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Digital Foundry -- Grounded Early Access: Why Is It So Demanding On Xbox One? All Versions Tested

-Arcadia-

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Came here to discuss this, and didn't see a thread. I hadn't had any prior long-term experience with the game, so I was really surprised to see how fun it looked, and more relevant, how good.

A few details from memory:

-Xbox One 900p - 800p/30FPS with struggles
-Xbox One X 1080p (!)/60FPS - 30FPS (the lower end tends to happen at nightime under heavy enemy activity)
-Punishing to even the best PCs on high settings
-Really nice material work, translucency, and sense of scale; a technical challenge to do all of this
-Great Bokeh effect that lends a tilt-shift look
-Praise for the actual game; seems a fun, well-done take on the crafter

 

xStoyax

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It's a beast. No compromises....

jk

It's early access so i'll cut it some slack.
 
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-Arcadia-

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I feel like this makes a really good case for waiting for the Series X version, for console gamers.

Possible consistent 60 FPS + likely 4K + Further along in Early Access with more content.

Not at all disparaging the work done here, or telling people they shouldn't play it now (which can be quite fun, playing it from the start and seeing all the evolutions) but I feel like it's going to be a lot like getting to have your cake, eat it too, and have some more cake and eat that too, in just a few months.
 
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Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
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This game wasnt on my radar at all.
But having played the early access I legit think its a game I could pour a ton of time into.

On the graphical side, this i guess disney/pixar style of game got old really fast in my eye.
Grounded however has to be the best example of this artstyle until Kena comes out, an absolutely stunning looking game that I really didnt expect to appreciate.

I hope the final edition fixes some of the performance issues on PC, the game doesnt seem to be utilizing cores/threads very well.
But it is a graphical stunner for this artstyle that tilt-shift really does make you think you are small.
Makes me want a Toy Commander game.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
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Needs optimization?
Definitely.
I doubt they have done an extensive optimization pass yet.
The game runs which is enough to do more testing.

If you open your Task Manager while the game is running youll even notice it isnt really stressing out your CPU cores/threads....assuming you arent running a peasant core processor.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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They make a fantastic Fallout though!
I know! but since i'm console pleb their technical incompetence cost me dearly when I was playing their games

God i want another Alpha Protocol with competant devs and Chris Avellone.
 
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DJTHEGREY

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One of the benefits of Gamepass.... Try a game that wasn't exactly on your radar.... Might end up actually liking it. I like the game... Would be better if I had a crew I think. If they add ways to ride the bugs or something in the future that would be awesome. Looks good on my regular xb1 to me think the sound went out on me once tho.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Kinda weird seeing your words used for warring.

I was surprised to see it at 1080p, but not in a negative way. On the contrary, I'm quite impressed with what they're doing here, technically.
 
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godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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If I didn’t have money to upgrade and jumped on the X1X hoping to ride it out for a couple years, I would be upset at Microsoft.
Nevertheless, Sony dictated the fate of these refresh consoles the moment they mentioned they wouldn’t support the PS4 Pro with new exclusives any longer.
 
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Mr Moose

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When is this releasing?
I'm surprised it can drop to the mid-20s @ 1080p on the One X, you can tell it's early access.
Hopefully they can fix the pop-in, looks annoying.
 
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Torrent of Pork

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Rather buggy now, no pun intended, but I like being able to play what's ready now as opposed to next year when the 1.0 is ready.

Honestly I think Sea of Thieves would have been much better received at launch if they just called it early access, and 'officially' launching around the time of the Anniversary Update.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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How does a game like this struggle, yet BF games with all the players, nicely sized maps, destruction and vehicles can hold 60 fps.
 
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Mistershine.

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Why do these survival type games struggle with water? In the 3 I've played (ark, conan, and this) they all have issues with reflections, most noticeable is the giant reflection of the weapon you're currently holding.
 

Black_Stride

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How does a game like this struggle, yet BF games with all the players, nicely sized maps, destruction and vehicles can hold 60 fps.
- Its in early access so final optimization pass hasnt happened yet.
- This is arguably more graphically intensive than BF, all the DOF, SSS and high LOD all at once trump what BF is doing on the effects side of things. While not the most impressive game for the layman because it looks like a cartoon or whatever, but from a technical perspective it actually is very high level.....just not gritty enough for people to respect what its doing.
- The game doesnt seem to be fully utilizing CPUs with high core/thread counts
 

Armorian

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As you might have seen, it's definitely scalable, since it runs on X1 OG and X1X, I guess that XSX will push 4k.

Not going to lie, it looked way cleaner than 1080p honestly. Sometimes it looks suprisingly well.

But not my cup of tea (gameplay)
XSX is more than 2x (probably closer to 3x) more powerful than X1X so it won't have 4K resolution (at least native all the time).
 

Armorian

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As stated in the video, CPU is also bottleneck, so will see. This is kind of game, which should have employ some DLSS 2.0 technique.
CPU is clearly limiting PC version tested on some old ass TR in this video, I think I saw ~50% GPU utilisation?

Maybe they are playing it safe in res department on X1X in "beta" state.
 
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M1chl

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CPU is clearly limiting PC version tested on some old ass TR in this video, I think I saw ~50% GPU utilisation?

Maybe they are playing it safe in res department on X1X in "beta" state.
Sure, but honestly I am pretty surprised that it run just on 1080p, look way sharper. Strange, because I am pretty sensitive for stuff like that.
 
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Mmnow

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Kinda weird seeing your words used for warring.

I was surprised to see it at 1080p, but not in a negative way. On the contrary, I'm quite impressed with what they're doing here, technically.
This is what I thought too. Can't believe people are somehow twisting this, and in the most confusing possible way.

They've managed to get this on Xbox One X but with lower framerate, graphics and resolution, and that's somehow evidence that Sony walling off their exclusives is the right way to go?

How are people even making that leap?
 

Mr Moose

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Why do these survival type games struggle with water? In the 3 I've played (ark, conan, and this) they all have issues with reflections, most noticeable is the giant reflection of the weapon you're currently holding.
The water doesn't even react to things passing through it (at least not yet, could be fixed at a later date I guess).
 

Black_Stride

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I have watched the VG tech framerate video about Grounded. That's totally not a 60fps game on XBX. It's mostly hovering between 30fps-55fps. Its basically an uncapped 30fps game.

It is literally an uncapped game.

The XB1 version will go as high as the system will allow.
The XB1X version does the same thing.

Saying uncapped 30fps would mean it will fluctuate freely till 30.....but that isnt the case as both versions will go over 30fps resources permitting.

Im guessing its hardlocked to refreshrate in UE4 but no other real framelock is in place.
Letting the base box version jump around makes no sense, just lock it to 30, we all know its not going to be a 60fps title on base.

The XB1X version should be able to hit 60fps by launch, just put a hardlock on the console version for gods sake.
 
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T-Cake

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I'm all in favour of uncapped frame rates (for future hardware purposes) but I guess there should be a toggle to help things in the meantime.
 

-Arcadia-

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This is what I thought too. Can't believe people are somehow twisting this, and in the most confusing possible way.

They've managed to get this on Xbox One X but with lower framerate, graphics and resolution, and that's somehow evidence that Sony walling off their exclusives is the right way to go?

How are people even making that leap?
I'm definitely in favor of "walling off your exclusives", traditionally, but yeah, I don't really see the argument against scalability on this one.

Looks like an optimal result for all three, versus not having it on One and One X at all, because it didn't meet an arbitrary 1080p/4k standard. As an owner of the latter, even though I wanted to wait for Series X, I actually went ahead and downloaded it tonight, and am excited to play it. That doesn't feel like a wrong-minded strategy.
 
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Black_Stride

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I'm all in favour of uncapped frame rates (for future hardware purposes) but I guess there should be a toggle to help things in the meantime.
The preview build just doesnt have the framelock set currently.

The base box is def going to have a 30fps lock.
The XB1X im sure they will work hard on CPU optimization to get a 60fps lock.
If they cant get a stable 60fps they might lock it to 30 with higher GPU utilization instead.

You have to remember this is basically a true beta test of the game, it has a bunch of bugs still and optimization hasnt been done to get it at a ready to ship state. 36fps best case without a lock is a clear sign they havent finished working on it yet.
The PC options menu isnt even fully realized yet even tho the ini is completely open.
 
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Kuranghi

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If thats the figures for One S and One X then I doubt XSX will run it at 4K, more like 1620-1800p. Of course they might pull some optimisation out of the bag but I doubt it, the transparencies and lots of SSS (not sure if true sub surface scattering but some kind of approximation at the very least) is causing... I was watching the video while writing this, he just said what I was going to write lol

Anyway, I don't think they'll pull out a lot of optimisation unless they cut down on the number of blades of grass or effects in some way. The game really needs 60 fps to feel right due to FP perspective and very fast enemy movement so 1080p@45@Max (Probably 1080p@60 at optimised settings, I guess, still disappointing) for a GTX 1080 (He said he had 55 on a 1080 ti) is pretty shite imo.

I would like to be surprised though, heres hoping since I want to play it with my gf.
 

Black_Stride

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If thats the figures for One S and One X then I doubt XSX will run it at 4K, more like 1620-1800p. Of course they might pull some optimisation out of the bag but I doubt it, the transparencies and lots of SSS (not sure if true sub surface scattering but some kind of approximation at the very least) is causing... I was watching the video while writing this, he just said what I was going to write lol

Anyway, I don't think they'll pull out a lot of optimisation unless they cut down on the number of blades of grass or effects in some way. The game really needs 60 fps to feel right due to FP perspective and very fast enemy movement so 1080p@45@Max (Probably 1080p@60 at optimised settings, I guess, still disappointing) for a GTX 1080 (He said he had 55 on a 1080 ti) is pretty shite imo.

I would like to be surprised though, heres hoping since I want to play it with my gf.
CPU optimizations are what they really need to hunt down, UE4 can scale well to many cores but isnt best at utilizing the "theoretical" threads.
I think scaling graphically isnt too much of a problem.

Run the game and have task manager open, youll notice your CPU isnt being utilized heavily and neither is your GPU even when drops happen.
I think in this very video you can see his CPU is only using like ~50% of 5 cores and nearly none of the extra threads.
Yes its an ancient threadripper so not the best gaming CPU but it should still have higher CPU usage and GPU usage for the framerate being attained.

The final DX12-exe will likely scale very well and get a 1080Ti to actually sweat and not be bottlenecked.

It is a very graphically intensive game with all the effects running, but this isnt close to what "should" be expected.
Id hope with teams sharing tech and knowhow they can get some of the magicians from The Coalition to help optimize the CPU usage atleast.
 
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Kuranghi

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I didn't realise it had no release date, I thought it was going to be 1.0 in a few of months for XSX launch, that makes more sense to me in terms of optimisation (y)
 
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- Its in early access so final optimization pass hasnt happened yet.
- This is arguably more graphically intensive than BF, all the DOF, SSS and high LOD all at once trump what BF is doing on the effects side of things. While not the most impressive game for the layman because it looks like a cartoon or whatever, but from a technical perspective it actually is very high level.....just not gritty enough for people to respect what its doing.
- The game doesnt seem to be fully utilizing CPUs with high core/thread counts
Great post. People need to get over the fact that “cartoony” games can at times push visual effects and hardware much harder than some game’s striving for straight up realism.

Some people automatically think cartoony = Nintendo = they can do it on very out of date hardware sometimes even at 60fps.

Nintendo have some of the best artists in the World and employs some of the most impressive technical approaches to create the games they do but even they are massively constrained by their own hardware when it comes to pushing pixels and using effective AA solutions. I can’t imagine what Nintendo would create with even a set of specs on par with a base PS4 and the budget of a Sony first party game.

I’m glad to see Xbox using a more diverse line up of art styles compared to previous eras.
 

Sycomunkee

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The amount of high quality DOF will bring a lot of machines To their knees. It appears there is constant refocusing in this game.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Playing it, and while one (or I) always prefers a 4K presentation, it’s really hard to argue with this. The game is gorgeous in a way that not a lot of full 4K games are. I kind of see where that Gaf topic discussing it being a bit of a taste (just a bit) of next-gen is coming from.

I hope (but somewhat doubt) that the game finds its way to 1440p or upscaled/4K on X, but if this turned you off, don’t let it.
 

Bernd Lauert

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Needs a lot of optimization. I'm fairly optimistic that it will run at 4K/60 on the XSX, albeit not at max details of course.
 

Xplainin

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It was made by a 12 person team. That doesnt give them the resources need to optimize for different consoles and GPU cards.
Simple as that.
However with the game becoming a far bigger hit than they expected, I would assume the game will get alot more resources thrown at it with patches and expansion packs now.