A damage contr – oops, I mean, a new preview for Call of Duty: Ghosts helps to assuage some of the fears that the game's relegation to 720p on the Xbox One and frequent reports (and videos) of frame stutter aren't much of an issue occurring on the Xbox One, so writes Destructoid.
A brief hands-on preview from Destructoid's Tim Sheehy points out that in his closed multiplayer session with Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One, the game wasn't that bad... in fact, he notes that out of his entire 10 minutes with the game (yes, 10 minutes) the game “ran smoothly”. He was able to make Jason Stathom (because what guy doesn't have a man-crush on him?) and he managed to rack up a few kills because he was playing against members of the Doritocracy, and while they know darn well how to promote the living pixels out of video games, they're not the best at playing them.
The article concludes rather positively, with Sheehy stating...
“So being that the game was running on Xbox One hardware, I'm sure the first thing that might spring to mind is the game's native 720p resolution. To be honest, I had known about the resolution going in, but it barely occurred to me while playing. If I hadn't known, I honestly would have never guessed. Instead, I was far more impressed with the game's smooth performance, owed in large part to its solid 60 frames-per-second. That is to say, I experienced no drops in frame-rate similar to those you might have experienced when activating multiple kill-streaks in prior installments of the series.”
One Destructoid native wasn't pleased at all with the preview, taking quickly to the comments section and stated the following...
Christ...Sterling's been gone one fucking day and now we've got this shit??
Sterling must feel proud.
Opposite of reviews (and actual hands-on gameplay impressions) from those who managed to play Ghosts on PC and PS4, Sheehy is the first to write positively about the game on a high-end platform. The PC version of Ghosts is riddled with performance bugs, even stuttering on an Titan in SLI and is probably the worst of the bunch so far, with some scary horror stories (with included video footage) showing the game stuttering worse than Dustin Hoffman in Rainman.
So far, only reviews of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Ghosts have been noted as running and maintaining 60 frames per second for long durations of play. The PlayStation 4 has been noted as running better than the PC version but it still suffers from frequent frame stuttering. Of course, all these negative impressions of performance hasn't stopped Activision from racking in $1 billion from the latest CoD, so apparently only discerning customers are holding the wallet on this title.
It probably looks like a victory for Xbox One fanboys given that a lot of gamers will point to the Destructoid article as a saving grace that the 720p helps the Xbox One maintain better frame performance over the PlayStation 4 version. And this early presupposition would be correct if we were going by headlines alone.
The first big problem is that this preview is based on 10 minutes of a preview in a controlled media environment. The second problem is that we have video footage of the Xbox One clearly dropping frames in the multiplayer mode, and so, before everyone heads to the system war boards and start proclaiming victory for the XB1 over the PS4 using the poorly optimized Call of Duty: Ghosts as a digital measuring stick of multiplatform performance, keep in mind that Sheehy's play time was, in itself, contained within a closed media session and limited to less than half-an-hour of play time.
For the most part, it would probably be wise to catch more footage of the game in action, especially if you're a die-hard Call of Duty fanboy and you're basing your next console purchase on which one plays the better multiplatform games (something that clearly fell in favor of the Xbox 360 and was made readily known by gaming media in just about every review). I would also take pre-release, controlled environment previews with a huge grain of salt during this time, and it would probably be best to wait until reviews from individuals you trust let loose, mostly so you can make an informed purchase and not one that fits a marketing agenda.
It's also likely that Infinity Ward may release a day-one patch to address the issues for the Xbox One and PS4 on release day to curb some of the performance issues. It's already been clarified, however, that Infinity Ward has no plans to release a patch for the Xbox One to have the game run natively at 1080p.