June 12, 2021

Xbox One X

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Dynasty Warriors 9: the lowest performance we’ve seen on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

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A classic franchise returned this week, powered by a brand new engine and supporting both the current-gen consoles and their mid-generation refresh equivalents. There are key enhancements here – a seamless open world with no loading, dynamic time of day and weather rendering plus a new system for dealing with animation and in-game physics. However, what’s immediately clear from booting up the game is that Dynasty Warriors 9 has issues. Despite the inclusion of performance and image quality orientated modes (on all systems bar base Xbox One), frame-rate is sub-par, no matter which system you own or which mode you use. At best it’s sub-optimal, at worst it’s a mess.

What’s also curious is that the implementation of the ‘action’ and ‘movie’ modes varies across platforms. So, let’s kick off with what we thought would be the most optimal way to play the game – action mode on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. In both cases, frame-rate is unlocked and v-sync is disabled, meaning that the uneven action is accompanied by ever-present screen-tearing. Busy scenes drop to the low-20s here – not exactly the kind of performance level we’d expect from the enhanced consoles. Pro runs at 1080p resolution, but Xbox One X trumps it with a native 1440p framebuffer – albeit with some cutbacks to the visual feature set and an overall lower level of performance.

Movie mode on both systems often drops performance to the 20fps level – sometimes dipping beneath – but the actual implementation varies here. Xbox One X appears to just turn v-sync on, effectively giving users a Hobson’s choice of continual tearing or obvious judder. As the arrival of each new frame in movie mode is tied to the display refresh, frame-rate also drops noticeably. Aside from that, we could see no real difference between the two modes.

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