If you were lucky enough to find a code - or you plumped for Bulletstorm: Epic Edition - chances are you're knee-deep in the eviscerated, bullet-ridden chunky mess of fallen CoG and Locust soldiers as you hammer away at the Gears of War 3 public beta. You might even be gazing around in wonder at the colorful flags that ripple and bustle in the wind on Oldtown, or the vicious sandstorm that whips through Trenches. But according to Epic, we take Gears of War 3's visuals "for granted", and don't truly appreciate the graphical leaps forward the team has made since the first game.
Speaking to Eurogamer, executive producer Rod Fergusson claimed "They take it [Gears of War 3's visuals] for granted". He went on to explain that "that was one of our biggest problems with Gears 1 to Gears 2. Your memory is far better than reality". Gears 3 is an obvious jump over the previous two games, sprucing up the lighting system and injecting a lot more colour into the usually monochromatic world of Sera.
But Fergusson does have a point. We've been spoiled since the first Gears game; with out expectations at a different level, Gears 3 doesn't have the same concussive effect as the original, despite being a clear visual improvement. "With Gears 2 we were competing with the memory of Gears 1 and what people remembered it was like," reveals Fergusson, "We got to the point where, at the review event in San Francisco, I suggested we put up a single station of Gears 1 so the press could play it and realise it wasn't as good as they remember. They were saying, "Oh, it kinda looks like Gears 1." I'm like, "Really? No it doesn't at all. You just remember it looking better than it actually does." Not only were we competing with the state of the industry, we were competing with our own memory".
We'd love to hear your opinion on this. Is Gears of War 3 as visually impressive to you as the past two games, especially considering its added a lot more colour and smoothed out the often stilted animation cycles? Or are you spoiled by the likes of Killzone and Crysis?