DOOM Will Not Be Locked to 60 FPS on PC – Glorious!

When it comes to the PC vs Console argument there is one topic that always seems to emerge no matter how the discussion starts, frames per second. With consoles having optimised programming and locked hardware many are locked to lower frame rates while PC users are often after a smoother experience at a higher frame rate. People who took part in the DOOM open beta were worried when they found the PC version had in fact been locked to 60 FPS, something the developers has now stated to reassure the crowds that DOOM will not be locked to 60 FPS on the PC.

The confirmation comes from the official DOOM twitter page, reassuring players that the game was only locked to 60 FPS for beta purposes, but at launch the game will enjoy unrestricted frames.

Releasing on May 13th the new game engine used to power the game, id Tech 6, also supports multi-GPU’s, meaning those graphics cards can let you enjoy unleashing hell in full graphical glory. With games like Dark Souls 3 getting warnings from their fans when Capcom, publisher for the game, stated that it would run at 30 FPS on PC (something which the Dark Souls twitter account quickly confirmed as misinformation), frames per second means a lot to some gamers, with the smoother experience often making or breaking their enjoyment with the game.

While you are waiting for the release of DOOM why not try converting your original DOOM game into 007 Goldeneye?

Dark Souls 3 Will Run at 60 FPS on PC Says Developer

Earlier we reported that Dark Souls 3, the latest in the series that’s known for making grown men reap as they die time and time again, will be limited to 30 FPS on PC. This has now been overruled with the series official Twitter posting that the latest game will run at 60 FPS on PC.

Frames per second is a huge issue for developers and gamers alike. Some claim anything about 30 FPS doesn’t matter while others go so far as to say that anything below 60 FPS just makes them feel uneasy and unwell. When the directory of Fallout 4 claimed the game would run at 30 FPS on “everything”, the community gathered arms asking if this included PC’s who keep upgrading their graphics cards and feel like they shouldn’t be penalised for the slow catch-up of consoles have in regards to their graphical power.

From my experience, you can see the difference when playing a game, with consoles normally stuck at 30 FPS and PC’s being able to go well above 60 FPS. For a game as graphically fine as Dark Souls 3 will be, the last thing you want to experience is a slow or stuttering feel as you try to fight for your life in a brutal world.

Early Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate GTX 970 Performance Revealed

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’s PC release is imminent and scheduled for the 19th November worldwide. Compared to previous titles, this is a fairly brief delay and raises questions about the studio’s ability to create an optimized port. Back in August, Sam Kovalev, Studio Production Manager at Ubisoft Kiev proclaimed:

“We have introduced several new improvements to our production pipeline and validation process, which allowed us to focus on polishing, stabilizing and optimizing the PC version very early on in the project,”

“This has been one of the top priorities for the production team this year.” 

“The additional four weeks are for us to really bear down and finalize all of the polish and optimization, to make sure the game and all of its systems are stable when it launches, so it runs smoothly for all players starting on day one,”

Without trying to sound too cynical, PC gamers have heard similar promises before and experienced poor scaling across a wide range of hardware. Thankfully, just before release, a video has emerged which provides an insight into the game’s performance. The video was originally found by Twitter user @RobotBrush who was kind enough to share the technical analysis:

The test system in question revolves around a GTX 970 played at a resolution of 1920×1080. This is a fairly popular configuration among hardware enthusiasts and shouldn’t encounter any major problems when aiming for 60 frames-per-second. To test system performance, every setting was turned up to maximum and recorded with two pieces of monitoring software. MSI Afterburner and FRAPS were both used to determine GPU utilization and frame-rate. Although, having both of these running simultaneously might have impacted on performance.

Nevertheless, during indoor sections, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate hovers around the 40-45 frames-per-second mark which is pretty disappointing albeit playable. However, once the player moves to outdoor environments containing large crowds, the frame-rate suddenly drops to around 30 and can get as low as 23. Initially, I thought the dramatic change could be a result of low GPU usage, but the MSI Afterburner clearly shows 99% utilization.

Theoretically, the disappointing performance could be improved after a release-date patch but this is still not an ideal situation. Additionally, if a GTX 970 cannot attain over 30 frames-per-second in densely populated areas, how will 2560×1440, 3440×1440 or 4K users be able to reach a playable frame rate?

Fallout 4 PS4 Performance Woes

As with most AAA game launches, some retailers send out the game early to ensure delivery for the big day. Most of the time it works, sometimes it’s late (and we always hear about when it’s late), but sometimes the delivery service works some magic and delivers the game a few days early. This time around, PS4 copies of Fallout 4 have made the way to customers.

Without sounding like a broken record, WCCFTech has reported another Frames Per Second (FPS) issue like we had with Batman: AK and even Witcher 3, great. Users on the Neogaf board who have received this early copy have reported the extreme performance dip when in heavy gunfire or in graphically intensive areas such as when Molotov Cocktails explode. There is a video link at the end of this article.

Twitter user @Tidux is one of the lucky (or unlucky) customers who received the game early and has been tweeting constantly with updates regarding the game mechanics and features. After a quick read of the tweets, I can safely say there are no spoilers to the game storyline/ missions or similar.

There has been no official response from Bethesda to this, however, a Twitter user had a response regarding what the performance is set to be like, to which Pete Hines of Bethesda tweeted:

Now here is the problem for pre-launch users, the basic game disk(s) is sent out to customers and then after the official launch, you are prompted to install additional “Day One” updates to patch whatever problems there may possibly be. If you try to play the game before the official launch, you will not have downloaded this patch and problems may be apparent. We can only wait and see with less than 12 hours to the official launch and possible Day One patches to be released.

Warning, the comments contain strong language and mild spoilers.

Here is a link to a video of the FPS issue.

Halo 5 Performance Analysed in Digital Foundry Video

Halo 5 has finally been released after 3 years of development and received overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim. From a technical standpoint, the game’s performance is fascinating given the lack of horsepower in the Xbox One. 343 Industries prioritized 60 frames-per-second and employed a number of tweaks to keep the experience fluid. For example, dynamic resolution scaling alters the rendering resolution in real-time to maintain 60 frames-per-second. When the action is more intense, the resolution is reduced to stop the frame-rate from suddenly dropping. This is an intriguing solution and appears to work quite nicely.

DigitalFoundry investigated Halo 5’s performance and graphical concessions to reach 60 frames-per-second. Sadly, the game suffers from awful texture pop-in which can become rather jarring. Additionally, the shadows, ground textures, poor AA and limited LOD makes the game look quite dated. Clearly, 343 was incredibly limited in the hardware available and had to make huge compromises to keep 60 frames-per-second. This is a real shame as a PC version could properly show the assets off in huge detail and large resolutions. Although, Microsoft doesn’t seem to have any interest in this for the time being.

343 have done a splendid job to attain 60 frames-per-second but it’s pretty shocking to see a major game of this caliber released with very sub-par graphics. Nevertheless, Microsoft has to accept the hardware limitations and realize how poorly the Xbox One was originally launched.

Sony Announces Specs for Project Morpheus VR Headset

With all the buzz regarding Virtual Reality gear, Oculus Rift seems to take the prime stag, having released a lot of information, plans and what consumers would expect from it once it will be released as a final product. However, there is still Sony’s Project Morpheus to take into account, but given that nothing but rumours were heard about it, focus was still on the Oculus Rift. That is, up until now.

Sony apparently has officially announced some of its VR headset specs, teasing fans with what should they expect when the manufacturer’s headset finally hits the market. The manufacturer apparently points to a 5″ panel, boasting a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, 60 frames per second and a field of view of up to 100°, though most likely it will be 90° as a start.

However, considering that the headset will most likely be used for the PlayStation 4, things don’t quite add up. The majority of games for the next-gen consoles are not even playable on full HD, yet alone at a frequency as high as 60 Hz. Not to mention the FOV, which most likely will require a lot of processing power in order to render.

Anton Mikhailov, an engineer from the Magic Lab in the PlayStation R&D could shed some light on this problem with the following statement:

“Frame rate and latency should have really high priority, much more so than […] now when you make a game, you can sort of say, ‘Oh, I’m going to choose to do a 30fps game because it’s more cinematic,’ or whatever, or, ‘I’m going to cram more graphics into it. In VR, it’s not really a choice. You have to go at least 60, preferably higher. It’s kind of a new bar. There are new rules you should obey as a developer. Frame rate and latency are really, really important. […] There is definitely a graphical limit that you can’t go lower than”.

From the following statement, it seems that game developers are required to focus more on frame rate and smooth gameplay rather than detail. The question is whether virtual reality at the expense of stunning detail would really be worth it.

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