Halo Infinite Season 2, the patch analyzed by Digital Foundry

The new patch was analyzed by Digital Foundry

Halo Infinite it was released in a less than perfect condition, with animation issues, frame-pacing issues and additional issues in cut scenes. Some of these have been fixed after launch, but it is with the release of the Season 2 that many long-standing flaws have finally been fixed. Digital Foundry took a look at the fixes made by 343 Industries up PC And Xbox Series X / Swhich relate to animations, cut scenes and graphics modes, and identified some issues with frame-pacing, v-sync And VRR which unfortunately still persist.

The changes brought about in the Halo Infinite patch

First of all Halo Infinite it makes a much better first impression on PC, X Series And S Seriesby correcting long-standing problems with the prerendered cutscenes of Halo Infinite. After the patch, the colors and black levels are now correct and the pre-rendered video sequence is reproduced with correct frame-pacing, thus giving the impression of being much smoother and more polished. It might not seem like a big deal, but some sequences cost a lot of money to make, and it’s central to the game’s initial storytelling and the fact that it looks the way it did at launch is a mystery.

Even the playback of the deleted scenes of Halo Infinitea problem that Digital Foundry had highlighted before launch has finally been fixed. This is a strange problem: even though the game was constantly running a 60fps or 120fps, the actual movement within the cutscenes was very jerky and very annoying, giving the illusion of a much lower level of performance. This fix dramatically improves the visual quality of all cutscenes and goes hand in hand with minor fixes like preventing lights from flickering when flying out for the first open world mission. That said, one problem still remains: facial animations of all kinds still play at 30fpswhich did not happen in the footage of pre-release around 2020. Hopefully, this problem can also be addressed in a future release, so that cutscenes can have the look they deserve.

The problems of frame-pacing and others

The trade-off between image quality and frame-rate works well indoors, especially in multiplayer Halo Infinite where they reach 120fpsbut the open world sections of the game’s campaign run at 70-90fps. Frame-rate drops can also occur in moments of action or during fast moving, but it is clear that the mode offers significantly higher frame-rates than the a mode. 60fps.

There X Series it also provides a modality a 30 fps from Halo Infinitewhich limits the game’s frame rate to 30 fps to ensure the highest possible internal resolution at any given time. This mode still uses the VRS, but it is less noticeable due to the higher base resolution. In practice, however, this mode does not offer a huge visual difference to the a mode 60fps and halving the frame rate deprives the game of a certain level of fluidity and responsiveness.

The a 30fps from Halo Infinite also marks the return of our old nemesis: the incorrect frame-pacing. Frames are not delivered at regular intervals, so persistent frame-time spikes occur throughout the game that break the stability the mode seeks to achieve, ultimately making it reductive. Unfortunately, the a 30 fps from the X Series it’s not the only one with frame-pacing issues. In short, any mode that limits the frame-rate below the refresh rate of the TV or monitor has the same problem as the A mode. 60fps on a display 4K to 120Hzwhich actually looks worse than that a 60Hzwhich should never happen.

This problem affects all consoles Xbox and the PCwhile on the latter there is still the bug of v-sync causing small and regular frame-time spikes, a problem we’ve been reporting since last summer’s flighting process. One might expect that using a variable refresh rate (VRR) solves the problem, but unfortunately it does not behave as it should at the moment.