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“It's alpha”. That's the excuse for now for Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall. The game is still in alpha. Even though it's going to be on PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 in March, the excuse for the graphics you're going to see in this article is that the game is still “in alpha”. I don't buy it, but that's the excuse. I'm just laying that out there.
DualShockers did a graphics comparison based on screen captures they took from direct feed gameplay at the highest possible quality with the lowest level of compression (meaning, fewer artifacts, fewer screen tearing during video feed and less interlacing issues).
I'm just going to say it: The Xbox One version does not look good by comparison... at all.
Just as a preface for the fanboys: Yes, Respawn Entertainment did say that the graphics aren't final (for the Xbox One) and that the texture resolution will be fixed before the game goes gold and ships this March. Whether or not that means we'll see a different set of visuals for the beta remains to be seen, but enough chatter. You all came for the pixel counting right?
Ignoring texture resolution, which was already stated by Respawn as being an issue they plan to fix, the thing that stands out the most is actually the game's resolution itself. If you click on either of the images above, you'll recognize that despite being from direct feed gameplay – the PC version is above, running on a Nvidia GTX 770 – it still shows a massive difference in sharpness and anti-aliasing from the Xbox One version.
You can readily see that the Xbox One is about half the resolution by comparison, which would mean that the rumors from Pete Dodd (also known as FamousMortimer) about the game running in 720p seems about correct.
And just in case you think it's a one-off case, think again. The images below further push the resolution point home.
I know some people will use the “but it's still in alpha” excuse, however, it's a tougher thing to justify when the PC images came from an earlier build of the game – from back in the summer of 2013 – as opposed to the Xbox One images, which were taken from the recent closed alpha test. I guess that kind of makes it worse when you really think about it.
Another startling thing is the fog masking. Check it out below.
Not only is the Xbox One version running at half the resolution (down to 720p from the PC's 1080p) – and oh boy does the resolution make a huge difference in draw distance, image quality and image clarity – but there appears to be a far thicker fog scattered throughout the Xbox One version that doesn't appear to be in the PC version.
Now there could be two reasons for the fog: 1) Since the images of the PC version are from an earlier build they may not have cranked up the fog effects at the time. 2.) The fog is there to help mask LOD at a distance to help cut down on rendering higher LOD images at medium and far distances. Although, the second point doesn't really matter when the resolution is so low you couldn't make anything out at a distance anyway.
Those last two images basically just show the major difference between the resolution and texture detail in both games.
It's quite apparent that the PC version is leagues ahead. If you're really into it for the graphics, you'll probably want to go with the PC version, especially if you want a clear and visually distinct version of the game.
For Xbox 360 owners, it may not be worth it to invest in a $500 machine for the game if the upgrade may only be incremental.
Respawn has until March to get the game ready to be shipped, but it's unlikely that the graphics will improve by much if they want to maintain the 60fps margin on the Xbox One.