Technical Analysis of Gears of War 4
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by jenny
4 hours ago

That is really a great thing for us all.

by Jeff
7 hours ago

I just based my landscape material on this. I just wish I could exactly figure out what is going on with normals, ao and displacement here.

by Christopher Buller
9 hours ago

That was extremely helpful! Thank you!

Technical Analysis of Gears of War 4
11 October, 2016

If you were wondering if Gears of War 4 is a technological masterpiece, well, you’re right, it is. Digital Foundry analyzed the technical side of things and found a lot of clever solutions that The Coalition used during the production.





Gears of War 4 is probably one of the first top-notch AAA-games, created with the help of Unreal Engine 4. And it manages to show some of the best visual features on PC and consoles.

The company started to work on the project in 2012. It’s built with UE 4.11, which was additionally tweaked to deliver high-quality performance on PC and Xbox One. Journalists believe that the game delivers some of the best visual quality they have ever seen on the console. There are composite texture maps, advanced lighting systems (capsule shadow feature). The Coalition also added geometry caching to achieve advanced rigid body simulations to run on a GPU in real-time. Developers also managed to apply all those technical advancements to influence gameplay.


There’s also volumetric light scatter, which enhances the atmosphere in many ways.

A great feature of Gears of War 4 is the procedural wind feature. It’s a scriptable system, which could be modified by the designers, and has a direct influence on gameplay. A nice addition is the bounce lighting (where the light source influences the color of the surrounding textures).


The art direction is stylized with little additions of realistic elements. The materials and textures are absolutely outstanding. The general choice of the color palette also helps to enrich the visual look of the scene. The general performance is consistent on both platforms and the general image is crisp and clean. You can learn more details about the games performance in the following video.

If you are interested in the environment design and the production of cool game levels, make sure to check out the articles of Clinton Crumpler. It’s an awesome look into the production of game content.


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