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  • PrayForDeath - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    There seems to be a bug with the iPhone version as it's running at a much lower resolution than the phone's native resolution. Running the game on an iPad Air (similar hardware) gives a much higher res (not native ipad res though) and as a result the text looks much clearer. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    I'll keep that in mind and if they release an update I'll post an update about it. That would explain the rampant aliasing and the low resolution HUD. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=6d2qNbHOSc4

    There's an iPad Air and iPhone 5s video comparison which does suggest the iPad Air version looks better. Given the similarity of the GPU, it most likely is an iPhone 5s bug.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Maybe TDP limited on iPhone? Reply
  • liahos1 - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    looks horrible. this game actually runs pretty decently on baytrail devices Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Considering that the next iPhone is roughly a month away, I wonder how well that would handle this game. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Since it would still be limited to 2GB of storage, it may not end up looking any better (even if the dev wanted to improve the assets for it). I think that's something Apple should address, to get more serious games like this. Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    First they need to get rid of the stupid 16GB SKU because it's useless, even with a 2GB app size limit. $700 product with 16GB storage. Blows my mind. Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Various things like AA and higher resolutions don't explicitly need more content and can make the game look better. The iPhone screen shots do have some noticeable aliasing so this would be a quick win in terms of image quality.

    It'll pay off to increase the asset quality due to resolution increases at a certain point. Considering this came out on consoles back in the day, it wouldn't surprise me if those assets were used reduce the download size.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Antialiasing is quite bandwidth driven as far as I know, and that's something these mobile devices are still struggling with. High bandwidth at low power is hard. Also don't PowerVR GPUs use their pixel shaders instead of dedicated ROPs for those operations? That could be a bottleneck, using them for both things. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    The 2GB limit is the compressed App Store download limit, but I believe apps can download content post-install without limit. Hopefully 2K will offer an optional high-resolution texture pack in game for A8-devices. Making it DLC has the advantage of not taking up space for owners of devices which can't make use of it anyways. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Wouldn't it have been better (or more fair) to compare the iOS visuals to PS3/XBox 360? Because next to the PC, they look... well, terrible. It's been 7 years since the original game was released, I guess we'll need at least another 3 before we can hope for similar quality visuals on a mobile device. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    I would but I don't have a PS3 or 360 on hand. From what I remember there wasn't a lot of work put into making the PC version look better anyway, there's just some DX10 effects for the most part. Reply
  • botijo - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    You could dig into the Digital Foundry archive. However, it is safe to assume the console versions run at sub 720p resolution. They might or might not use any method for anti-aliasing, specially fast ones like FXAA.
    There are just too many jaggies for my liking on the lighthouse image.
    Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    1280x720 no AA for Xbox. 1209x680 + blur filter for PS3. Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    The limitation to run in a Apple A6 and not a A5X seems like a very artificial one.
    We have 1GB RAM in both sides, a SGX 543MP3 in A6 and a (lower clocked) SGX 543MP4 in A5X, so there's really not much of a difference in graphics capabilities.

    To be honest, the game doesn't look very good at all. BayTrail devices can run the original Bioshock for windows with quite a bit better visuals and they score lower than the iPhone 5S/iPad Air in benchmarks.
    Also, have you checked Killzone Mercenary for the PS Vita? With a weaker GPU (SGX 543MP4 @ 200MHz I think) it looks way better than this.

    Maybe it's this 2GB limit you spoke of. AFAIK, Android doesn't have that limitation so perhaps an Android version would look better.
    Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Swift is 2-3x faster than the Cortex A9s in the A5X. Games don't just run on the GPU. I actually tried it on an iPad 3 because it does install and launch on old devices, they're just not supported. Frame rate was pretty bad. Reply
  • HeCtiC - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    I'm actually wondering why didn't you just compare BioShock with something like the Infinity Blade series, which is actually quite handy because on the exact same hardware an iPad 3 for instance, it not only runs great, but also allows you to see the evolution in code/3D engine.
    The problem with bioshock is just that it's a rehash of old code... A reverse console port if you wil, and a botched one at that.
    So Brandon, not only is it unnecessary to "wonder if with Metal it would run faster, what IS necessary is to analyze if it's a proper port, which indeed it isn't.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    The Cortex A9 CPUs in the A5X are also much slower than the A6. Reply
  • BMNify - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Brandon, hope you review some more games on Baytrail tablets as they are going for very cheap price and will definitely look better and will also have loads of old games to choose from.

    In Smartphones, Halo Spartan Assault is a must play game, you can play it on any windows phone and even the above mentioned Baytrail tablets, all with just a single purchase from windows store or windows phone store as it is a universal windows app/game :)
    Reply
  • Klimax - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    It is also on Steam. Reply
  • Morawka - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    2.5 GB when installed.... Apple needs to lower it's nand upgrade fee's, especially if mobile gaming is going to take off on a iphone with no external storage and high prices for NAND Reply
  • lefty2 - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Looks like the limitations are quite bad - only works on A6/A7 devices and no dynamic shadows. The problem is they are using the unreal engine, which is basically a engine that's primarily designed for PCs. It's actually possible to get good graphics even on older iOS devices, but you really need a engine that's written from the ground up for the PowerVR architecture. Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Great review. I look forward to more game reviews. I do have a question however - could the lighting effects (being brighter) be intentional as it's on a LCD screen/platform (I've noticed over time dark scenes don't render well on iPad games - it just looks washed out, cause it's dark, can't quite make things out, so I turn up the brightness). Do those scenes look similar in terms of the lack of shadows when rendered offscreen? Any noticeable FPS lag/drops?

    Great job, keep up the good work
    Reply
  • DIYEyal - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    After seeing this, my first reaction is: Would you kindly.. make an android version. Reply
  • mpokwsths - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Yeahh. There is a bug in iOS devices. Actually their whole existence is a bug. Oua ha ha. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Glad to see this article! I'm always curious how mobile stuff compares...quite obviously this is impressive from a certain perspective, but not even close to 2005 console/PC tech.

    I hope this hits Vita where I'd actually buy it. Not 100% sure how Vita's hardware would fair. It's got in some ways a bit more and in some ways a bit less GPU than an iPhone 5/5c, BUT it also has dedicated video RAM and a super wide (by mobile standards) memory interface to it. Also lets developers code closer to the metal.

    Seems better suited for Android even, given things like Nvidia's Shield! Still, I'll certainly not complain about a REAL game getting a solid port to ANY platform!

    Regarding mobile games...don't forget that PSP was out the entire time DS was, and while it's basically a mobile PS2 (actually a bit more powerful according to one of the best devs for it), it's an entire generation past and utterly destroys a DS. Things like the two Syphoon Filter games look and play fantastically.

    Interesting that someone on here mentioned Bioshock actually runs okay on Baytrail/Atom 2... I soooo want to get a real Windows tablet...
    Reply
  • sorten - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    I wonder what the market will be like for 7 year old ports? Obviously some will buy it for the novelty, but that's a lot of money compared to buying bundles on Steam.

    I'm personally not interested in the phone option. The on screen controls are distracting and there just isn't enough screen real estate. FPS games are annoying enough with the clunky console controllers, but having to press the screen to perform actions would be much worse.

    I could see playing these on the Surface Pro with an attached keyboard and mouse, but then you won't need to bother waiting for ports.
    Reply
  • blzd - Friday, August 29, 2014 - link

    Interesting comparison. Thanks for this. Reply

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