A new technical analysis of dives deep into the shooter’s graphics and frame rate, overall describing the title as a “handsome game in its own right and with a focus on performance.”
said Halo 5’s “defining technical feature” is undoubtedly frame rate. The game’s campaign and multiplayer run at 60fps and the results are impressive, the site concluded.
“Delivering a stable 60 frames-per-second across the board, Halo 5 feels marvelous to play,” it wrote. “During normal gameplay, only the occasional duplicate frames manifesting at checkpoints have any impact on fluidity.” Halo 5’s Forge mode is , so it’s unknown if this will also hold 60fps.
The technical breakdown also praised to achieve 1080p in certain scenarios. As announced previously, Halo 5 uses dynamic resolution to .
“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,” Digital Foundry said. “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.”
Other praised features include Halo 5’s revamped menu, its use of real-time cutscenes, the audio (7.1 mix and the ), and zippy load times for campaign and multiplayer.
Digital Foundry’s technical assessment of Halo 5 wasn’t entirely glowing, however. The site reports that, although Halo 5 is able to achieve 1080p in some sections, “the overwhelming majority” of sequences are “well under full 1080p.”
“When combined with sparse anti-aliasing coverage, this often results in scenes exhibiting aliasing and blurring artifacts simultaneously,” it wrote. “This is further impacted by limited texture filtering, smearing surface textures at oblique angles. In fact, the selected texture filtering has a stronger impact on overall presentation than resolution.”
Digital Foundry goes on to say that Halo 5’s use of half-rate animations, that is, when game objects operate at 30fps when they reach a set distance from the player, can look “jarring” in some sections. “The distance in which enemies begin to animate at half-rate is just a bit too close to the player for our liking,” it said.
On top of that, the site says Halo 5’s use of lighting and shadows is not all it could be.
“In order to improve rendering speed, a number of tricks are employed here that have an impact on visual quality,” Digital Foundry explained. “For instance, dynamic shadows are regularly culled from view near the player, while shadow maps exhibit noticeable jagged artifacts. The greater issue is the way in which the game swaps between the different levels of quality. The constant adjustments being made ultimately create a sense of instability across the world.”
Other technical downsides, according to Digital Foundry, include the fidelity of some textures and enemy AI (and some friendly AI interactions) not being as good as it was with Bungie-developed Halo games.
Ultimately, Digital Foundry said Halo 5 is a “release focused on delivering high performance at all costs. There are sacrifices here, but each of them are made to improve upon the experience.”
Halo 5 launches tomorrow, October 27, exclusively for (). Microsoft is holding a New Year’s Eve-style countdown event tonight to mark the game’s release. The company has even teased that it .
We’re until after the game’s live servers go live. For more on our impressions of the game so far,.