One of the most anticipated games for this year is Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to Monolith’s 2014 fresh take on the Lord of the Rings universe. The game is also being billed as one of the flagship titles for Microsoft’s Xbox One X, which will be the most powerful console ever made when it releases- presumably because it will leverage all that power, and put it to some good use.
When we got the chance to chat with Middle-Earth Shadow of War‘s Design Director Bob Roberts, we decided to ask him some questions about what the Xbox One X version of the game will be like. Can players, for example, expect 4K and 60fps?
“4K, I think it will be 30 frames, not 60,” Roberts said. “But we’re pushing the graphics as far as we can. It’s still plays really smooth it 30. So we do kind of tests where things break down frame-rate wise. It plays great. It doesn’t seem to have issues at 30. We’re putting all the power in to HDR at 4K graphics.”
Generally speaking, I don’t agree with the mentality of pushing resolution over graphics- but I recognize each game has its own different requirements, and if Monolith feels that the game is best served at 4K and 30 frames per second, I will take their word for it.
We also asked Roberts how the Xbox One X is, especially given just how much of a leap its GPU is over any other console on the market.
“I personally don’t have a dev kit at my desk, but I know the people that do have Xbox One X dev kits and are testing on those,” he said. “We spread the consoles out around the team so people are testing on different devices. The guys who have the X, the biggest thing about it is the load times. On the normal Xbox dev kit, it will take us a few minutes to load one of our worlds. It’s pretty big and takes a while to rev up. The X loads in a few seconds. So that’s a big deal if you’re trying to iterate quickly to get more cycles on something.”
Microsoft has crafted a powerful and well made machine – there is no point in denying that, no matter what you might think of Microsoft’s exclusives lineup – and it will definitely be interesting to see how games and developers leverage all that it has to offer. The Xbox One X will launch on November 7; Shadow of War, meanwhile, launches on October 10 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.