How well does Guardians of the Galaxy stand up to the latest generation consoles? •

Guardians of the Galaxy left a big impression after our testing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The game itself is just great and a true highlight of 2021 – but it’s just as obvious the Dawn engine is demanding on it. console hardware. All of this begs the question: how do the latest generation machines handle the game? In a world where the PS5 and X Series struggle to maintain 1080p60 in performance mode, can any PS4 or Xbox One machine deliver a good experience?

Obviously there will be some changes from the experience of the current generation console – the option of choosing between a 30 fps quality mode and a 60 fps performance alternative is therefore not an option. It’s 30 frames per second and that’s your lot, similar to the Xbox Series S. Lowering the resolution as well as the frame rate is another obvious way for Guardians of the Galaxy to evolve: thus, the PS4 Basic renders with a dynamic resolution range of around 900p to 972p, while the Xbox One drops to 720p (DRS is a possibility here but all counts came in at 720p, oddly enough). Due to the temporal anti-aliasing in-game, the lower the resolution, the less sharp the image is, but it’s still a nice game: only the hair and fur elements really suffer.

Moving on to the upgraded next-gen machines, the Xbox One X is a real surprise, with a huge boost in picture quality – as you would expect from a 1440p-1890p dynamic resolution range. Image clarity is dramatically improved, and those hair and fur revealing artifacts are much less of a problem. It was also good to see that the texture quality, anisotropic filtering, shadows, and even drawing distance are improved over the base Xbox One. The PS4 Pro also works for 4K with a DRS range similar to that of the Xbox One X, the difference being that the dynamic pixel count is generally lower.

Every PS4 / Xbox One version of Guardians of the Galaxy tested, plus strategic comparisons between the last generation and the current generation.

At this point, it’s worth updating our analysis on the PS5 and Series X quality modes, which also run at 30fps – that’s indeed native 4K for the vast majority of the game, but the DRS can drop to 1800p. More interesting is the developer’s choice to anchor the S series to 1080p30 – a curious choice considering the fact that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X look noticeably cleaner due to their higher pixel count. The S series is a generation ahead and yet any close-up of hair or fur shows One X in particular, offering a huge advantage in sub-pixel detail resolution. However, perhaps predictably, resolution isn’t the whole story. In fact, despite the lower pixel count, the S series pushes higher visual settings. Shadow quality is slightly improved on the new machine and most notable is an improvement in texture quality on the S series – a curious state of affairs considering the lower render resolution.

There are other questions to answer as well – if we assume that the PS5 and X-series offer twice (or more) more GPU power than the improved last-gen machines, how come the rendering resolutions? are relatively close? The answer here is predictable: the graphics quality is more impressive. The quality of the texture is greatly improved, the drawing distances are pushed back, the quality of shadows is better, and the geometric density is also greatly improved. Foliage physics is also included on the new consoles, possibly taking advantage of the extra CPU power available.

There’s also the performance issue to consider – there’s a real issue here on the latest-gen base machines. Bottom of the barrel is the base PlayStation 4. Even with its dynamic resolution of 900p-972p, frame rates struggle in cutscenes and combat, where we can drop down to 20 frames per second. The exploration is good, but whenever the action heats up, the game clearly has issues. Bearing in mind that each new battle introduces a new mechanic, a new Guardian, or more skills – like Elemental Towers – it’s sobering to see this gradually getting worse. The Xbox One has issues as well, but it looks like its locked-down 720p resolution offers less aggressive performance drops. Overall, the Xbox One tackles most areas better than the Vanilla PS4, but it’s still far from ideal. The picture quality, the hitch, the pop-in geometry – all this remains a serious bane for the experience.

Our initial work on Guardians of the Galaxy focused on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series versions of the game.

However, if you’re playing on Xbox One X, Guardians of the Galaxy holds up admirably, delivering similar performance to the S series overall – it’s essentially a 30fps lockdown, though. Occasionally there are obvious streaming issues, when moving between zones or during camera changes in cutscenes. It dips a frame, sporadically – while the worst cutscenes briefly drop into the high 20s. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s a huge improvement over other last-gen editions. There’s not much more to say here, except that it’s impressive that One X achieves all of this at a higher resolution than the S-series. As far as the last-gen versions go, it does. is the one to get, and it’s very playable.

The PS4 Pro is a two-part game: on the one hand, it is an enjoyable 30fps experience in combat, maintaining that level of performance during most exploration stages as well. On the other hand, there are gameplay moments and cutscenes that inexplicably fall into the 1920s. The PS4 Pro is best described as a mix: again, it’s very playable, and the picture quality is commendable. . You can think of it as a similar experience to the Xbox One X, but with a slightly less stable frame rate in cutscenes and weird moments.

At this point we have covered all seven console versions of Guardians of the Galaxy and the bottom line is that the PS4 Pro is the “minimum console specification” that we can recommend for playing the game smoothly, with Xbox One X. the preferable choice of all latest generation machines. Both upgraded consoles give you a reasonable level of performance of 30 frames per second with a crisp image that scales well on 4K displays. They both lack the premium detail, foliage, textures, shadows, and physics of the PS5 and X-Series – but they really do a decent job. With base consoles, you’ll have to put up with steady drops to 20fps – especially on PS4 – with a significant impact on resolution too, where the Xbox One is worst at native 720p.

Final thoughts: It’s clear the Guardians of the Galaxy engine is demanding on the console hardware, but considering participation on PS5 and Xbox Series X, it was surprising how hard Xbox One X and PS4 Pro were. handled the game well. It’s a brilliant version and if you still play on one of these machines you will still have a good experience. My last thought? Considering the presentation of the Xbox One X, hopefully the developers will offer a higher resolution upgrade for the S series – it might not have the raw horsepower and bandwidth of the Scorpio engine, but 1080p30 seems like too deep a cut for the junior series console. .