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Trine 2: Director's Cut on Wii U Outperforms Rival Consoles

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A small win for Wii U graphics obsessives

Trine 2: Director’s Cut has been a high profile launch download on the Wii U eShop, due to its popularity on other formats and eye-catching visuals. Prior to release day it drew a lot of attention for the latter reason, in that it showed off the fact that Wii U was bringing Nintendo into the HD age, and that download titles were coming to the virtual platform that would emphasize that very point.

As developer Frozenbyte made clear to us in our developer interview for Trine 2, its goal with the Wii U version was to include graphical assets and content not possible with the same level of success on other systems, apart from PC. Those were positive words indeed, especially when considered alongside some recent negativity with regards to Wii U's graphical capability.

The Digital Foundry team at Eurogamer has now put these claims to the test, and it could be the first case of its Wii U/Xbox 360/PS3 technical comparisons that has actually declared the Nintendo system's version to perform the best.

In all home console cases the image outputs at 720p, with a solid framerate locked at 30FPS (frames per second), with just the PS3 showing the occasional but barely noticeable dip. The PC version that was tested on a moderately powerful rig outstripped all three major consoles, but the Wii U does include — as Frozenbyte had suggested previously — assets from the PC build that didn't make it to the Sony or Microsoft platforms.

Other refinements to the PC game are more subtle - such as the use of higher-quality normal map compression, increased water complexity and splash effects - but these elements work well with the inclusion of higher-resolution textures to deliver more detailed imagery on screen in a way which emphasises the lush look of the environments. Impressively, these elements also form part of the visual package on the Wii U. On top of that the PC game also adopts PhysX enhancements, which mildly improve the quality and scope of destructible objects and surfaces - something that we see on Wii U too.

A disappointment is noted with a "washed-out" image on Wii U, despite the graphical fidelity, that was resolved with some adjustments to brightness settings; this is apparently something noticed by various tech-heads on sites such as NeoGaf, but could be fixed in a future update. Digital Foundry's overall conclusion of the Wii U version, in comparison to that of Xbox 360 and PS3, was undoubtedly positive.

The Wii U version also deserves credit, of course. The game not only features many of the graphical upgrades found on the PC, but does so while delivering better image quality than the 360 and PS3 without compromising on the solid frame-rate. The more washed-out image is a concern compared to the darker look of the other versions, but only for those with HDTVs that don't come with an option to select full or limited range RGB levels over HDMI (usually called HDMI black level), in which changing this setting to low (and lowering the brightness in the game's menu) solves the problem. However, the bottom line is that we shouldn't have to work so hard to get the best look from the game and we're a little surprised that Trine 2 shipped like this - we noted several complaints about the lighting on NeoGAF, but our contention is that the lighting model is absolutely fine, it's the gamma level that seems significantly skewed. It's a small blemish in what is a lovely-looking game, and hopefully it'll be patched up soon.

So there you have it, graphics and frame-rate fans. While many gamers will be happy to let their eyes and ears determine whether Wii U is producing attractive visuals, this represents possibly the first notable victory in an analysis focused on nitty-gritty details. Frozenbyte's effort appears to have paid off.


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User Comments (21)



Boo_Buster said:

If this game was $5 cheaper I'd get it without question, but the lame boss battles have me wondering whether (not weather) this game is worth the $20 price tag. The same applies to Little Inferno. They just seem a bit more costly than they should be, to me. Don't get me wrong though, I wouldn't even consider these games if I didn't think they were good and worthy.



WesCash said:

Good to hear. Despite what many people like to think, graphical power and performance are very important.



Savino said:

I have Trine 2 for ps3 too and I put them side to side....

Man... Wii U is way more beautifull than the ps3 version, a lot more!!!!!



Zyph said:

Shin'en's effort on Nano Assault Neo should be noted as well. Both this and Trine 2 is just so visually stunning! Sometimes you wonder how they pack in all those graphical improvements with so little time working with the hardware. Great job



AyeHaley said:

It would be weird if the Wii U was weaker than 360 and PS3...But haters gonna hate. And they keep wearing those rose-colored glasses.



LordJumpMad said:

Ok thats nice, when are we gonna see a real game on the Wii U, not shiny inde games.
As far as I can see, Nnitendo still have nothing to be proud about.
Wii U lacks a good frist party game, but Nintendo is too busy giving us gimicks.



elmobius said:

So Wii U was tested against Xbox and PS3 with Trine 2... got it.

Wii U had a version with upgraded visuals and it looks better than the ones that do not? Is that what I'm reading?

Not hating, just thinking this is somewhat of an apples vs oranges comparison (ok maybe oranges vs tangerines).



BJQ1972 said:

@elmobius frozenbyte have already said that the enhancements made to the WiiU version would need to be downscaled for the other consoles, plus they are promising further graphical improvements in the December Update.



Molotov said:

Thats Not A Victory. Its One Point For WiiU And One Point For The Competition.



Dogpigfish said:

Guess this is a good example of how brushed visuals don't matter. It's about content. This game is kind of boring.



Chunky_Droid said:

They need to stop comparing games that were made for other consoles long ago and simply ported to the Wii U.

Now when a game comes out next year and has been built from the ground up for all three consoles I'd like to see a comparison then.



WaveGhoul said:

Best way to describe Trine 2 > 'Pretty' boring.
Going by the PS3 demo, it's a visual stunner but the gameplay isn't anything special at all.



vef87 said:

Downloaded this game on the wii u its so much fun as a multi player the puzzles can be some what frustrating at times but its fun working them out as a team.



Araknie said:

I have a better solution, a TV with auto-adjustment of light. That has proven much helpful in Zombi U, every second it re-adjusts the brightness for the need and does not give away the atmosfere.

I bought that 21" TV for 120€ and it was a Toshiba so really it's not even expensive.



Aloysius_Rexford said:

Wow, this is unexpected.
Bet no one saw this coming. : P
Now everyone can actually have some faith in the console...



TheRealThanos said:

And how would you figure that?
The Wii U version tops the others so a draw is impossible.

They will stop comparing as soon as infantile fanboys/fan sites and clueless, moronic 'journalists' and/or media will stop bashing the Wii U and placing it on a graphic same-same level with current HD consoles instead of acknowledging it's (albeit modest) improvements upon said HD consoles.
That and the equally tiresome (and infinitely stupid and useless) comparisons of Wii U ports of CPU based games, which besides some minor graphical updates (may) lack a steady framerate and/or have some (hardly noticeable) glitches because of the fact that these ports were for the largest part only optimized towards making use of the Wii U Game Pad and not to make the most of the GPGPU architecture, like they SHOULD have done.
Future game releases built from the ground up will definitely show the advantages of that, and will more than hold their own in future multi-platform releases, IF developers aren't too lazy to make use of it, that is.

And why the need to see a comparison between Wii U and Xbox720/PS4?
Do you WANT to see Nintendo fail that bad? (although I think the reality of the FAR weaker than expected hardware, for the Xbox at least, will bring many fanboys to tears so the difference won't be that big)


That. Thanks.

To all other whiners:

comparisons with current consoles unfortunately are the ONLY option, seeing as the games are published on those platforms (and PC) as well and not on platforms that haven't even (officially) been announced yet, so that can't be helped.
The multitude of websites and/or other media are definitely also doing the utmost to emphasize the differences between all the versions of multi-platform games, so they're not very helpful either...

The article CLEARLY states that the Wii U is able to do things that can otherwise ONLY be done on the PC version, NOT on the other consoles, so yeah, the Wii U version is the better one, even if the difference is moderate.

Winning by a nose length is still winning, no matter which way you look at it...



hm32326 said:

Nintendo offers hardware and software that in taste is vastly different then Sony and Microsoft.

I didn't buy the Wii U for it's power(its good, but not amazing), but instead the innovated experience that you get with the hardware and of course Nintendos software. Also going to be some great exclusives coming out for it as well in 2013. It's a bonus to play other games that are available on the xbox and ps3 as well.

You can't compare the Wii U with the next xbox and playstation system because it offers something completely different. Nintendos taste is unmatched and unique that it doesn't make it's progress with pushing hardware specs, but rather innovation.

If you want to do a hardware spec war, then leave it between M$ and $ony.

You want to see how innovation can easily beat out hardware specs? Check the sales records for the wii compared to the xbox 360 and ps3...

Nintendo has been going strong for a long time and I don't see them failing any time soon...They know what they're doing

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