In May 2020, as we all began to realize that this whole Covid thing wasn’t going to be a short-term stay, Epic showed us our first look at their awesome Unreal Engine 5 demo running on a PlayStation 5, giving us a look at what future high-end games might look like. It had it all: fancy lighting, absurdly detailed textures using film-grade assets, and plenty of rockfall to demonstrate advanced physics.
As viewers, we all got to watch the presentation from the perspective of Echo, a young woman with magical powers. Now, rather than just watching her caving in caves, you can play like her in Fortnite.
It’s obviously not exactly the same character model, but a smoother Fortnite version that fits perfectly alongside Jonesy, Peely, and everything in between. Hey, it’s not like she’s doing anything in Epic’s library other than playing an Unreal Engine 4 (not 5) animation reel. Since Unreal Engine’s previous demo characters never really played into anything tangible, I’m guessing Echo getting duplicates in Fortnite is an upgrade.
Since there’s only the outfit to buy, and no pickaxes, bling backs, or extra dances, Windwalker Echo costs just 800 V-Bucks. That’s around US $ 7 if you’re wondering, which makes it one of the cheapest Fortnite skins out there. A cool effect, however, is that Echo’s arm tattoos light up when you open loot chests, much like when she activates her magical powers in the original tech demo.
Unreal Engine 5 won’t be fully released until early 2022, but its early access period has given some developers the ability to create truly wild environments. If you are more curious about what Games Will look like using Unreal Engine 5, Black Myth: Developer Wukong has moved to Epic’s new toolset and posted a 12-minute video showcasing their updated look. Meanwhile, Stalker 2’s new take on an irradiated Chernobyl will also use UE5.
Keep in mind that Fortnite Creative Mode will benefit from Unreal Engine 5 support in the future, which will open up a lot of possibilities for custom map creators.