“We didn’t want to have a compromise like Gears of War 4,” says studio technical art director Colin Penty.
Gears 5 is, among other things, a stunning technical achievement no matter what hardware you play it on. On consoles, it impresses even on the underpowered base Xbox One, but on the Xbox One X, it can take your breath away. Unlike Gears of War 4, which offered the option of either 1080p/60 FPS or 4K/30 FPS, Gears 5 runs at 4K and 60 FPS on the Xbox One X.
According to Colin Penty, who’s the technical art director at The Coalition, the developers decided pretty early on that they’d be aiming high with Gears 5, especially on the Xbox One X, and that unlike its predecessor, they wouldn’t make sacrifices anywhere in the visuals department. One area they priortized above all else? Performance.
“We put a line in the sand early on in development of Gears 5 that we wanted the campaign to be 60fps on Xbox One X,” said Penty while speaking with GameSpot. “We didn’t want to have a compromise like Gears of War 4 where you had to choose 1080p/60fps or 4k/30fps. It was a large amount of work across a lot of disciplines to pull it off, but I really think it was worth it and is probably the best example of harnessing the additional power of the Xbox One X.”
“For multiplayer on Xbox One X we were able to introduce additional rendering features since we are running the same frame rate as Xbox One,” Penty added. “We have screen space reflections and higher quality ambient occlusion as result.
“Our cinematics also have much higher quality reflections, lens flares, depth of field, and motion blur on the Xbox One X compared to the original Xbox One and Xbox One S.”
The results are clear to see. Even on a base Xbox One, Gears 5 looks amazing, but on the Xbox One X, it’s flat-out one of the best looking console games ever made.
Gears 5 is out now for the Xbox One and PC. In our review of the game, we called it “a package that’s brimming with content, and has top-notch stuff on offer for you no matter what you’re looking for” and “one of Microsoft’s best games this console generation.” Read our full review through here.