Are you looking for something different, original and distinctive? After years of being available on PC, Teardown has finally appeared on current-gen consoles – and overall, it’s great. As a bonus, it’s currently one of the free games in the PlayStation Plus subscription plan – and I encourage you to check it out.
Teardown is a fascinating game from Digital Foundry’s perspective because its rendering and simulation systems are quite different from the vast majority of titles available. Like many of the most iconic games of the last 30 years, the core technology behind Teardown is the main enabler of its gameplay systems. At the heart of the game are the voxels that make up the game world. This gives the game its low-end aesthetic. -fi/hi-fi, where every in-game object you see has a distorted Lego look, with all the details made up of blocks arranged into recognizable shapes we all intuitively understand, Minecraft style.
However, these voxels are not just spectacles, as they determine and enable how the game renders and how it is played. When combined into the shapes and objects in the game, each voxel has distinct weighted constraints and material properties. So different objects react differently to different physical forces: some, like wood, easily disintegrate into small pieces under the blow of your hammer, while others, like some metals, are sturdier and require more violent treatment or explosive to break.
How these different materials react to physics forms the core gameplay loop, in which you destroy and manipulate the game’s voxel materials to achieve a goal. In single player this can be simple: like destroying a given house as quickly as possible, a la Blast Corps if you’ve played that before, where your choice of destructive tool is the key to getting the highest score.
The gameplay can be more complex, however. For example, in another mission, the player must quickly disconnect three security systems in different parts of the game space before time runs out, the problem being that these security systems are separated by walls and a large distance traveled. Clever use of the voxel-based physics system is therefore necessary: knocking down walls, demolishing obstacles, installing stackable elements to carve out a clean path to victory.
It’s a game where physics determines the gameplay and just seeing all of the game’s systems working is a joy in itself: wooden objects easily ignite when subjected to heat or explosions and there is a whole spread system where they slowly spread to other flammable products. objects – it is pleasant to look at and interact with them thanks to the stellar rendering.
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The smoke and flames from the fire are themselves volumetric and physicalized, so you can see them snake through a burning building and congregate in areas where they are trapped, like in ceilings and corners . And if you apply force to it, you can realistically see it being pushed to collide with other things – it feels right in a way that many games never achieve despite the stylized brick look that the visuals have otherwise. Most other games simply use 2D textures that face the camera and are completely static – a purely visual thing – but here it’s a complete physics system that’s fully integrated into the gameplay and even looks a little better, I would say.
Voxel physics is only half of the game’s distinctive technical style. The other half is how it’s rendered. Teardown’s core visuals are achieved through heavy voxel tracing and very little standard rasterization techniques. There are a lot of elements here that have a ray tracing quality, like reflections for example. The game ray performs specular occlusion to give a kind of dark reflective look to objects that is very realistic.
This technique – which avoids hardware ray tracing – makes objects rarely appear shiny and out of place, but to ensure speed, reflections only get color via screen space information. Reflections turn gray if the objects they contain are out of view. This technique also applies to task lighting, as well as ambient occlusion, although Teardown does not provide complete global illumination.
It’s all about delivering solid performance, where Teardown performs very well overall, barring some odd issues on Xbox Series consoles (particularly the Series X). In fidelity mode, the Xbox Series
In comparison, the Series S runs the game at an internal resolution of 864p, with a single rendering mode. The truth is that it looks rather blurry and rough, but at least it targets 60 frames per second and does a creditable job of staying there. The PS5 and Series of range.
The PlayStation 5’s fidelity mode is interesting because it performs quite well for a game that does so much tracking, sticking mostly to 60 frames per second. However, the frame rate can sag when you start to get into more intense destruction or when there is a lot of smoke and fire on screen, sometimes in the 40s. This can drop further when you use the game’s sandbox modes or other game types where you have greater access to destructive tools. The 1080p performance mode runs standard gaming scenarios without issue, which makes sense because gaming cuts the total resolution in half – and that improves performance a lot. However, I find the performance mode more interesting in its 120fps setting, where simpler gameplay delivers full frame rates, with only heavier destruction causing drops below the 90-100fps zone. This is quite reasonable considering the load on the hardware.
The Xbox Series Instead of maximizing performance, double buffering sees performance drop from 120fps to 60fps then to 30fps during hard “jumps” every time the system is under load. The jerks are obvious and not really acceptable. We know this isn’t a hardware issue simply because enabling a system-level variable refresh rate completely fixes the issue – but we hope the developers introduce triple buffering on Xbox too, because for the moment, the sudden jerks just seem wrong. The Series S may also be dual-buffered, but it’s hard to tell because it does a very good job of meeting the 60fps target.
In summary, Teardown on consoles is largely a success: it generally plays well, looks great, and it also loads very quickly on all platforms, so you can get in and out of the game very quickly without much lag time. stop. Beyond fixing video sync issues on Xbox, I’d like to see other small tweaks to the game, for example: It would be nice to have the ability to reverse the camera controls, as some people play this way and the game seems to do it. I’m missing this option.
Another thing I’d like to see would be native HDR, as the game would look great with it, but given that this isn’t implemented on PC, I doubt we’ll see it anytime soon. Despite this, Teardown is highly recommended on Series S and PS5 – and assuming the Series X version is patched (or you have VRR capabilities), this version should be just as great.