Gears of War E3 2005 Preshow Report

We've only seen snippets of Epic Games' Xbox 360 title, but we can already tell you it's probably the best-looking of the lot.

One of the games we briefly had a chance to see at the Xbox 360 unveiling was Gears of War, a sci-fi-themed tactical shooter that boasts some mighty fine-looking visuals...courtesy of the Unreal technology, of course. Epic Games, best known for its Unreal Tournament series, doesn't seem to be straying too far from its comfort zone with this forthcoming title. But as soon as you get to see Gears of War, you'll understand why this game's worth looking forward to.

The trailer depicted a brief scene in which a squad leader carefully leads his team into a clearing--sort of a wrecked, post-apocalyptic-looking area with rundown buildings and all that. The incredibly realistic-looking marines are what immediately stand out. Not just the level of detail in their armor and musculature, but the animations and the way they move...it all looks incredibly lifelike.

Violence erupts--someone opens fire and the marines fire back, assault rifles blazing, lighting everything up as tracers fly back and forth. It's here where you can almost get an impression of what the gameplay might be like as the game moves into sort of a Resident Evil 4-style over-the-shoulder viewpoint. Still, the video offered no real evidence of gameplay, since there were no ammo readouts or anything cluttering up the screen besides those gorgeous graphics. For what it's worth, all the pretty visuals seem to come at a price--the game was shown running at a pretty sketchy frame rate, obviously flexing the muscle of whatever was doing the processing of all those polygons and shaders. But, big deal. Neither the game nor the hardware was optimized for that demo, so it's all to be taken with a grain of salt.

At any rate, regardless of how the gameplay turns out, Gears of War serves as a tantalizing example of what the Xbox 360 may be capable of visually. We'll bring you more information on Gears of War as soon as we can.

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