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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: DF Tech Review – Amsterdam vs Reality Comparison + PS5 vs XSX Tested!

The complete tech breakdown of Infinity Ward’s much-awaited follow-up. Sporting an upgraded IW 9 engine, all consoles get a strong workout in the new campaign mode – with the Amsterdam stage being a big highlight. In fact we loved it so much we put together a comparison with real world footage – as kindly provided by Melih Korkmaz (@korkmazmelih). And beyond that? Tom covers the highs and lows in 120Hz performance on PS5, Series X and S.

Foreign few years the call of duty series hits a new technical milestone a definable moment where developers like infinity ward make a clear break from what came before and the 2019 modern warfare reboot was exactly that a game sporting a radically re-ramped engine the iw8 engine with a new lighting model updated physics materials and a streaming system for

Large-scale maps it was a breakthrough for the series and a foundation to build on fast forward three years then and its sequel modern warfare 2 lands with a huge weight of expectation to also impress the engine is updated with a new name iw9 with promises of improved water simulation ai systems plus it rolls in upgrades from last year’s call of duty vanguard

We’ve seen modern warfits whose multiplayer already thanks to the beta of course but today it’s really the campaign mode that’s the most fascinating part in fact a story mission recreating amsterdam’s canals has already turned heads thanks to its striking level of detail and today if we switch over to it now we’ve been lucky enough to receive real-life camera

Footage of the exact same area thank you all credit and thanks go to twitter user melee corkmaz for filming this and sending it our way their twitter handle is below with this in hand then of course comparisons are inevitable so just how does the in-game delivery of this area as rendered using the iw-9 engine stack up to this actual real world footage and in

More general digital foundry territory how do ps5 series x and s compare to each other with modern warfare 2 offering next-gen console support and lastly what of performance we’re all three again supports 120 hertz to mixed levels of success let’s find out it must be said modern warfare 2 story gives the iw9 engine a superb workout each mission is really a vehicle

A self-contained showcase of sorts that puts each of the engine’s new visual tricks in view in ways the multiplayer simply does not every set piece in the game escalates to in remarkable fashion from the upside down shootouts to hopping between exploding cars from dodging container units on a rocking tanker to swimming the amsterdam canals at night there’s really

Huge variety here actually the biggest highlight might just be this sniping mission it’s called recon by fire where we see the iw9 tech pushing a huge sprawling misty landscape all linearity is thrown out the window in favor of a more open-ended design so you get to choose the dialogue you choose what points to strike first you choose how to do it by stealth or all

Guns blazing it’s the classic all gilly up mission from call of duty 4 taken to a new generation in essence a brilliant reinvention with multiple ways to attack it and then well then there are certain missions which honestly just outstay their welcome modern warfare 2 tells a bleak often self-serious story but more often than not it’s set pieces at least hit the

Mark the most memorable mission visually speaking is set in amsterdam it’s a quiet story beat a moment of calm in between the game’s more bombastic action and you stroll down the red light district with every small detail here almost directly lifted from the real world the cafe names the bikes flanking the canal the road signs even the proportions of its brick

Roads the arcing bridge and the spire of the old church up ahead are precisely measured there are exceptions but the team at infinity ward uses photogrammetry to make the most real-life materials each brick each restaurant sign and translate their properties to the game engine it informs the lighting above all playing a huge role in giving true to life results

Perhaps more remarkable though is the sheer accuracy of the scale of it the rendering of amsterdam streets is such a direct literal translation of the actual thing to the centimeter almost it’s possible to compare the two directly in a one-to-one fashion and well that’s exactly what i’ve done thanks to the supplied footage i’ve lined up a real world walk across

The canal with the same route on modern warfare 2 as played on ps5 in this case no doubt switching between the two shows modern warfare 2’s successes and also its limits okay the obvious first the downsides the screen space reflections the ssr doesn’t quite hold up to scrutiny there’s a reflective sheen to brickwork across the streets in modern warfare 2 which

Shows a different weather state it’s something we aren’t matching 100 in the real footage admittedly but still ssr does have some big limits with objects in the foreground causing those reflections to sadly break up visibly and also towards the screen’s edges it’s possible on first glance though ray trace reflections obviously would of course push it much closer

To a convincing real-life results the other limits yes it’s the npcs i’m sure you’ve noticed recreating human behavior in big crowds the tourists the couples is a real challenge it’s at least attempted in modern warfare 2 except the size of the crowd is small smaller okay fair enough perhaps given the weather it’s not great for sightseeing out there then again the

Behavior of each npc is still prone to these uncanny moments some are just stood around doing nothing some have a set path around the level and some get caught on the geometry midterm so while the environment is obviously beautifully recreated the human factor the people walking over it are seemingly much harder to do justice thank you adding ray tracing and more

Npcs would help to bridge the gap then again honestly real-time rendering has to factor in the firm hardware limits on console especially in targeting 60fps with all the power in the world anything is possible and in that sense the pc release could be able to push the boundaries here putting the critiques aside though there’s much to admire in side by side comparison

The portrayal of the old church is a genuine highlight of course the detailing of the glass windows is spot on also the way the wood shutters fold out to each side of each bay window the way it’s tiled roofing curves outwards to a slight point it’s just all precisely recreated the geometry is outstanding and outside nearby the road markings the metal bollards on

The street are exactly positioned relative to the church certain details are missing like the fencing around the building but otherwise i’ve got to say it’s clearly been a labor of love for infinity war to get this area right foreign looking beyond the amsterdam level mostly modern warfare 2’s campaign focuses on pure set piece action call of duty style that is

Fast moving areas often gone in a blink of an eye too fleeting to really justify any detail on the same level actually missions based on water combining both swimming and shooting if you can believe it do get a bit of a push this time around so the early wet work commission shows the new water tech of iw9 especially letting you dive into a simulated water body using

It as a form of stealth almost as you take down the guards on its own the ripples the caustics as the water hits the bay are well realized and even later missions have you shooting at guards while floating downstream in a wild set piece but again ssr is very much in place on console with all the expected breakup and reflections over the top so the end results water

Where it appears has a genuine impact on the mechanics but on a superficial visual level they don’t really quite impress as much as they could on a side note the pre-rendered cutscenes stitching together each mission are really quite eye-opening the sheer quality of the character models in each is genuinely impressive following on from vanguard which also excelled

Here again just like vanguard though the fact these are rendered at 30 frames per second with uneven frame pacing is a bit of a shame but the detailing the lighting of these scenes is among the best i’ve seen in recent years foreign s between the big three consoles ps5 series x and s are a bit of a footnote at this point i will admit much like the multiplayer beta

Tests modern warfare 2’s engine setup keeps to a dynamic 4k on ps5 and series x with infrequent drops in pixel count under visually there are just no differences between the two premium machines otherwise in shadows textures everything else it’s a direct match and then of course we have a dynamic 1440p on series s with the pixel count dropping on last count to 2250

By 1440 lowest scaling just on that horizontal axis there actually series s holds up reasonably well pitting it up against the series x version there are only minor tweaks and settings grass density and shadow quality drop slightly if we zoom into certain parts of a level these are minor details honestly but worth a mention from a visual standpoint all three are very

Robust though for the best image quality you know where to go perhaps then the more intriguing part of the comparison is performance at 60fps and beyond that at 120 fps the 60 hertz tests up first and there’s really no story in that ps5 or series x versions both hand in a rock solid 60fps the wet works mission the car chases all of it fly through no problem for

The entirety of the campaign there’s really only been one specific moment which broaches a drop on either console so on series x it’s this bit with the bridge collapsing pulling us down to the 50 fps line with some screen tearing in tow i really had to dig deep to find this although i will say a repeat test playing all over again had the scene run with zero issue

No drops on the 60fps at all on series x for the rest of play there’s barely a blip throughout every mission and so it goes on the ps5 release as well the only distinction between the two is ps5 is fully vsynced while i drop on xbox series x as rare as it is to find will be accompanied by screen tearing right at the top of the screen being optimized as a native

App on each is a benefit and for ps5 again that bridge sequence flies through at the full 60. zero issues in my playthrough on either machine then which is fantastic news especially for the prospects of the 120 fps mode turning to the series s release at 60fps this is where we see performance take a bigger knock series s really gets tested in the campaign much

More so than the multiplayer modes so for example the wet work mission right at the start has constant screen tearing as you wade through the water performance is at 50 to 60 fps so sadly falling short of the perfect lock-on premium consoles and while later missions run perfectly at 60fps mostly you’ll spot big open areas especially in sniping missions or sieges

Eventually dropping series s again to the 50 fps mark the very worst points that would be the bridge collapse sequence even at range we’re seeing a huge drop down to the 30 fps line here which is pretty exceptional the overwhelming verdict here is series s wasn’t as let’s say much of a priority as the other two machines in tightening performance and it does pose

A question over how the even less capable last gen machines hold up here with all that in mind how does the 120 hertz mode run inevitably ps5 and series x have a big challenge to rise to at double the refresh and it’d be a stretch to say either nail it perfectly for the opening missions like the tutorial areas at night for example were looking more so at 100 to

120 fps realistically and then when we turn to the taxing wetworks mission it’s much lower on each still pushing us closer to the mid 80s region so the blunt summary we only usually get the full 120 fps while moving through simpler interior areas stealth missions most of the open field missions like recon by fire fall very short of the mark though vrr should save

The day on both ps5 and series x there foreign it’s a decent turnout and a range of 80 to 120 fps is still perfectly fine the variance between frame times here just isn’t as radical as say a sub60 fps reading would be and so drops in practice don’t have so much of an effect on motion as for series s well here the 120 hertz mode is too much of a high target to

Fully max out given it’s limited for teraflop gpu profile several missions run between 60 and 80 fps in reality and that really should be the expectation going in in fact for a good perspective on how all three consoles stack up here’s a three-way split all running at 120 fps mostly we’re walking falls to get the same rendering load but it paints a clear picture

Of relative performance without a doubt xbox series x here runs with a marginal lead of a ps5 in most scenes by around 5 fps overall though there are points where they swap the lead position the drawback for series x is it runs with screen tearing as we’ve mentioned though for clarity in the graph i’ve kept the tail line readings off in this case likewise series

S constant screen tearing and that overall frame rate line falls far far below the other two machines typically the margin being 30 fps below xbox series x and if we turn to the amsterdam mission the gap widens even more between the xbox machines to as much as 40 fps overall the advances in tech for modern warfare 2 are perhaps less revolutionary than the first

2019 reboots iterative is the fairer word i think much like the advances in call of duty vanguard where much of the work in developing a robust scalable engine had already been done beforehand this year modern warfare 2 still leaves us with a few serious highlights obviously the amsterdam area forces a welcome change of pace for one a slower moment to soak in the

Team’s technical prowess also a rare excuse to pace around one spot to be given a tour of sorts of infinity wars tech that it gets so close on first glance anyway to the real thing bodes well for the series as we get stuck into this generation of course modern warfare 2 is built with older ps4 and xbox one systems in mind and so the knock-on benefit for the surplus

In power on ps5 and series x is seeing the same game run at higher resolutions and up to 120 fps even if they do force short of the full target again the only console really falling short there is series s though at 60fps it’s a fine way to enjoy the game we’ll be back with more coverage and certainly for the upcoming warzone 2 components but for today that about

Wraps up our look at the game if you did enjoy this video feel free to like or subscribe and don’t forget to hit that bell for instant notifications as any new video adds to get a high quality version of this video check out our patron at digitalfoundry.net and to get in touch directly just use twitter as usual but for me for now thanks for watching foreign

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: DF Tech Review – Amsterdam vs Reality Comparison + PS5 vs XSX Tested! By Digital Foundry