Metal Gear Solid 5 Digital Foundry

Face-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Kojima Productions may be no more, but it ends its tenure under Hideo Kojima's watch with characteristic ambition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain takes Peace Walker's mission-based structure, and propels itself onto current-gen with an open world setting, materials-based lighting and a suite of superb post effects. Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and indeed the two last-gen editions) benefit from the adaptability of the Fox Engine too - but as the series' final narrative link is put into place, does any one console give us the definitive experience?

Up front, it's worth stating that all console versions offer up the same core feature-set, and a practically identical world design. However, it's the delivery in resolution and frame-rate that really divides PS4 and Xbox from their last-gen counterparts. The Phantom Pain strikes an unusual middle ground in this sense; factoring in the ageing PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware, the game's visuals on newer consoles may not necessarily bring us to the cutting-edge here - but it does qualify PS4 and Xbox One for a rare combination of open-world, 60fps gameplay.

And on PS4 - as covered in our hands-on - this is rounded off with a native 1920x1080 resolution. The key divide here between this and Xbox One's 1600x900 delivery is in some pixel shimmer on sharp edges. For example, an escape from the hospital ward early on shows us some harsh lighting on window blinds on Xbox One, with the upscaled resolution producing more visual noise overall. And likewise, long views of Mother Base's rigid structure as we approach by helicopter produces more shimmering - though outside of these cases, the FXAA post-process pass on each clears up most jagged edges, and the results are surprisingly close in play.

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