Microsoft's Xbox One console has finally hit store shelves, with the promise of delivering the best console gaming experience on the market. Taking advantage of hardware far superior to competing devices, the Xbox One X aims to produce a "true 4K" gaming experience, alongside benefits such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and improved visual effects.
While all existing games can expect some form of a performance boost, specific "Xbox One X Enhanced" games are where the console truly shines. These games are developed especially for Xbox One X, with the ability to take full advantage of its available resources. While many games built for the console strive to achieve 4K resolution, other benefits such as improved framerates and textures are becoming increasingly common sights.
We've rounded up our favorite Xbox One X Enhanced games available for the console right now, which truly highlight the potential of Microsoft's latest flagship.
Assassin's Creed Origins
While the success of the Assassin's Creed franchise began to dwindle with 2015's Syndicate, Assassin's Creed Origins is a return to form for the franchise. It's one of the most refreshing titles from Ubisoft in some time, offering an expansive and deep digital recreation of ancient Egypt.
Assassin's Creed Origins is a stunning game no matter the platform, but with support for Xbox One X from launch, the game truly shines on the hardware. Achieving a varying resolution via a technique known as "dynamic scaling," the game's world is brought to life with an additional level of clarity. Paired with HDR, which displays a wide gamut of colors, whether the desert sands or glaring sun, the world of Origins stands out against its predecessors.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider first arrived on Xbox One back in 2015 and two years later, the game is still seeing extended support. In collaboration with a small Dutch studio, the game most recently received enhancements for the Xbox One X, making for one of the best revisions of the game so far. Whether resolution, frame rate or visual effects, one of three visual modes can be chosen on the fly.
The first of these modes is "native 4K," which pushes the resolution to the max while targeting 30 FPS. Alternatively, 4K resolution can be achieved by utilizing a checkerboarding technique, while serving up additional visual upgrades under the "Enriched Visuals" name. Finally, a "high frame rate" option is also available, which drops the resolution to full HD, while climbing up to 60 FPS.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
Back when the Xbox One X was only known under its Project Scorpio codename, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War was among the first titles to announce 4K plans on the console. With the console now on the market, the action-RPG has delivered on these promises, rendering Tolkien's world is a better light than ever before.
Shadow of War is another title that gives players choice in their visual upgrades, depending on visual preferences. The first of these, "Favor Resolution" leverages the extra horsepower to output at native 4K, with improved textures across the game. Those who prefer visual effects will have the option of a "Favor Quality" mode, which aims to improve the graphics in areas aside from the output resolution. These upgrades include the same improved textures, alongside better shadows, lighting, draw distances and polygon counts.
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 was never a game that pushed boundaries with its graphical fidelity, yet has still seen some welcome improvements for Xbox One X. The top-down RTS has seen an upgrade to 4K resolution with its latest patch, which clears up the game's presentation across the board. As a tedious title that can require precision on controller, 4K resolution has gameplay benefits, making the smaller details of Halo Wars 2 much more apparent on the screen.
With more overhead than its standard Xbox One equivalent, Halo Wars 2 also sees improved stability on average when played on Xbox One X. Most notably, in hectic battles where overcrowding can result in huge frame rate drops, the Xbox One X does a better job at maintaining stability over time.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 was a great showcase for the Xbox One S at launch, showcasing the console's HDR support. A new update has been released parallel to the Xbox One X debut, with a visual bump designed for the console.
In the original release, Gears of War 4 hit 30 FPS across is Campaign and Horde modes, while competitive player-versus-player (PvP) gameplay achieved 60 FPS. On the Xbox One X, upgrades have been made to address its performance shortcomings, allowing the entire experience to run at high frame rate.
An option is also provided to run Gears of War 4 at native 4K, which adds a new level of detail previously only possible with the PC release. If enabled, visuals will be vastly improved across the board in Campaign and Horde, however, without the frame rate bump.
Ghost Recon Wildlands
With Bolivia under the control of the Santa Blanca drug cartel, Ghost Recon Wildlands sets the scene for an expansive tactical experience. Building on Ubisoft's previous successes in the open-world genre, the game serves up a rich open world shooter experience with a range of locales to explore.
Xbox One X enhancements have now dropped for the game, pushing an improved resolution and a long list of visual effects. In a game where its huge world is simply compelling, increased draw distances, textures and antialiasing bring out the beauty of a country thrown into turmoil.
After parting ways with Square Enix and establishing itself as an independent studio, IO Interactive has returned to last year's episodic installments of the Hitman series for Xbox One X. Reworking each of the game's episodes, every Hitman location looks better than ever on the console, with boosts to resolution and framerate depending on your preferences.
Hitman on Xbox One X includes a native 4K resolution mode called "High Detail," which aims to show off the world of assassination in its best form yet. Alternatively, those looking for a gameplay edge can adopt "High Frame Rate," which doubles the frame rate to 60 FPS. HDR support also carries over from the Xbox One S version. Both modes also feature improved texture resolution, filtering, and environmental shadows.
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