We've already established that the PlayStation 4 version of DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition offers a palpable upgrade over both Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, with 60fps gameplay moving Ninja Theory's last-gen reboot more closely into line with Capcom Japan's origin titles. In addition to the faster, smoother gameplay, native 1080p visuals also deliver the welcome boost in sharpness expected from a title running on a current-gen console.
However, despite the undeniable upgrades, we also came away a just little disappointed that the PS4 version doesn't quite manage to deliver the solid 60fps gameplay easily achievable on the PC - something we expected from the level of hardware on offer inside Sony's console. So the question is, can the Xbox One version iron out the kinks found in the PS4 game and hand in the 'definitive' experience we are looking for from a current-gen remaster? Or will its less capable GPU hand in a less stable experience?
From a visual perspective, we're mostly looking at parity between PS4 and Xbox One - with just a few caveats. Anti-aliasing coverage is a little better on Microsoft's system, although the difference is largely academic, visible only when zooming in on still screenshots. The same post-process algorithm is used across both consoles (creating a sharper image than the PC game) and in motion it's basically impossible to spot the difference.
With DmC Devil May Cry, Ninja Theory proved that it was possible to preserve the fast-paced signature gameplay of the Devil May Cry games while adopting a reduced 30FPS update, thus allowing for a significant leap in graphical quality, bringing features such as dynamic environments, object blur and higher precision lighting to the table. In effect, the developer managed to balance out pure visual spectacle with rewarding gameplay mechanics while giving the series a fresh new beginning. But for some of the hardcore Devil May Cry fanbase, this is not enough. For them, its 60FPS frame-rate and the associated low-latency controls are two fundamental pillars of the series that have defined the gameplay across four previous titles.
While we hope and expect the series to re-establish a full-on 60FPS experience on next-gen consoles, in the here and now the PC platform represents the only way for series die-hards to play DmC at that level without any compromise on overall graphical quality. As we've seen over the past few years it is commonplace to find mid-range gaming computers powering past the current batch of consoles to deliver smoother and more immersive gameplay - something we proved conclusively with our own £300 Digital Foundry PC. In this respect DmC is no exception to the rule, and similar to many console conversions, Ninja Theory's work scales nicely across a range of hardware. The question is, away from resolution and frame-rate, does the transition to PC bring with it any actual enhancements over the console games?
On first inspection the PC version of DmC features a number of interesting graphics options, consisting of HD textures, HD shadows, and HD anti-aliasing. In addition there are four overall presets to choose from: low, medium, high and ultra, allowing users to tailor the visual experience to get the best performance from their own particular hardware. The inclusion of the high-end sounding ultra preset hints at a significant upgrade over the console releases, but ultimately that doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, the level of visual quality doesn't so much scale up but scale down, with the core look of the game being very close to that of the consoles when run at its highest level. Presets below ultra begin to reduce various components - such as lighting, textures, and shadows - while the HD options only really provide a mild boost over the PS3 and 360 releases in some areas. Let's have a head-to-head look at the game, complete with a now-updated, triple-format comparison gallery.