Time to set aside 100 hours of Witcher-time again
Microsoft had recently announced the latest batch of games in it’s Xbox One X backward compatibility program for Xbox 360 titles. The program has involved up-scaling classic 360 titles from their native resolution to the XBox One X’s enhanced 4k resolution.
Beef us up!
The newest games to the lineup as mentioned are Forza: Horizon, Crackdown, The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings and Fable: Anniversary. All seminal games in their own right, fans should be excited to play their old favorites in glorious 4k resolution. Although technically speaking, the resolution is only scaled up a flat 3 times, meaning from the original 1280 * 672 to a silky smooth 3840 * 2016. Added to this new quality is the option to now choose between Performance or Graphics mode to prioritize frame rate or visual quality. Performance mode tries to boost frame rate while keeping graphics at 720p, while Graphics mode boosts the resolution to approaching 4k while capping frame-rate at 30fps. However, if a game like Forza was originally capped at 30fps on the 360’s hardware, then the performance boost on the X won’t achieve anything.
Limitations will exist, however, in that the original 360 games would have had 2D assets built for 720p presentation, so that text and flat art bitmaps scaled up may look indistinct or blurry around the edges. Further compounded is that the upgrade is purely aesthetic so physics engines have gone untouched. This leaves us to wonder whether Forza: Horizon’s cars will feel as weighty as in its predecessors, or if the Witcher’s running will seem to glide across than the landscape rather than propel himself forward.
To be honest though any negative issues are minor with the Xbox One X backward compatibility program. These are games that people can still get plenty of enjoyment from, they’re all available to purchase at less than the cost of a new title, and some of these games have been free through XBox Live Gold over the years. So carry on the good work Microsoft.
Just don’t re-release Watchdogs. Please.