The Unreal Engine 5 Matrix demo is now on PC, kind of

Back before The Matrix: Resurrections hit HBO, Epic released an Unreal Engine 5 tech demo called The Matrix Awakens. It looked really cool: a big, sometimes photorealistic city to drive around and make a mess of as Keanu Reeves and friends. Weirdly, it only released on PS5 and Xbox, but today we can finally drive one of the city's 38,146 driveable cars on PC—with a couple catches.

This version is called "City Sample," which kind of sounds like a generic training program that Matrix characters would actually use, and that's somewhat close to what it is (minus the nerve implants). 

City Sample is an Unreal Engine 5 sample project which demonstrates how the engine's "new and improved systems" were used to build The Matrix Awakens, says Epic. It's a "complete city with buildings, vehicles, and crowds of MetaHuman characters," just like what was released on consoles, but without Neo, Trinity, or any of the other Matrix stuff—it's just a generic demo project.

City Sample hasn't been released by Epic as a standalone executable—it's a project that needs to be loaded in the Unreal Engine development environment—but developer Victor Careil has packaged it like a regular game and put it on Google Drive as a 17GB download. (If the file has hit its download limit on Google, Careil has mirrored it on There's a second mirror here, too.) I downloaded and scanned the compressed files from Gdrive (can't be too careful) and yep, it is what Careil promises. You just need to extract Careil's files (WinRAR will work) and run CitySample.exe to play it. There's no menu, so if you want to adjust graphics settings, look for GameUserSettings.ini.

Alternatively, if you have UE5 installed, you can find the City Sample project on the Unreal Engine marketplace, both in full or separated into its component parts. 

The sample project is one of a few additions announced on Unreal Engine 5's big day: It finally escaped its "preview" version cocoon and entered full release this morning.

Below is a little clip of City Sample that I captured on a Core i5-9600K @ 3.7GHz and GeForce RTX 2070 Super. Best of luck with your frame rate.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.