Recently, we reviewed Dead Trigger, the latest offering from Smartphone developers extraordinaire Madfinger Games. In our review, we detailed the game’s many selling points, and the flaws that offset them, but our special focus was on Dead Trigger’s graphics. After all, that’s the game’s chief selling point, and the reason many are heralding it as the first example of a truly competitive Smartphone game; one that’s capable of going toe-to-toe with benchmark offerings from the PS3 and Xbox 360 and come out victorious. But what are the graphics like on different devices? Is a Tegra 3 chipset truly necessary to experience all of Dead Trigger’s frills? In our latest exposé, we aim to highlight the differences between disparate versions of Dead Trigger, and how the game is handled on different devices. First up, the HTC One X. This device is the perfect high water-mark for testing the game; not only is it one of the strongest Smartphones currently on the market, it also contains the much-touted Tegra 3 chipset. For those who didn’t peruse our review of the game, Dead Trigger was designed with the Tegra 3 in mind: those fortunate enough to own a Tegra 3 device are privy to a special “ultra-high” graphical option which substantially improves the game’s graphics. Predictably, of the three devices we tested, the HTC One X came out on top. The game ran extremely smoothly, but that was no surprise. What really amazed us was the quality of the effects. The colours were vibrant, the bloom effects were polished and miscellaneous effects such as water droplets, steam coming from pipes, and of course the muzzle flashes from your weapon were incredibly realistic. Loading times between missions were minimal, and movement was predictably smooth. In fact, the only issue we found was unrelated to the game itself: as a by-product of running the game on the coveted “ultra-high” graphical setting, we found that the HTC One X became very warm, and ran out of battery power much more swiftly than otherwise. However, battery power is a notorious issue with the One X, and the warmth of the device appeared to have no adverse effects, and swiftly faded. Next, we tested Dead Trigger on the Samsung Galaxy S3. Despite being arguably the strongest Smartphone currently on the market (at least in terms of raw specs), the S3 is only comparable to the One X in terms of graphical capacity. Samsung do not outsource chip production to Nvidia, as HTC do; they produce their own graphical chips in-house. The Galaxy S3 runs a quad-core ARM chipset dubbed Exynos 4, which is a competitive SOC but doesn’t yet have the same range of support as the Tegra 3. Consequently, there is no option to opt into the “ultra-high” mode for the Galaxy S3. But as we saw with the overheating and battery consumption of the One X, “ultra-high” essentially constitutes overclocking: ramping up the game’s graphics at the expense of much more power. So is that necessarily a bad thing? Well… yes, frankly. The highest normal graphical setting is certainly impressive by the standards of a Smartphone, but it fails to match up to the HD next-gen graphics set by ultra-high. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination: the water effects in particular retain their sheen, right down to the droplets which spatter the camera when you walk under a leaking pipe. But when compared side-by-side to the One X version, the lighting is somewhat more muted, movement is slightly more jerky and loading times are noticeably longer. However, this is solely because it lacks the ultra-high setting; Samsung’s chipsets are generally on-par with Nvidia’s in other respects, so it seems obvious that the S3 has the capacity to run as well as its competitor, it just isn’t being allowed to. We’re sure that once Madfinger Games gets around to it, the S3 can expect similar integration to that enjoyed by the One X. Finally, we tested Dead Trigger on a Motorola Xoom tablet. To be honest, we weren’t expecting much from the tablet, as the game was designed with Smartphones in mind, but we were pleasantly surprised. It suffers a definite loss in quality; the colours are significantly grainier, loading times were longer, and – crucially – there’s a time lag between touching the screen and seeing it transfer to an on-screen result, which means you’ll often find yourself missing targets through shooting too late. On the other hand, the larger screen made things a lot easier to see, and the controls were easier to use, courtesy of the broader buttons. And in some respects, the muted colour palette actually added to the attraction – Dead Trigger, after all, has faced a lot of criticism for its overly-colourful design, with many One X users reporting headaches after prolonged use. Overall, though, the tablet experience was significantly different enough from the One X and S3 to almost qualify as a new game entirely! We definitely had a few Resident Evil 4 flashbacks while playing it. In summary, we’d recommend that you stick with a Smartphone, though – the majority of users aren’t going to be impressed by easier controls, if the trade-off is noticeable lag. Both the One X and the S3 versions are fun to play, and if the coveted ultra-high setting makes its debut on the S3 before too much longer, they’d be virtually identical anyway!