It’s no secret that the PS4 and Xbox One haven’t seen very many solid 60fps releases. While slower-paced games work fine at 30fps, competitive first person shooters likeCall of Duty really benefit from a smooth 60fps experience. So, has Treyarch been able to achieve a solid 60fps for Black Ops III? For the most part, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, there are a few slight issues to consider before picking this game up at launch.
Earlier this month, the Black Ops III multiplayer beta went live on the PS4, and the results have been fairly solid. I spent about 45 minutes playing around with it, and the performance was fine. While I was handily murdered by genre devotees, I didn’t run into any notable technical issues.
Over at Digital Foundry, you can see exactly how the frame rate holds up under pressure. By and large, the game stays at 60fps, but it does drop here and there. When numerous large-scale events happen simultaneously, the frame rate will occasionally drop to 50fps. However, that’s a relatively rare occurrence, and the frame rate bounces back to 60fps very quickly.
Additionally, screen tearing is a little bit of a problem. When the engine can’t quite keep up, you’ll see some screen tearing at the top of the image. While it’s mildly disappointing that it doesn’t deliver a rock-solid locked 60fps experience from top to bottom, none of these issues should have a significant impact on how the game is played.
While the traditional competitive multiplayer seems fine, Digital Foundry seems more worried about the four-player campaign co-op mode. The early footage we’ve seen of it ranges wildly from 30fps to 50fps, but Treyarch’s Mark Lamia claims that the existing footage is from a pre-alpha build, and it wasn’t given the full optimization treatment.
As it stands, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just a peek at a portion of the total product. The final game won’t be hitting shelves until November 6th, so there is still time to make performance improvements. And given the state of the gaming industry, a post-release performance patch isn’t out of the question.
As for the Xbox One and PC versions of the game, we still don’t know exactly what to expect. Since Sony signed a deal with Activision, we won’t be able to see the beta running on other platforms until tomorrow. While numerous recent PC releases have been something of a mess,Call of Duty has a long history on the PC. I don’t anticipate any serious issues, but only time will tell.
While the PS4 has had 1080p Call of Duty releases (almost) from the get-go, the Xbox One hasn’t been so lucky. Ghosts was stuck at 720p, and last year’s Advanced Warfare ran at the strange resolution of 1360×1080. While we can probably expect a similar frame rate on the Xbox One, the final resolution remains up in the air.