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Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR problem

Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR problem explained

The game is a phenomenal piece of gaming entertainment.  However, it does have a bit of a problem.  We try and explain the Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR problem.

Reports have been coming out recently about the major chink in RDR2’s almost flawless armour.  We’re referring to Red Dead Redemption 2 HDR problem that we will attempt to explain from all the reports we were able to gather.  Bear in mind that we are going to attempt to oversimplify as to make it easy to understand for all gamers wondering about it.  So let’s dive right into it.

HDR or High Dynamic Range is a new feature that basically increasing the range of colours display on a compatible display.  It makes your brights, brighter and your darks, darker.  Adding detail in washed out images.  Or the inkiest of black areas on the screen.  Red Dead Redemption 2 ships with HDR support, however Digital Foundry and other gaming tech analyst have found something rather peculiar in this stellar title.  The HDR it is displaying, isn’t really HDR, more like a faux HDR implementation that is based off regular SDR.

A new visual analysis method was developed to see just which areas of the screen exhibit peak level of brightness.  With a colour grading that tells you how bright each scene is onscreen.  When DF started using this analysis method they found that RDR2 brightness was not on the same level is HDR.  In fact, it lied well below the required threshold to be considered an HDR title.  So yes the image did have some brightness but not on the same level as say Assasins Creed Oddessy.  The above images demonstrate that the luminance in the game is around 500Nits in the brightest parts of the screen with lots of SDR nits sprinkled everywhere.  Which renders its HDR ability pointless.

You are more likely to get a better experience with the game if you just switch off HDR in the Xbox’s System Settings under display or in-game on PS4.  The results will be more, correct that this faux HDR.  Which brings the question that just how many games that tout HDR support actually hit the required brightness.  With this new analysis methods, there’s no doubt we’re going to find out soon enough.  With that said, RDR 2 is still a groundbreaking technologic marvel and a fantastic open world game.  This whole debacle doesn’t make the game worse, it just leaves us slightly disappointed.