Rise of the Tomb Raider is out on November 10th for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Crystal Dynamics are handling the Xbox One version of the game while Nixxes are developing the Xbox 360 port. So the question here is, how well does the Xbox 360 version of the game compares against the Xbox One version, and is the difference big enough to upgrade?
Nixxes are well known for their reputation of porting various Square Enix games to the PC. Their recent work includes Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for PS4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider for Xbox 360. Since the developer here is a fairly competent one with a history of well optimized games, it is definitely interesting to see their work on Rise of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360.
First of all, Rise of Tomb Raider runs at native 1080p on the Xbox One, although the resolution drops to 900p in cutscenes. Still, this is a big enough jump from Xbxo 360 which renders the game at 720p and use pre-rendered cutscenes. Both versions of the game target 30 fps.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is a huge leap in term of graphics on the Xbox One. The game utilizes Volumetric Lighting and Material Effects to the next level, which is simply absent from the Xbox 360 version of the game. As expected, the Xbox 360 version lacks any of the key next-gen features including Deformable Snow, and most of the cutscenes are pre-rendered on the Xbox 360 instead of being real-time like on the Xbox One.
Note: You can open each image in full resolution by clicking on it.
The thing to note here is the lack of Volumetric Lighting, Material Effects (Wet clothes of Lara) and Godrays in the Xbox 360 version of the game. The textures and geometry also appears to be toned down to the lowest denominator while the game manages to retain majority of its look. TressFX is utilized to give Lara’s hair a genuine look and it is completely absent from the Xbox 360.
The lack of a Deformable Snow can be clearly seen here. The Xbox 360 version uses a simpler version of the snow effect that lacks the realistic look and feel of the Xbox One version. The weather effects hardly shows the same intensity and its affect on the characters models. Lara’s coat appears to be free from any snow despite the snow storm while it is clearly visible on the Xbox One.
Lara Croft has a higher polygon character model on Xbox One and along with Material Deformation, we can clearly see the dirt, sweat and mud on her body. This effect appears to be toned down on the Xbox 360 along with the lack of TressFX. The character design appears to be same across both platforms.
Screen space reflections are present in the Xbox One version of the game. Foliage is lacking density and the objects have lower polygons giving them an odd shape and lacking the details of the Xbox One version.
Geometry is much more simplified while the texture quality takes a huge step down. Aside from that, the foliage is also toned down which gives the game a barren look on the Xbox 360.
Given all the bells and whistles of the Xbox One version of the game, Rise of the Tomb Raider is still a remarkable accomplishment on the Xbox 360, and the good thing is that it sticks closer to its 30 fps target while attempting to match the visual quality of the Xbox One version. So the question is, is it worth to upgrade to an Xbox One if you already have the Xbox 360? The answer here is no, because the game is completely playable and a good port on the Xbox 360. Although if you desire better visuals, the Xbox One version of the game is definitely a looker and stands as one of the better looking games that have been released this year.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is available now for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It is announced for PC early next year and will be released Fall 2016 on the PS4.
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