UPDATE: Turns out Epic has released footage from its Unreal GDC tech demo that shows a big ol' Brumak crashing through a forest/jungle. So, further evidence that Gears of War 3 will be taking advantage of the enhanced Unreal Engine foliage technology. It's an exciting time to be a gaming botanist. Watch it:
Gears of War developer Epic used last week's Game Developers Conference to showcase some of the latest upgrades to its Unreal game engine. Amongst other things, this included the ability to create impressive - and rather pretty looking - lush, plant-filled environments. Like this:
Does this mean we can expect to see Marcus and the rest of Delta Squad embarking on a little jungle-based combat in Gears of War 3? We say... very possibly perhaps.
You might remember that Epic used GDC '08 to reveal a bunch of upgrades to its Unreal Engine that subsequently showed up in Gears of War 2. This is that very tech demo:
The 'meat cube' pretty much formed the intestinal delights of the Riftworm, while the high density swarms of Locusts made the battlefield in the 'Tenuous Footing' chapter look mighty intense. The lesson: if it's a new Unreal Engine feature, chances are we'll see it in Gears of War.
Another clue that the jungle (or at least more foliage-heavy areas) could play a part in Gears of War 3 comes from the novel, Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant. The main story of the book continues from the end of the second game and sees Delta Squad deployed to the island of Vectes. An extinct volcano, Vectes is described in the book as having fertile lowlands, forests and a river. Sounds to us like the perfect place to show off a little of that new shrubbery technology.
Speculation aside, we'd love the chance to go legging it roadie-run style through some undergrowth while hacking vines and Locust with the Lancer. The ubiquitous shades of grey have done a fine job in painting the backdrop of war-torn devastation and dereliction on Sera. But the chance to fight/explore somewhere that's neither grey or subterranean would certainly add a little diversity.
Who knows? Maybe the Cole Train will get to see a flower through his sniper scope after all...
Maybe we're thinking too much and all this new Unreal plant technology means is that we'll see improved foliage in an ass-load of games over the next couple of years. Because, y'know, quite a few games use the Unreal engine.
What do you think? Could Gears of War 3 do with a little jungle action? Or would too many happy plants distract from Gears' bleak tone?