Before I get bashed without the entire post being read, this thread is not about resolution or the art style. The explosions are one issue, but it looks like they are here to stay, for the worse. It would be in great favor if 343 could increase the fidelity of those explosions, but seeing recent gameplay it seem unlikely, However, the explosion are not the threads major topic.
First off, I assume many of you have seen the Sanghelios Gameplay uploaded 3 days ago. I can suppose that most of you viewed it on youtube, which takes the video you uploaded and compresses it for better web streaming - or at least in most cases this is the way it works. In turn the video is slightly blurrier and any artifacts or visual ailments are more difficult to notice.
I decided to download the gameplay b-roll, which has a video bit rate of nearly 27kbps. I decided to take a closer look at some scenes and noticed a similar issue that was present in Halo 4. There were some texture lod issues - distant textures have the weird grid pattern and are blurry at a distance, and pop in to full detail upon getting closer. GTA 5, even on PC has a similar problem. As far as I remember, this was not an issue in Halo 3, Reach or H2A, but is still an issue in Halo 4 in the MCC.
Another visual ailment, or perhaps the two most important ones, is the lack of decent texture filtering or anti aliasing.
In every Warzone footage I have seen, as well as this recent campaign footage, the ground textures are blurry when viewed from low angles (Pretty much anything a couple meters and further in front). This could be fixed with an implementation of Anisotropic Filtering, a setting that even at maximum configuration has negligible impact on performance. I have seen many game benchmarks, and done many myself; this setting requires very little resources.
In terms of anti aliasing, it seems that there is none at all. Now, I am not implying they should go ahead and use MSAA or SSAA, but anything at this point would suffice. It is unbearable to look at games with jagged polygons in the distance. Notice how this is only visible in gameplays for the most part? Every up close screenshot 343 releases seems super great, but I believe that is due to higher polygon count Spartan models and the possible application of filters. Two very simple and non resource hungry anti aliasing techniques that could be implemented (and one of them should) are FXAA and SMAA.
Some may disagree with me here, but i would not mind sacrificing some other things to implement these features if performance is that much of an issue. I know the game runs at dynamic resolution scaling, which just shows the failure of “next gen” hardware, or at least Xbox hardware. It is sad when a $150 GPU outperforms consoles by a long shot. I used to have a GTX 760, which retailed at around $250 and it has 80% more computational power than the whole Xbox One console. Lol
Despite taking bmp screenshots, and then saving lossless with max settings, some things are still difficult to see. On the screenshots I mainly focused on the texture filtering. As I mentioned earlier, adding texture filtering usually has very little performance impact.
To better see what I am trying to show, I would suggest to download the b-roll here.