The importance of the triple-A first-party blockbuster can't be understated - a spectacular amount of time, money and effort is concentrated into creating experiences that push console hardware to its limits. And in turn, the technological innovations found in these titles are often shared with the development community, improving the technical quality of titles across the board. It's a rising tide that floats all boats, if you like. So it is with Gears 5 from the Coalition - an outstanding release that redefines expectations from Xbox One hardware, while at the same time delivering what we (and many others!) believe is one of the greatest PC ports of the generation.In this deep dive technical interview with The Coalition's technical art director Colin Penty and studio technical director Mike Rayner, we discuss how the team further iterated and customised key features of the Unreal Engine 4 technology while at the same time integrating the latest and greatest innovations from Epic back … [Read more...] about The making of Gears 5: how the Coalition hit 60fps
Gears 5 benchmark
It’s a strange thing, this Gears 5 benchmark. Unlike other in-game benchmarks, which simply play the same scene over and over again, the final third of this one sees our beefcake heroes Kait and Del take on a bunch of Swarm in an icy blizzard – and the variance in their AI-driven shooty tactics means the result of their wintry battle is different every time I run it. And that has been quite a few times, now, as I’ve been trying to work out how I can get my ancient R9 270 card to run the game at a decent speed. Over the repetitions, I’ve become quite invested in their unending struggle, to the point where I’ve decided to chronicle it with some screenshots. Yes, that’s right: it’s time for another round of ‘Weird Things I Notice While Benchmarking!‘ Watching Kait and Del go through the motions over and over again, I was reminded of the time Matthew and I got stuck trying to take down one of Gears 5’s late-game bosses when we … [Read more...] about The Gears 5 benchmark is like watching a weird new Auto Chess
Gear 5's PC port is a remarkable piece of work. In fact, in my opinion, it's very, very close to being one of the best PC conversions of all-time. It builds on The Coalition's phenomenal work on Gears 4, but goes several steps further, with graphics options and assets that even outstrip the Xbox One X version. And I can't help but wonder: were elements of this version designed with one eye trained on the consoles to come? The scalability on show here goes significantly beyond additional precision in graphical effects - though obviously, you get that too.Accessing the vast array of visual features in Gears 5 is a joy, thanks to one of the best settings screens I've come across. There's an insane level of granularity to virtually every option, with all of them explained in terms of how they impact on system performance and what components of the system bear the brunt in ramping up the quality. This is backed up by preview illustrations showing you what the settings changes you're … [Read more...] about Gears 5 PC feels like a spectacular preview of a Scarlett port
I did not expect Gears 5 to feature an extended Hamilton parody. And yet here we are: escaping a besieged city by hunkering down in a theatre, its walls pasted with the iconic image of Alexander Hamilton pointing to the stars. Only it’s not Hamilton, but Nassar Embry, who ‘Gearspedia’ tells me was the founder of the Coalition of Ordered Governments. And it’s not just an easter egg, but a committed bit: rooms full of Georgian era wigs, collectible lyric sheets (Lin-Manuel Miranda has nothing to fear) and a fight with a meat beast on a rotating stage set to Embry’s soundtrack. Squint and it’s another room of waist-high cover, sure, but the jazz hands are a jolly distraction. Those jazz hands soon return to more traditionally manly pursuits like thumping and clenching because you can’t express your emotions to your father, but the playfulness persists. You fight on frozen lakes, shooting the ice to dunk enemies into the cold. You sneak round … [Read more...] about Wot I Think: Gears 5
Have you ever loaded up a new PC title, run the in-game benchmark, tweaked settings for optimal performance then discovered that actual gameplay throws up much lower frame-rates, intrusive stutter or worse? It's a particular frustration for us here at Digital Foundry, and it leads to a couple of very obvious questions: firstly, if benchmark modes are not indicative of real-life performance, what use are they? And secondly, if their use is limited, how representative of real-life gaming are the graphics card reviews that use them, including ours?Before we go on, it's fair to point out that not every benchmark mode out there is useless beyond redemption. In fact, there are a range of great examples that do set you up reasonably well for tweaking for optimal performance. And then there are others which actually drain system resources more than the actual game, which we'd argue is of more use than those that inflate their performance figures. However, there are some particularly striking … [Read more...] about Just how useful are PC benchmark modes really?