We've talked about just how dark Gears of War 4 looks - a moody, survival horror-inflected reveal trailer introduced new characters Kait and JD to the world in understated fashion. I mean that relatively speaking - there was still a tornado and an alien attack.
The latest concept art of the game, revealed as part of an excellent Polygon feature about Gears' adoptive new studio, The Coalition, takes another symbolic left-turn. Are Kait and JD... smiling? I mean, we're not talking "haha, a new friend just told a great joke" beams here, but those lips are definitely upturned. It's enough to make you think that The Coalition has its own ideas about where this series could go or something.
Both images are below - blow them up to full size to get a real close look at all the muscles and tech and wounds and tattoos and vague happiness.