THEN & NOW: ‘Gears of War 4’ looks way better than the original ‘Gears of War’

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“Gears of War 4.”
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Microsoft

Nostalgia has a habit of making you think old games looked a lot better than they actually did.

Sure, the original “Gears of War” was groundbreaking and gorgeous when it first came out in 2006, but when you compare it to “Gears of War 4,” which just came out for Xbox One and Windows 10, the original starts to look a little long in the tooth.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself.


The original “Gears of War” was actually pretty mind-blowing when it first came out in 2006. It certainly doesn’t look bad, but…

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Epic Games

Compared to “Gears of War 4,” which just came out for Xbox One and Windows 10, it’s amazing how flat and simple the original looks.

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The Coalition

Here are those two images side-by-side, so you can really get a sense for how much more detail, color, and nuance “Gears of War 4” has. On the left is the protagonist of the original series, Marcus Fenix. On the right is his son and the protagonist of “Gears of War 4,” JD Fenix.

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Epic Games/The Coalition

Here’s a look at your crew in the original “Gears of War.” The muddled, low-contrast colors are in part a deliberate artistic choice, but it also speaks to the technology at the time.

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Epic Games

Here are Kait and JD in “Gears of War 4.” Notice how even though this image is darker than the previous, it still manages to have more life, color, and detail than the original game. A game with this much contrast and detail simply wouldn’t have been possible in 2006.

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The Coalition

Again, here are those two images side-by-side.

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Epic Games/The Coalition

One area where the new game really stands out is the detail in the enemies you fight. Here’s what the Locust Horde looked like in 2006’s “Gears of War.”

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Epic Games

And here’s what the enemies in “Gears of War 4” looks like. A bit more terrifying and lifelike, no?

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The Coalition

Sorry, but that guy on the left just does NOT pack the same punch after a single glance at that nightmare creature from “Gears of War 4.”

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Epic Games/The Coalition

In terms of the way it plays, “Gears of War 4” doesn’t change too much from what you loved about the original. That cover-based shooting is still there, but it’s a bit cleaner, faster, and more responsive. And it all takes place in a much more vibrant, colorful, and detailed world.

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The Coalition

No matter which way you cut it, the new “Gears of War 4” looks pretty incredible. This is how Marcus Fenix looks in the newest game, all grown up and yelling about his tomato garden. And, no, I’m not kidding about the tomatoes. That’s a real thing that happens.

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The Coalition

“Gears of War 4” is out now for Xbox One and Windows 10. Check it out! It’s a fun, refreshing update to a series that was getting a bit outdated. There’s no denying how amazing it looks, especially compared to the original.

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The Coalition