Welcome to another entry in our new techie-focused series highlighting how developers across the industry are enhancing their games with the power of PlayStation 4 Pro.
In each article, we speak directly to development teams and get a breakdown of how their brand new releases will be putting the extra horsepower of PS4 Pro to use and what improvements players can expect to see.
First up this week, we have industry veterans Ninja Theory:
Tomorrow sees the long-awaited launch of Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory’s brutal new action adventure Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – a brooding and deeply personal voyage into psychosis and Viking mythology that boasts some of the most cutting-edge visuals seen in a game to date.
These impressively detailed environments, animations and character models will be even more impressive on PS4 Pro, with more than a two-fold increase in pixel density over the base PlayStation 4 placing the target output resolution at 2560 x 1440.
The developer here, however, has chosen to favour a rock solid performance above all else, ensuring combat and movement are never interrupted. To this end, the game dynamically adjusts output resolution ‘on the fly’, scaling between the target 1440p resolution and a full HD 1080p to maintain a constant framerate.
Those playing the game on a standard HD display will also benefit from increased image quality thanks to down-sampling. This process allows the console to construct a more finely-detailed 1080p image from the full the higher-resolution render, smoothing jagged edges and refining object and texture detail, particularly at a distance.
Finally, PS4 Pro users will also have the option to enable a ’60hz Mode’. With this option enabled the game will double its target frame rate to 60FPS, delivering an even more fluid experience.
Impressively, the game will continue to target higher resolutions in this mode meaning you’ll still enjoy above HD resolutions, though perhaps not quite as high overall. For those who prize performance above all else – this is the perfect way to play the game.
Last week saw new gravity-defying team-based shooter LawBreakers enter a beta testing phase on PlayStation 4. Set in 2098 after the world recovered from a cataclysmic event known as The Shattering that forever altered Earth’s gravity, the game is a team-based multiplayer FPS that’s all about the player’s competitive shooting skills.
Developer Boss Key Productions have laid on a selection of improvements which benefit all PS4 Pro users depending on their setup. For users that are hooked up to 4K televisions you can expect the ultimate visual clarity with a ultra-HD output of maximally 3840 x 2160 running at a wonderfully smooth 60FPS.
Not only this, image quality will be refined even further by the inclusion of high-fidelity textures, meaning presentation across the board will be pristine.
What about those of us who don’t have their PlayStation 4 hooked up to an ultra HD display then? Well, Boss Key Productions have pushed the boat out here, too. Those running at a regular HD will get a native 1920 x 1080 resolution running at 60FPS, only with all the dials turned up to eleven.
Which dials, you ask? Well, first up, overall presentation gets a huge boost, with increases to level-of-detail and shader settings combining with higher quality assets to improve visible detail and image quality right across the scene.
This is then further bolstered by an improvement to scene lighting and visual effects, such as explosions and particles to deliver what developer has described as ‘one of the best-looking versions of the game’.
Third up, we have online space shooter Dreadnought, wherein you take the helm of your own capital space ship and wade into combat across deep space and in the skies above alien planets.
Users playing on PS4 Pro will experience these explosive, deep-space panoramas in eye-popping high detail with pixel density across the entire game being doubled to a native 2560 x 1440.
And, to ensure that none of those extra pixels go to waste, PS4 Pro enables a higher level of detail for static and skeletal meshes (3D in-game objects) meaning that more detail is rendered out, in higher resolution, from further away.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II
Finally, we have a gothic shooting, looting and swordplay extravaganza from Hungarian-developers NeocoreGames. A must for action RPG fans: it’s filled with ridiculous power-ups, hordes of monsters and a little tongue-in-cheek humour.
PS4 Pro users are spoilt for choice here, with three different modes designed to cater to all tastes:
For those who chasing top performance, the aptly-named ‘Better Performance’ mode will pour the extra horsepower into doubling the base PS4’s 30hz target, delivering a silky-smooth 60FPS throughout.
For those wanting the most pristine picture quality the ‘Better Quality’ mode will keep your performance locked to standard, but quadruple pixel counts to deliver a fully-native 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160.
The third option? ‘Balance Mode’ offers a little on both sides, increasing overall picture quality by more than double to a native resolution 2880 x 1620 and boosting target performance by around 65% – 50FPS in real terms.
All information provided has been sourced directly from the developers.