This priest surely committed to his celibate there...
Cheap art will be just that. The true value lies in commitment and hard work. This is just a tool and without a creative mind operating it the results will hold no magic. Did photography kill painting? I think both are doing and developing rather well.
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.
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.