This Unreal Engine 5 Superman flight demo blew up on Twitter, and now its creator wants to make it an actual game

Unreal Engine 5 left early access this week, and while I was struggling to make an island with a cinderblock on it (the next Dear Esther?), game developer Volod was putting together something much more obviously fun—a little superhero experiment that was so well received, they now want to make it into an actual game.

Volod and I clearly both enjoyed using the free camera to fly over the city from the console-only Matrix Awakens tech demo, which Epic made available as a sample project for UE5's release. Volod, however, actually knows what they're doing—they're a technical artist at Amber Studio, a contract game development agency headquartered in Romania—and so they were able to build a custom city layout, drop in a humanoid character model from another sample project, and make it fly like Superman. (Or, I suppose, like Neo at the end of The Matrix.)

"The UE5 CitySample told me that it wants to turn into a Superman game when it grows up," Volod wrote on Twitter with a clip of their flying demo.

The tweet has been shared over 3,500 times since Wednesday, and today Volod announced that they want to turn the idea into "an actual game"—just without any copyright-infringing references to Superman, of course.

Volod also tweeted a new flying clip which I'd describe as more Iron Man-like than Superman-like, although it includes some telekinetic car tossing, and I'm pretty sure that's not in Stark's repertoire in any timeline I'm aware of. Looks fun.

I originally assumed Volod had built all of this on top of an unmodified version of the Matrix Awakens demo city, but they actually designed their own city layout using Epic's assets. That's something they're particularly skilled at, it turns out.

"I've been making city-building tools for years on film/commercial VFX work, so this feels like being home," said Volod.

Volod's flying experiment reminds me a little of Megaton Rainfall, except in that game, the skyscrapers explode into little chunks when you misaim your superpowers. I wonder how hard it would be to create the same effect here?

If you want to mess around with the City Sample demo yourself, head to this article, where I've included a link to a version that runs like a regular game, no fiddling with UE5 required. You can't fly around picking up cars with mind powers like you can in Volod's version, but you can crash them into poles until you get bored.

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.