• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

DF: The Medium Tech Review: A closer look at Xbox's First Next-Gen Game

Mr Moose

Member
They didn't fix those "old school" turning animations? That's one of my biggest problems with the game.
And there is no combat?
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
So why you comparing it with Ratchet then in the first place, hm? Right.
Well that’s what you guys do ain’t it?

it’s running two versions of the game at the same time and switches between the two, they said that. It was quick doing it to
 
Last edited:
Well that’s what you guys do ain’t it?

it’s running two versions of the game at the same time and switches between the two, they said that. It was quick doing it to
For no reason you compared it to Ratchet first, but you telling me that game isn't out yet. LOL.

XSX running two different versions? LOL, no. Not even close to rendering two different versions of the game simultaneously. It is the same scene, but with different assets, lighting, and other underlying graphical effects.
 
Last edited:
I'm not surprised the performance is low. It's running the full game twice in essence.

Dishonored 2 did the something similar in an area. You go to a mansion which allows you to use a time machine to see three years into the past. When the time machine's crystal display is deployed the framerate is cut in half as it's literally running the game twice with no cuts to detail. You can also instantly teleport back and forth. The mansion in present time is destroyed with collapsed rooms and barred doorways but you can use the tool to find your way through the obstacles. NPCs are active in both instances, you can teleport into the past and kill a guard, then teleport back into the future and watch the other NPCs trying to figure out what just killed the guard.



Prey used a version of this effect to create the 3D viewscreens found throughout the game with a much lower cost to implement without affecting the framerate. The result was that in Prey you couldn't trust what you saw when you looked through a window as often smashing the glass would reveal a hidden area. Sometimes you could even see NPCs through the windows, but they weren't actually there either. The very first room in the game has this amazing view of the city around you that reacts to player perspective just as it should, but it's not real. Break the glass and you find out you're part of an experiment.

 
Last edited:

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Is ray tracing enabled in the dual-screen segments? That would definitely explain 900p dips. Drops to 1440p in the full screen areas with RT on would make sense too, assuming that is what's happening.

Listening to the Kinda Funny review in progress right now. Everyone seems to agree it looks really good.

Hopefully the devs address the frame pacing issues, as @dark10x suggests
In the split screen view, unless for mysterious reasons they are rendering half wasted screen, they already cut the vertical or horizontal resolution on half before Dynamic Resolution Scaling jumps in.
 

ZlleH

Member
I get that they are rendering 2 worlds at at the same time sometimes, and I will play this game (already have it pre-installed).

But is this how game developers are developing these days? Wasn't there someone there to say: "Hey, the performance is terrible when we use this mechanic, let's try a different approach"?

I didn't know the new standard was, who cares if it goes down to 900p in that scene. We are cutting edge!
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
For no reason you compared it to Ratchet first, but you telling me that game isn't out yet. LOL.

XSX running two different versions? LOL, no. Not even close to rendering two different versions of the game simultaneously. It is the same scene, but with different assets, lighting, and other underlying graphical effects.
Yes it’s very similar to the effect they use in rachet
 
That chase sequence looks badass! Really cool stuff. Those walking animations are some 7th-gen stuff though.

And I don't get this argument that "it is rendering two different games". It's clearly not with those fixed camera angles, similar assets, character(s) and game code. And if you are counting each screen as a separate game, you will have to agree that each screen will have 450 pixels per "screen". You can't have it both ways.

Having said that, the fault likely lies in the game -- not the hardware itself. But as the first "next-gen exclusive showcase for Xbox" this doesn't paint XSX in a good picture.

Hopefully, the game is at least enjoyable and fun to play because there isn't much going on in its favor -- except for maybe soundtracks/audio design.
 

drotahorror

Member

we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4/3800Mhz, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
For starters, the game suffers from major stuttering issues. Even though we’ve installed the game on an SSD 970 PRO NVMe M.2, we had major stutters in each and every room. These stutters are so annoying that they will undoubtedly put off a lot of PC gamers.
There are numerous scenes in which The Medium drops below 60fps on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX3080, even at 1080p/High settings and without any Ray Tracing effects. We seriously don’t know what’s going on here. What we do know is that the game’s graphics do not justify these ridiculously high PC requirements. Again, these underwhelming performance numbers are WITHOUT Ray Tracing.

3080 can't even cut it at 1080/60, no RT.

Great job devs. Pat yourself's on the back.
 
Last edited:

Kataploom

Member
The excuse doesn't make much sense considering the number of pixels being output as the final result is the same.

That essentially means each world is being rendered at half of 900p individually if I'm reading this correctly. Something is off with how they are going about rendering the two scenes side by side, I would have thought the main stress would have been on the CPU. Sounds like nothing is being scaled appropriately in the dual world scenes.

Do the assets/geometry/ray tracing need to stay at their highest settings in both scenes when the player can only see everything at half resolution?

I'm interested to see if it performs any different on PC but I suspect not considering the hardware requirements chart stated 30fps. The issue is likely with the game, not the hardware.
The game is not rendering each world at "half resolution" but half (more or less) camera size. The internal resolution is not the same than shown information.

Each world also has their own assets: Textures, geometry, illumination, in some cases one world show another character(s), etc.

CPU can't be the bottleneck because it's the resolution that is being lowered, if it was CPU, it would be the framerate affected and no DRS should help it (since it's GPU work) and framerate seems almost locked at 30fps. Someone here experienced can clarify this anyway if I'm wrong.
 

Andodalf

Member
A Small team can get a game to run double RT in the launch window? Bodes well for RT in the future.
I'm not surprised the performance is low. It's running the full game twice in essence.



Prey used a version of this effect to create the 3D viewscreens found throughout the game with a much lower cost to implement without affecting the framerate. The result was that in Prey you couldn't trust what you saw when you looked through a window as often smashing the glass would reveal a hidden area. Sometimes you could even see NPCs through the windows, but they weren't actually there either. The very first room in the game has this amazing view of the city around you that reacts to player perspective just as it should, but it's not real. Break the glass and you find out you're part of an experiment.



The freaking Jumpscare with this......







3080 can't even cut it at 1080/60, no RT.

Great job devs. Pat yourself's on the back.


Yeah they should have just removed all of the high end settings so that It runs perfectly and then it would become an amazing game despite being the exact same but worse!
 
Last edited:
Yes it’s very similar to the effect they use in rachet

I see. So, it doesn't matter that game isn't out yet.

But anyway, since it doesn't matter that game isn't out yet, just watching the gameplay demo and one level from PS5 event, it just shows how Ratchet is much bigger game, much more complex scenery, RT all the time, with so much stuff going on on the screen and it is at 60fps. On the other hand in Medium from video a day ago on IGN.... smaller game, 30fps, walk, fights here and there, solve the puzzle here and there, graphics on average to pretty good sometimes...

Different games surely, especially in scale and graphics which SSD needs to read. But nevertheless, you found it comparable in some way
 
Last edited:

Clear

Member
If you think Bloober is in the same league technologically as Insomniac you're dreaming. Its not even a fair comparison due to team size.

Sorta suprised by the res-drops, because truth be told it really shouldn't ever happen. At the end of the day its still outputting to the same framebuffer so fill/shading requirements should never be greater than if a single viewport was involved. It strikes me that they are likely doing the dual-world thing in a crude, brute-force type of way, where they are drawing everything to offscreen buffers then switching/reformatting to the display framebuffer.
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
The game still looks interesting despite the resolution controversy. The real stunner to me is the "...Xbox's First Next-Gen Game" part given that the console has been out for two and a half months. Absolutely brutal.
 

Erebus

Member

phil_t98

Gold Member
I see. So, it doesn't matter that game isn't out yet.

But anyway, since it doesn't matter that game isn't out yet, just watching the gameplay demo and one level from PS5 event, it just shows how Ratchet is much bigger game, much more complex scenery, RT all the time, with so much stuff going on on the screen and it is at 60fps. On the other hand in Medium from video a day ago on IGN.... smaller game, 30fps, walk, fights here and there, solve the puzzle here and there, graphics on average to pretty good sometimes...

Different games surely, especially in scale and graphics which SSD needs to read. But nevertheless, you found it comparable in some way
If you watch the digital foundry video it ain’t ray tracing all the time on the demo
 





3080 can't even cut it at 1080/60, no RT.

Great job devs. Pat yourself's on the back.

It’s a small studio, they can’t really be expected to have the best optimization. It’s pretty much Eurojank: the game.
 
Last edited:

GHG

Member
The game is not rendering each world at "half resolution" but half (more or less) camera size. The internal resolution is not the same than shown information.

Each world also has their own assets: Textures, geometry, illumination, in some cases one world show another character(s), etc.

CPU can't be the bottleneck because it's the resolution that is being lowered, if it was CPU, it would be the framerate affected and no DRS should help it (since it's GPU work) and framerate seems almost locked at 30fps. Someone here experienced can clarify this anyway if I'm wrong.

I don't think you understood any of the points I made, especially regarding the CPU. I didn't say the CPU was the bottleneck here.

And if they are rendering everything at full resolution for each scene then that is exactly the problem. That's not how split screen games are typically rendered and like Clear Clear alluded to above, they are taking some kind of brute force approach here which is resulting in the performance tanking.
 
Last edited:

Aion002

Member
That's rough. I started playing the Blair Witch game from them available on game pass and is also quite unpolished... Since both are walking simulators with no combat, this is disappointing.
 

Kataploom

Member
I don't think you understood any of the points I made, especially regarding the CPU. I didn't say the CPU was the bottleneck here.

And if they are rendering everything at full resolution for each scene then that is exactly the problem. That's not how split screen games are typically rendered and like Clear Clear alluded to above, they are taking some kind of brute force approach here which is resulting in the performance tanking.
Oh, ok, this makes it more clear to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GHG
If you watch the digital foundry video it ain’t ray tracing all the time on the demo

How about reading the damn article instead??

EDIT : you meant Ratchet? No, it's all the time there. Just missing on certain objects. For example, some box won't reflect on the floor, but enemies, bench will reflect on the that same floor. Medium in comparison has RT in only in certain locations.

In terms of the ray tracing support, The Medium features RT reflections - but only in certain locations and only on Xbox Series X and PC - with Series S dropping back to more conventional screen-space reflections. They do the job, but simply cannot reproduce detail that isn't present in the current camera view, so detail can to vanish in some scenarios


So, no RT all the time on XSX/PC and no RT on XSS.
 
Last edited:
That chase sequence looks badass! Really cool stuff. Those walking animations are some 7th-gen stuff though.

And I don't get this argument that "it is rendering two different games". It's clearly not with those fixed camera angles, similar assets, character(s) and game code. And if you are counting each screen as a separate game, you will have to agree that each screen will have 450 pixels per "screen". You can't have it both ways.

Having said that, the fault likely lies in the game -- not the hardware itself. But as the first "next-gen exclusive showcase for Xbox" this doesn't paint XSX in a good picture.

Hopefully, the game is at least enjoyable and fun to play because there isn't much going on in its favor -- except for maybe soundtracks/audio design.

Yeah from what I have been seeing of gameplay footage there's quirks like texture pop-in, some textures or pixel spots of the screen glitching (does not seem intentional), the walking collision animations etc. that could've all used some work. Very few if any actual enemy encounters and the few you have while you have spirit energy to fend them off, it's done as a canned QTE animation event. Not necessarily seamless, either, but more like a very brief abrupt cut into the sequence (maybe this isn't noticeable to most people TBH).

For a while I thought this game was trying to channel more a classic RE/Silent Hill or even Alone in the Dark type of vibe but in reality it uses some design conventions from those games to contain what's basically more something like a DontNod game or stuff like Call of the Sea/Detroit Become Human etc. type of narrative experience. It is much moreso focused on the story at hand than the type of gameplay loop you'd get from an old-school survival-horror game like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Galerians, Deep Fear etc. That's further emphasized by the fact that most of the dynamic camera work is done during cutscenes and not really with unique camera perspectives like in those other games.

That said there's a few things I do really like from what I've seen so far like that chase sequence. There's also some parts where the player sneaks around creatures that have a truly haunting, derelict, downtrodden atmosphere that harmonizes the horror elements quite well through mood. Overall it seems like a good first attempt at a new IP; there's definitely ideas here that can be expanded on and fine-tuned in a sequel. A sequel with more involved puzzle-solving, some actual combat (not that combat needs to be at the center), maybe tying in some gameplay incentives for being a medium, etc. Fix up the walking collision detection against walled surfaces, and put more effort into the facial animations.

Also apparently since it seems to have issue maintaining 4K target (seems like it gets as low as 900p on Series X at times which is kind of appalling), either find a way to tackle the two-worlds design that is more resource-efficient or just don't go about it in the same way next time around, but still figure some means of giving the feeling you're travelling through two realms. Also, if Microsoft happens to get timed or full exclusivity or initiates a sequel themselves, they NEED to actually provide as much technical assistance to the developers as possible; even if this game isn't 1P, it should've been afforded technical assistance on the level of at least a 2P effort given the role it's serving as representation for Series X's capabilities. Whether those expectations are warranted or not isn't the point; lack of actual next-gen exclusives so far for MS have forced that responsibility onto games like The Medium, they should've predicted that and pitched in where needed to resolve any technical issues and give it some additional spit & polish.
 

Vae_Victis

Banned
I'm really struggling to understand the "it's running two games at once" explanation for the bad performance: yes, it is very strictly speaking, but it's rendering only half of each instance at any given time. If it were rendering the game twice at full screen somehow, it would make sense to lower the resolution for both. But it isn't, it's making two half renders, the final number of rendered pixels is the same as a normal full-screen game.

From a GPU point of view, it should not be any different from running a split-screen game, at most accounting for the higher average number of assets it needs to keep in RAM for any given environment (but that shouldn't be weighting on the fps all that much). If there is more than that, it just looks like an unnecessary way to fuck up the pipeline.
 

Barakov

Member
Top Bottom