Epic’s new MetaHuman digital faces are scarily real

Epic’s new MetaHuman digital faces are scarily real
Ninja Theory

Written by 

Tom Chapman


29th Mar 2023 12:05

With the Metaverse, AI technology, and people having sex with the likeness of Keanu Reeves, it's sometimes easy to forget we aren't actually in CD Projekt Red's world of Cyberpunk 2077.  

Unless you're playing The Last of Us Part 1's PC port or Forspoken, graphics are looking pretty great these days. We know that trailers often oversell what's actually viable, but Epic Games' MetaHuman Creator tool has given us a frightening look into the future. 

What is Epic Games' MetaHuman creation tool?

Launched in April 2016, Epic's MetaHuman Creator tool is effectively an RPG character creator that can export ready-to-use character models into Unreal Engine projects. We've been keeping an eye on its development, and by the looks, it's made a big leap forward.

The official site describes it as delivering "high-fidelity digital humans made easy," and while we still don't really understand all its uses, it's changing how video games look. According to TweakTown, Epic showed off the latest developments at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2023's State of Unreal keynote.

We see Ninja Theory's Senua's Saga: Hellblade II getting the MetaHuman Creator treatment. When the first title released in 2017, gamers were blown away by its motion capture of Melina Juergens' Senua. That's nothing compared to what Hellblade II looks like it'll deliver.

Others couldn't believe what they saw, and soon flooded the video's comment section. One gobsmacked fan said, "I have never seen better graphics in a video game, this is actually insane," while another added, "This looks more real than the real life camera footage!"

A third concluded, "This game is going to be on another level. The creativity and talent of this studio is ridiculous. Idc if this is a cutscene, CGI, or whatever this is some of the greatest looking facial animation I have ever seen and the acting gave me chills."

Epic Games is at the forefront of video games

Making the most of Epic's pioneering, Ninja Theory is still all-in on Unreal technology. Fortnite recently made the leap into Unreal Engine 5, and there's also a lot of hype for Crystal Dynamics' upcoming Tomb Raider reboot using it. 

UE5 is everywhere right now, with The Coalition confirming the Gears of War series will be using it moving forward. We saw an impressive build of an open-world Superman game using UE5, while The Matrix Awakens demo was pushing systems to their limits. 

As we can see from the MetaHuman Creator tool, faces have come a long way from the angular Natalia of Rare's GoldenEye 007. The question is, when will these realistic-looking creatures take on a mind of their own and overtake us flesh-and-blood humans? Who's to say they haven't already? 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
Why trust GGRecon?

Established in 2019, we don’t just cover games - we live them. Our expert team is full of dedicated gamers, qualified journalists, and industry insiders who collectively boast decades of experience covering gaming and esports. This deep-rooted expertise allows us to provide authoritative and nuanced perspectives first-hand from a team who are playing, and researching every game covered on our website. 

Our foundation is built on a profound commitment to editorial independence, ensuring our content remains free from external influence and advertising pressures and is held to the highest level of editorial conduct, integrity, and quality. 

Every article on GGRecon comes from rigorous research, informed analysis, and a passion for gaming that resonates with our readers. We uphold these standards through a transparent editorial policy, accessible here, which governs our processes and maintains our accountability.

How to watch PlayStation's State of Play today
Sony says 50% of PlayStation gamers are still on PS4, but PS5 is already more profitable
Amazon to publish open-world driving game from former Forza Horizon devs
Rocksteady co-founders' next game could be published by Xbox
George Miller wants Hideo Kojima to make the ultimate Mad Max game