Left 4 Dead 2: demo technical analysis

Left 4 Dead 2: demo technical analysis
Along with the sequels to Assassin's Creed and Modern Warfare, Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated sequels this year for 360 users. subjected to our tests. This is the first time Digital Foundry has had the opportunity to see how the game "runs", and the overall impression is really positive.

The demo, as per definition, is a sample of what the final version will be. The download “weighs” 1.6GB and allows us to try two levels of the “The Parish” campaign, both online and in single player. As it happened in the first episode, the CPU manages the control of our three companions in the event that there are no human players to support us. The demo is a good opportunity to test the firepower of our arsenal, Molotov cocktails and combined attacks with multiple weapons. The duration of this demo version is around 20 \ 30 minutes of play.

From the technical point of view, the frame-rate is constantly solid (stable at 30FPS), and, in a similar way to the previous chapter which used the Source engine, 720p resolution is aliased. Then, to give an extra touch of cleanliness, a light filter was added that gives the whole a nice blur effect. These graphic compromises rarely work as they should, but in this case they work perfectly with the implementation of a view that is also strongly affected by motion blur.

Of course there are times when the game technically didn't convince us completely. In fact, the framerate loses a few beats when there are several transparency effects in play. While the Source engine is set to perform at the top in situations of maximum graphic impact, the use of smoke or fog puts it in a bit of a crisis, the geometric patterns that can be seen in the transparency ruin the "I see \ I do not see" effect ", Stressing the graphics engine so that this does not happen.

These seem effects of a preliminary version of the game, which are generated at a lower resolution than that of the final code, effects that we can see more on the flaming fire during the demo. It is a recurring technique, especially in PS3 titles, when the GPU capacity is at its maximum, but it is also a good loophole that can be used on any platform, with the user rarely able to find it.

If then you are curious to know how Valve worked to convert the game from the PC, the presentation held during GDC 2008 is absolutely interesting, not only for the valuable information about it but also because it explains the strategic use of an appropriate photograph.

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