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Forspoken: The great combat system suffers from a lot of stuttering

Unfortunately, Forspoken's technology also bitches around.

Unfortunately, Forspoken’s technology also bitches around.

Forspoken not only has a turbulent development phase behind it, previous tests have also been sobering. In the GamePro test, Annika had to criticize, among other things, the game world, which hardly motivates exploration, as well as the confusingly staged plot, but also some technical problems, including permanent blurring.

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Analysis by the Digital Foundry team now suggests a miserable frame rate in some areas and graphics modes. We have checked and come to similar conclusions.

Big swings in quality and performance mode

In the video from Digital Foundry, the responsible editor John Linnemann is surprised at how changeable Forspoken is in terms of its frame rate. The title runs very stably in some sections, depending on the image mode selected, 60, 40 or 30 fps are achieved. And that even when the dimension-travelling protagonist Frey dives through the wilderness of Athia at full speed.

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In many areas, however, there are drops of up to 30 percent. This means that it can crash to 40 fps in performance mode and even to 20 fps in quality mode. The brilliantly choreographed and effective fights can then hardly be controlled in quality mode.

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Especially this rocky area later on caused massive frame drops:

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The frame rate wobbles again and again in quality mode.  (Image source: Digital Foundry)






The frame rate wobbles again and again in quality mode. (Image source: Digital Foundry)

We also encountered stuttering at the beginning of the role-playing game, which does not significantly affect the gameplay in performance mode, but is annoying in the long run:

Less than an hour into the game did we encounter not only dangerous monsters in this forest area, but also frame rate drops.  (Picture: performance mode, 60 Hz)






Less than an hour into the game did we encounter not only dangerous monsters in this forest area, but also frame rate drops. (Picture: performance mode, 60 Hz)

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Ray tracing mode offers the best performance

Based on his test experiences, John Linnemann can also make a recommendation for all Forspoken fans. This is about the ray tracing mode. The technology for the precise calculation of light rays is actually notorious for its enormous computing effort, but in Forspoken the image mode offers the best compromise between a stable frame rate and image sharpness.

Probably also because ray tracing was poorly implemented. Static shadows are just a bit softer, but far from realistic:

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quality

quality
Ray tracing

Ray tracing


Despite ray tracing, the shadows are not authentic, as their course remains exactly the same, no matter how far away from the ground the illuminated objects are.

Here’s how Ray Tracing mode performs: 30 fps are mostly achieved on 60 Hertz televisions, and mostly 40 fps on 120 Hertz televisions. According to Digital Foundry, the 40 fps mode in particular was successful in combination with variable frame rates (VRR), as it is the most fluid of all variants.

That’s what the blur is all about

In terms of the resolution achieved, the ray tracing mode is exactly in the middle between “focus on performance”, as the studio behind Forspoken calls the performance mode, and “focus on quality”, in which the dynamically regulated resolution with an average of 1200p to 1440p is the highest. It is lowest in performance mode at around 800p to 900p.

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AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 (FSR) scaling technology, which generates a sharper image from a low resolution, can’t do much in performance mode. Forspoken is very fuzzy there and also shows numerous, coarse-grained image artifacts in hair and vegetation. The title is quite a bit sharper in the Ray Tracing and Quality modes, although not on par with other PS5 titles.

More Forspoken news:

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It would probably have been necessary to reduce the resolution even further to compensate for the frame-rate problems, but this would only take away from the already poor image sharpness. We hope that Square Enix will continue to work on it, because we really enjoyed the dynamic combat system and the lightning-fast exploration of the game world.

Do you play Forspoken? What do you say about the performance?

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