Left 4 Dead 2: Unfair performance benefits with cut version?
While testing Left 4 Dead 2, PC Games Hardware noticed performance differences between the cut and uncut version of the game which are demonstrated with benchmarks on two popular processors.
The demo version of Left 4 Dead 2 recently became available for gamers who preordered the action title. PC Games Hardware ran benchmarks to check the performance of the second Left 4 Dead part soon after the release. But with the launch of the public demo a cut version was introduced, at least in Germany. In this adjusted version the blood is brown and there is less of the life juice; enemies also don't lose body parts if they are shot at. Killed infected vanish a lot quicker than before and the corpses don't react bullets, fire or explosions. To put it bluntly: In the cut version the workload for the graphics card and processor is lower. Since there haven't been any changes to the actual engine mechanics, we now can use our real-time demo benchmark scene to check the performance difference between the cut and the uncut version.
Left 4 Dead 2: Cut vs. Uncut
For our benchmarks we use a 60 second real-time demo sequence which takes place in the park from the second chapter of the "The Parish” Campaign. In the scene we have several Bommers and a Splitter as well as a lot of ordinary enemies. We use a Radeon HD 5870 to display the demo at 1680 x 1050 with maximal details, 4x MSAA and 16:1 AF. So all in all the setting is quite challenging for the CPU.
The direct comparison between cut an uncut version reveals huge differences in performance. It doesn't matter if we use a dual-core E6600 or quad-core Q6600 processor, the less violent version of the demo runs about 40 percent faster that the uncut version. Furthermore the difference between the two uncut results (dual-core vs. quad-core) is bigger, too, what indicates a higher CPU workload.
Since it is currently possible to play on "uncut” servers with a cut version of Left 4 Dead 2, the question arises if this could be an unfair advantage for some players. A scene that lags in the uncut version might be running smoothly in the cut version - especially in Versus Mode this could make the difference between death and survival. It is of course possible to lower the amount of violence in the uncut version via the command console though.
What do you think about the performance difference between cut and uncut version of Left 4 Dead 2? Could this be an unfair advantage for some gamers? Or do you think that it doesn't matter? Tell us in the comments.