Gears of War 4 shines on the Xbox One X in more than one way.
Gears of War is a franchise that is synonymous with the Xbox brand for over a decade. In many ways, the series was a showcase title on the Xbox 360 delivering rich visuals along with a fantastic art style. Last years Gears of War 4 on the Xbox One was arguably one of the best looking games of this generation. Running on the Unreal Engine 4, Gears of War 4’s single player campaign ran at a native 1080p resolution which surprised a lot of people (including us), given that the Xbox One’s esRAM was a major contention point as far as full HD resolution goes on the console.
With the Xbox One X, Gears of War 4 pushes the visual envelope even further by providing players with two graphical settings. In Performance mode, the game targets a 60 frames per second buffer and the Visuals mode which targets 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. The Visuals mode is primarly aimed for 4K TV owners and what we get is a true native 4K image buffer in all situations. We didn’t see any sort of dynamic upscaling or any artefacts to suggest that a checkerboard solution might be in place. This mode uses ultra quality textures, higher quality ambient occlusion, better shadow detail and improved texture filtering. All in all, this is a massive boost compared to the 1080p presentation on the original Xbox One.
In Performance mode, the image buffer is maintained at 1080p resolution but the game targets a frame rate of up to 60fps. This isn’t a locked 60fps experience but the game largely stays at that standard for most of the time. This mode borrows some graphical enhancements from the Visual mode but this kind of presentation is targeted towards 1080p TV owners. This is also our preferred mode to play the game on unless and until you are only stuck with a 4K TV.
In comparison with the original the Xbox One version, the Xbox One X version features dynamic lighting, improved draw distances, better quality reflections and enhanced character textures. So overall, the Xbox One X is head and shoulders above the Xbox One version in just about every department.
Gears of War 4 on the Xbox One X is a visual treat, a game that pushes the console to its limit. These kind of results are quite suprising given it’s still early days for the Xbox One X.