Current Gen Consoles Incapable of Running Darksiders 2 Remaster at 60 FPS

Darksiders 2 is a hack and slash role-playing game which received fairly positive reviews back in 2012. Although, it didn’t really provide the magical formula which made its predecessor so appealing. As you might expect, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 could only run the game at a sub-par resolution and 30 frames-per-second. In contrast to this, the PC port supported 60 frames-per-second and this was achievable on pretty weak configurations. This is mainly due to the game’s low-quality textures.

The current console generation is awash with various HD remasters from Devil May Cry to Sleeping Dogs. Arguably, the lack of backwards compatibility created a market for previous generation re-releases. Although, Microsoft has developed their own form of backwards compatibility. Nevertheless, the current crop of consoles are relying far too much on HD remasters. The latest entry is Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition which features enhanced visuals and you would assume a better frame-rate.

However, in an interview with GamingBolt, design director John Pearl said:

“When we started out, we looked at what it would take to achieve 60 FPS but we knew it would be a very challenging undertaking. It sounds easy especially as other games have achieved it but it really depends on how the game was built and how versatile the engine is on console. In the end we would have had to re-do some levels from scratch to achieve 60 FPS. Some areas in the game currently run well over 60fps while others run at 30fps. Running the game unlocked allowing the max frame rate would end up resulting in a lot screen tearing and an overall poor experience for the players.”

“Additionally, to get an engine running at a solid 60fps on consoles it has to be a goal when creating the engine and the assets or at least a lot of serious work has to be put into it to get it running at 60fps. The engine that both of the Darksiders games run on were not optimized to run at 60fps on console nor was the data optimized for that. There would have had to have been major overhauls to the way things were rendered at the core of the engine and some major changes to some of the visuals. There are technical cheats out there that would allow the game to run at 60 fps at the cost of a variable resolution. We decided a locked 1080p at 30fps was more important to us than the 60fps with major drops in resolution.”

To summarize, Darksiders 2’s HD remaster will sacrifice 60 frames-per-second just to maintain 1080P. This is embarrassing, especially when you consider how easily relatively modern PCs cope with the original version. The current console generation shouldn’t be struggling with 1080p gaming at 60 frames-per-second but a large quantity of games are downscaled to 900P or the framerate is dropped to 30. Also, there are instances like Fallout 4, when the performance drops below 30 and into the 20s!

Some console players might blame the developer for not managing the golden 1080p 60 frames-per-second figure, but this isn’t an isolated incident. Clearly, the consoles are massively under-powered, and I can see this generation being incredibly short.