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Digital Foundry: Mortal Kombat 11: Switch vs PS4/Pro/Xbox One/X - From Handheld To 4K!

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,103

NetherRealm Studios returns, with a twist - the series lands on a dedicated gaming handheld for the first time since Mortal Kombat 9 on Vita. The result? A surprisingly competent 60fps Unreal Engine fighter with all the works - though with clear cutbacks in visual quality.

Join the DF Patreon, support the team more directly and get pristine quality video assets: https://www.digitalfoundry.net
 
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chandoog

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,103
- PS4/XB versions are 40 GB. Switch is 20 GB. Cut's in pre rendered encodes and texture quality.
- Arguably the closest port of a PS4/XB game to a Nintendo console yet.

PS4/Xbox:
- PS4: Native 1080p (potentially dynamic, but no signs observed)
- XBO: Native 1080p but drops to upto just under 900p during game play.
- Pro: Cut-scenes run at 1800p. Game play 1260p to 1440p.
- XBX: Certain cut-scenes run at 2160p. Game play runs at 1620p to 1800p.
- In terms of visual comparison, outside of resolution not much different.
- Base consoles have more dithering on motion blur compared to Enhanced. Other things are like-for-like.
- Consoles locked to 60 FPS (with XBO showing minor tearing). Tearing and intro/outro locked to 30 FPS.

Switch:
- Special geometry reductions made to get game running at 60 FPS.
- Character select only shows 2D images instead of 3D models unlike other versions.
- Docked: Dynamic resolution from 720p to 540p. Lower drops happen during intro/outro and fatalities
- Portable: Dynamic 480p to 384p.
- Almost everything is reduced to reach 60 FPS (no motion blur, lower quality post process, lower res dynamic shadows, specular properties etc,).
- Hair and alpha effects suffer stifling.
- Docked Performance is generally the same with a few drops during game play, and bad frame pacing at 30 FPS moments with some added drops.
- Portable Performance doesn't run quite as well, ranges fro 45 to 60 FPS in some cases.
 

Mikey Jr.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,187
Any reason they completely ignored the krypt?
Compare the switch version to the others on that one lol.
 

Eon

Member
Nov 21, 2017
1,311
What I’ve been waiting for! Will watch when I get home from work today.
 

Lant_War

Banned
Jul 14, 2018
10,702
The Switch port is definitely impressive, but I'm not sure I'd like to experience the game like that.
 

ryushe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,807
I'm sorry but they're being way too lenient to the Switch version. As someone who bought this game on the word of mouth of others saying it doesn't look "that bad", that's a lie. That version looks like complete ass.

And I won't even mention the Krypt.
 
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Jbourne

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,344
Eugh at the Switch resolution. I remember Crash having a similar resolution and looking very blurry minus the UI.
Yeah, Crash gives me a headache every time I try to play it. Real shame, as I loved those games growing up and bought it digitally.

When this was originally announced, I planned on getting both the Switch and PS4 versions. Plans have changed since then, but even if they hadn't I'm not sure if I could deal with the Switch version. It's cool that it works I guess, but it's not something I would want to play.
 

tzare

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,089
Catalunya
Switch version is good enough if portability is a priority, but isn't exactly stellar. Plus i remember the backlash some sub native resolution vita games back in the day and now it doesn't seem to be an issue anymore

Interested in how it performed since shares engine with samsho, so not looking good for me to double do with the sni game.
 

Jade1962

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,306
I guess I don't get how cutting everything to reach 60FPS is impressive and not just an expected compromise.
 

Jbourne

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,344
Switch version is good enough if portability is a priority, but isn't exactly stellar. Plus i remember the backlash some sub native resolution vita games back in the day and now it doesn't seem to be an issue anymore
It is definitely still an issue for me. I understand that games have to be cut back for the Switch, but it's always a disappointment when something is running sub native in handheld.
 

noyram23

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,762
Switch looks a generation behind even against One, still pretty great result from a handheld
 

Ac30

Member
Oct 30, 2017
12,312
London
Think it was 540p. I cant image averaging in 400ish.

I usually never care about resolution and prefer performance but I guess I can't take anything under 720p.
540p is still doable imo, but anything under is just fucking dire. Snake's Pass was nearly unplayable for me and that was 440p! I can't even imagine what 384p looks like.
 

feonando

Member
Mar 26, 2019
726
Switch version is good enough if portability is a priority, but isn't exactly stellar. Plus i remember the backlash some sub native resolution vita games back in the day and now it doesn't seem to be an issue anymore

Interested in how it performed since shares engine with samsho, so not looking good for me to double do with the sni game.
Backlash on sub-HD Vita games was similar to the backlash on Switch game for the sane reason: people that either don’t have it but look at screenshots and videos to laugh, people with absurd expectations and people that just troll.

Said sub-HD Vita games usually looked and played fine (when done well).

Mortal Kombat 9 and Injustice on Vita were and are still great games and amazing ports.

People forget that before PSP, it was very rare to see “console like fighting games” on handhelds. Usually the rosters was reduced, number of stages, frames of animation and what was released was basically a demo of the actual game. (Crawfish did wonders with Street Fighter Alpha 3 on GBA)

So having a fully featured Mortal Kombat game on handheld that you can also play at home and still looks fine is far from those days. I’m currently alternating between Switch and Xbox even. :p

As a note, Samurai Showdown uses Unreal Engine 4.

Mortal Kombat uses the same engine as MKvsDCU, MK9, Injustice and Injustice 2: a haeavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,085
What framerate does the krypt run at? If it’s 30fps I can definitely see why larger AAA open world games like rdr2, Witcher 3, etc. simply wouldn’t be possible on the Switch.
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,431
New Jersey
i dont want to say anything bad about the work DF puts into these videos but...i think there comes a point where you have to acknowledge that cutting pretty much everything to reach 60fps isnt ideal, especially when blown up to a large screen with docked mode, and the fact that the game doesnt even hold 60fps as well is just...
 

Valkrai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,509
Its a great port considering the hardware, although its surprising that they completely ignored the Krypt. An analysis and comparison of that really would have showed what Shiver needed to compromise on to get it running on Switch.
 

Foorbits

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,139
Compared to the big consoles the Switch version holds really well, impressive.
It doesn't (I own both the Switch and PS4 versions). Now, mind you, I may just be sensitive to super low resolution graphics but the game is blurry as hell undocked and it doesn't keep 60fps. The cinematics have weird hitches and some of the UI is borderline unreadable because of how blurry everything is. It is not the way anyone should experience MK11 unless you absolutely have to go portable only.
 

Asriel

Member
Dec 7, 2017
891
Its a great port considering the hardware, although its surprising that they completely ignored the Krypt. An analysis and comparison of that really would have showed what Shiver needed to compromise on to get it running on Switch.
Honestly, how is this a great port? It looks horrible and still can't maintain 60fps.
 

Foorbits

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,139
What framerate does the krypt run at? If it’s 30fps I can definitely see why larger AAA open world games like rdr2, Witcher 3, etc. simply wouldn’t be possible on the Switch.
The Krypt should should have just be removed / redone for the Switch version. It's hard to believe that made it into the final product.
 

Valkrai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,509
Honestly, how is this a great port? It looks horrible and still can't maintain 60fps.
The core gameplay stays around 60 and the game is content complete with the other versions. Its not bad but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Look what they did to the Krypt just to get it possible to run on the Switch.

It's also that most of the game on other versions is just at 30 fps except for the gameplay. Switch sticks by that generally.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,085
The Krypt on Switch is giving you confidence for an RDR2 port?
No, it’s telling me that a rdr2 port wouldn’t be possible. There’s a lot of posters on Era that argue any game could be acceptably ported to the Switch. But the Switch having such issues with the larger environment of the mk11 krypt shows that not be the case.