Whatever Gears of War 6 will be called, (6EARS is my vote, so we can call it Six Ears), it’ll certainly have graphics. Developers The Coalition (who are named after the ‘Coalition of Ordered Governments’ in the Gears of War universe) have released a couple of new tech demos showing off their work in Unreal Engine 5 for GDC 2021, which showed a familiar theme of ancient ruins, shiny tech, and beards of war.
First up is a close-up of a very Gearsy-looking man that demands you know it’s a “Test Asset that doesn’t represent a game product” before showing off a T-posed dude with a beard in highly detailed and futuristic tactical gear. It couldn't be more Gears if it took out a chainsaw and roady-ran you into the ground. There’s a ridiculous excess of detail in it, partly the result of UE5's fancy Metahuman tech. The rest is excellent, too. Tell me you weren’t taken in by the cracks in the surface of his fashionable man purse.
There's also Alpha Point, which drifts through a crumbling, forgotten looking corridor, glowing with all the power and detail Unreal's new lighting engine can muster. The stone looks ready to shatter if a large man with shoulders of war were to shove up against it for cover. More unusual is the floating, black octahedron and the rune covered walls. Both of these together fill the space with unnatural light, spreading across the realistic rocks. The lighting and reflections here are in real-time, and there’s 100+ million triangles in the scene. Now I don’t believe that, as I only saw a couple.
If you want to find out more about how The Coalition made these demos, their studio technical director Kate Rayner and technical art director Colin Penty talk about them here.
This most definitely, absolutely ain’t Gears 6. There’s no blood, nor screaming (yet), and just a couple of months ago The Coalition came out and said it will be "some time" before they announce a new game. But you also don’t polish up a chest piece or render a beard to quite this level if they’re not going somewhere with it. We live in hope.