The latest DF Direct Weekly lands, with the team spending a great deal of time discussing Gotham Knights and the mooted return of 30 frames per second gaming for the latest generation of consoles - something I'll be discussing in a bit more length in an upcoming Eurogamer article. There are some interesting takeaways though: 30fps for a cross-gen title can be what you might call a fallback position if there are technical issues (which a look at the PC version of Gotham Knights reveals is likely the case) while the graphical brilliant of A Plague Tale: Requiem demonstrates that there's always a limit to the capabilities of a gaming box with limited resources at its disposal. Ultimately, it's down to the game developer to choose what is right for their title - but more than that, they will be entirely aware of the popularity of 60fps performance modes. It stands to reason that if there's not that expected functionality, there are likely good reasons why.
There's much more on the docket for discussion in this week's Direct. There is a dual helping of exciting survival horror in the offing, with reveals for Bloober's Silent Hill 2 remake, plus a remarkable array of footage unleashed for Capcom's Resident Evil 4 - two releases with very different takes on revitalising PS2/GameCube era classics. Capcom's RE Engine delivers exactly what I was expecting from its latest remake, but what I wasn't expecting was the sheer intensity of the gameplay footage. It's looking astonishing. Meanwhile, Silent Hill 2 teases us in all of the right ways and while controversy surrounds some of the changes, at least we got to see something that looks like it's running in real-time (complete with minor artefacts we'd associate with UE5, a mark of authenticity if you will). Heavy blunt force trauma instruments being dragged along the ground by shambling zombies? The trope is back with a vengeance and we're here for it in both cases.
Beyond that, we spend some time discussing the latest Final Fantasy 16 trailer that arrived last week, while Alex talks about the trials and tribulations of reviewing Uncharted: The Legacy Collection on PC. It's another example of a PC title sent out to reviewers with some big issues - problems that were ultimately resolved by the day one patch, which essentially required us to re-do around 50 percent of the video you saw last week. In the Direct, John came up with the brilliant idea of actually sharing the first version of the Uncharted review as bonus material on the DF Supporter Program - and after spending some time unearthing a copy of what we thought had been entirely deleted content, we did indeed share it with DF backers last Friday.
- 00:00:00 Introduction
- 00:01:05 News 01: Gotham Knights and Plague Tale run at just 30fps on consoles
- 00:26:39 News 02: Silent Hill returns!
- 00:40:33 News 03: Resident Evil 4 remake gameplay trailer released
- 00:48:16 News 04: Final Fantasy 16 gets impressive new story trailer
- 00:55:33 DF Content Discussion: Uncharted PC: Review Code vs Day One Patch
- 01:05:39 DF Supporter Q1: What performance should we expect from consoles once FSR and SSDs are maximized?
- 01:10:00 DF Supporter Q2: How much performance loss will I see by using a 4090 in an older system?
- 01:12:47 DF Supporter Q3: If an emulated game has an improved frame-rate, should gameplay be adjusted to compensate?
- 01:14:04 DF Supporter Q4: Why don't developers offer higher bitrate versions of game video files as an optional download?
- 01:18:53 DF Supporter Q5: With many PC gamers on 144Hz displays, why not do benchmarking at 72Hz instead of 60Hz?
- 01:20:58 DF Supporter Q6: Was Gotham Knights sabotaged just to spite Rich?
Supporter Q+A? We love it, and there are some great questions this week, a couple of them revolving around the RTX 4090. We reviewed it with a Core i9 12900K but what if you're using an older but still capable processor? On many titles, the RTX 4090 presents almost like a bottomless pit of graphics power and yes, the CPU can make a difference if you're gaming on a 4K 120Hz screen. In order to judge how capable your CPU is for a prospective 4090 upgrade, a good idea is that lower resolution on your existing GPU as much as possible and just see how fast the CPU can run the scene. Hitting a sustained 120fps isn't easy - and sometimes it's not the GPU's fault!
Perhaps flippantly I did suggest that the RTX 4090 effectively 'solves graphics' for the current generation of games, so the last question about Gotham Knights on PC trouncing that theory did amuse me - because the rumours are true - even a 12900K paired with RTX 4090 will not give you a locked 4K 60fps. The thing is though, that the GPU is often running highly underutilised. The RTX 4090 may well 'solve graphics' for current titles, but what it can't do is overcome authoring problems nor shader compilation stutter! We'll be looking at the PC version of Gotham Knights later in the week, mostly in an attempt to understand why 60fps was undeliverable on consoles, but in the meantime, do consider the DF Supporter Program!
Our epic new Final Fantasy 13 episode 'drops' for DF Retro tier supporters later this week, early access on as much unembargoed content continues apace, and there's a wealth of bonus material to enjoy - like the OG Uncharted PC review, initial 8K experiments with the RTX 4090 (in Forza Horizon, it's almost as fast as an RTX 3080 at 4K. Oh, and how about DLSS 3 comparisons where we separate all the AI generated frames from the standard rendered ones? 4K120 video downloads for DLSS 3? That's there too. We're really proud of the supporter program and how it enables a lot of our best work and invite you to join us!
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