Gears of War 4 Final Game vs E3 2015 Demo Graphics Comparison Shows Huge Changes in Visuals and Narrative


Gears of War 4 was first publicly showcased at Microsoft’s E3 2015 press conference with a gameplay demo that turned many heads. Tomorrow, the game launches on Windows PC and Xbox One worldwide. However, since its reveal last year, the upcoming third-person shooter has gone through several changes, including a beta version that used many placeholders and low resolution assets. How does the final build look? Unsurprisingly, better than the beta version, but more importantly, the changes that we see in the final build make the game actually look better than what we saw in the E3 2015 demo.

The key differences that are clearly visible in the final game when compared to the E3 2015 have been pointed out in a new short graphics and gameplay analysis by the good folks over at Digital Foundry. Starting with the comparison, the first thing Digital Foundry notes is a change in the narrative. The E3 demo featured JD and Kait going after a monster, while in the final game, Marcus Fenix and Del are also present, and the team, according to the commentator, comes to the locale for a very different purpose. This is not the only narrative change, more changes have been explained in the video.

In terms of graphics and lighting, the location is now more brightly lit by the in-game moon light, so compared to the E3 2015 demo, which had more dark lighting, the textures and objects are more clearly visible in the final build. Volumetric lighting, however, is great in both versions. The shadow placement, as Digital Foundry notes, has changed. Shadow maps present in the E3 2015 demo can’t be seen in the final build. However, the commentator points out that this looks more like an artistic change, as these types of shadows are present throughout the game in many other scenes. The flashlight’s specular highlights, as noted, stand out more in the final build, especially when you’re using the HDR mode on Xbox One S.

That is not all, there are a number of other differences in the lighting, animations, scene construction between the two builds. You check out everything that is changed in the final game compared to the E3 2015 demo in the full Digital Foundry video that has been shared below.

As mentioned before, Gears of War 4 releases for PC and Xbox One on October 11. Those who paid $100 for the Ultimate edition, however, are already enjoying the game. Also, in case you didn’t already know, Gears of War 4 is a Play Anywhere title, so if you purchase the game digitally on Xbox One, you will be able to get your hands on the PC version for free and vice versa.