The guys over at Digital Foundry have been keeping a close eye on the latest instalment of Halo. They have done numerous analyses on the game since reveal and it’s been an interesting one to follow. 343i revealed back during E3 that they would place the 60FPS minimum at the top of their priority list. We had our reservations as to what trade-offs had to be made to achieve such a lofty goal.
Well Digital Foundry have done the technical analysis and they’re impressed with what 343i achieved.
“It’s clear that hitting 1080p while maintaining 60fps would not have been possible in Halo 5 but rather than simply opting to render at a low resolution across the board, 343 has implemented one of the most impressive dynamic resolution scaling systems we’ve seen to date, In Halo 5, X and Y values are adjusted independently enabling a wide range of values designed to maximize performance. The lowest recorded value we find is 1152×810 but we see arbitrary values such as 1168×810, 1440×840, 1344×972, and 1536×1080 as well. Halo 5 is able to make these adjustments on the fly while avoiding over budget frames throughout, ensuring silky-smooth performance.”
Trade-off’s include having some lower resolution textures overlap high resolution textures on certain high intensity maps. Lower resolution particle effects and the strange fire dynamic which disappears when you come close to it. Another trade off was the dynamic shadows that disappear when you’re not looking directly at them within a specific distance. It’s a jarring effect, but with so many FPS games out there buckling under the 60FPS gold standard, it’s good to see 343i willing to forego some features to get to that peak.
Regardless, Halo 5: Guardians is a testament to how much one can achieve with limited resources on a single console and still deliver a rock solid 60FPS Dynamic Resolution game which will be a triumph in technical achievement for some time to come. And it’s even more spectacular as the game does not use the upcoming low level API update called DirectX 12 which is dropping with the new Xbox One Dashboard Update.
Digital Foundry in closing states that Halo 5: Guardians is still a handsome game in it’s own right, and focusses on performance.
Halo 5: Guardians is out now and can be purchased on Xbox Live. Halo 5: Guardians is the most anticipated game this year and you can also grab one of the many Xbox One bundles available today. Our review will be available shortly.