Gears of War 4 wants to be a first-class PC citizen

If you follow PC gaming at all, you probably heard that Gears of War Ultimate Edition launched on PC behaving much the same as the Xbox One version. That means it lacked even the most basic adjustments that PC gamers expect like v-sync control. PC Gamer's Tom Marks sat down with Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition last week, and he reports that the upcoming title avoids the console-port pitfalls of its predecessor.

According to Marks, even in pre-release state, Gears of War 4 has significant graphics customization options, a field-of-view adjustment, and capable mouse-and-keyboard controls. He also reports that the game supports ultra-wide monitors, and that Gears of War 4 will include a built-in benchmarking tool. Marks says the game ran very well, although he admits the GeForce GTX 1080-equipped PC he was playing on was "overpowered."

As perhaps the main series that spawned the "bro-op" sub-genre of third-person shooters, Gears of War has always featured co-op play prominently. The Gears series of games has existed primarily on the Xbox consoles where split-screen play has always been important. Marks says the game will support that feature in its PC version, too. Speaking of the Xbox, after trying the Xbox One version of the game, Marks says that he believes the PC version to be clearly superior. We'd expect nothing else from PC Gamer, of course.

Mike Rayner, The Coalition's technical director, says Gears of War 4 is being treated as a "first class, fully focused PC title," with a dedicated team working on the PC version. That'll be a marked change, as the first title's original launch was focused around the abortive Games for Windows Live initiative, and the second and third games were never released for the PC at all.

Many of the issues with Gears of War Ultimate Edition stemmed from limitations of the Universal Windows Platform. That title eventually got a patch to allow users to disable v-sync and adjust the framerate limiter, but The Coalition had to wait for Microsoft to allow UWP the ability to run games without v-sync on. Most of the major issues surrounding gaming on UWP have been resolved in the Anniversary Update, which will likely be required to play Gears of War 4 on Windows 10.

Gears of War 4 will be part of Microsoft's Xbox Play Anywhere program when it launches on October 11, 2016. For $59.99, you can buy the game once and play it on your Windows 10 PC or Xbox One.

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