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Fortnite (?) Is Now One Of The Best-Looking Games On Earth (?!)

One of the big reasons Fortnite became one of the biggest games on the planet is because it could run on anything, from phones to tired laptops to hand-me-down desktops. That’s created an expectation that the game is graphically basic, but as we head into 2023, the shooter—first released in 2017—just got one hell of a facelift.

Dead By Daylight Devs’ New Game Is Fortnite Meets Doom

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Epic have announced that, at least on a select few platforms, the game has just been the recipient of some of their fanciest tricks from Unreal Engine 5.1. This includes Nanite (which “provides highly-detailed architectural geometry”), Lumen (where “reflections provide high-quality ray traced reflections on glossy materials and water”), Virtual Shadow Maps (which “allow for highly detailed shadowing”) and Temporal Super Resolution, or TSR (which “allows for high-quality visuals at a high framerate”).

That is a lot of jargon, so what might be more helpful is seeing what that all means in action. Here’s a gameplay demonstration on PC:

RX 580

If that still looks…like Fortnite, maybe a comparison video will help, showing how the new features—Lumen especially—transform the game’s visuals:


While there will be some weirdos who think “good graphics” and “photo-realism” need to be the same thing, for normal people it’s wild seeing these kind of lighting effects turn up in a game as widely-available and accessible as Fortnite. And also the level of improvements they make! I know that’s the point, that this is Epic flexing and advertising their work on engines within their work on games, but whatever, it looks great.

For reference, at least in terms of environments, Epic say that now “individual trees have around 300,000 polygons,” while every single “stone, flower, and blade of grass is modeled.”

So what’s the catch? The catch is that, understandably, these features won’t be appearing on all versions of the game. Anyone with a PS5 can enjoy them, and it’s the same story for folks with an Xbox Series X|S. PC players can also make use of the new features, but they’ll need to turn them on in the game’s settings, and Epic also recommend that only those with RTX 2080 or Radeon 5700 cards (or better) should really be bothering.

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