Hot Damn Gears 5 Is Well Optimised

Hot Damn Gears 5 Is Well Optimised
GIF: <a href="">Digital Foundry (YouTube)</a>

Gears 5 launched earlier last week, but from tomorrow it’ll be available on Steam and to everyone who wasn’t a Game Pass subscriber. And if you’re looking at the PC version in particular, good news: it runs super well.

Gears 4 is already a super good Xbox-to-PC port as is, but The Coalition have outdone themselves with how well optimised Gears 5 is. Digital Foundry did a teardown of the game’s performance across the base Xbox and Xbox One, and the good news there is that you’ll get a solid, polished experience regardless of the console.

How well the game scales on PC is a real achievement, though. If you’ve got a properly high end rig — we’re talking i9-9900K, 3700X or 3900X with an RTX 2080 or higher kind of territory — there’s a ton of extra screen-space reflections and volumetrics available that offer a tangible, significant difference to the visual look. That’s not even factoring in the extra high-resolution texture pack that boosts up the character details and textures, particularly in close cut scenes.

But if you a more mid-range rig, the game is still solid as hell. AMD has an obvious advantage here mostly because Team Red already has a game-ready driver out, but also because The Coalition did a ton of work optimising the game for AMD’s older GCN architecture that the Xbox/Xbox One runs off. AMD cards can also enable asynchronous compute in the graphics menus, while NVIDIA cards cannot. There are a ton of individual options you can customise if you need to keep performance over that critical 60fps mark, too.

Digital Foundry’s findings here show that the biggest gap between AMD and Nvidia is at 1080p. Something worth noticing (and what cropped up a lot during my gameplay) is that the dynamic resolution options introduced a consistent stutter whenever the GPU is being maxed out, which crops up more when you’re playing at 1440p and 4K.

It’s a super good looking game, and it scales exceptionally well. That doesn’t mean Gears 5 is amazing or one of the best games this year, but it’s bloody well engineered.


  • Good to know the PC port is great because the Xbox release is pretty atrocious. Stat tracking is broken, regular disconnections during online matches, not to mention the online requirement for solo campaign.

    • Glad I’m not the only one getting reamed with this game. Here, let me crosspost my list of bugs from the campaign online so far:

      – the game quietly crashing behind an infinite load screen with the wait icon still spinning. Had to reboot the game after waiting ten minutes and sometimes it happens again immediately the reboot.

      – failing to render the screen after a cutscene such that the screen is entirely black while the game plays. Can hear running and shooting and feel the controller rumble but can’t see anything.

      – checkpoints either failing to trigger even though an objective is reached, or the checkpoint triggers and starts saving and continues saving indefinitely. In the latter case, new open-door prompts won’t appear on the doors until the checkpoint has been saved, which is never if the notice at the bottom of the screen says it’s still saving five minutes later.

      Less annoying bugs:

      – achievements not triggering. How do I know when an achievement should have triggered? See aforementioned rebooting. I’ve had to play chapters multiple times.

      – collected collectibles not showing up on the Collections screen.

      – collection percentage constantly stuck at 1.11%.

          • It’s Xbox Play Anywhere, isn’t it? Might be able to download it through the Microsoft Store already.

          • If you get the Xbox Store version you can then download it via the Microsoft Store as well. Definitely worth doing official Microsoft games that way rather than buying them in store that way. We’ve done that every time we’ve gotten an official MS game, essentially getting 2 for 1. Seems like a good idea to me?

          • I bought a physical copy for the Xbox. I’m not sure that can be used to download the game for PC as well.

      • I don’t know about you, but the recent server patches have cleared up every issue I had with the game. Haven’t had a single disconnect, tracking is working flawlessly (albeit I need to re-collect collectibles in one chapter, thankfully I CAN collect again and am not locked out forever).

        I hope your game is working better too.

        • Thanks. It was working better last night, though the very first open-door prompt that I came to didn’t appear and I had to reload again. Aside from that, though, It’s been working alright. I’ll have to go back and recollect everything from Act 1, though. Still, a terrible launch for early access and a terrible decision to make solo campaign reliant on a server connection.

          I checked out the Game Pass option, which, at it’s cheapest, equates to $1 for the first month and then $5 or $6 for every following month. Even though it doesn’t lock you in, it’s still a games-as-a-service deal, so you don’t actually own your games and can only play them as long as you’re paid up. Like the MS version of Netflix. That my understanding anyway.

  • Alex is a PC pro and he says if they fix the weird stuttering when using DSR on high-end hardware then he puts it up there as one of the greatest PC ports of all-time. The graphics options alone is incredibly robust. I haven’t played a Gears game since the original trilogy on xbox 360, but I think I’ll be buying it this weekend along with Gears 4. Anyone here played Gears of War: Judgement? If it’s any good I might try finding a pre-owned copy to play as well.

    • Buy the game pass for PC for, I think, $5.00. You will get access to Gears 4 and 5. Even The Outer Worlds is coming in October to game pass. The game pass for PC is absurdly generous if you can put up with the annoyance of using the Microsoft store.

      I played Gears 4, but I was pretty bored most of the way through. Cheesy dialogue, heaps of checkpoint cutscene nonsense and pretty typical third person combat. That might be just my tastes. It rated highly on reviews. I never really played the previous games, though.

    • Judgement is kinda meh.

      It’s the black sheep of the series. More of an acquired taste. You won’t miss much by not playing it.

  • If the images at the start of the article are of the game then it’s not that impressive. 1080p should easily see those sort of framerates without stuttering. If it was at 4k that’d be a bit more impressive.

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