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Most technically impressive original Xbox game?

Which original Xbox game was technically the most impressive?


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Romulus

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We had a thread recently about which 6th gen console had the most impressive visuals. Per the thread, the overwhelming majority expressed that the Xbox was the clear winner, along with game developers which compared the systems.


Now its time to see which games had the most impressive visuals on the most powerful hardware of that generation. This is not a console war thread, only talk about original Xbox games here.. If a multiplatform game is listed, its because the Xbox had the superior console version.

You get two choices because one is just too damn difficult. If it's not on the list, just comment.

And why is your game the most impressive compared to the others?
 
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Romulus

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prolly hl2, dunno how they squeezed it onto a pentium 3 with 64 mb of ram lol, pretty ridiculous feat
Holy hell. I'm playing through Xbox Half Life 2 as we speak. I'm shocked this is even running at all. I have it installed to my HDD so the loading times are almost gone, but still, this is really fascinating.

Despite it having some of the most impressive physics that still hold up to this day, the water effects and facial animation are some of the best on the system, and some of the textures are quite good. To boot, the scale of the levels are massive. The tradeoff is the framerate, which is bad at times, but I'm finding it very playable considering that.
 

Kagey K

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Not going off technical measures or anything like that.

The first game that made me go wow on Xbox was Hunter:The Reckoning. The reflections in the marble when you got to the church amazed me at the time.

I doubt it’s the best graphically or anything like that, but at the time I was floored (pun) by it.
 
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pawel86ck

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It's hard to choose one single game, because there were so many games with beautiful graphics, but if I would have to choose one it would be splinter cell 3. Amazing lighting and use of shaders, complex levels and detailed textures. Splinter cell 3 was recently added to BC and in higher resolution looks like an early xbox 360 game.

Doom 3 and Riddick both looked amazing too, but levels werent so complex and detailed like in SC3. Also there's very important aspect to consider, black levels. In SC3 you can see many details in dark areas, while in Doom 3 or Riddick shadows are literally pich black. IMO SC3 looks better overall.

But if someone prefers scale over smaller levels then there are games like far cry predator, halo 1/2, or even half life 2.
 
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Tesseract

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It's hard to choose one single game, because there were so many games with beautiful graphics, but if I would have to choose one it would be splinter cell 3. Amazing lighting and use of shaders, complex levels and detailed textures. Splinter cell 3 was recently added to BC and in higher resolution looks like an early xbox 360 game.

Doom 3 and Riddick both looked amazing also, but levels werent so detailed like in SC3 polygon wise. But these were all games with small levels, and if someone prefers scale he may choose far cry predator, halo 1/2, or even half life 2.
pushed the xbox pretty far and i recall geforce 4s having trouble with chaos theory on pc

nutty shit
 
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nkarafo

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DOOM 3 was a massive downgrade from the PC version. The flashlight didn't even cast shadows, which was a large part of the game's graphics appeal. And the frame rate was shit.

RIDDICK looked much better on the XBOX. There were no downgrades except for resolution. All the lighting and shadow effects were intact and the frame rate was solid.

pushed the xbox pretty far and i recall geforce 4s having trouble with chaos theory on pc
I had no issues with my Geforce 4 ti.
 
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pawel86ck

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DOOM 3 was a massive downgrade from the PC version. The flashlight didn't even cast shadows, which was a large part of the game's graphics appeal. And the frame rate was shit.

RIDDICK looked much better on the XBOX. There were no downgrades except for resolution. All the lighting and shadow effects were intact and the frame rate was solid.


I had no issues with my Geforce 4 ti.
Yes Doom 3 was downgraded, but it still looked like Doom 3 (in comparison play splinter cell games on PS2 or GC and then on xbox, and it's like playing totally different games). Bump mapping was there and besides flash light shadow dynamic shadows were also implemented. There's Geforce 3 gameplay on YT, it runs minimum details (without shaders and dynamic shadows) at 30fps but with dynamic shadows bump mapping and shaders at minumim it's 15fps experience, while xbox run 30fps for the most part. I'm not so sure if even Geforce 4 on PC could run doom 3 better than xbox version (xbox GPU was had 2x vertex units like geforce 4). I have played xbox version first, and years later when I bought PC with 8800 Ultra I was finally able to play doom 3 maxed out and it was pretty much similar experience. The most noticable diffefence between xbox and PC is texture quality, but on CRT SD even xbox texture looked good enough.

What's interesting Doom 3 BFG on xbox 360 still dont use dynamic shadows from flashlight 😉
 
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nkarafo

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years later when I bought PC with 8800 Ultra I was finally able to play doom 3 maxed out and it was pretty much similar experience.
I had a Pentium 4 with a Radeon 9800 at the time. That card was better than a Geforce 4 ti but nowhere near a 8800.

That was also enough to play DOOM 3 with max settings at 60+ fps @ 1024 x 768. I felt that it was a massive difference compared the XBOX version. I don't doubt that even with a Geforce 4, the difference would still be big enough.


What's interesting Doom 3 BFG on xbox 360 still dont use dynamic shadows from flashlight 😉
I think it does but the perspective is such that it's hard to notice it. You need to strafe circle and look for the effect to see it.

At least that's how BFG is on PC. I never played it on the 360 but i assume it's the same.
 
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xool

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Missed the boat - the most technically impressive and important game was Shrek (2001) - an xbox launch title.

Why? because it was the first commercially available game that used deferred rendering. (also practically impossible on PS2 and I think Gamecube too)

One of the most impactful changes we see in the wave of current and upcoming games is the shift to what's referred to as deferred rendering. The actual technology isn't actually that new - a vintage 2001 Xbox 1 Shrek game from a North American division of DICE is thought to be the first console title to implement it

Tech Evolution: How Devs Pushed Consoles To Their Limits - Richard Leadbetter- 3rd October 2012 https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/digitalfoundry-tech-evolution-how-devs-pushed-consoles-to-their-limits
 
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Tesseract

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DOOM 3 was a massive downgrade from the PC version. The flashlight didn't even cast shadows, which was a large part of the game's graphics appeal. And the frame rate was shit.

RIDDICK looked much better on the XBOX. There were no downgrades except for resolution. All the lighting and shadow effects were intact and the frame rate was solid.


I had no issues with my Geforce 4 ti.
were you intel or amd, i played ct pretty hard on pc and recall significant issues at launch

might've been my rig
 
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womfalcs3

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I have memories of NFL Fever 2002 with Peyton Manning on the cover being impressive visually (and fun).
 
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Melubas

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Not going off technical measures or anything like that.

The first game that made me go wow on Xbox was Hunter:The Reckoning. The reflections in the marble when you got to the church amazed me at the time.

I doubt it’s the best graphically or anything like that, but at the time I was floored (pun) by it.
Oh man I used to play the shit out of Hunter: The Reckoning in co-op. In hindsight, probably not an awesome game, but on my new console with all that graphical flair I was hooked.
 
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Romulus

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DOOM 3 was a massive downgrade from the PC version. The flashlight didn't even cast shadows, which was a large part of the game's graphics appeal. And the frame rate was shit.
I'm not getting a bad framerate at all with this one. I just did 30min of testing with multiple encounters and enemies from a save point at about the 60% point in the game.
 

nkarafo

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I'm not getting a bad framerate at all with this one. I just did 30min of testing with multiple encounters and enemies from a save point at about the 60% point in the game.
I remember an encounter with a "Pinky" demon or two inside some tight rooms being annoying because you had to be fast the frame rate was slow.

It's been a while though. Maybe i remember it wrong.
 
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Tesseract

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co-op doom 3 was cool, unbelievably short but cool

competitive multiplayer sucked massive wang
 
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Romulus

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I remember an encounter with a "Pinky" demon or two inside some tight rooms being annoying because you had to be fast the frame rate was slow.

It's been a while though. Maybe i remember it wrong.
Yeah pinky was one of the baddies I killed. The gameplay isn't bad either considering its age. It will actually run decently at forced native 720p on the original xbox with only a ram upgrade, stock cpu/gpu.
 
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01011001

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Chaos Theory hands down. The lighting and contextual animations were beyond anything we came to expect from video games and it was ahead of its time in many aspects.
👆this
that game still looks great. especially when you play it on Xbox One X at 1920p
there are many games today that look less impressive
 

stranno

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Half Life 2 looks absolutely stunning. But performance crawls when there are some explosions or some physics involved.

Well, to be honest it happens the same with Playstation 3 and XBOX 360 Orange Box.

I made both playthroughs some time ago, if anyone is wondering how well they perform.



Criterion's Black is a masterpiece. In my opinion the best console exclusive FPS of all time.

Pandemic's Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction is hot too. There are not much improvements over Playstation 2 but still shines.
 
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pawel86ck

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I had a Pentium 4 with a Radeon 9800 at the time. That card was better than a Geforce 4 ti but nowhere near a 8800.

That was also enough to play DOOM 3 with max settings at 60+ fps @ 1024 x 768. I felt that it was a massive difference compared the XBOX version. I don't doubt that even with a Geforce 4, the difference would still be big enough.



I think it does but the perspective is such that it's hard to notice it. You need to strafe circle and look for the effect to see it.

At least that's how BFG is on PC. I never played it on the 360 but i assume it's the same.
In BFG version on PC is possible to enable flashlight dynamic shadows although it's turned off by default. X360 version however doesnt have flashlight shadows at all.

Xbox classic version still looks like a doom 3




Here's Geforce 4 running doom 3 at 640x480, low settings + bump mapping + specular + dynamic shadows, performance is worse compared to xbox 20 fps dips even without action

And here's Geforce 3 running Doom 3 without dynamic shadows. 30-50 fps most of the time, with rare 20 fps dips during action but without shadows game looks sometimes worse compared to xbox version

Overall I think xbox classic version looked and run great considering inferior xbox hardware. Xbox have 64MB PC RAM, while doom 3 minimum settings require 64MB VRAM + 384MB system RAM

Some quick comparison

xbox vs PC low settings + bump mapping + specular vs PC max settings (dynamic shadows included)













More comparison screenshots in the spoiler below



















Xbox vs PC max settings












































On xbox levels were somewhat rebuild compared to PC version but overall game looks like doom3 should, and it's not like playing totally different game, so I wouldnt call it massive downgrade. Below splinter cell 3 PS2 vs Xbox version, that's what I call massive downgrade because game looks totally different.









 
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bilderberg

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Riddick and Doom 3 at the time of release was more impressive than anything I've played. Right now though I think Halo 2 or Ninja Gaiden hold up much better. The only thing holding Halo 2 back is the pop in during certain cutscenes.
 

Danjin44

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Only SMT game on Xbox and the character design done by Yasuomi Umetsu who worked on Mezzo Forth and Kite.
 
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Romulus

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Far Cry hasn't aged well, but I remember at the time people were over the moon about that game on Xbox. The water! lol

I remember being hyped watching this review

 
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Saberyoko

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Conker Live and Reloaded.

This game is fantastic and in my opinion a brilliant work in comparison with the original one. Really seems like a perfect remaster of the game, yet it still offered a lot of tweaks and some changes(even the game it self mocks).

I played the N64 and while it's good, theres a lot of cheesy parts that felt like a mix of worst momments of Banjo Kazooie. But Reloaded simply makes things more pleasing to play. Just take the last part of War Chapter as an example. That part was a pain of how much cheesy deaths you can get, you literally depends on the accuracy of the CPU to survive because the Teddies are armed with bazookas.
 
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01011001

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Criterion's Black is a masterpiece. In my opinion the best console exclusive FPS of all time.
I mean, tastes vary but Black is absolutely god awful. really bad gunplay, awful controls (you can't even adjust look sensitivity) and it's unbelievably slow.
it's more linear than any CoD, the AI is garbage with many enemies just getting stuck behind walls and it has basically no real outstanding features other than it had semi destructible environments, but that was mostly just visuals and had no real impact on gameplay.

Black is one of the worst shooters I've ever played, it's bad in almost every way a shooter can be bad at.

Conker Live and Reloaded.

This game is fantastic and in my opinion a brilliant work in comparison with the original one. Really seems like a perfect remaster of the game, yet it still offered a lot of tweaks and some changes(even the game it self mocks).

I played the N64 and while it's good, theres a lot of cheesy parts that felt like a mix of worst momments of Banjo Kazooie. But Reloaded simply makes things more pleasing to play. Just take the last part of War Chapter as an example. That part was a pain of how much cheesy deaths you can get, you literally depends on the accuracy of the CPU to survive because the Teddies are armed with bazookas.
people hate on it because they bleeped out curse words, but Live & Reloaded is absolutely the better version, the original plays like ass, they completely remade how Conker controls and how the combat feels, also the graphics and the improved leveldesign make the remake just a way way better game
 
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stranno

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Black is one of the worst shooters I've ever played, it's bad in almost every way a shooter can be bad at.
Black wasnt that linear, most areas were wide open and you could choose multiple paths to surround the enemy. Anyway, most FPS from those days were just linear, especially in console, Halo was a bit more open tho.

Control and AI are perfectly fine in my opinion, camera was smooth and AI surround you, they try to break your cover, it just works as intended.

Plot was basically the plot of every modern COD, even before Modern Warfare.

I can agree it was a bit slow but you were supposed to be a human being, not an augmented super soldier like pretty much every single FPS nowdays.
 

Romulus

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At the time Black was incredible, but I think so many games have ripped it off by now and improved over its formula that it really feels super dated now, more than most Xbox games even. It's still very playable of course.
 

xool

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Never had a OG Xbox, but I gotta say some of these screenies look insane - as good as 360 games at first sight.
 

pawel86ck

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I have just played Riddick on real xbox hardware and what's interesting this particular game is using dynamic resolution. I thoguht back then games werent using dynamic resolution, but Riddick clearly use it. Although on my SD CRT in 480i (I have 21 inch CRT just for retro gaming) game looks good and it's hard to tell a difference when resolution dips down but on HDTV at 480p you can really see resolution fluctuation.
 
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Romulus

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Not too surprising poll results, but I did expect Conker to get more votes.
 

Blood Borne

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Ninja Gaiden Black.

Beautiful graphics and effects in silky smooth 60fps.

I’d argue it was the most accomplished technical game in its era.
 

Esppiral

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My vote goes for Splinter Cell CT, the first time I booted the game I couldn't believe what I was seeing, it felt like I was playing the next generation of consoles, going from OG Xbox to generation 7 wasn't that much of a jump for me, I guess people that did so and never played an Xbox where more wowed by the generational jump.
 
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