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#1 Posted : Saturday, November 14, 2020 3:18:32 AM(UTC)
I'm sure most of us have seen the Digital Foundry analysis, and much as I love what those people do there are definitely places where developers should ignore certain bits of advice.

First the subject of Motion Blur.
If anything is going to be changed we should add the three levels of Motion Blur settings (Off, Short, Long) to the options menu, but just cranking it up to "Long" would be horrible.
Personally this is a big deal for me because I always play Forza with my Samsung Q8FN running motion interpolation ("Game Motion Plus" which only incurs 28ms total input lag from the display), and the interpolation actually works best with no motion blur at all, so adding the option to turn it all the way "Off" would be fine, otherwise it should be left as-is on "Short".

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion.
Every time I try turning this setting on I cannot see any difference in the overall presentation of the game. It's a miracle anyone found a screenshot where you can actually make an A-B comparison because in 99.99% of circumstances it just does nothing and while driving no-one will ever be able to tell if it is or isn't enabled.
SSAO makes near enough to zero visual impact on the game it makes no sense to turn it on, and leaving the effect turned off is the correct choice for Series X.

As for Night Shadows, I'm a bit torn, it is a really neat effect, but it is also very processor intensive. If there is enough headroom right now that Night Shadows would have little to no impact on performance then go ahead and turn it on but I wouldn't want the framerate to be dipping more than 1-2 fps because of it.

Driver Animations are definitely the one thing that does need to be fixed if the driver is being animated at 30fps right now.

If I'm going to add one thing not mentioned in the video it would be Traffic Pop-In.
Even playing on PC with maximum geometry settings the cars pop in at a fairly short distance, at times I do feel like it affects the experience of weaving through traffic at high speed. My Series X hasn't arrived yet and I couldn't tell from the videos if this has been adjusted already, but compared to the maximum draw distance on PC I'd want the draw distance for traffic turned up by at least 25%. I'd guess that increasing traffic render distance by 50% should be just about ideal, though I don't know how much that would affect performance.


As always thanks a ton for everything you folks at Playground Games have done, Forza Horizon as a series is one of my all time most-played games and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Edited by user Saturday, November 14, 2020 3:25:20 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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#2 Posted : Saturday, November 14, 2020 12:43:06 PM(UTC)
I don't have much of an opinion about motion blur beyond its necessity was greatly needed at 30 FPS, with that being said at 60 FPS such a heavy implementation is not needed because twice the frames are being displayed therefore there's less data that needs to be interpolated.

SSAO is incredibly important and provides granularity between objects/assets and the environment. It's an entire contact shadow and light defusal shading layer missing from the game now. Objects look out of place, they lack contrasting depth and appear to just float in the environment. Suggesting this be kept off is asinine, it's an industry standard feature now and the absence of it takes us back to pre-Crysis 2007 rendering. This even applies to the leaves in trees and the grass on the ground, it's everywhere, in every aspect of the image you see..

There's no feasible reason that night shadows didn't make the cut. Given this is now a native Series X port we have 2.5x the GPU grunt relative to the One X because it's not backward compatible and can actually take advantage of the RDNA architectural uplifts. Added to that we now have considerably higher memory bandwidth and a CPU easily 3-4x as capable as the Jaguar cores in the One X. Dynamic night shadows make a large difference to the believability of the scene and atmosphere of the game, them being absent sticks out like a sore thumb now, and performatively speaking there's no reason for them to not be included.

30 FPS animations on the in game player characters is just baffling.

The reality is the game was ported from a baseline of the 60 FPS mode on the One X and then bits and pieces were upgraded while certain things were left as is. This was the wrong decision, and while it has made some things better it has made the overall product and graphical presentation inferior to an upgraded Xbox One from 2017.

This isn't an upgrade, this is a misappropriation of resources.

Edited by user Saturday, November 14, 2020 12:47:46 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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#3 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 6:06:18 AM(UTC)
I'm not sure why any compromises need to be made since X1X quality mode. I'd rather see a sub 4k resolution than settings getting dialed down.



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#4 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 6:16:43 AM(UTC)
I agree. I'm not sure why any compromises need to be made since X1X quality mode. I'd rather see a sub 4k dynamic resolution than settings getting dialed down.

But yeah dynamic shadows need to return. Motion blur must be off or give us the choice. The 30fps animations are likely to be patched, this must be an oversight.

I'm sure the Digital Foundry criticisms will be at least examined by the devs. I appreciate the hard lock to 60fps, I hope they don't lose sight of that target for the sake of SSAO, but if it can be added without frame drops than why not?

The main thing is the game breaking issues with wheel support. At least for me, this priority.



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#5 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 7:59:27 AM(UTC)
I'm no expert in these matters, but I'm thinking the shadows should be the priority. Either way I agree that very little, if any, quality compromises should be made compared to the X's 4K Native mode. I think the Series X is more than capable and hopefully in time they can put back most, if not all of the same settings we had in the X's Native 4K mode in addition to keeping the solid 60 fps locked.

That being said, I am still blown away by how the game feels and looks overall on the Series X. I feel like it is a very nice upgrade and certain graphical details like draw distances seem better to me. Overall it looks and feels better to me but I'm sure they can do better and hope to see further improvements down the line. They likely had a tight deadline now and couldn't do it perfectly at launch, I just hope they keep working on it.
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#6 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 9:21:10 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: DynamiteCopX Go to Quoted Post

...
SSAO is incredibly important and provides granularity between objects/assets and the environment. It's an entire contact shadow and light defusal shading layer missing from the game now. Objects look out of place, they lack contrasting depth and appear to just float in the environment. Suggesting this be kept off is asinine, it's an industry standard feature now and the absence of it takes us back to pre-Crysis 2007 rendering. This even applies to the leaves in trees and the grass on the ground, it's everywhere, in every aspect of the image you see.
...


SSAO has some merit in theory but the application has been grossly abused since its inception.
In real life the effect of Ambient Occlusion is so incredibly subtle that it perceptually does not exist in almost all scenarios.
Shading in reality almost exclusively consists of hard shadows.
Hold your hand over a table and watch for the distance where "Ambient Occlusion" starts to take effect, you only start to see gradient in the shadow when your hand is a few inches above the surface, and the overall effect isn't strongly noticeable until your hand is so close to the table you have to peek underneath to see it happening.
Now go try to find examples of Ambient Occlusion around buildings or objects like a park bench, the only time you will see anything other than hard shadows is on a fully overcast day when the environment is actually lit evenly from all angles (for example, the shadow underneath a car will grow as the weather becomes more overcast), but then as soon as you have enough cloud for rain it becomes too dark to see ambient shading.
So to be realistic, there is a window of opportunity between "Sunny" and "Rain" where the environment is just heavily overcast and then SSAO could be enabled for full realism. The rest of the time Ambient Occlusion practically does not exist.
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#7 Posted : Sunday, November 15, 2020 9:54:18 AM(UTC)
I think that Series X will suffer if FH4 is not better on it.
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#8 Posted : Wednesday, November 18, 2020 4:02:51 PM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: AquaPainter168 Go to Quoted Post
I think that Series X will suffer if FH4 is not better on it.


Well FH4 is a 2 year old game, I think the damage is limited. I upgraded to Series X from One X day one so I'm disappointed but its not like I'm going to jump ship to Playstation and away from Forza, or that I don't believe the new "Forza Motorsport" and hopefully a future Horizon won't be amazing when they are built from the ground up for Series X.

If there are people smarter than I who waited to hear what FH4 looked like on Series X before pulling the upgrade or new purchase trigger I suppose this will reduce sales, but that segment has to be vanishingly small... which sadly is the exact reason why Playground went the cheaper route and had a 3rd party update/port the game and we have a mess on our hands. I'm upset about the graphics but my kid's expensive driving seat and wheel plain doesn't work on the Series X update (they do acknowledge the issue) and that is really, really bad.
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#9 Posted : Thursday, November 19, 2020 1:23:35 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: canyonblue737 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: AquaPainter168 Go to Quoted Post
I think that Series X will suffer if FH4 is not better on it.


Well FH4 is a 2 year old game, I think the damage is limited. I upgraded to Series X from One X day one so I'm disappointed but its not like I'm going to jump ship to Playstation and away from Forza, or that I don't believe the new "Forza Motorsport" and hopefully a future Horizon won't be amazing when they are built from the ground up for Series X.

If there are people smarter than I who waited to hear what FH4 looked like on Series X before pulling the upgrade or new purchase trigger I suppose this will reduce sales, but that segment has to be vanishingly small... which sadly is the exact reason why Playground went the cheaper route and had a 3rd party update/port the game and we have a mess on our hands. I'm upset about the graphics but my kid's expensive driving seat and wheel plain doesn't work on the Series X update (they do acknowledge the issue) and that is really, really bad.


Well I'm one who was going to buy series X but has changed his mind.
Rank: Driver's Permit
#10 Posted : Thursday, November 19, 2020 3:32:56 PM(UTC)
I finally got my Series X and finally updated Forza (slow ISP) and Night Shadows are definitely working, good job Panic Button.

From what I can tell there are no splotchy shadows under everything so SSAO appears to have been appropriately left off.
In an interesting turn of events, it looks like the Global Illumination system is doing everything I could have wanted in terms of ambient shading. This isn't just splotches of black surrounding every object on the ground, it's shading that reacts appropriately in sunlight.
If you park your car close to a wall on the shaded side of a house you'll see the wall darken with proximity to the car, but park on the sunlit side and you only see hard shadows. The effect also applies to trees and dynamic objects like loose rocks, so it's not limited by object type.
This kind of thing really shows that SSAO has always been a misguided attempt at a lighting effect that should be handled by more comprehensive systems.
Anyway, the lighting in Horizon 4 is absolutely gorgeous (I especially love Subsurface Scattering in foliage).

First Person Driver Animations appear to be 60fps, I don't know if that ever was a problem, but at this point the only thing left to fix is Third Person Driver Animations running at 30fps.

I can still see traffic pop-in so it doesn't look like that setting was adjusted but it's really hard to tell. Given the nature of open world games I doubt it would be possible to totally solve the issue (rendering traffic over a mile out would consume a lot of resources).
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#11 Posted : Saturday, November 21, 2020 4:55:06 PM(UTC)
This is an extremely poor port of the game.

With the huge upgrade over the Xbox One X in every single way possible, I expected better. There is no reason why the game has been downgraded in some areas, it's simply inexcusable.

SSAO is a must. This has been an industry standard for so long now that it's quite frankly baffling it was left out of the game.

Night shadows being cut in some areas is also extremely poor.

We desperately need an option to turn off motion blur. Why it's locked in the Series X port is beyond me.

Finally, the pop-in is and draw distance pretty horrendous as well, especially for traffic.

Honestly, this is just plain bad in a lot of areas and really needs work done to it. It's not optimised well at all.

Rank: S-Class Racing License
#12 Posted : Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:54:24 PM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: EpicEvan777 Go to Quoted Post
This is an extremely poor port of the game.

With the huge upgrade over the Xbox One X in every single way possible, I expected better. There is no reason why the game has been downgraded in some areas, it's simply inexcusable.

SSAO is a must. This has been an industry standard for so long now that it's quite frankly baffling it was left out of the game.

Night shadows being cut in some areas is also extremely poor.

We desperately need an option to turn off motion blur. Why it's locked in the Series X port is beyond me.

Finally, the pop-in is and draw distance pretty horrendous as well, especially for traffic.

Honestly, this is just plain bad in a lot of areas and really needs work done to it. It's not optimised well at all.



Some of it appears to have leaked into the One X version, as I'm getting poor draw distance on vegetation and objects, and at least one major instance of background pop-up. Others have reported it. Unfortunately I can't exactly roll back and compare, but it's suspicious.
May the forced induction be with you.

Alice >>>>>>>>>> Keira
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#13 Posted : Monday, November 23, 2020 5:08:25 PM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: NightDriver7800 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: EpicEvan777 Go to Quoted Post
This is an extremely poor port of the game.

With the huge upgrade over the Xbox One X in every single way possible, I expected better. There is no reason why the game has been downgraded in some areas, it's simply inexcusable.

SSAO is a must. This has been an industry standard for so long now that it's quite frankly baffling it was left out of the game.

Night shadows being cut in some areas is also extremely poor.

We desperately need an option to turn off motion blur. Why it's locked in the Series X port is beyond me.

Finally, the pop-in is and draw distance pretty horrendous as well, especially for traffic.

Honestly, this is just plain bad in a lot of areas and really needs work done to it. It's not optimised well at all.



Some of it appears to have leaked into the One X version, as I'm getting poor draw distance on vegetation and objects, and at least one major instance of background pop-up. Others have reported it. Unfortunately I can't exactly roll back and compare, but it's suspicious.


This. Absolutely. PG / T10 / MS should be ashamed.
Rank: Driver's Permit
#14 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 1:56:05 AM(UTC)
I just have my Series X arrive yesterday, and to be honest I am a bit disappointed with Forza Horizon 4 graphics. I am PC gamer mostly having an underclocked (that is slower than factory) 1080 Ti as my GPU. On paper and according to tech press the GPU in Series X is faster, in many cases much faster (e.g. raytracing, neural network stuff), however in Forza my PC in 4K stable 60FPS looks a gen better than graphics on the Series X. The series X is a very noticeable downgrade, there is much more pop-in, the loading is not faster than on my sata SSD, and the textures, lighting and especially draw distances are a lot worse. I think if this what the series X can do, they should stick to 1440p and increase the fidelity to match PC Very high / Ultra settings or offer such option.

I will still use it as a gamepass box to play console exclusive gamepass titles, but forza will strictly remain on my PC for now.
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#15 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 10:44:07 AM(UTC)
Do we have any word from Panic Button, Playground or someone else that they acknowledge that people are unhappy with their port? This lack of communication is a bummer. Not that I expected PB to do a good job, they never have.
Rank: Racing Permit
#16 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 10:49:21 AM(UTC)
Sounds like they really dropped the ball on this, sad to hear
I was really looking forward to the next forza motorsports and a real upgraded FH4 with the series X, I had cash in had ready to pre-order what ever motorsport ultimate edition and the xbox series x as soon as they had set dates, glad I waited, I plan to hold off on a XSX until the next motorsport now as it sounds like there isn't much of an upgrade from the one x right now

So I have it straight
Pros of FH4 on Xbox Series X: faster loading times, 60fps, better resolution?
Cons: loss of dynamic shadows, ambient occlusion and some other graphics settings, pop in and draw distance not improved?

Again it sounds pretty sad the ball was dropped so badly with Forza franchise and the new xbox consoles
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#17 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 11:18:11 AM(UTC)
Nothing is loss, everything is better but you need to come from performance world.
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#18 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 7:47:49 PM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: AquaPainter168 Go to Quoted Post
I think that Series X will suffer if FH4 is not better on it.


The quality (or lack of quality) of a 3rd party next-gen enhancement on a two year old last-gen game will have very little to no effect on the success or future of the Series X console.
Rank: S-Class Racing License
#19 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 9:43:40 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: Ongrui Go to Quoted Post
Do we have any word from Panic Button, Playground or someone else that they acknowledge that people are unhappy with their port? This lack of communication is a bummer. Not that I expected PB to do a good job, they never have.


They're good at butchering cutting things down for the Switch, not uprating things for a real, powerful console.
May the forced induction be with you.

Alice >>>>>>>>>> Keira
Rank: A-Class Racing License
#20 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 9:48:25 AM(UTC)
And I am very happy with the port :D
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#21 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:16:38 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
And I am very happy with the port :D


what platform did you upgrade from and what to?

I am on a xbox one x and play on quality mode, from the videos and reviews it seems I would not see a substantial upgrade worth a $500 console
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#22 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:25:03 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: nayre33 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
And I am very happy with the port :D


what platform did you upgrade from and what to?

I am on a xbox one x and play on quality mode, from the videos and reviews it seems I would not see a substantial upgrade worth a $500 console


That's the thing. I can't speak for Turtle, but lots of people are coming from Xbox One S or even Fat version. To them, the game must look absolutely incredible. Heck, even the Series S version is a substantial upgrade. Xbox One X owners, on the other hand, won't be very impressed.

The ability to play at 4K60 with nice graphics is significant, but when every other game is a full upgrade between Series X and One X without any compromises, even badly made ports like Watch Dogs Legion and Dirt 5, I think it's right to ask Playground and Panic Button what's going on.

Edited by user Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:26:09 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

May the forced induction be with you.

Alice >>>>>>>>>> Keira
Rank: A-Class Racing License
#23 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:31:08 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: nayre33 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
And I am very happy with the port :D


what platform did you upgrade from and what to?

I am on a xbox one x and play on quality mode, from the videos and reviews it seems I would not see a substantial upgrade worth a $500 console


Yeah, but performance mode is the only real one on X1X. So I got a lot of improvements. Quality mode didn't make any sense and it's not built on that. They just used performance mode as a base line and improved it in every way - I am happy :D
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#24 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 10:32:19 AM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: NightDriver7800 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: nayre33 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
And I am very happy with the port :D


what platform did you upgrade from and what to?

I am on a xbox one x and play on quality mode, from the videos and reviews it seems I would not see a substantial upgrade worth a $500 console


That's the thing. I can't speak for Turtle, but lots of people are coming from Xbox One S or even Fat version. To them, the game must look absolutely incredible. Heck, even the Series S version is a substantial upgrade. Xbox One X owners, on the other hand, won't be very impressed.

The ability to play at 4K60 with nice graphics is significant, but when every other game is a full upgrade between Series X and One X without any compromises, even badly made ports like Watch Dogs Legion and Dirt 5, I think it's right to ask Playground and Panic Button what's going on.

Exactly. Only problem are people with PC and quality mode users.

Rank: S-Class Racing License
#25 Posted : Saturday, November 28, 2020 2:16:52 PM(UTC)
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: nayre33 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: turtleCZ Go to Quoted Post
And I am very happy with the port :D


what platform did you upgrade from and what to?

I am on a xbox one x and play on quality mode, from the videos and reviews it seems I would not see a substantial upgrade worth a $500 console


Yeah, but performance mode is the only real one on X1X. So I got a lot of improvements. Quality mode didn't make any sense and it's not built on that. They just used performance mode as a base line and improved it in every way - I am happy :D


IMO the Quality mode was the "default" experience and it does look very pretty indeed, it's one of the best looking games of the generation!

The Performance mode is an alternative for more focused players and, to Playground's credit, it still looks very nice without compromising graphics quality very much.

The new 4K60 mode builds upon that, with superior results. I think it's ok, but among reviewers there was the consensus that it could've been better, without compromises. I think that's why there have been quite a few complaints about it.

Edited by user Saturday, November 28, 2020 2:17:44 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

May the forced induction be with you.

Alice >>>>>>>>>> Keira
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