Gears Of War 4 Beta Hosted During “Very Early Stage” Of Development

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The Coalition, developer at the helm of this year’s sequel-cum-reboot Gears of War 4, hosted a beta test for its sci-fi shooter earlier this year that was met with a lukewarm reception.

Citing chopping framerates and uninspired graphics, fans voiced concern over the vertical slice that inevitably cast some doubt on whether the studio would be able to fine-tune Gears 4 in time for its October release.

However, in a new post via the game’s official site, The Coalition has posted a comprehensive list of tweaks and fixes that have been implemented since the beta test, before the studio’s Kirk Gibbons conceded that the portion of gameplay featured in said beta was lifted from a “very early stage” of development.

“Though called a ‘Beta’, the Gears 4 Beta was at an early pre-Alpha stage of the project – a time where many of the final assets, animations, textures, audio and even gameplay elements are not in the game. Our Beta was at a very early stage of the project for us.”

Here’s a detailed overview of those changes:

  • Weapons have been retuned with two side-by-side balance trees: Core and Competitive.
  • Active Reload is more powerful, but slower, in Competitive tuning.
  • All Power Weapons now support Active Reload.
  • The Gnasher has a shorter range in Core tuning.
  • The Hammerburst is now a 3 shot burst weapon and can outgun a Lancer at long range.
  • Dropshot explosion radius has been decreased.
  • Dropshot targeting laser now shows team colours.
  • Colour Blind support added.
  • Only one Frag Grenade may be tagged on a wall at once.
  • Wall-tagged Frag Grenades explosion delay increased allowing players to dodge damage.
  • Smoke Grenades produce less smoke with a shorter active effect.
  • Reduced firing delay after popping out of cover.
  • Cover “Back” A now works on left hand corners.
  • Cover “Up A” fixed so it no longer hits cover.
  • Improved Roadie Run camera with less roll but more shake.
  • Frame rate improved to “solid 60FPS”.
  • Added Ambient Occlusion and Capsule Shadows.
  • Improved shadow resolution and localised reflections.
  • Added “that unique architectural feel and detail that defines Gears”.
  • Lighting tweaked for colour and contrast.
  • Cover made “more interesting and detailed” and maps “more organic”.
  • Ground made “interesting, detailed and layered”.
  • Materials like metal, concrete and bricks made more varied and easily distinguishable.
  • Textures tuned for readability in both visuals and gameplay.
  • Maps updated to allow for overlapping fights and open sight lines, to encourage support play, positioning and fronts.
  • Opening spawns repositioned based on community feedback.
  • Secondary Weapon type added; one spawns on each side of the map.
  • Retro Lancer rebalanced as Secondary Weapon type with mid-range focus and shallow clip.

Ready those Lancer Rifles; Gears of War 4 will march onto Xbox One and PC come October 11. Microsoft is also promoting a blood-red bundle that comes packing the Xbox One S, the revised hardware that is 40 percent smaller than its forebear.