The Order 1886 is, without a doubt, the most visually impressive game on any platform, including PC. It doesn’t reach this visual fidelity without a few sacrifices though, as the game is very short and linear in term of exploration.
Ready at Dawn has utilized some great post-processing effects and decided to go with a 1980×800 render setup for cinematic aspect ratio. This gave them the overhead to go with an anti-aliasing solution using Forward+ renderer that can be basically estimated to be the computationally expensive 4xMSAA, which is mighty impressive for a current generation game with such gorgeous graphics.
Ready at Dawn recently shared their tech with the world at Siggraph 2015 and we can see some interesting screenshots revealing how the game would have looked without its post-processing effects.
It is explained that The Order 1886 uses EQAA to reduce aliasing, which is basically an AA solution for AMD GPUs (as used in PS4) and an alternative to MSAA. Ready at Dawn opted for 2 color fragments with 4 coverage samples for the EQAA, putting the quality of AA somewhere between 2x MSAA to 4x MSAA.
To further increase the image stability, Ready at Dawn wrote their own custom resolve shader which used a wider, higher-order reconstruction filter.
The final pass is a standard temporal aliasing component that is combined with the resolve pass. This is done to reduce shader aliasing in the game.
The end result is an IQ that lacks any visible jaggies and looks to be the perfect fit for the physical based rendering setup of The Order 1886.
Comparison with no AA (anti-aliasing) and 4xMSAA
Here is another technique utilized by Ready at Dawn to improve the shadow quality in the game. As explained by the devs, they chose to execute this technique on the PS4 CPU and had plans to implement it on the GPU, but time constraint restricted them for doing so before the official launch.
The Order 1886 was released exclusively on the PS4 in February 2015. It was developed by Ready at Dawn, who used their own custom in-house engine for the game.
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