We don’t often see the ups and downs of development. When a game goes from a shell to a near-finished and polished product. Some developers take us behind-the-scenes with development diaries. Games like Halo 5 and the upcoming Titanfall 2 show us the choices developers make as they work on their games. But the newest Gears of War 4 map videos show us how this development process unfolds visually.

Three new map overviews were released today. And they cover the maps we played in the beta.

Here’s Harbor.

The darker, moodier tone is the first thing I noticed as the video starts. Wind and rain whip through the map in vivid detail and reflections on metal surfaces are much more pronounced. Art Director Kirt Gibbons talked about how they upped the color and contrast in the lighting to make maps stand out more and give them that extra visual flare.


Lighting changes give the map a more twilight feel compared to the beta. Gibbons mentions how they “tuned textures to ensure the play space is readable from a visual and gameplay perspective.” Nice. Gears maps aren’t busy. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoy the multiplayer so much.

And here’s Dam.

Gibbons also touched on making every material clearly stand out from one another. Whether it’s metal or bricks, the art team made sure each material “look distinctive between each other.”

It’s all about giving each Gears map its own identity. Sometimes that’s through weather. Sometimes that’s through time of day.

Now that you’ve seen how each beta map looks today, let’s go back three months ago. Here’s a walkthrough of the same three maps as they appeared in the beta.

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You can see the improvements made across the board. From shadows and textures to lighting. Everything looks better. The improvements also extend to FPS. During the beta, the multiplayer averaged slightly below 60FPS. Today? The Coalition says they have it nailed at a constant 60FPS.

Gears of War 4 map Foundation

Graphically, Gears of War 4’s multiplayer has seen a huge upgrade. It wasn’t a looker during the beta, but that wasn’t The Coalition’s main focus anyways. They wanted people to play the multiplayer and give them the feedback only thousands of gamers can give.

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