Before The Matrix: Resurrections hit HBO, Epic released an Unreal Engine 5 tech demo called The Matrix Awakens. It looked pretty cool: a big city, sometimes photorealistic to drive around and make a mess of like Keanu Reeves and friends. Strangely, it was only released on PS5 and Xbox, but today we can finally drive one of the city’s 38,146 drivable cars on PC – with a few gotchas.
This version is called “City Sample”, which sounds like a generic training program that the Matrix characters would actually use, and that’s a little close to what it is (minus the nerve implants).
City Sample is an Unreal Engine 5 sample project that demonstrates how the engine’s “new and improved systems” were used to build The Matrix Awakens, says Epic. It’s a “complete city with buildings, vehicles, and throngs of MetaHuman characters”, just like what was released on consoles, but without Neo, Trinity or anything else from the Matrix – it’s just a generic demo project.
As a sample project, you need to download the Unreal Engine 5 dev kit from the Epic Games Store to play with City Sample. If you have UE5 installed, you can find City Sample on Unreal Engine Market (opens in new tab)both in its entirety and separated into its component parts.
You can always add the Matrix material back in if you really want to. You’d just have to become an expert Unreal Engine developer and steal the likenesses of some actors, which can’t be too difficult.
Maybe someone really does. At the very least, surely someone will compile City Sample and release a Windows executable for those who don’t want to load it in UE5; I’ll take care of it.
The sample project is one of the few additions announced on Unreal Engine 5’s big day: it has finally escaped the cocoon of the “preview” version and entered full release this morning.