AC Valhalla : Is the HDR just no good for anyone else?

Started playing AC Valhalla yesterday on my XSX and as soon as you get control over the player character I noticed that something was very off with the black levels. The character is in a room with very few light sources, yet it’s not dark at all there. I immediately thought of bad HDR implementation since with many other games it’s great.

Sure enough, after disabling HDR in the Xbox settings and rebooting the game I instantly noticed it. The room is dark as it should be, not these elevated black levels. It never improves either, night time is just ugly really, great with SDR. I have made four pictures. Can you guys tell me if HDR is like that for you too? And is there anything I can do, other than disabling HDR altogether? I already used the Xbox own HDR calibrator app. I definitely don’t think this is a XSX issue.

HDR on

HDR off

I know I’ve seen the same complaints about Valhalla’s HDR elsewhere.

Ok, good to know. Yesterday Jake Baldino on Twitter talked about it too. But then he deleted the tweet and said he found out what was causing it, but no explanation or anything. I am guessing it’s HDR for him too.

The black levels in Odyssey are top notch. Here’s hoping Ubi fixes it because I know how amazing HDR otherwise can be.

I’m having the same issue with the hdr for valhalla on the Series X with a Q90t, so you’re not alone. Seems it’s just poor hdr in this game. Hopefully they improve it with a patch.

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Not getting this problem on LG C7 with latest OTA firmware, what model TV you got?

I have the C9.

Ah, in that case @Colbert is the best person to ask as I believe he’s a C9 owner too.

So the black levels are proper for you, not that weird haze look at all? Man, HDR can be so hit or miss. That’s why I am not the most biggest fan of it. When it works it’s excellent.

Just run through the intro again on a different account and it does match up to your initial dodgy shots, I’m pretty sure I’d have noticed this first time out but guess I missed it (probably due to the trauma of hours spent on a NAT issue) or a day 1 patch as I was playing before the download was complete.

Ah I see.

Thanks a lot for giving it a shot, appreciate that very much. :slight_smile:

Orgikns and Oddysey were fine with this, so it’s odd that they went wrong with this one. It’s probably going to take a DF video until Ubi notices this, but I wonder if I could send them a email about it too. Who knows, can never hurt.

No problem WFH does have some advantages :).

I’ve done quite a few dark areas in game up to this point and I hadn’t picked this up, so when I’m playing later I’ll hop around a few to see if it’s the same in the later game.

I was like “whatever could he mean with WFH?” and then I realized it, haha.

To me this kind of HDR looks like as if the HDMI black level setting on a TV is set wrong, you get that washed out look as well then.

I’ve also tried to do the "Destiny 2"trick that EvilBoris came with last year. Basically disable HDR on Xbox. Boot the game, check the brightness setting (only available when HDR is off) and lower the bar until you barely see the logo, which is 3 for me. Quit game. Enable HDR again and then check if it’s better. It’s every so slightly better but still that haze, washed out look.

Ubi really has to touch it.

I noticed the same thing immediately when i started the game

The dark introscene looks really washed out in hdr… there are no darkness setting for the hdr so nothing to do really :frowning:

Looks like this is a thing, seen a few reddit posts etc mentioning the same thing. Lots of different TVs effected and PS too. No solutions anywhere but a suggestion to try PC RGB colour space. Fix from Ubi soon hopefully

Same thing with me and my older Samsung HDR 4k TV, HDR looks kind of washed out. Before Red Dead 2 got patched their HDR implementation had a similar look. Colors are washed out and blacks are more grey.

I messed around alot with the HDR sliders on AC and something is not right with how they are doing it

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It’s not just Valhalla. I have 3 different 4k tv’s and none of them look good with HDR10. I play Valhalla on Series X. My solution. Settings, video, 32bit color and pc rgb, allow 4k, do not allow hdr10. Picture looks amazing on everything after that. A little calibration doesn’t hurt. And like I said it isn’t just Valhalla. Go to YouTube. Search 4k. Click on the Costa Rica video. Watch the first 2 minutes with hdr10 on. Then toggle it off and restart. Hands down 4K w/out Hdr10 looks 1000 times better.

It differs per game. HDR can be a game changer for sure, but way too often the implementation is just bad and in those cases HDR10 option is better left off. But compare Gears 5 in SDR (HDR off) with HDR on and that’s a big difference. It’s hard to explain what the improvement is, but when you compare the two, wow.

But way too many developers for some reason feel the need to have these raised black levels. Start AC Valhalla without HDR and you get great black levels, buildings without light sources are proper dark. Night time is still too bright but that’s a artistic choice I’m sure. But enable HDR and all these areas that looked proper dark just are way too bright, washed out etc. If only Ubi and many other developers just didn’t touch those black levels at all, we’d have awesome HDR.

PC RGB is sending full signal RGB rather than limited. Most TVs by default expect limited. Sending a full signal unless you set your TV appropriately means you will be crushing blacks. That isn’t good picture quality. Setting to 32bit colour for games made in RGB will also very likely result in some ugly colour banding. If you’re watching HDR and it looks worse then something is wrong in your setup. Or you don’t appreciate genuine picture quality - many people don’t like HDR because it makes pictures more realistic yet people tend to favour overblown contrast and colour.

While I can’t speak on the Costa Rica video, he is right about AC Valhalla though. The HDR isn’t all around trash, because during daytime in the game it looks rather nice, a definite improvement over SDR. But it’s the black levels that suffer here. Especially noticeable right at the start of the game, the raised black levels are horrible and nothing like when you play in SDR.

I find that still quite a bit of games have this and I don’t get why. Auto HDR so far however has been awesome for me.

The same with RDR2 when it came out, fake bad looking HDR. Apparently it’s better now but I’ve yet to check it for myself.

I mean RDR2 just put SDR into the HDR container it wasn’t good. Raised black levels are just poor implementation. Nothing to do with the HDR itself. I wonder if devs even do it deliberately seeing as many complain about HDR being dark and I guess in games it’s a problem if you can’t see.