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DF Direct Weekly talks Forza Horizon 5, Star Citizen and GTA Remastered

Plus: is Starlink internet good for gaming?

A day late as we clear a content backlog, DF Direct Weekly is back! Myself, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia sit down for almost an hour and a half to discuss the latest gaming and tech news and drill deep into a mailbag of questions offered up by backers of the Digital Foundry Supporter Program. Forza Horizon 5, Star Citizen, GTA Remastered and some curious matters surrounding Metroid Dread performance dominate the discussion this week.

We'll have more on Forza Horizon 5 soon, but we have had access to the recent preview build played by Oli last week and in our opinion, this is odds on in delivering one of the most exciting games of the year. We've only had access to an Xbox Series build, but this has it all - genuine 'next-gen' spectacle and outrageous action while still retaining Forza's signature simulation core. It's also interesting in that both 30fps quality and 60fps performance modes both appear to be running at native 4K on Xbox Series X - Forza has always had the ability to scale settings and it opts for that over dynamic resolution scaling. It's something we're going to need to take a closer look at with final code, because both Series X and S maintain a rock solid 60fps while still looking beautiful.

Star Citizen? This is a game Alex has been tracking since day one and he's hugely excited about it - and in the recent Citizen Con, we got to see a mission tackled with three different playthroughs. Looks like Cloud Imperium Games isn't just redefining the space simulator, but fully integrating a Deus Ex-style immersive sim too. Moving on, our discussion shifts to the remasters of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City and San Andreas. Unfortunately, it seems we know more about the publisher's attempts to delete the original games and wipe mods off the map than we do about the actual game.

John Linneman, Rich Leadbetter and Alex Battaglia reconvene to perpetrate DF Direct Weekly #33.Watch on YouTube
  • 00:00:00 Introductions
  • 00:00:33 Star Citizen and Citizen Con demos
  • 00:17:24 AMD Radeon RX 6600 launched
  • 00:26:18 GTA Remastered announced, mods taken down
  • 00:31:47 Metroid Dread performance issues
  • 00:38:52 Hackers reverse-engineered Cotton 2's Saturn emulation on Switch
  • 00:42:39 DF Content Discussion: Forza Horizon 5 impressions
  • 00:48:57 DF Content Discussion: DF Retro Pickups and Magazine Memories
  • 00:51:00 DF Supporter Q1: Sony Bravia TV, discuss, GO!
  • 00:56:03 DF Supporter Q2: Why do we see more shader compilation/streaming stutters?
  • 00:59:18 DF Supporter Q3: Alex, could you do a quick recap on the state of Deathloop?
  • 01:04:37 DF Supporter Q4: Will you be testing Starlink for cloud games?
  • 01:09:14 DF Supporter Q5: Could manufacturers tap into 50Hz display for 40Hz compatibility?
  • 01:12:45 DF Supporter Q6: Do you think that one reason why Navi 2 under-performs when using ray-traced lighting is due to the GPU spending a lot of time swapping data in and out of cache?
  • 01:17:02 DF Supporter Q7: Are there any games for the rest of the DF crew that causes their Chalice of hate to overspill as Metal Gear Solid 4 does for Audi?

On top of analysis of the lacklustre Radeon RX 6600 and some bizarre performance issues only noted by some Switch owners, we also take time to discuss the discovery and an armed and operational Sega Saturn emulator within the recently released Cotton collection then move onto a robust set of questions from the DF community. What's going on with the 'perfect for PS5' Sony Bravia displays and are they actually perfect for PS5? What's up with obvious stutter in PC games? Has Deathloop on PC been fully patched? Well, it looks like it and DLSS support is the icing on the cake.

We also received a question about our experiences with Starlink - the SpaceX satellite internet provider - where due to my own rural location, I've literally had no choice but to sign up to break a 32Mbps download limit I've had at my place since 2012. The verdict? Well, I'm tempted to write a full review when the service comes out of beta, but I do have some notes I can share in the here and now. Firstly, it's expensive, but it's also invaluable in what it can deliver if you need high bandwidth in a location that simply doesn't have it. I get over 200Mbps download and around 8-20Mbps upload. It hasn't solved my video upload challenges but I do now have fast access to software and assets I need to download. Is it good for gaming? Experiences vary but I've had no luck with cloud gaming services, and while the service works for online gaming, I can literally feel the disadvantage I have against other gamers. Watching COD search out low latency servers, then drop back to higher ping experiences is a thing. I think it's just the nature of the service, but I will reserve final judgement until the service emerges from beta.

The Direct finishes up with discussion of Audi Sorlie's unbridled hatred for Metal Gear Solid 4, which we're not entirely sure if he's serious about or not - but leads us onto a chat about the games and elements of games we love to hate. Oh - and some news! Digital Foundry Direct Weekly is available as a podcast. It's not officially launched quite yet (Apple needs to get its act together!) but there's no reason not to access our feed. And as soon as we can, all Digital Foundry supporters will get access to the podcast and indeed the video on Saturday, ahead of release early the following week. Join us! Our Discord is actually pretty awesome...

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