It’s not uncommon for well-hyped games to look more impressive in pre-release publicity materials than they do when they’re finally released to the public. However, the team working on Gears of War 4 at The Coalition are clearly trying to reverse this situation and over-deliver when their much-anticipated shooter launches later this year.
In April 2016, Xbox One owners were able to try out the multiplayer portion of Gears of War 4 as part of a beta test. The preview left many impressed with what they saw — but it seems that even since then, The Coalition has been pouring a huge amount of effort into improving the game’s graphics.
Earlier this morning, the game’s director Rod Ferguson posted a picture on Twitter that compares the graphics on show during the beta to the state of Gears of War 4 as of May 31. Even despite the short span of time between the two screenshots, there are some notable improvements.
For one, the lighting has been improved significantly. The shot from the beta looks rather flat, whereas the updated comparison picture demonstrates that individual light sources are illuminating their surroundings, making for a better contrast with the murky, overcast sky.
The textures on show also seem to have been given an upgrade. The scaly skin of the Locust player character is much more apparent in the more recent screenshot, although the aforementioned lighting improvements likely help enhance the effect.
All in all, there’s a huge difference in terms of visuals between the two shots. This suggests that The Coalition is well into the process of fine-tuning ahead of the game’s release — the layout of a multiplayer map like this is obviously its most important element, but once that’s finalized there’s an opportunity to perfect the visuals, as we’re seeing here.
Multiplayer certainly seems to be a huge focus for Gears of War 4 — even though the original game almost omitted its competitive mode entirely. Microsoft is clearly eager to have another popular online shooter to complement the scores of fans still addicted to Halo.
While Gears of War 4 might be The Coalition’s first stab at a mainline Gears instalment, everything we’ve seen of the game up until this point has been very impressive. Rod Ferguson’s picture comparison demonstrates that the studio is continuing to work hard on the game up until its release date, and that can only be a good thing.
Gears of War 4 is set to release for the Xbox One on October 11, 2016.