Even true HDR Game mode looked like bunk in my opinion. I know everyones system is different, but do try forcing HDR in Windows, disabling HDR in game, and selecting Vulkan render. I am just so blown away with how good it looks. Besides Forza 4 and Doom Eternal, it is some of the most impressive HDR I've seen. I was up on a hillside last night by the Trappers cabin, and and the sky was a nice shade of purple with the bright moon in the sky and a train with the lit windows went by. The whole think looks almost photographic. Same thing for the evening jaunts through town. The quality of lighting is just great. It's too damn bad that neither the screen grab function in Gamebar or Nvidia Experience seem to work with HDR.
Read your post a few times. Little confused-Are u saying HDR is better or worse for u? YOur first and last sentence seem to contradict. Anyways, I'm a graphics whore and I always liked that SDR pop with using dynamic mode on my Samsung JS9000 with AMP enabled. I love the over saturated colors and pops in my games. Although, HDR does seem to tune down the saturation in RD2, the light effects with HDR are really nice! I have gotten used to HDR and really like it now in all my games. I do keep the contrast and back light to max on my Samsung which helps to preserve that color pop that I like!