How is the game giving you migraines? I'm genuinely curious, you know I'm not one of those fanboys defending a game lol
So wait, if I'm to understand this, it's the difference in brightness levels that gives you headaches since HDR (naturally, by name alone) gives a far greater range of brightnesses and color vibrancies? Interesting, I never really thought about that... I always thought the closer we get to real life, the better... Then AGAIN, real life doesn't have laser beams and fuck-all explosions happening everywhere from monsters with blue flashlights for eyes... lmfao
I'm trying to figure it out as well. I played in 4K HDR this afternoon and 'survived' lol. I was feeling a headache coming on after 2 hours but the high ambient light helped. (Snow plus sun, no curtains, had to dial up the brightness to be able to see anything in game at night time) So I went jogging outside on the trail, did wonders! (It actually looked quite close to how Horizon FW portrays the snow parts, yet without the headache or robots chasing me)
The game can be very intense in light flashes, scratch that, is very intense 90% of the time. The camera doesn't help as it will swing around wildly in combat. Next to that, the contrast between night and day is very high and the day/night cycle not all that long. You get treated to an overpowering laser light show at night time against very dark backgrounds. So I was playing in the evening with very little ambient light to be able to se where I was going.
During day time it's very very bright everywhere. Outside that is, pretty dim inside. In real life you don't run inside outside all the time, but in the game you tend to go into dark interiors, buildings, ruins, caves, under water, and back into bright bright daylight all the time. So I'm playing with low ambient light to be able to see everything indoors, but then you have this glaring rectangle in front of you outside. Also different with real life where your whole vision lights up instead of staring into a bright rectangle with dark around.
Then you have the shimmering that's always present on foliage, lack of anti aliasing, sharpening filter, it's a very busy picture visually. Looks gorgeous, but it's a lot to take in and not all that stable in motion. Sudden color changes when going inside, and of course also plenty brightness changes opening the map. Searing desert, regular brightness menu.
Lastly, the fonts are small, so I move my chair to sit closer to the tv. I had no issues with Rift Apart, however I played that from further away, with more ambient light (not so dark at night), and Rift Apart has a very stable clean picture. Still a lot of detail to take in, but not the extreme contrast and camera swings as Horizon.
I guess it's just too much for me to handle lol.
When I play on my projector I also do so with almost no ambient light. However the screen is 92" and max 50 nits. No 1,200 nits HDR peaks or 200+ nits avg day time brightness. Here you can see how bright Horizon FW gets (or tries to get, displays don't go that high)
(At 1:02 in the video, time stamp doesn't seem to work)
I sit further away with the projector, fonts are easy to read, shimmering is much less due to down sampling, but I think it's mostly the lower contrast swings that prevent headaches. I physically feel a pain flash in my eyes when I walk from inside to outside in Horizon in HDR. In RL you get something similar when you come out of the cinema into a bright sunny day. Yet that's once, in the game it happens over and over.
So maybe, it's not such a good idea to pump games up to realistic brightness, at least not as long as you keep doing totally unrealistic things in game! I have no issues while racing in GT Sport in HDR, yet you don't constantly go into pitch black tunnels and back into searing daylight.