A surprise update recently arrived for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, offering the best of both worlds for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles: high resolution that looks great on 4K displays, in addition to a target of 60 fps. And if frame rate consistency isn’t enough for you, the legacy 1080p performance mode remains. In our opinion, the revised Quality Mode is the one to play, and the differences in how PS5 and Xbox Series X deliver it are intriguing.
At the base level, Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Xbox Series consoles now benefits from an official patch label “Optimized for X / S Series”, suggesting a native app, while the upgrade is still reported as a PlayStation 4 title when run on PS5. However, it is pretty clear that despite the new labeling on Xbox, the game still runs on the old XDK – it was not ported to the new GDK and therefore does not exploit the more advanced features of the RDNA 2 GPU. We can verify this just because the game looks and works exactly the way it did via Microsoft’s FPS Boost upgrade: performance is the same, resolutions are the same – 2016p on the X series, 900p on the series. S. The difference for Microsoft machines is that a progression bug introduced by FPS Boost is now addressed. Indeed, FPS Boost is formalized by Square-Enix and the bug has disappeared.
The changes for the PlayStation 5 running the game under backward compatibility are more interesting. The resolution mode works at 1872p with a 30fps limit on PS4 Pro and until the patch arrived it was the same on PlayStation 5. However, Square-Enix has changed things now: Pro still runs at 1872p but the PS5 runs at 2160p, with improved performance via the accelerator that is checkerboard rendering. It’s an interesting choice on the part of the developer – the suggestion is that 60fps could not have been achieved by keeping the original version. The checkerboard reduces the number of pixels but allows the PS5 to offer a higher level of performance.
Here’s a new take on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as it is played on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles starting with patch 2.01.
While the resolution mode targets 60fps – and does a pretty good job overall – neither the PS5 nor the X-series can lock into it, so 1080p performance mode still has a role to play. play, although of reduced importance. It essentially removes any remaining GPU-level bottlenecks and gets a flat 60fps, with the only remaining performance drops coming from small glitches related to camera cuts during cutscenes. Many games do this: it’s a way to start rendering effects like motion blur, and even physical effects, with an additional frame to buff, and even provides TAA processing to all frames.
As for how the X and PS5 series stack up against each other in their respective resolution modes, the Microsoft machine pushes a lot more pixels than its Sony counterpart, giving an overall marginal lead in picture quality. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 5 is getting considerably closer to the 60fps goal, only struggling in areas with lots of transparency effects – the flooding sequence at the start of the game is the ultimate training.
The X series is basically the same, but with less stability and more performance drops. Again, alpha effects are the main culprit: crashing waves and even wooded areas with high transparency see the console playing continuously in the 50s. It’s great to see the resolution stay consistent with the Xbox One version. X, but you can’t help but think that it pays the price – although if you play on a variable refresh rate display the impact is lessened.
For Xbox users, the new patch replaces Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s FPS Boost rendering. We’ve looked at that here, along with a huge range of other FPS Boost titles released in the same batch.
By comparing the two consoles in resolution mode, we get an interesting contrast. There’s no doubt that the PS5 delivers smoother performance: the 4K checkerboard technique works well and generally allows for tighter locking at 60 fps. The X series has a clearer picture – an image closer to true 4K in raw detail, but in motion, the break in detail you encounter with the PS5’s checkerboard rendering is disguised by TAA and blur. of game movement. It’s a strong use of technique that brings it close enough to sound like a native presentation. The savings the PS5 also achieves in terms of frame rate can also be significant. At times, we see a lead of around 10 fps in favor of the PS5, and that rings true as a more optimal experience “up to” 60 fps.
Of course, we should also mention the Xbox Series S. The reality of this version is that it hits 60 fps with whatever glitch, at least from the early hours. Even the most affected areas of the X-series don’t bother the S-series. It’s a superb 60fps locking, but the 900p resolution is a bit depressing: it’s not that you’re getting aliasing artifacts or a shimmer, you just get a reduction in clarity. It’s a bit too fuzzy. The net result isn’t too flattering to watch on a large 4K display, although at the very least a smoother frame rate is locked in. Really, a 1080p60 option would have been a nice bonus.
Ultimately, this is an interesting patch. On Xbox Series consoles, Shadow of the Tomb Raider patch 2.01 essentially formalizes the FPS Boost upgrade, offering identical performance but fixing the progression bug. Meanwhile, the changes to the PS5 are more substantial – it’s one of the few backward compatibility upgrades we’ve seen that actually changes the resolution on top of removing the frame rate limit. Checkerboard works well by both reducing resolution with minimal impact to picture quality while still allowing the console to power on at a mostly locked-down 60fps speed. Regardless of the platform, a great game has been given a better way to play – and at the very least, it’s a new excuse to play it if you haven’t already, or to revisit it if you. did it. The game still looks gorgeous and benefits a lot from the performance upgrade.
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-shadow-of-tomb-raiders-ps5-and-xbox-series-patch-tested