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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Digital Foundry- CoD Black Ops Cold War

numberwang said:

Shadows (and overall lighting) are really important for visuals. I hope that we can improve this gen with RT shadows, much more important than accurate reflections.

I was about to say you certainly do not need ray traced shadows to improve that scene then John just tweeted this. Still some detail missing but the scene is preserved



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So Series S does not in fact have raytracing. When DF first tested it on Series S, there was a bug on shadows, which was why the helicopter scene looked awful on Series S. The game has now been patched to add in additional pre-baked shadows in some scenes that were missing them before.

Here is what S looked like when they tested it for the video (notice the lack of shadows inside the chopper):

Here is what the patched Series S version looks like:

And here is what the raytraced shadows look like on Series X:

I'm glad that S looks better at least, but it would be nice if they enabled raytracing on S as an option, even if they have to cap it at 30 fps to pull it off, it is just he campaign afterall, some may rather have 30 fps with better graphics on the campaign than 60 fps without raytracing.

Edit: Otter beat me to it above. Links to the tweets from John from DF in his post.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 24 November 2020

Otter said:
DonFerrari said:

For the games that performed better in PS5 yes. And guess what through people pointing out to DF that the drop in the RT mode was a bug (it won't drop if you restart a checkpoint, don't always happen, didn't exist before a patch) on twitter John confirmed it, but well on the video that is missed.

This doesn't answer the question really. COD on PS5 doesn't have performance issues, just a few minor drops during set pieces. Off the top of my memory when they contacted devs, it was for much bigger performance issues or disparities. Like Dirt, DMC5 and AC5 where the Series X version has had big performance problems and bugs including a camera jittering during cutscenes. 

The DF guys didn't suspect the PS5 frame drops were a bug which is why they didn't report it as such. If the question is can things slip past them? Sure, I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. Stating bias however is something else entirely. And it should be mention that if on paper specs depict series X as the more powerful platform, taking this into account in your analysis does not count as bias

Minor drops that aren't replicable are exactly what you would expect of a bug. Something that is present 100% time, for 100% people for 100% of a mode isn't a bug it is a tradeoff choice. Do you that curiously the time they though was a bug were the ones that Xbox was doing worse? And the only one that have been positive confirm of bug (doesn't always occur) is on the PS5 and they acknowledged that later. But on video you would thought Xbox version runs much better (and on Shikamaru table the impression is even worse) with PS5 hiccups being expected, on the other hand similar situation shoes reversed they will do different. But I feel like I'm restating myself. Even more as I already said I don't think they are biased, but struggling with finding explanations to their expectations not being met.

shikamaru317 said:
foodfather said:

While the deep dive from DF is appreciated , plenty of reviews have declared this games MP a visual downgrade from MW.

The whole debacle reminds me of Ghost a bit. Good graphics in the SP but the MP graphics and quality of gameplay are poor.

I'm not surprised really, this game was rushed out. Originally CoD 2020 was supposed to be a Sledgehammer game; since Sledgehammer's last CoD was WWII in 2017, it was Sledgehammers turn on the CoD studio rotation. However, there was some kind of falling out over at Sledgehammer with the founders leaving and then disagreements between Sledgehammer and Raven (who was co-developing it with them) on the direction of the game, so 1 year into development Activision took Sledgehammer off the project and Treyarch got brought in to convert their planned 2021 CoD multiplayer into multiplayer for 2020 CoD, with Raven put in charge of the Cold War campaign. So basically Cold War got 2 years of development, like CoD 1 through Ghosts, instead of 3 years of development like CoD Advanced Warfare through Modern Warfare 2019. And CoD 2021 will presumably have 2 years of development as well now because of the upheaval to the studio rotation, though we don't know yet if CoD 2021 will be Infinity Ward or Sledgehammer developed.

So a game that potentially had much more rushed development and was favored to PS5 got a virtual tie, how does that fit with the other games that had preference to Xbox but run worse?



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

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Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

JRPGfan said:

Also on Dirt 5, when they were quick to go talk about potential bugs (in the video itself).
With Call of Duty, they (john) lateron says its a likely bug in a tweet.

DF handle xbox and playstation slightly differntly (imo).
They are much kinder/softer towards microsoft and xbox.

If you paid attention to the video, you'd know John didn't initially to the tech work such as frame counting for the video. He may have checked it later, but his input in the video was just based on his feel from just playing the version, and not really screen capturing it as it wasn't his project to do. He was just piggybacking off of Tom's stats who got the official captures for the video.

and even though it is a bug, it should be noted that even when you restart it, the frame rate still drops, where as the xbox version never does. it's just way better than the initial run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5b5DXmdVpA

Last edited by Too_Talls - on 24 November 2020

http://imageshack.com/a/img801/6426/f7pc.gif

^Yes that's me ripping it up in the GIF. :)

John has responded to some of the criticisms a few people have made about their CoD video:

Says that Xbox appears to have the same detail level setting as PC ultra, which means that the detail differences some have noted between Xbox and PS5 appear to be down to object placement rather than actually being level of detail setting based:

He thinks that the grass density and ground texture differences some have noted between Xbox and PS5 may be due to procedural generation, as Xbox Series, PC, and PS5 all look different on this scene:

Lastly, he says that the missing light on Series X that some have noted on the runway airplane chase scene in DF's video is on the runway, but is in a different location of the runway on Xbox, which is why it doesn't appear in the same spot as the light appears on PS5 in the DF video:

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 24 November 2020

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DonFerrari said:
Otter said:

This doesn't answer the question really. COD on PS5 doesn't have performance issues, just a few minor drops during set pieces. Off the top of my memory when they contacted devs, it was for much bigger performance issues or disparities. Like Dirt, DMC5 and AC5 where the Series X version has had big performance problems and bugs including a camera jittering during cutscenes. 

The DF guys didn't suspect the PS5 frame drops were a bug which is why they didn't report it as such. If the question is can things slip past them? Sure, I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. Stating bias however is something else entirely. And it should be mention that if on paper specs depict series X as the more powerful platform, taking this into account in your analysis does not count as bias

Minor drops that aren't replicable are exactly what you would expect of a bug. Something that is present 100% time, for 100% people for 100% of a mode isn't a bug it is a tradeoff choice. Do you that curiously the time they though was a bug were the ones that Xbox was doing worse? And the only one that have been positive confirm of bug (doesn't always occur) is on the PS5 and they acknowledged that later. But on video you would thought Xbox version runs much better (and on Shikamaru table the impression is even worse) with PS5 hiccups being expected, on the other hand similar situation shoes reversed they will do different. But I feel like I'm restating myself. Even more as I already said I don't think they are biased, but struggling with finding explanations to their expectations not being met.

shikamaru317 said:

I'm not surprised really, this game was rushed out. Originally CoD 2020 was supposed to be a Sledgehammer game; since Sledgehammer's last CoD was WWII in 2017, it was Sledgehammers turn on the CoD studio rotation. However, there was some kind of falling out over at Sledgehammer with the founders leaving and then disagreements between Sledgehammer and Raven (who was co-developing it with them) on the direction of the game, so 1 year into development Activision took Sledgehammer off the project and Treyarch got brought in to convert their planned 2021 CoD multiplayer into multiplayer for 2020 CoD, with Raven put in charge of the Cold War campaign. So basically Cold War got 2 years of development, like CoD 1 through Ghosts, instead of 3 years of development like CoD Advanced Warfare through Modern Warfare 2019. And CoD 2021 will presumably have 2 years of development as well now because of the upheaval to the studio rotation, though we don't know yet if CoD 2021 will be Infinity Ward or Sledgehammer developed.

So a game that potentially had much more rushed development and was favored to PS5 got a virtual tie, how does that fit with the other games that had preference to Xbox but run worse?


Well Series S just had its shadows patched in so, so I think bugs can be present 100% of the time (obviously DF didn't know this was the case). If not a bug than an error. Trade off implies something was done to salvage performance this is what they assumed off the missing shadows (even if RT Is still missing from XBSS), error/bug means human mistake in the code which is impacting the experience unnecessarily or delivering something that was not intended. You'll be surprised that sometimes the first time devs are finding out about issues is when DF or other sites contact them. DF makes their money off comparisons, whereas developers are super time constraint working on 8 versions at the same time and can easily miss this stuff 

The last note on the fps topic, if they never restarted from the checkpoint it could be human error that Digital Foundary missed it. I think you're going on the presumption that they were already aware that it could be eliminated by restarting but just didn't report it. The tweet where John acknowledges it as a bug was today only, but the video was of course made before that tweet was sent.

And no I don't find it curious that they've often looked at the Series X versions for having bugs. Again if you just look at the examples its clear why they thought there was something up. AC, literally screen tearing so much its hard for people without VRR to enjoy and features a camera glitch which makes the fps looks unstable when it is. Dirt5, has LOD which are multitudes worse than PS5 despite us understanding them to be comparable machines where the difference should be fps or resolution. DMC, dropping 50frames below the PS5 version during the 120fps mode....

COD, runs almost perfectly, just dips a bit here and there during setpieces. This is not like the others lol. By your logic they would have claimed the Series X running worse at 120fps was a bug but they didn't. I don't see the bias but I'll leave this thread here.

Last edited by Otter - on 24 November 2020

The Digital Foundry bias towards xbox claiming needs to stop. It profoundly dumb with nothing to back it up.



I can't help myself



OP can you add this to the first post of the page?

Proof that the cutscene helicopter scene, with lag was due to a bug:



Sadly dont know how to link a twitter vid clip, but it shows it running and dipping down to 47fps first, and then after the checkpoint re-try its 60fps.



Otter said:

I can't help myself

Basically admitting they called it wrongly.
They mistook a bug as actual hardware limitations, and performance levels.

Nice that they discovered it and where manly enough to own up to it.
Hopefully CoD devs fix this.