Rise of The Tomb Raider and The Power of X

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It’s been well documented how many Xbox One X Enhanced games are coming, but for the first time we got to see how well one of the major multiplatform titles stacks up against previous versions of PS4 Pro and PC.

There has been fanfare for the release of the “World’s most powerful console” but there has also been the question of value, and whether or not it’s worth it to upgrade for 4k gaming. Why not just stick with your current console or buy a cheaper PS4 Pro for enhanced games?

There’s multiple answers to this question. First let’s take a look at what is offered by the Xbox One X with just this one example from a game that is two years old and was not built from the ground up to utilize the One X.

This last week Digital Foundry released their first look at Rise of The Tomb Raider One X Enhanced vs PS4 Pro Enhanced, and let’s just say the results are striking.

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In Digital Foundry’s breakdown of the Xbox One X Enhanced trailer they show it compared simultaneously with the PS4 Pro version and in every case there is better draw distance, more detail, clearer textures and more. Why is that? Well besides the obvious specs of the One X, here’s a breakdown of the visual and performance enhancements coming to Rise of The Tomb Raider:

HDR for more vibrant and deep colors
High Resolution Textures for clearer details
Improved Volumetric Lighting and Reflections
More Polygon Detail
Spatial Audio(Dolby Atmos)
Improved Anti-Aliasing

What these all add up to is an overall improved experience that gives the player a more realistic and immersive gameworld to enjoy. Some of it may be subtle in individual screengrabs, but when you combine them together on screen you get something breathtaking.

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On top of the improvements there will be new settings that allow the gamer to choose the type of experience they wish to have in the Enhanced Edition.

Native 4k: The game will run in full 3840 x 2160 resolution for the sharpest image possible.
Enriched Visuals: This mode will use the best graphical enhancements for detail and realism. This mode still maintains a 4k image but is using “temporal reprojection” instead of true 4k.
High Framerate: This mode will push the game to 60fps(at cost of visual enhancements) for smooth and crisp gameplay. The first two modes will run at 30fps.

These options should be a nice selling point, each gamer will be able to tailor the experience to their own preferences.

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So, is all this enough to buy an Xbox One X this Holiday?

Well, again, this is an enhanced version of a game that is now two years old and it looks incredible by any standards. In some reported cases it seems the One X version even gets better resolution textures than the PC version.
Now imagine the games that are on their way that will have been built with the One X in mind from the start, or will have some time under their belt to optimize for the system, such as next year’s Anthem? If you’re a gamer who wants to play the best possible version of multiplatform titles and be future proofed for the next few years, the Xbox One X is likely going to be your console of choice. The $500 price tag may seem steep, but you won’t likely be looking to upgrade again for several years.
However, if you’re more of a budget conscientious gamer who would rather spend the money picking up a ton of new games this Holiday, then your PS4 Pro or Xbox One S is probably suitable and all games(at least for the foreseeable future) will be coming to those platforms, so you won’t be left behind by progress either.

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Either way, what we’re seeing is the great potential of this new console to allow developers to craft amazing experiences and pass those on to the gamer.