Mass Effect: Andromeda Digital Foundry

Why PC is the best place to play Mass Effect Andromeda

Digital FoundryWhy PC is the best place to play Mass Effect Andromeda

Full multi-platform comparison, including a PS4 Pro vs PC 4K face-off.

We've lost count of the amount of PC comparisons we've done where the only tangible enhancements amount to arbitrary resolution support and higher frame-rates. Sure, higher quality effects - such as higher resolution shadows - also usually form part of the mix, but significant graphical improvements are few and far between. Mass Effect Andromeda is different: in common with several titles based on DICE's excellent Frostbite engine, the PC really is the natural home for this game.

Coming from the PS4 and Xbox One versions, the upgrade is immediately clear. Yes, of course, you can boost pixel-count and break the console-standard 30fps lock, but the upgrades throughout the experience are impressive: the core assets are embellished with increased geometry and higher resolution normal maps and textures, giving a richer-looking, smoother presentation. Environments are fleshed out using tessellation to add extra geometry detail to rocks and mountainous terrain, leading to an uneven surface that appears more rugged, while increased texture quality further brings out more intricate information across both character and landscape assets.

Additional plants and foliage better populate the landscape too, and when backed up with higher quality HBAO ambient occlusion, higher resolution shadows, and more refined post-process effects, the alien worlds on display appear more striking, boasting extra depth and detail beyond the console versions. Character modelling is also more refined with improved asset quality allowing for more fine details to resolve across clothing and facial features.

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