Anybody who's been playing video games for a few decades will probably recall draw distance 'fog' with a little nostalgia nowadays. The trick of disguising just how close to the player the game was drawing in objects by dousing the level in a thick mist was prevalent in the Nintendo 64 era, with a classic like Turok: Dinosaur Hunter being a typical example. Only this morning we were talking about the 'mist' used in Final Fantasy IX for the same reason.
With the power of modern consoles we thought these practices were in the past, but it seems the 'fog' has returned in a shocking fashion in the Switch version of Trials Rising. Below is a video by Chris Becker on Twitter from the beta version currently available to download for free. First the Switch version, followed by the same level in the Xbox One version:
Obviously, there's a framerate difference there, with the Xbox version running at what appears to be a silky 60fps, but it seems like a sandstorm has been employed to hide the removal of most of the background elements in the 30fps Switch version. Let's take a look at the still images side-by-side:
Is this a big problem that will affect the enjoyment of Switch owners who'll play Trials without having the Xbox version for direct comparison? Possibly not, although reports on Twitter aren't good on Day One, mentioning control delays and sub-30fps gameplay:
We're diving into our review code at this very moment, so keep an eye out for our verdict in the near future. Ubisoft have outlined a long post-release support plan for the game, including expansions and download packs galore - let's just hope they keep plugging away at the core game, too. It'd be nice to actually see what we're doing on Switch.
Think there's a Day One patch waiting in the wings to solve some of these issues? Would it not be so bad without the side-by-side comparison with the superior version? Let us know in the comments.