Gears of War Ultimate Edition’s Xbox One Visuals Look Pretty Underwhelming

The remastered edition of Gears of War looks worse than the Xbox 360 original in this gameplay footage.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

The upcoming Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has gone into beta on the Xbox One, and Eurogamer have released a video directly comparing the remaster with the original Xbox 360 game. But prepare to man those pitchforks, Gears fans, because the gameplay footage doesn’t look pretty.

The original Gears of War was widely praised for its visuals when it first released on the Xbox 360, so you could be forgiven for thinking that the remastered Ultimate Edition of the game would be capable in this department, too. Unfortunately, if the beta is anything to go by, then a lot of graphical changes have been made and many of them appear to be detrimental to its overall appearance.

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For instance, take a look at the above and below screenshot pulled from the Eurogamer video. The above screenshot shows the moving cascading waves featured in the Xbox One version of the game as opposed to the still water of the Xbox 360, but the textures are notably lacking both on the water and on the pier shown in the shot. By comparison, the below shot arguably looks much better, with Gears‘ ambient lighting masking the graphical limitations of the time, whereas the lighting in the Ultimate Edition seems to accentuate its age. Oh, and let’s not ignore that big chunk of land that’s simply been ripped out of the distance. 

GearsofWarUltimateXbox360

There are some other pretty big gripes, too. For one, the brightness has been turned up by a few notches, but instead of highlighting some great new work that’s been put into the textures and environments, it instead gives off a vibe similar to that of the much-maligned Silent Hill HD Collection. When the Silent Hill 2 and 3 remasters made their way to the Xbox 360 and PS3, fans of the series found that the foreboding tone of the game had all but vanished thanks to the brightness and contrast being fiddled around with too much – that looks to be the case here, too, with everything looking a lot “cleaner,” thus moving away from the series’ trademark darkened visual effects. 

Another issue is that the fun lighting effect that would see the sparks from gunfire being reflected onto the player-character and his surroundings have seemingly been completely removed. No longer will your shots light up a corridor, which made for one of the coolest visual effects in the original game.

On the bright side, though, the game runs at a lovely 60fps in multiplayer (it’ll run at 30fps in single-player), so at least it’s very smooth even if it’s seemingly lacking in other departments. Maybe the team at Splash Damage, who are handling the remaster, will have improved its appearance when it releases in August, but given the short length of time from now until then, don’t expect any miracles.

Watch the gameplay footage below: