Gears of War prequel will feature raytraced lighting, shadows, and reflections

The Coalition is claiming a 100X increase in environment and character detail in Gears of War: E-Day. Plus, raytraced lighting, reflections, and more.

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Gears of War studio The Coalition is widely considered one of the most adept at working with Unreal Engine 5. It has collaborated with Epic Games to create UE tech demos like the impressive The Matrix Awakens from 2021. The studio's first proper Unreal Engine 5-powered game, Gears of War: E-Day, was revealed last week, and it's set to be a technical showstopper.

Gears of War: E-Day will make use of all of Unreal Engine 5's advanced features.

Gears of War: E-Day will make use of all of Unreal Engine 5's advanced features.

The reveal trailer for Gears of War prequel taps into the horror of the first game while bringing back iconic characters like Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago. Although a pre-rendered cinematic, developers at The Coalition note that it was created using in-game assets and lighting effects to give gamers and Gears fans a taste of what to expect.

"Our ambition is to, once again, set a new standard in technical excellence," explains Kate Rayner, Studio Technical Director at The Coalition. "We have fully modernized Gears from the ground up, infusing the DNA of Gears with the full capabilities of modern gaming technology. Every character, environment, and animation in Gears of War: E-Day has been completely rebuilt in Unreal Engine 5, allowing us to portray the Gears universe with unprecedented detail and fidelity."

To put that into numbers, The Coalition is claiming a 100X increase in environment and character detail. The game is also set to support raytraced lighting, reflections, and shadows, as well as 'next-generation destruction and gore' and 'cutting-edge animation technology.'

The studio's last game, the Unreal Engine 4-powered Gears 5, is still one of the best-looking games on PC and Xbox Series X - even though it was initially developed for the Xbox One console. We can't wait to see Gears of War: E-Day in action from a technical perspective and to see the long-running franchise return to its gritty roots. There's no release date or window for this, so we might be waiting a while before we see actual gameplay.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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