Gears of War 4 marks the first time one of the Gears of War games releases on the PC at the same time as on Xbox, as part of Microsoft’s ambitious new Xbox Play Anywhere program. Once you unlock a Xbox Play Anywhere game, you can play it on either the Xbox One or PCs with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update installed, complete with cloud saves that let you pick up where you left off no matter which device you boot up. PC and Xbox gamers will also be able to play side-by-side in any cooperative mode, including Horde mode and the full campaign, according to Ars Technica. Full offline LAN play is supported for both consoles and PCs, and the Windows 10 version will even support split-screen multiplayer—an utter rarity for PC shooters.
But all those awesome features aside, the game’s graphics are no doubt the reason Nvidia’s bundling Gears of War 4 with the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080.
While the game supports even the lowly GTX 750 Ti as a baseline, you’ll need a GTX 1070, GTX 1080, or the older GTX 980 Ti to meet Microsoft’s “ideal Nvidia spec.” Here’s an Nvidia-supplied video of Gears running at 4K resolution on the GTX 1080. (You may need to manually set the video quality to “2160p.”)
While “console ports” are often a dirty word among PC gamers, it sounds like The Coalition is doing Gears of War 4’s Windows 10 version justice. Beyond the aforementioned 4K support, this DirectX 12 game is packed with more than 30 separate graphics settings and compatibility for G-Sync, FreeSync, and HDR monitors. The PC version of Gears also includes “Insane” graphics options designed to push the limits of, well, insanely high-spec multi-GPU graphics card loadouts and powerful hardware that hasn’t even come out yet. Even a system equipped with a GeForce GTX 1080 and a Core i7 processor couldn’t handle Insane settings at a smooth 60 frames per second, Ars reports.
“Unlike other games that I worked on in the past where we’ll build the console version first and have some people port it over to a PC later on, here we’ve had a whole team of guys dedicated to building the PC version from the ground up to make sure it’s the best experience possible—from the visual customizations right down to the mouse-and-keyboard controls,” Gears of War 4’s creative director Chuck Osieja told PCGamesN.
The impact on you at home: It sounds like my love of PC gaming and the gritty Gears of War series won’t have to be mutually exclusive for much longer. Gears of War 4 launches on October 11, though any Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics cards or GTX 10-series-equipped laptops purchased at authorized sellers from today onwards will get you a copy of the game.
Brad Chacos spends his days digging through desktop PCs and tweeting too much. He specializes in graphics cards and gaming, but covers everything from security to Windows tips and all manner of PC hardware.