The making of Gears 5: how the Coalition hit 60fps – and improved visual quality

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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 into their game. We also discover how the studio’s intent in doubling frame-rate from 30fps to 60fps brought about a range of changes that didn’t compromise visual quality as such, but rather improved it over Gears of War 4.

And then there’s the discussion on the importance of native rendering resolution up against dynamic resolution and image reconstruction techniques. Alongside the kind of work we’re seeing in titles like the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from Infinity Ward, The Coalition implements a flexible approach to rendering resolution to achieve 60 frames per second, evolving and improving from the work carried out in Gears of War 4. But how is this done – and are we nearing the end of the pixel-counting era in terms of using a set figure (or range of figures) to get some idea of overall image quality?

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