Spectator Mode Podcast Ep. 144 – Xbox Developer Direct 2024 Score Card

The Outerhaven writes: We discussed the 2024 Xbox Developer Direct Showcase, what we thought about the games, and scored the show in our latest episode of Spectator Mode Podcast.

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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II Review | Game Craves

Experience what lengths an outsider will go to to save people who need savings. Here is our Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II Review.

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RupeeHoarder47m ago

Experience the lengths Senua goes to….oy what a set up for jokes

Tacoboto36m ago

...save people who need saving. No s.

The author was so focused on the pun he made a typo that early.

This review reads so poorly, it doesn't get better.

"I have to voice the fact that I am disappointed by it only being on Xbox, however, the experience wasn’t entirely bad, apart from trying to control navigation by using the D-Pad rather than the Joystick. Although this was a bad thing for a PlayStation gamers like myself, it is not something that detracted from my experience of the game."

... What the heck is this even?

ravens521m ago

An Xbot writing a review. 🥸


Hellblade 2 is a defining moment in the evolution of real-time graphics | Digital Foundry

The Digital Foundry verdict on the technology of Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.

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PrinceOfAnger7h ago(Edited 7h ago)

Such a good looking game, best graphics this gen so far

" When the camera zooms in for a close-up, the level of detail is such that it left me guessing whether I was looking at real-time graphics or a pre-rendered cutscene. Thankfully, with Photo Mode being available at any time, you can easily confirm that they are, in fact, real-time.Of course, it's really the animation you experience while playing that impressed me the most. The expressions visible while engaged in combat or simply exploring really help bring the characters to life. "

As a story-focused game, characters and character rendering play a significant role in the presentation. However, while the pre-release media largely focused on Senua herself, Hellblade 2 features a surprisingly large number of other humans. It's without doubt one of the games defining visual features - the character rendering in Hellblade 2 sets new standards, delivering sequences that, at times, almost resemble actual filmed scenes with real actors. This is one of the first examples of a game that stands up against the promise of the UE5 demo The Matrix Awakens. The scenes feel very natural and realistic in a way that manages to somewhat sidestep the uncanny valley almost completely.

Einhander19725h ago

So, the other day I was talking about how DF lies, and their bias. I said cross-reference what they say with other videos and you'll see that what they say is dishonest.

You can see here, that frame-rate is section is hidden near the end of the video and it's one of the shortest sections and of course the segment they show is all 30 fps and they of course don't show any series s footage, but they specifically say it holds 30 FPS "flawlessly".

"It does reach this target flawlessly in my experience with virtually zero hiccups - it runs at 30fps and 30fps is exactly what you'll get from start to finish."

Now watch this video

Here it drops to 21 fps for example

I just used these videos because they were already posted on N4G and Analista De Bits it above questioning about legitimacy, but you can find other people who will also show that the game drops frames regularly, especially on series s.

Petebloodyonion5h ago

OMG! You caught them Lying hard because the game frame dips from time to time to 29 frames per second and at one point it drops for flash at 21 FPS.
Clearly, they are trying to hide something and the 99% of the time that the game holds 30 frames doesn't mean squats in a saying with VIRTUALLY Zero hiccups.

As you can see by the several comments in the video you posted people are venting their anger about how well the Serie S is holding up and how well the game is running across the board

But I guess MS probably paid the users to Shill for MS also since it's your narrative
By the way, let me inform you that 87% of Steam users who got this game are recommending it!
Must be shilled too right?

darthv724h ago

You're trying too hard... John enjoyed the game and stated as much in his testing.

Einhander19724h ago(Edited 4h ago)


OMG! You caught them Lying hard because the game frame dips from time to time to 29 frames per second and at one point it drops for flash at 21 FPS.

I did catch them lying, thanks for noticing.

The problem isn't me. The problem is that you're O.K. with it because they are lying in a way that supports your personal opinion.


Get mad at me because I catch them being dishonest? I'm the bad guy, not the people who are actually lying. Man, the world we live in today is absolutely backwards, it's the bizarro timeline...

If I wanted to take the time I could show you that this isn't the exception, they constantly lie and mislead people in their videos.

HulstWholeSlate3h ago(Edited 3h ago)

But you’d be fine if it was a PlayStation Studios game they were reviewing…

Einhandler is triggered. Can’t handle an Xbox game getting praise. 🤡

Petebloodyonion1h ago(Edited 1h ago)

Have you considered that perhaps John didn't have the same exact experience to Analista?
Was the game played from a freshly rebooted Xbox?
Was the game played from a Quick Play resume stated?
How many games were in a suspended state on each box?

You know 0 of these variables that can affect performance.
Yet you're here calling fraud despite no validation because it suits your hate for Xbox and you can't stand that this game seems to review well.

And you're right about one thing This video supports my opinion that I should continue to thrust Digital Foundry over someone who's motivated by hate since videos like this exist:

Another Xbox shill like Digital Foundry since there 0 frame drop in a 15-minute vid.

Einhander197259m ago


"Have you considered that perhaps John didn't have the same exact experience to Analista?"

No, because you can find plenty of other people on youtube and twitter reporting the same thing.

"Was the game played from a freshly rebooted Xbox?"

Is xbox that crappy that you need to refresh it to get normal performance?

"Was the game played from a Quick Play resume stated?"
"How many games were in a suspended state on each box?"

Does xbox really have this many problems? I mean I guess I knew that quick play causes save games to be lost on a lot of games most famously BG3.

"You know 0 of these variables that can affect performance."

Yes, I agree 0 of the variables you listed are affecting performance in this case.

"Yet you're here calling fraud despite no validation because it suits your hate for Xbox and you can't stand that this game seems to review well."

Yes, they were lying and I called them out for it. Anything else would be calling Analista De Bits a liar and I fully trust them, and again, you can watch other peoples videos about FPS problems for the game. And again, this isn't a one off thing with DF, I have pointed other things they have said that weren't true in the past.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 59m ago
OptimusDK7h ago

Incredible graphics..this is finally next gen graphics. It’s an experience more than a game. You can fault it or accept it and embrace what it gives you. It’s like Sony 1886.

PrinceOfAnger7h ago

- Takes advantage of everything UE5 offers
- Final game 'lives up to the lofty expectations' of the 2019 reveal
- Character rendering sets new standards and nearly resembles movie sequences with actual actors
- Leverages Unreal's Meta Human 5 to bypass the uncanny valley feel
- DF were left guessing whether some cut-scenes were in-game or real life footage (photo mode shows they're all real time)
- Character detail and how light / specular etc reflect on it praised
- A lot of the visual make up is tied to the post-process effects
- No option to disable things like CA, DoF etc but it's all suitable to the games presentation
- Soft filmic image quality and wider FoV praised

Resolution and Visuals:
- DRS 1296 to 1440p (w/ black bars 964 to 1070p). Series S will be covered in separate video
- 'Not sure if adding more pixels would make a difference to the filmic quality'

UE5 Features:
- Lumen is used extensively for direct and in-direct lighting, a lot of real time changes and shadows etc all update accordingly
- 'Phenomenal stuff'
- Lumen does a better job than traditional real time lighting system for indirectly lit areas like under ramps etc
- Lumen reflections used in combination with SSR for water bodies. Some water bodies can show SSR artifacts when moving camera
- 'Anyone looking at the game in motion will be impressed even if they do not understand the technical reasons'
- Unreal's fog is used effectively, fog lights up with light sources and runs at high quality
- Water effects and waves are praised. ' Absolutely stunning'

- Nanite is extensively used and eliminates visible pop-in even during scene transitions
- Minimal repetition or tiling, uses photo-grammatory
- Some assets like tree branches can show low resolution when zoomed in with photo mode, however

- Fine shadow detail is retained even when zooming extremely in thanks to Unreal's Virtual Shadow Maps
- Shadow quality is not always perfect and can show cracks in some instances but very consistent by and large
- Not the first UE5 game to use all these features, but by and far the best looking game to do so.

- 30 FPS but the performance is locked and never dropped in John's testing on Series X
- DF tested the game on their Series X - similar - PC to see how much performance could be gained over 30
- 4K with DRS, they were able to stay locked at 30 FPS on High
- DRS 1440p with 60 FPS target sees game play at high 50s with more drops in cut-scenes
- DF thinks based on this test, SX can do 60 FPS with a more aggressive DRS target
- However, PC version can show massive frame time stutters that the Xbox version does not in the same areas
- DF summary: 60 FPS is theoretically possible, but for a stable 60 they might need to drop settings a lot

- Headphones are needed for Binaural audio effect that the game uses extensively
- DF thinks it is 'incredibly engaging'

Trailer Comparison:
- They compare the Giant fight trailer with the same area in the final game
- Final game has lesser lens distortion and difference in how the flame is lit
- The flames felt more 'fluid' in the demo versus the final game, otherwise no difference in the segment noted

- DF thinks Ninja Theory 'reached their goal'
- Praise the polish, presentation etc.

Obscure_Observer6h ago

Excellent work from Ninja Theory to get the Series X to finally flex it´s 12TF muscles to the max!

Thanks for the summary, @PrinceOfAnger.


PrinceOfAnger5h ago

After all 60fps is possible on series x with tweaking the graphics settings! :)

Lightning773h ago

They hate those facts very much lol.

darthv727h ago

If they achieved this level of quality their first time using UE5... I can't wait to see what their next game is going to look like.

PhillyDonJawn5h ago

Remember the trailer release and ppl didn't think it was insane footage cause it looked too good

Tedakin25m ago

Yeah the part with the giant in the cave they showed a while back is in the game and looks as good, as seen in the video.