Comparison of Tom Clancy's Section 2

After the celebration of some betas Section 2 is already in stores. Once all versions have been tested, our general impression is that, as was the case with the first delivery, Ubisoft Massive successfully completed its last multi-platform project, achieving a good result in all consoles and with & # 39; A PC version that offers a great version. variety of options.

It's been three years since the original release of The Division. The technology has evolved with the successor, and Massive continues with a clean and sharp visual section that operates in Xbox One X at 4K native (3840×2160), a significant achievement for this advanced engine. The dynamic resolution scale is a feature of the Snowdrop engine that was used in the first game, but in all our trials with its successor, we have accounted for a complete Ultra HD presentation. It's possible that the scale is applied in a scene we haven't seen, but at the moment, everything indicates that the game is working at native 4K.

As expected, PlayStation 4 Pro does not play X, and developers use both DRS and temporary anti-aliasing in the output to 4K. In our tests we uploaded a maximum of 3456×1944 and a minimum of 2458×1352. The reconstruction technique seems to mix visual data from the previous frames, which in the static scenes is the appearance of PlayStation 4 Pro very similar to that of Xbox One X.

In effect, the effect is not always successful, but it is clear that the technique offers more benefits than disadvantages. The TAA works well in solving most aliasing issues. And we say the most because all the variants of TAA have a side effect and section 2 is not an exception: it's hard to ignore the banding in the movements, especially in the gun if you go from an illuminated area to a dark one or when you previously move elements with fine detail such as fences. It occasionally takes notice, but generally the TAA has a positive impact on the final image.

In the standard consoles, the situation is simpler. The PlayStation 4 base works at 1920×1080, with no clear drops under this resolution. It's in the standard Xbox One where the challenge is bigger, as expected, but also good at 1080p, with the dynamic resolution scale as in the previous game. For example, in shooting the manual, where there is a lot of smoke and fire, the resolution drops to 1664×936 according to our tests, a little over 900p. This is the worst measurement we've taken, and the resolution is on average bigger and the listing holds the type of stuff.

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The Snowdrop engine impressed us in the original The Division, and it remains in some aspects in the sequel. That said, the listing has some things to polish, which we believe can be solved with future updates. Focus first on the positive, for example, we have beautiful reflections, with a convincing use of space-based reflection and on cubic mapping. Or, in other words, a mix of real-time scene processing with some offline textures. In the pools, all the enemies and objects are reflected within the reach of the camera, which is so in all the consoles. Unfortunately, reflections do not contain alpha transparencies such as explosions, but all sources of illumination and geometry are depicted in the reflected image.

All this has already been shown in the first mission outside the White House. In one way, Massive demonstrates the new features of the Snowdrop engine in a closed space, including the long grass that moves against the player's pace. The delivery of water is also a remarkable point in the successor, with waves forming around your body as you move in a fountain, with shots that also react realistically to the surface. It's not just here to make beautiful, because there are areas of water in all areas, even on the streets. In all platforms, these improvements are appreciated, even in the standard Xbox One, despite the fact that there is one in the resolution of the two standard consoles.

Many things from the previous game were also inherited. & Nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & gt; advanced levels are used. Viewing the options of the PC version in perspective gives the number of features in the hands of the designers in perspective. All these parameters can change according to the platform, but it's a remarkable variety. In my tests, the quality of the volumetric effects in the console is the same, and you don't see a loss of quality in the standard machines, but it stays behind the computer. The same thing happens with the twilight effect or rays of sunlight, although in all the consoles spread below the surface is for the skin. Platform cuts and adjustments were made with care, and the overall feeling is that the experience looks good in all systems.

But then there are the things that still need polishing. The add-on of textures and objects is bigger than I expected – something I've seen in the beta and what I thought would be for the launch. This is something that is obvious, because the world of division 2 is the star of the function. The density and amount of detail in the scenarios is impressive and offers many combat options. Add the time of day and variable climatology and you have a great variety. But the frequency with which low resolution textures appear on posters and portions is now too large. The higher resolution textures take too long to load, and it breaks the illusion that Massive intends to create. This add-on touches all the consoles, and for example, in PlayStation 4 Pro, tries to solve the problem by relocating the game to an external storage. The necessary changes to solve this defect must come from the developers. In PC this problem does not happen so often, although it clearly shows that it has installed the game in a SSD, which is not a standard option in consoles.

Apart from the differences in the add-on of the textures, all versions of the game are similar on the resource level. It emphasizes a curiosity when you look at the size of the facilities. In PC and Xbox One, the game covers 43GB, but on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, the figure increases to 89GB hard disk space. We know the game needs a 50 GB patch, but it seems to be integrated into Xbox consoles after downloading in the main installation, while the two add PlayStation to the original 43 GB installation. It's strange, and right now, the game is occupying much more in the Sony console's hard drive.

The last thing we would like to highlight is the game. The AI ​​is more varied in this sequel, but from my experience I will say that it still needs a little more work. The AI ​​of the enemies sometimes acts illegally, even illogically, when it is before you, affecting realism. In my first zone tests I saw the NPC's swinging, walking towards you and then shooting in the air as you climb stairs. This is very strange, and if we add it to the flow problems, it makes the game a little polished. After all the time I was waiting for the game, I thought it would be more at the stores, but fortunately it can all be solved.

Decide as well, how much does Section 2 look in all systems? The most interesting direct comparison is between the extremes: the Xbox One standard and Xbox One X. This shows us the possible spectrum in the console, but it is most logical – the difference between 4K and 1080p. As explained in Xbox Wire on Xbox One X, there are still some improvements, such as textures at 8K for the air, but textures are generally similar after being loaded. The mapping of the air and the clouds, really, assumes a fairly subtle improvement.

We also appreciate an improvement in the spacing of the objects, but again the difference is subtle. There are also changes in the quality of the reflections and, if we leave the changes in time, we see an improvement in the resolution of the reflection mapping. It is curious that the shadow resolution is identical (something that usually requires a lot of power), and we are surprised that there is no distinction between the two consoles in this sense. The same thing happens on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, where it gets dithering in real-time and the effect of environmental inclusion is indivisible between both consoles. These are effects that could look better on the improved consoles and it is a pity that the extra power of X and Pro was not exploited.

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The comparison between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro is more or less the same: the overall quality of the terrain, the textures and the effects are very similar and this is the solution where differences are appreciated and where the extra power of the GPU is used more . . The major improvements, as expected, are found in the PC version. Starting the problem in textured flow is minimized or even disappeared, and the increase in the quality of the environmental occlusion causes us to experience less dithering in vegetation. Even the shadow mapping has more quality, though the improvement isn't as good in this section. The volumetric illumination – especially the light rays – has more resolution. But the most important thing that consoles don't have is the ability to play against 60FPS, and with a framework at & # 39; computer at 1080p shows the experience a lot. Anyway, the version for the computer also has its problems of stability and crashes that sometimes make it frustrating.

As in the first installment, the goal in consoles is 30FPS and the results are solid in most systems. In Xbox One X it is very much needed with native 4K, but its performance is not and is 30FPS in all tests. Also, since native resolution is not activated, the game does not seem to limit the console to the limit. Next, we have PlayStation 4 Pro, where in terms of performance the situation is repeated with 30FPS and vertical synchronization. It is possible that the screen has been torn, but the truth is that we have not seen it. It seems that when the console suffers from the amount of effects on the screen, the game reduces the resolution instead of affecting the frame rate.

On the standard PlayStation 4 we see again 30FPS stable. Even in Xbox One S, which this year has several platform projects that are experiencing problems, the section 2 has the type. However, it is not as solid as on PlayStation, and sometimes performance seems more demanding than dynamic resolution allows. On some points you will appreciate the screen, and although it is not too serious, it turns out that there are times when the engine is under pressure on the hardware.

These are the final results of our tests. Section 2 is more an iteration than an evolution in the first game, something I've already expected. Yet I have seen myself wanting a more radical change, even on the computer. The improvements in vegetation, water and reflection are appreciated, which is added to the volumetric lighting we are already wondering in the first match, making a game visually interesting. The only downside at the moment is the problems in AI and the errors in console power. If it is gone, there are many remarkable things in terms of visual direction, and the appeal of their co-operative blasting for four is still as strong as before.

Translation by Josep Maria Sempere.

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