Mass Effect 2's demo was officially released on the PS3 last week, but how does it hold up to the Xbox 360 version? Less than a month away from the official PS3 release, the comparisons have already begun.
Game producer Jesse Houston commented on the Bioware Podcast, referring to the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2, that "One of the first things you're going to see is improved graphics." However, the side-by-side comparisons from Eurogamer show that this is not exactly the case.
Even though the PS3 version was used to create Mass Efffect 2, the differences are anything but mind blowing. There are key shading differences, sometimes making the PS3 version look worse. Overall it appears to be relatively the same engine with some minor tweaks.
A key difference is the new engine's attempt to maintain 30 FPS during cut scenes. Unlike the Xbox 360 version, which would slow down in frame rate when too much was happening on screen, the PS3 version now compensates. This compensation does result in much more stress seen at the top of the screen, which seems a fair trade off for a consistent frame rate.
In conclusion, is there really much difference between the two versions? It doesn't appear so. The confusing piece of this story is why there appears to be hype about BioWare using the Mass Effect 3 engine for the PS3 port of the game. If the differences seen in the current demo prove anything, it's that the Mass Effect 3 engine may not be much different than what we had hoped. However, when a game looks as gorgeous as Mass Effect 2, it's hard to be too upset.
Will these so called graphical "improvements" actually motivate any Xbox 360 users to replay the game on their PS3? This seems unlikely, but at least PS3 users will finally be able to get their hands on one of the best games of 2010. Just a few more weeks of waiting to go.
Mass Effect 2 finally arrives on the PS3 on January 18, 2011.
If you're an ME fan, be sure to read up on what we know about Mass Effect 3 so far!