Killzone Shadow Fall Prefers To Have 60 FPS Only “Sometimes”
If you happen to listen to this week’s podcast (hint: you should) you might have picked up a particular issue I already have with next0-gen titles and their developers. To be fair, next-gen launch titles are looking incredible so far, but I have a real problem with the fact that we’re still getting developers saying that 60 frames per second is still not possible with all the new performance boosts, which to me sounds unacceptable. But hey, what do I know, because Killzone Shadow Fall’s developers seem to think that framerate drops are better than having locked rates anyway.
One developer from house Guerilla Studios seems to think that Shadow Fall benefits from only running at 60FOS “sometimes” rather than all the time. Lead designer Eric Boltjes explained in a recent interview that it was tricky to lock your framerate at 60FPS, while shedding more light on why Shadow Fall would not run at 60 FPS.
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“Running 60 has become this Holy Grail. Suddenly people think if you run 60 your game is better. Technically, that’s not really true. But what it does do is it makes decisions go from input to on-screen a lot easier. So, having a constant 60 is not actually better than having a ‘lot of the time’ 60. It sounds weird, but it’s actually true. Because usually in the moments where we’re going to drop framerate, either you’re already dead or it’s too late anyway.”
Well, to be very honest, I think a lot of people were expecting most games to run at 60 FPS on next-gen hardware anyway, so this news that launch titles, which don’t use all of the console’s juice, are struggling to reach a constant 60 is a tad worrying. Not only that, these are exclusive developers telling us this, so it’s not even a case of cross-platform development getting in the way. Furthermore, how is the game going to know that “it’s too late” and magically drop the framerate for me? Sounds rather sketchy for a highly competitive multiplayer component if you ask me.
Continuing with the interview, Boltjes explained that the single-player portion of Shadow Fall won’t even reach 60 at any point, with the framerate being locked at 30 to allow for a greater “graphical push” and certain elements of destructibility. Tis was apparently decided due to the fact that players have more time to react in single-player than they do online.
“We analyzed what 60 brings. 60 in multiplayer is really important because your reaction time is a lot shorter. In single-player it’s actually a lot longer. It’s not because our AI is stupid, but because you simply have more time to react. We said we don’t need 60, and we want the graphical push.”
Sure, that sounds logical enough. But seriously people, it’s 2013. How about developing a game that runs at 60 frames first and then seeing what you can squeeze in graphically. Being a PC gamer first and foremost, I can attest to the fact that a game running at a smooth 60 FPS looks much better than a slightly prettier version running at half that. It really makes no sense to have this much of a performance boost and not have 6- FPS as the norm. Especially with console-exclusive title.
And if developers are having this much trouble early on, what does that say for the future of PS4 and Xbox One games. Will developers learn to squeeze more out of it in terms of framerate performance or are we set for another generation of stunning titles that run at on 30 FOS.
Better yet, does this even matter to you?