Fortnite Chapter 4 has finally landed, and there have been some intense visual improvements in addition to the brand new map. Now running on Unreal Engine 5.1, Fortnite has unveiled some drastic yet enchanting new visuals to highlight the best use of the new update.
The latest debut shows what Unreal Engine 5.1 is capable of, making Epic Games’ most popular title even more of a feast for the eyes. The update is supported on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. Sorry Nintendo Switch owners, the handheld hybrid is not up to par this time around.
While much of Fortnite’s original charm continues in Chapter 4, there are a few new elements worth noting with Unreal Engine 5.1, such as the way buildings are rendered in real time and the modeling of every brick, wall trim, and plank along with the introduction of very detailed architectural geometry with nanite meshes as opposed to statistical meshes that highlight the details of each landscape with new rendering technology, easily rendering pixel quality and high poly counts.
The same can be said for natural landscapes, which are also rendered from thousands of polygons, which, combined with the newly introduced Lumen light reflections, creates a new level of detail for players. Light reflections also provide real-time global illumination at 60 frames per second, allowing players to experience everything from reflecting light in interiors to ray reflections on water surfaces.
As part of the new visual update, virtual shadow maps also debuted, reflecting the very detailed shading of Fortnite. In addition to the fact that each object is rendered by thousands of polygons, every little detail can cast a shadow, including its own shadow. Character self-shielding is now incredibly accurate, and every little detail of cosmetic items like accessories will be visible through their own shadow, making it much harder to hide, but much easier to locate an opponent.
But beyond improving the look of Fortnite, Unreal Engine 5.1 has also boosted the game’s performance and encourages fast-paced competition without lag, according to Epic Games. So not only does it look like the part, but the new engine lets it feel it too. Temporal Super Resolution is an improvement on Fortnite’s earlier Temporal Anti-Aliasing that allows next-gen players to enjoy all the high-quality visuals now offered without sacrificing any gameplay.