Remember that haunting, horror-ish Gears of War 4 demo from a couple of E3s ago? Well, this part in the game, but it’s very different.
This particular level is in the game, but the sequence is very different. Digital Foundry put the two side by side to highlight some of the changes made since then, graphical and otherwise.
One of the first notable changes is lighting, as moonlighting appears in a much better way in the final version, giving the whole level a much brighter look. Shadow maps, too, has seen a few changes, with the final build missing them in one spot. The site believes this was an artistic choice rather than a technical one, as evident by how shadow maps appear in many other areas of the game.
The specular light emitting from JD’s flashlight looks better in the launch version, especially in HDR mode, as the site notes. A particular scene where destruction is shown appears to play a little differently in the 2015 version, with the car, most notably, blowing away after you’ve already crossed the bridge, blocking the way behind you.
In the final version the car gets blown away in front of you. Windflares look better in the release build as well, though wind appears to affect trees more violently in the original reveal.
From there on, each scene plays differently, and it’s obvious why some things were missing in the 2015 reveal, particularly when a character – who had not been announced at the time – shows up to play a specific role in the fight to come.
Gears of War 4 is out tomorrow on Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs.