The Battle of Exclusives: Uncharted 4 vs Quantum Break Graphics and Gameplay Comparison
Uncharted 4 and Quantum Break are two of the biggest games to release this console generation. Both games are technical masterpieces but how do they stand up against each other? Naughty Dog and Remedy Entertainment have put their hearts and technical genius into these games but only one can leave as the winner today.
Uncharted 4 released on PlayStation 4 just a few days ago while Quantum Break appeared on Xbox One in April of this year. The game has shining reviews across the internet but is it really that good?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – PlayStation 4
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a technical masterpiece, a game that raises the bar for other studios in terms of storytelling, immersion, presentation and attention to detail. Uncharted 4 pushes the limits of what’s possible on consoles and of course, what do you expect from a studio that is the most revered PlayStation development house.
Uncharted 4 features exciting gameplay and use the latest technological concepts to raise the bar for console visual fidelity.
It ups the ante for advanced real-time rendering on console gaming hardware. Naughty Dog’s in-house engine delivers state of the art graphics in the most efficient way.
The only games that come a close to Uncharted 4 is EA’s Battlefront, but that failed to deliver a story mode and becomes very repetitive and very soon. Meanwhile, with Uncharted 4 you keep coming back to play the same story over and over and explore the biggest maps in Uncharted history for treasure and notes.
Its multiplayer adds to its life so Uncharted 4 won’t be abandoned anytime soon. With its high quality MSAA and temporal anti-aliasing, Uncharted 4 delivers the best visuals on consoles to date.
You will hardly notice any shader aliasing but will be amazed by the game’s vast open fields with detailed foliage.
Character rendering in Uncharted 4 goes past anything we have seen before. Rise of the Tomb Raider was highly compared to Uncharted 4 before its release and at least in terms of character modelling and rendering, Tomb Raider doesn’t come close to Uncharted 4.
Every aspect from modelling to design, and to specific engine feature works in-sync to deliver almost photo-realistic characters on screen.
Facial features like eyes, skin wrinkles, eyebrows look very realistic thanks to 850 possible expressions used in Uncharted 4. Head and chest hair are affected by the wind and move realistically based on the character’s movement and posture.
Environments in Uncharted 4 are dense and more interactive than before. You can clearly see an influence of The Last of Us when Drake needless examines different objects, flips them around and then puts them back – Why not take the artifact brah?
Moving on, Uncharted 4 uses real-time cut-scenes instead of pre-rendered files and its seamless transition from gameplay to cutscene will often leave you wondering if you are in control or not; which is an amazing achievement that needs to be applauded.
This is the very first time Naughty Dog is using physically-based materials for its game and the result is spectacular.
Lighting bounces off objects in a very natural way. The Scotland map is probably the best example here if you’ve played Uncharted 4. Props to the engine that effortlessly loads assets on-screen without any notable texture pops.
Uncharted 4’s AI is smart and presents a real challenge during combat. You can once again see the influence of The Last of Us but in a more refined way. Enemies charge, switch cover, flank you, grab you, and try pretty much everything they can to make sure you respawn and try again.
One of the cool new additions is going back into hiding once you are spotted. Meaning if you change your position without being seen, the enemy lose track of your whereabout. In previous Uncharted games, once you’re spotted, you’re spotted.
The addition of Metal Gear Solid V like marking help you get more stealth kills. It is a very helpful little tool if you are playing on higher difficulties.
Another major aspect of the game is asset variety which are highly detailed and bodes well for its sandbox like design.
Uncharted 4 is a masterpiece and graphical beast and there is hardly anything to criticize but still, if we are to nitpick there are some aspects that can be mentioned.
The hair quality during gameplay could have been better and there is a clear difference of color shade when moving from real-time cut-scene to gameplay. The overall story is exceptional but the final parts of the game start to drag a little. Lastly, microtransaction aren’t a welcomed addition but no hard no foel as they don’t affect gameplay in any way.
Quantum Break – Xbox One
Quantum Break is a technical accomplishment of its own and it is one of the best looking games on Xbox One even though its baseline resolution is 720p.
The game uses temporal reconstruction to enhance the 720p image for a sharper, crisper picture quality. 4X MSAA also helps the game be on par with some of the other graphically demanding games out there.
The image has a filmic style that is similar to Uncharted 4.
The character models in the game are efficiently scanned and given high quality, detailed textures.
Realistic animations and highly detailed facial expressions are all thanks to Quantum Break’s use of DI4D technology.
One of the major features of Quantum Break that stems from Remedy’s northLight Engine is Global Illumination which is far better than pre-computed solutions because there are rapid changes in the time of day in Quantum Break. Global Illumination helps Remedy capture CGI rendering in real-time for Quantum Break.
Lighting keeps changing throughout the game that often creates some very impressive moments.
Global Illumination is combined with volumetric lighting to help build an appealing and realistic looking atmosphere.
This is a very effective but complex technique with impressive results and major cost of resources. But in the end, the 720p image is presented with minimum pixelation.
Another notable aspect of the game is Motion Blur that is smartly used during action sequences to give a more filmic feel. Physically-based rendering helps create amazing level of detail for bricks, soil, metal objects etc.
Screen-space effects are natural and on par with Uncharted 4, which uses types of different pre-calculated data.
Remedy has done a tremendous job running such a complex and demanding game on Xbox One, however, there are many aspects that create issues for the game.
The image, as we mentioned above, is 720p and no doubt they made it look very sharp. However, it isn’t clean enough and it shows. The resolution appears higher than it is thanks to 4x MSAA and image reconstruction but things start falling apart every time there are intense action sequence and lots of movement on screen.
High quality textures are used but in many sections they appear blurry and dated.
There is noticeable ghosting and shadows appear low resolution with visible pixelation. Texture pops and grass appearing out of nowhere on soil dents the game’s graphical prowess.
Where Uncharted 4 uses volumetric lighting to great effect, Quantum Break falls short of the mark. Once again lighting effects are victims of low resolution rendering.
Quantum Break’s time warping abilities take a toll on the hardware but there is nothing that looks better. Time warping mixed with action sequences are beautifully created and are much more enjoyable than Uncharted 4’s take on combat.
Both games are similar story driven titles with cover based shooting but Quantum Break is a much more complex title due to its use of time warping that makes objects go haywire. For the most part, objects react well and their physics is sound. But from time to time you see a disaster for law’s of physic when you can’t even move small object but are able to push massive entities with just a push.
Another issue is the linear experience.
Meanwhile, Uncharted 4 is a mid-size sandbox and its maps are much more bigger than Quantum Break which make it challenging to deliver the level of overall visual quality that Uncharted has.
Object placement isn’t very well thought out as well in Quantum Break. There are many objects your character can climb on to but can’t do the same with a different object of the same size to enter the same area or go over a wall.
Moving on, immersion breaking takes you out of the experience in Quantum Break while Uncharted 4 keeps the flow of gameplay intact and as I mentioned there would be a couple of moments where you’ll wonder “is the cut-scene over, and I back in control?”
The point is, it transitions so smoothly in and out that you find it difficult to tell the difference; which is simply amazing.
Meanwhile, the build-in tv series experiment in Quantum Break was intended to be integrated with gameplay but they up as two separate entities that do not gel well.
At the end of each act you are showed a 20 minutes long tv show that plays out based on the choices you made in the game.
These cut-scenes from a low-budget tv show are so bad and so long that your controller often turns itself off while these cut-scenes are running thinking you done playing, while you’re playing.
It is a very disjointed experience overall.
Puzzles in Quantum Break are very interesting and fun as well but there are aspect that just weird. You have these time controlling powers and can manipulates objects, blast through objects by charging your times powers. But that same power isn’t able to open doors which breaks immersion as you are asked to go back in time to a point where the door was unlocked – Why?
Quantum Break is a valiant effort but it fails to deliver the level of gameplay, immersion, and graphics quality on par with Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4.
Uncharted 4 is the clear winner in the battle of exclusive this time but there are many other games exclusives coming on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that will go head to head right here on SegmentNext.
Thank, Digital Foundary