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Gears of War 4 making 'stunning' progress, Xbox exec says

Phil Spencer says he's getting the same feeling with Gears of War 4 as when he saw Gears 1 prototype for the first time.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently saw some new Gears of War 4 footage and he was blown away. He says on Twitter that the development team at The Coalition is making "stunning progress" on the Xbox One shooter. He added that it reminds him of when he first saw "Warfare," the name for the game that eventually became Gears of War.

Microsoft acquired the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games in January 2014. Gears of War 4 was officially announced at E3 2015 last summer.

We still don't know much about Gears of War 4, but Spencer said previously that it's not a reboot. He also expressed interest in bringing the game back to the franchise's "epic scale" and darker tone.

"The thing that was great about the early Gears of War games, to me, [was] just the epic scale of the settings that I was in," he said in October 2014. "The story, the setting was a lot more what I would call soulful and maybe even a little dark. And [producer Rod Fergusson] and I have talked about this; I think the game over time became almost more of a parody of itself; not for any kind of horrible reasons. It's hard to continue to manage the IP."

"And Gears 2 did well, Gears 3 did well. So I thought the franchise continued to grow. But we've talked about getting back to something ... I think the story and the setting and what they're going a Gears of War -- the name of the game, it really meant something to what that game was about. We've got to get back to that. The feeling of those individuals."

Gears of War 4 is due out sometime this fall. A beta will be held prior to launch, with those who purchased early copies of Gears of War Ultimate Edition guaranteed access to it.

In other recent news, Fergusson said Gears of War 4 would be a "graphical showcase" for Xbox One.

"Like how the original Gears of War was a visual showcase for the Xbox 360, Gears of War 4 will be a graphical showcase for the Xbox One," Fergusson said.