UPDATE 25/04/2015 2.15am: Gears of War test build recipients have confirmed to Kotaku that this is indeed a remastering of the first Gears of War.
Apparently this pre-release code is multiplayer only and includes the following game modes: Team Deathmatch; King of the Hill; One Life 1v1; Shotgun Team Deathmatch; 1v1 Sudden Death Gnashers Only; 4v4 Team Deathmatch Single Round; and 4v4 King of the Hill Single Round.
ORIGINAL STORY 24/04/2015 11.11pm: Gears of War appears to be getting a remastered treatment on Xbox One, according to various sources.
Initially reported by Polygon, this remastering of Gears of War will feature enhanced visuals and cutscenes courtesy of animation studio Plastic Wax. Polygon even saw stills from the intro cutscene to this remastering of the 2006 third-person shooter.
The report went on the say that another source named Brink and Dirty Bomb developer Splash Damage as the studio working on the remaster. Indeed many of Splash Damage's job hiring listings note that the studio is developing "a game in a well-known and popular AAA franchise."
The rumour mill only churned quicker when numerous American Xbox One owners received invites to a test build of "Gears of War" on Xbox One. As reported by Kotaku, the invite said: "Thank you for helping us create, test and improve Gears of War. This build is a snapshot of a work in progress and prone to normal game development issues."
However, it's signed Black Tusk Studios, not Splash Damage. Then again, Black Tusk is the studio in charge of the series since Microsoft acquired the Gears IP from Epic in 2014.
According to sources at Kotaku, this test build is supposed to go live at 6pm PST (2am UK time). If that's true, we should know pretty soon what it entails.
What's less clear is whether this will be a remastering of the entire Gears of War series, or just the first game. Last month Black Tusk studio head Rod Fergusson tweeted that "there's no Marcus Fenix Collection" before clarifying "We ARE working on other exciting Gears projects. I'll see you at E3!"
We've reached out to Microsoft about this and will update should we find out more.