- Bald Space Marines have become something of an Xbox stereotype, but it's hard to deny that few developers do them better than Epic Games. Gears of War was a smash hit both at the cash register and online in 2006 and through 2007, so the sequel has its work cut out for it.
So the question is - how's it looking? And the answer is - pretty damn good.
Of course, you'd expect a sequel to improve on the original but what's most heartening about what we've seen of Gears of War 2 so far is that the improvements are looking good throughout the game. Technology, gameplay and story all look to have been substantially overhauled. Let's look at how.
Epic Games is also famous for the Unreal Engine, its middleware that forms the basis of all its games - and those of many, many other developers too. In the eighteen months or so since Gears of War's release, Epic's technology team has been hard at work on Unreal Engine 3 and it's looking substantially more capable at blowing our minds than the version used in the original. Here are some of its key new or improved features, and what they mean in game terms.
- Ambient Occlusion: adds more dynamic and realistic shadows.
- Advanced Character Lighting: provides character models with better contrast and specular...