Fallout 4's latest Far Harbor DLC performed poorly on PS4, where frame-rates typically stuck at 20fps, and even locked to 15fps at points. However, Bethesda has announced that a solution is readily available, ahead of the patch's arrival. Simply deleting the expansion from your hard drive, and then downloading a newly updated build of Far harbor from the PSN servers is said to solve the problem. Our tests show this is very much the case, and the update gives PS4 a remarkable turnaround in frame-rates - though, perhaps inevitably, not without a drawback.
The good news is PS4 now runs at a practically locked 30fps line, at some points doubling the frame-rate seen in Far Harbor's 15fps stretches at launch. It represents a huge leap over what we had in its original state, and the game is vastly smoother to play with this updated build in place. However, such a radical boost does come at a price, and while the island's distinctive volumetric fog is still in play, the effect is also now visibly dialed back on PS4.
In several scenes throughout our video comparison, plumes of fog are removed from the ground on PS4 to create a sparser atmosphere compared to the original DLC. Woodlands are more barren compared to Xbox One in particular, where its older Far Harbor build retains the heavier layers of fog. It's clear this effect was indeed culpable for the frame-rates drops on both machines, and PS4 has made the necessary trade-off. However, whether Xbox One is also set to receive a similar patch - to boost performance and lower fog density in the same manner - remains to be seen
As a sacrifice, this is the right one to make for Far Harbor's playability. The updated DLC runs far more smoothly by comparison to the original; a clear 30fps line for the duration of our tests, barely interrupted by any dips during battle. In direct comparison with Xbox One's current built, PS4's updated DLC enjoys a clear-cut performance advantage. It leapfrogs the current-gen rival in frame-rates, turning in a solid 30fps compared to the wavering 20-30fps range on Xbox One.
In other words, Bethesda has fixed PS4's frame-rate issues, though users will have to download the content all over again to see any changes. Indeed, the snag to this method at present is the need to reinstall 6.5GB of data (where the instructions to remove the older DLC are outlined here), and it's unclear if a smaller, seperate patch is still planned to avoid this process. In either case, the results are worth it, and it gives PS4 owners the solid 30fps performance they wanted - even if there is a trade-off. We'll report back on any similar updates to Xbox One as they arrive.