There’s only one topic we can pick to start the latest edition of DF Direct Weekly with — Bethesda’s decision to launch Arkane Studios’ Raidfall with the game locked at 30 frames per second, with 60 fps. Performance mode is meant to follow at some point. Future. It’s fair to say that the announcement went down like a cup of cold ill, with a series of Xbox fans online suggesting that Microsoft really should be doing better.
In this week’s Direct, we discuss the news as best we can. Bethesda’s tweet provided no real context for this Why The game isn’t going to launch in the condition that every single piece of marketing video we’ve seen to date shows. Each trailer and gameplay showcase appeared to run at a locked 60 frames per second and until recently, the Xbox Store page for Redfall indicated that it would run at 60fps or higher. So, the grim fact is that the launch experience will not be the game as it was presented to date – and that’s a problem.
Putting marketing aside for a moment, the question begs why 60fps is so important – and it’s because of the nature of the game. A shooter thrives on faster frame-rates for two reasons: First, more visual feedback on a faster-paced experience helps the experience a lot. Secondly, the higher the frame-rate, the less input lag – again, important for a first-person shooter and why the likes of Call of Duty and Fortnite offer 120fps options. For games like this, 60fps looks and feels better.
With so little going on from Bethesda, it’s hard to predict what the problem is, nor when we can expect the Performance Mode upgrade to arrive. We’re told the game operates at 4K at 30fps on the Xbox Series X, dropping down to 1440p on the Series S. Assuming that’s the native resolution (which isn’t a given), there should be a discount for both consoles to trade pixels for performance. If that’s not the route, it could suggest that the game has CPU limits, meaning a further push towards optimization is needed. We saw something similar with Gotham Knights, where the CPU bottlenecks caused by the title’s troubled launch were largely reduced to the point where we’re happy to announce that the game was ‘fixed’.
- 00:00:00 Introduction
- 00:00:52 News 01: Raidfall will launch at 30fps on consoles
- 00:16:15 News 02: Suicide Squad delayed to 2024
- 00:21:54 News 03: Cyberpunk 2077 RT Overdrive Mode Launched
- 00:38:13 News 04: The Last Tears of the Kingdom Trailer Fall
- 00:42:29 Pro Q1: Does Redfall’s negative response to the 30fps cap trivialize the filmic and artistic benefits of targeting 30fps?
- 00:47:59 Pro Q2: What’s up with HDMI 2.1 capture cards? Why don’t capture devices support 4K/120Hz recording?
- 00:53:34 Pro Q3: Does “code” in the game industry refer to source code or game store code?
- 00:55:42 Pro Q4: Since the Steam Deck is well established, can you cover it periodically?
From a marketing perspective in the face of the fact that 60fps isn’t ready to ship, it’s probably a good idea that Bethesda announced it when it did – reviewers are now ready for it ahead of launch and while it will be a factor in the review process , Perhaps the disappointment will not be so obvious. We know what’s coming. However, there is still a sense that perhaps the game should be delayed because what we get at launch doesn’t reflect the way it was marketed. The developers and publishers opted to show the game at 60fps which strongly hints that this is the way it is meant to be played. The big question right now is whether Redfall is really ‘finished’. If there have been development challenges, then we should expect that the rest of the game is polished and ready to ship.
However, I want to separate the Raidfall 30fps discussion from the idea of 30fps gaming on current-gen consoles in general. A fast-paced shooter is one thing, but not every type of game requires a minimum of 60fps. If we want to push the visual boundaries then we should expect to see 30fps titles back this generation – and 30fps may be fine, of course, depending on the style of game and the crispness of the response. Although this is a topic for another article, which I have already written, in fact!
Elsewhere in Direct, we discuss the decision to delay Suicide Squad: Kill Justice League and consider whether the extra development time gives Rocksteady a chance to re-evaluate the ‘games as a service’ approach that’s proving so disastrous. Are (spoiler: probably not?). We also share opinions on the final trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, while also tackling a bigger topic: is Cyberpunk 2077 RT Overdrive a vision for the future of PC gaming?
I would say that this is definitely Nvidia’s vision for the future of PC gaming and there is much to commend this level of ambition, keeping in mind that today’s graphics hardware is comparable to that offered by the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. How much faster than the prescribed baseline. There’s actually a path tracing renderer built into Unreal Engine 5 and while it’s not built for real-time gaming, I’m sure Nvidia’s engineers are working with Epic to adapt it to the techniques seen in RT Overdrive. Would like to do And considering how dominant UE5 will be, this will be a huge step closer to separating PC and console gaming in a great way. Oh, and by the way, in case you missed it, check out just how scalable RT Overdrive really is — it’s not just the preserve of high-end RTX 40-series cards.
As usual, the Direct ends with a bunch of supporter questions, such as a point about the aesthetic value of 30fps gaming, why we don’t have 4K 120Hz capture cards yet, will we have more Steam Deck coverage and One question I really enjoyed. Why do we call games ‘code’ or ‘title’? It’s an interesting reminder about the kind of jargon that journalists regularly use and perhaps a lesson on accessibility for journalists. I try to make an attempt here – like explaining Alex’s deep reference to the episode ‘Shades of Grey’ from Star Trek: The Next Generation season two. As always, I hope you enjoy the show and if you do, please consider joining the DF Supporter Program to bring you closer to the team, along with early access opportunities, bonus content and more. see you next week!
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