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Does Xbox One get the full-fat Destiny 2 experience?

Bungie set out to achieve cross-platform parity with the first Destiny three years ago and to a great extent, it fully achieved that: 1080p on both systems, an identical visual feature set and very similar performance levels. The question is, can it repeat the same trick on a technologically more challenging sequel? The Destiny 2 beta content released this week suggests that it can, and it may provide some hints on what to expect from an Xbox One X port.

First impressions of the Xbox One code are promising. Side-by-side shots reveal that the same philosophy that powered the first Destiny is in place here: geometry, draw distance, asset quality, post-processing effects – it’s identical across platforms. And that goes for both negatives and positives in Destiny 2’s visual make-up: anisotropic filtering is set to a low level on both systems, something that even extends to the PS4 Pro version. The level of parity here is an impressive achievement bearing in mind that Bungie has pushed the boat out technically for the sequel: the effects pipeline is richer and GPU-driven particles are ramped up to the next level, something that’s clear from the beta content.

The original Destiny was a cross-gen release – a game designed to straddle two console eras, so perhaps aiming for parity on PS4 and Xbox One made life easier in terms of workflow, but it left us with the sense that there was more left in the tank on the Sony platform. This is borne out to a certain extent by the sequel, where there is one key difference between the two current-gen consoles: resolution. It speaks to the talent of the engineers that you’ll struggle to tell the difference during the heat of gameplay, but the evidence suggests that Xbox One is using similar dynamic resolution scaling technology to the PS4 Pro version of the beta (hat tip to VGTech for spotting this first).