Red Dead Redemption 2's HDR support seems to serve no real purpose

Eurogamer: One of the most anticipated games of the year, Red Dead Redemption 2 launched last Friday - and it made quite the impact. As Digital Foundry posted recently, the final game represents a phenomenal achievement with few technical blemishes - but something doesn't seem quite right with its HDR implementation.

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UltraNova46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

This explains a lot. I was sure something wasn't right with RDR2's HDR effect, or the lack of, especially when switching between it and GOW/Spider-Man both of which have excellent HDR implementation. Its a shame really as this game has the chops to be the best HDR showcase out there. I hope R* is on top of this.

fr0sty46d ago

Proper HDR requires all assets to be in 10 bit color, including every texture on every object in the game. It is possible that R* used 8 bit assets and then tried to slap an HDR label on it.

darthv7246d ago

Just imagine how much better it would look if they do get HDR fixed.

46d ago
bluefox75546d ago

Yeah, the lighting in the game is probably the most impressive part of it IMO. Seems like a missed opportunity.

Xb1ps446d ago

Are you talking about the pro versio?

UltraNova46d ago

All versions have fake HDR.

Baza46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

How many more hours do you want these guys to work!

UltraNova46d ago

Tell you what, I'll gladly trade shrinking horse balls for proper HDR.

How about that?

Tapani46d ago

I thought the green color and all areas when its dark were exceptional. I just had to turn up the brightness to 500 with my Samsung KS9000 to get the effect out of it. But with that TV its the same thing with every HDR game on Pro.

UltraNova46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

HDTV suggests turning off HDR for a better overall image.

I have to say its true. The image has more pop now and blacks are actually pitch black now.

Rockstar has to either fix HDR or remove it all together.

Tapani45d ago (Edited 45d ago )

Alright! I'm probably wrong then. I'd take HDTV's word over mine. I'm not the color specialist I think I am, ha! I did like HDR in The Witness (the game was crap, though) and Horizon Zero Dawn. Maybe I'll try RDR2 without HDR next...

BrettAwesome45d ago

Yeah...not even your mighty KS9000 can rectify what isn't there. Great TV though...

Tapani45d ago


The TV is good! Could have had better backlights, like with the 2018 models, but can't really see the flaws when there's something displayed (unlike dark loading screens with something in the corner) Bought it late 2016, will last until 2026. Planning to have it in our bedroom from 2022 - 2026. From 2022 a 8K projector from Optoma would take over the living room in our new place which we are saving for now!

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josh-eh46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

I knew right away that something was off. Everything was SO washed out, you said it perfectly.. god of war and Spider-Man were crystal clear and not native 4K either..

I have told all my friends the games hdr is broken and they should turn it off right away.. they immediately notice its a bit better!

I am SO dissapoonted. This is the biggest game of the year and I just bought a brand new 4KOLED and the game looks like it’s running on 720/900p. Praying for a patch ASAP as everything else is amazing.

UltraNova45d ago

Which TV did you buy, if I may ask?

BrettAwesome45d ago

Well...if it looks like 720p it's not the game's fault. It's your original Xbone pushing a lame 866p.

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yarbie100046d ago

Laughing at all the people over selling on twitter claiming RDR2 HDR looks AMAZING

SublimeStylee246d ago

Yup even on the almighty x the hdr is horrendous. Looks 100% better with hdr off no doubt about it, yet people are blaming TVs for having fake HDR, yet games like uncharted 4, spiderman, God of war, zero daywn and forza prove it's not the TV, as hdr in those games show massive improvements.

timlot46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

HDR is nothing but tone mapping. Its not a technical decision, but an artistic one. A large developer like Rockstar knows how to implement HDR. They have thousands of developers and hundreds of graphic artist. They've just chosen to give RDR2 a muted color pallet. Spectacular highlights from HDR didn't fit what wanted.

fr0sty46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

Timlot, you are referring to photographic HDR, HDR for video is completely different. It is defined by:

1. 10 bit images being used, allowing 1.04 billion colors vs. 16.7 million for 8 bit.
2. TVs must be able to produce 1000 nits of brightness (700 for OLED, as they have better color and can produce pure black), and a minimum black level (forgot exact specs there) must be able to be reached as well)
3. There must be metadata included telling the TV the settings that it needs to be set at to most closely match the monitor that the movie/game was color graded on. In HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision, you can specify different metadata for each scene instead of just the entire video/game.

Source: I own a video production company and produce HDR content professionally.

littletad46d ago

How do you turn off hdr for this game?

timlot46d ago

Frosty, no I referring to the tone mapping in HDR video. It happens because there are different displays with different HDR capabilities so it has to be tone mapped to that display.

rainslacker46d ago


That's why you have the metadata which tells the TV what it needs to display the pixel properly. Each TV will then take that data, and adjust it based on the manufactuers specifications. Some TV's don't do it as well, some do it great.

The whole point of HDR is to make the color more consistent to the creators vision, and remove a lot of the guess work from the user, along with allowing more information per pixel to allow for a wider gamut of visual acuity to be used.

The color and pixel depth of the pixel on the screen doesn't really have anything to do with if the scene is considered muted or spectacular highlights, as a pixels color and depth is not intrinsically linked to those two visual products. A muted palate can look just as amazing as some ultra realistic video, if the time is taken to properly set up the HDR calibration on the software end.

BrettAwesome45d ago (Edited 45d ago )

If you know THAT much about HDR, you should know that a tv that does not hit 1000 nits, LCD or OLED are perfectly capable of displaying a 10 bit HDR picture. What you are referencing, is the UHD alliance UHD-premium certification, which is not a requirement for viewing true HDR. And the reason OLED only needs to hit 700 nits, is because of their superior CONTRAST.
If you wanna act all clever, and brag about your knowledge, at least get it right.
Source: actual research

MrGobz45d ago

@BrettAwesome - I assume you mean that a TV doesn't need to hit 1000 nits, not that they don't? Mine has 2000 on paper and hits realistically in the 1700's in testing.

SheenuTheLegend45d ago

Timelot, just get an hdr tv and see the difference. its a bigger update just like from hd to 4k, i will say even more than that. i have tried fifa, god of war, spiderman etc with hdr and they all are amazing.

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--bienio--45d ago

Looks like we need to wait for Pc version to see true HDR 😂😂

moomoo31946d ago

Atleast so many people are talking about this that rockstar surely must be aware of it and working on a fix. Thought i was going crazy the HDR sucked

anonymousfan46d ago

I wish there was a way to remove the blurry over sampling on PS4 pro too... Looks better on base PS4 otherwise!

moomoo31946d ago (Edited 46d ago )

I think thats a problem with their TAA solution and the resolution being <4k its a lil blurry up close


Well there ya go

anonymousfan46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

@moomoo319 thanks for the info!! Hopefully this will be patched soon :). I'll try to share the news here on n4g if you don't mind.

elazz46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

It's a washed out filter over the image. It's similar hdr to fifa 18 which was very bad.

I can't believe that they didn't get hdr to work properly.

To EVERYONE: Read the whole article. It explains very well how hdr works with clear understanding. It will be useful when you use other hdr products too to understand whether your hardware is being used optimally or not.

Sm00thNinja46d ago

I think HDR on Xbox One X is implemented fantastically. I feel like the lighting seems very natural

elazz46d ago

Unless you're in westworld now I doubt that's the case.

ILostMyMind46d ago

Take off the Phil's goggles from your eyes.

Sm00thNinja46d ago

You've lost your mind. And there are faults wih the game character models up close can be lacking. It has nothing to do with having it on Xbox when it CLEARLY is better on Xbox. The game looks fine and the HDR is soft and realistic I've never once stopped and thought this HDR is horrible. I'm sorry if that's not the case on PlayStation or maybe I'm JUST horrible at identifying terrible HDR implementation? Could go either way. I didn't notice a problem on PlayStation either?

BrettAwesome45d ago

Wow...So Rockstar went ahead and made a very special HDR implementation just for you?? Cool!
Try turning it off and watch ad their is no difference

Casepb46d ago

Turn it off, it looks even better.

Sm00thNinja46d ago

I'll definitely try it when I go on my break!!

boing145d ago

Yeah, I did yesterday and it is in fact looking better now. They'll patch it though.

Sm00thNinja46d ago

I've also never taken HDR off on Xbox One X yet so I'll have to see if it looks any better

littletad45d ago

Make sure you take it off from the settings on the xbox. Check off the HDR option from video mode. After doing that, quit and restart the game. Do not attempt to keep playing it and see the picture as is. When you start up, you'll see a brightness setting instead of the HDR filter. Immediately you'll notice the grey and wash out effect are gone and you'll see the game as it should of been intended. I didn't believe this article and other players opinions either until I checked it out myself. Happy gaming.

Sm00thNinja45d ago

Littetad thanks for the advice you're right it does look better that way thank you! Really thought the game looked fine with it I never would have been able to guess it was holding the visuals back

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