June 20, 2021

Xbox One X

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Bugged visuals mar Quantum Break’s impressive Xbox One X upgrade

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Out of the many Xbox One X upgrades we tested during the preview period, Quantum Break was one of the most intriguing, featuring the choice between 1080p and ‘4K’ modes – both a leap over the base Xbox One’s 720p – along with enhanced detail. Visually, it offered a night and day improvement over the existing version of the game, moving more into line with the PC release running on mid to high-end hardware. There was just one problem – performance. The good news is that frame-rate problems are essentially a non-issue in the final release, but the bad news is that several distracting visual bugs have been introduced: distracting artefacts that weren’t in the port when we first looked at it.

From our perspective, Quantum Break is an important release for the new console, because the beefed-up hardware represents an opportunity to allow one of Microsoft’s most impressive exclusives to more closely reach its full potential. Remedy’s original game is one of the most technically demanding console titles ever made, featuring an advanced real-time global illumination system and a brilliant effects pipeline, put to use via a stunning time-warping gameplay mechanic. Combined with the slow-motion gunfights and powerful soundtrack, Quantum Break is a stand-out experience.

Xbox One X offers the opportunity to unshackle the game from the confines of the original hardware and in many ways, it achieves this with much success. Going back to the preview code, we noted a 1440p presentation scaled up to an approximation of 4K via Remedy’s temporal filtering technique, but hitting a stable 30fps proved challenging, with the game often dropping frames and introducing screen-tear as a consequence. It seemed that a native 1080p mode was included in order to iron out the performance issues, while still offering an image quality boost over the 720p of base hardware.

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