Unless you’ve been living under a boulder on Mars you’ll know Red Dead Redemption 2 has been released.
Gamers the world over (apart from the super nerdy PC players of course) have been locked deep within the games bountiful bosom.
A fabulous game (as you’d expect from Rockstar) that boasts some extraordinary technical wizardry – unfortunately not when it comes to HDR though.
According to an excellent piece posted by Digital Foundry the game is guilty of “effectively transplanting the standard dynamic range image into an ‘HDR container’. Once active, your screen registers an HDR output from the console, but it just contains the SDR image within it.”
What this means in real terms is despite the myriad opportunities to exploit the games numerous light sources such as the sun overhead, oil lanterns in towns, camp fires and other specular highlights including light glinting off snow or rippling water – the impact of these elements is severely limited. But for what reason?
It’s not thought to be difficult technically to implement HDR – most new AAA games and a bunch of older titles, including the similarly high tech-open world of the The Witcher 3 since being patched for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, feature a genuine and impactful HDR presentation on those high end consoles. So is this a stylistic choice?
Adam Fairclough via DF poses the theory “is it an aesthetic choice as they chase that movie-like look? I sincerely hope not, as there’s no doubt that games are delivering the HDR goods where Hollywood is not…”
Let’s hope Rockstar provide an answer soon and, if they have any sense, will work to implement a real HDR experience in a future update.