Our latest glimpse of Ninja Theory’s upcoming Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II comes in the form of an absolutely jaw-dropping character tech demo, showing off the incredible capabilities of Unreal Engine’s MetaHuman suite.
GDC 2023 played host to a two-hour State of Unreal panel that showcased many of the engine’s advancements, but it was Hellblade II that stole the show, with Senua actress Melina Juergens assisting with a live demo of UE5’s impressive new MetaHuman Animator functionality before showing off a stunning clip of how this new tech could take graphical fidelity and character realism in games to the next level. You definitely want to give this a watch.
Ninja Theory cranks up the realism dial in new Hellblade II tech demo
“We’re pushing the boundaries of realtime facial animation in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II,” Ninja Theory explains, not that it even needed to because… well, look at it. Whether we’ll get anything close to this in terms of sheer graphical grunt on console any time soon remains to be seen, but the animation aspect will prove a huge boon no matter the platform — as visuals and tech have improved and characters have grown more realistic, it’s often animation that leads to that Uncanny Valley effect where something feels slightly off about it, and the more tools developers have to get around that, the better games will be able to look and feel overall.
For even more impressive tech, you can check out the full State of Unreal GDC panel, which includes the MetaHuman live demo and Hellblade II reel a little after the 50-minute mark, along with some other awesome behind-the-scenes insight into Epic’s latest engine. We’ll be hoping to see more of Hellblade II at the Xbox Games Showcase in June, especially now we’ve seen the wild tech that will be powering it.
What did you make of the video? Looking forward to seeing how this translates to the full game when Hellblade II comes to Xbox? Let us know!
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