After 7 years of development, Dying Light 2 has finally released on a variety of platforms, and the PC version of the game got the most advanced graphical features, such as ray traced global illumination, reflections, shadows, and ambient occlusion. But in order to run this game at maximum graphics settings and reasonable framerates at native resolution, quite a powerful GPU is required, which is why upscaling solutions are so important. Depending on the game, there are subtle differences in the implementation of NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), so we are keen to have a look at both in this game.
Below, you will find comparison screenshots at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p and in different DLSS/FSR quality modes. For those who want to see how DLSS and FSR perform in motion, watch our side-by-side comparison video. The video can help uncover issues like shimmering or temporal instability, which are not visible in the screenshots.
All tests were made using a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU at Ultra graphics settings with ray tracing enabled and motion blur disabled. DLSS in this game shipped with version 2.3.7.
Side by Side Comparison Video
Unfortunately, while implementing FSR for this game, the developers decided to exclude Ultra Quality mode for FSR, which is the most usable FSR quality mode across all resolutions. We're not sure if this was intentional or just a mistake by the developers. Speaking of DLSS, Ultra Performance mode is also missing in the DLSS implementation. Tweaking the config file won't help either, so we only have 3 options available for each upscaling solution.
In Dying Light 2, both FSR and DLSS are implemented with the ability to tweak the level of the sharpening filter in the render path by using a slider in the game settings. For DLSS, the sharpening slider works as intended, but there is a catch with FSR: even setting it to 0 in the menu will have it apply some level of sharpening filter in the render path, so you can't completely disable it with FSR. In our testing, we set the sharpening filters to 0 for both upscaling solutions.
Speaking of image quality and performance, compared to native resolution, the DLSS performance uplift at 4K is an impressive improvement to the game. It almost doubles performance in Quality mode, and image quality is more detailed and stable than the TAA/FSR solution. DLSS deals with vegetation details even better than the native resolutions, including 1080p, and small details in the distance are rendered more correctly and complete. Speaking of FSR, with such a disappointing implementation (no Ultra Quality mode and incorrect sharpening filter values), this upscaling solution falls behind in quality more drastically than usual—only at 4K would it perhaps make sense for some users.