularize many now-current movie staples, like impressive slow-motion action sequences, it’s impressive to see how far technology has come that a modern game console can handle recreating some of these moments in real-time.
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine has been behind a number of popular games over the many years since its invention, with this only being the latest iteration. Numerous games are slated to utilize Unreal Engine 5 when they launch for next-gen consoles in the coming years, like the next Layers of Fear entry, providing impressive real-time graphics and gameplay intended for modern hardware. The developer has continuously created hype for the engine as well, even going so far as to put one of its demo characters into Fortnite, its leading game.
The Matrix Awakens is available now on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.