After a year of listening to Xbox 360 gamers gush over how good Mass Effect 2 is, PS3 owners will be able to taste that sweet slice of RPG pie. Acting as the cherry on top is how Sony’s version will be running on the Mass Effect 3 engine, alluding to the idea of it looking better than its two counterparts. With the demo (so close to release it’s a good representation of the final game) available via PSN, Digital Foundry compared both Xbox 360 and PS3 with a few surprising results. It turns out that change isn’t always for the better thanks to how the game’s Unreal Engine 3 runs on the PS3. There’s not anti-aliasing to speak of on the PlayStation but still manages to look similar to the 360’s efforts and the resolution has clearly been improved on Sony’s big black box, though not the normal-mapping. That appears to be missing altogether. And throughout the demo, some effects have had their resolution dropped adding more artifacts to otherwise smooth graphics. The Foundry used the scene where the curvy Miranda talks to the Illusive Man as an example noting a smidge more blockiness to the backdrop.
Where frame rate is concerned, the 360 is locked at 20FPS and in easier situations to render, can creep above that meaning when the system has a lot to deal with, the very top can suffer from a bit of screen tearing but other than that, its free from having the visuals torn in such a way. For some reason, the PS3 version has no frame-rate locking but does have a default of 30FPS. This however means more screen tearing in both cut-scenes and in-game action which can be really quite annoying. The full comparison goes into a lot more detail and worth a read for anyone interested in how the two platforms handle one of the best games of 2010. The bottom line in this case is that Mass Effect 2 looks brilliant on both Xbox 360 and PS3. One may have a better resolution and the other can run the game without having its screen pulled in two but its all just swings and roundabouts. Running the PS3 version on thew new Mass Effect 3 engine with the few glitches it has, doesn’t mean there’s anything to fear about the quality of the third game either. Eleven months are still to pass before it is even out which is a hell of a long time to iron out any issues of this kind.