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Gears of War 4 tried more realistic character designs but they looked “odd”

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Gears of War 4 doesn’t have quite the same thick-necked look about it as the previous games, but it still takes place in a noticeably meatier world than our own. The Coalition creative director Chuck Osieja told us at Gamescom 2016 that the studio experimented with even more realistic character designs for JD Fenix and the gang, but they were… off.


“It looked odd, because you do have an expectation for the characters, and it’s amazing when you start to model them out – just taking stuff like packs off of their waists or off of their legs really changes their shape quite a bit”, Osieja said. “And when they would run around in the environment or take cover, it didn’t feel like Gears any more.”

Just because Xbox One can render more photorealistic characters than Xbox 360, that doesn’t mean it always should. But The Coalition still wanted Gears of War 4 to have a fresh visual aesthetic to match its new story of vibrant young folks with chainsaw guns. The team set about finding a middle ground between the ‘giant moon boots and big blocky characters’ of the original games and a more contemporary design.

“So we started to go back and sort of find a middle ground where they felt more realistic and more believable, but still had a lot of that power and strength that Gears characters have,” Osieja said.

Plus, if you make the characters look too realistic it gets a bit disturbing to saw them in half in multiplayer mode.

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