Home » Forspoken PC tested: a confusing, deeply disappointing port

Forspoken PC tested: a confusing, deeply disappointing port

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Forspoken’s launch on PlayStation 5 was rocky from a technical standpoint, with patchy visuals and inconsistent performance, which made us wonder if the PC version could be the panacea for all our problems. was John touched on the DF tech reviewWe’ll get into the bloody details later, but the good news is that the PC version is do It will play better than the PS5 version, at least on high-end hardware. However, there are also some serious issues specific to the PC release that need to be addressed.

So, here’s what you need to know, including how the PC version of the game compares to the PS5, how DirectStorage reduces load times, and optimizes settings for better performance.

However, on first launch, Forspoken on PC makes a positive first impression. There is a comprehensive settings menu with options for choosing image reconstruction techniques, dynamic resolution, ray-traced ambient occlusion (RTAO), and even in-game benchmarks. But as nice as it is to have these options, the brilliance of these PCs doesn’t help in their execution.

Let’s start with the quality options. DLSS (2.4.12), FSR (2.1) and even his XeSS are offered depending on the GPU, but each suffers from some issues despite being a net positive.

Forspoken’s complete DF technical review in video format.

For example, image resolving in FSR introduces problems with transparency effects such as particles, so things like fire can look much worse in FSR compared to DLSS and XeSS. Elsewhere, motion and occlusion artifacts are present, and post-processing blurs such as depth of field can appear pixelated as if they weren’t reconstructed. XeSS interacts with depth of field in an even worse way and has massive flickering issues that definitely need to be patched.

DLSS is probably the best option here, but both DLSS and XeSS suffer from single-pixel specular effects when motion blur is enabled. These pixels are pulled into lines by motion blur. firefly filter will be released. Even his TAA in games at native resolution has issues, ghosting in particles like in FSR.

However, even with all these issues, the image quality of the PC is much better, mainly because DLSS (if available) is generally better than the FSR 2.1 used on the PS5, and the PC’s internal resolution is much higher. is at least noticeably better than the PlayStation.

Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS) is another rare feature included in PC ports, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work properly in launch or patch versions of the game. It only really did something when used with TAA, but for some reason I could switch it on if DLSS, FSR, or XeSS were used. This is very confusing for users. The patch released today fixes this issue, allowing dynamic resolution to use image reconstruction techniques such as DLSS, but enabling it seems to adversely affect frame times for reasons we don’t quite understand. We recommend that you do not use this feature for now. VRS is equally confusing as enabling VRS has no measurable performance benefit and no appreciable change in visual quality.

Ambient occlusion with additional ray tracing is not working as expected in gameplay, leaving the game with the same lighting issues as PS5.

This reveals Forspoken’s two ray tracing options: Shadows and Ambient Occlusion (RTAO). Honestly, these are the most boring RT options ever for a AAA title. For example, RT shadows do not apply to many objects such as grass, large leaves, character hair, and even some characters. Instead, you just get small opaque details near the camera and a minimal implementation that helps soften distant shadows. With RT Shadows enabled, there is about a 20% performance hit on the RTX 4090. Also, for a mid-range or lower GPU, the cost of his BVH structure for video memory makes it very difficult to recommend.

RT Ambient Occlusion should be a more meaningful upgrade for the Forspoken universe, but either it doesn’t seem to work or it’s very subtle with very short ray lengths and takes up screen space in many scenes. Ambient occlusion (SSAO) has typical artifacts. Oddly enough, some cutscenes conduct It seems to have a working RTAO just to disable this rear Cutscenes despite having RTAO enabled in the settings. Therefore, it is not worth enabling RTAO. The RTX 4090 loses nearly 10% in performance and uses over 500MB extra VRAM, but most scenes look the same.

So, in my testing, many options in Forspoken don’t seem to work properly. There are also other temporary issues. For example, an LOD may not load at all, or an entire building may not load and people are just floating in the ether. Performance is also strange. In one test, we found that just moving the camera would instantly degrade performance by up to 20%. This is a very novel behavior. I also ran into things like dropped frames, but investigating with a tool revealed that the game was still running at 60fps, but the camera was chopping off on its own. Also, in a short amount of time he scored 4 crashes while playing the PC version. This isn’t a deal-breaker per se, but it contributes to the general feeling of lack of polish on the PC release. This is reassuring.

One of Forspoken’s few bright spots on PC relates to its load times. This is excellent. In some cases, it’s faster than his PS5 version, which is already almost instant. As this is the first shipping title to feature DirectStorage 1.1, Microsoft’s toolbox for reducing load times for PCs with (ideally) NVMe SSDs running Windows 10 or 11. am.

system loading time
PS5 (performance mode) 4.4 seconds
PC with DirectStorage (Core i9 12900K + NVMe SSD) 4.1 seconds
PC, DirectStorage disabled (Core i9 12900K + NVMe SSD) 5.4 seconds
PC, DirectStorage Ready (Ryzen 5 3600 + NVMe SSD) 6.8 seconds
PC, DirectStorage disabled (Ryzen 5 3600 + NVMe SSD) 11.7 seconds
PC, DirectStorage compatible (Core i9 12900K+ SATA SSD) 10.2 seconds

Loading the exact same save from the same area shows that the 3.5GB/s (PCIe 3.0) SSD loads the game faster than the PS5 (4.1s vs. 4.4s). With DirectStorage disabled via command line options, the same load takes about 25% longer (5.4 seconds) and is slower than the PS5. But this is with the fast 12900K processor. The same drive used in an older, slower Ryzen 5 3600 benefits from DirectStorage (with 6.7s enabled and 11.7s disabled) but takes longer to load. So DirectStorage helps, but CPU speed is also a factor. Similarly, SATA drives also benefit from DirectStorage, but in my tests the SATA SSD took more than twice as long to load a game as his NVMe SSD (10.2 seconds on SATA, 4.1 seconds on NVMe ). Finally, Windows 11 offers better loading performance than Windows 10, with games loading 2 seconds faster on Windows 11 with DirectStorage on (6.8 seconds vs. 8.8 seconds), and basically at the same speed (~11.8 seconds).

Note that the DirectStorage 1.1 standard includes GPU decompression. However, this doesn’t appear to be used by Forspoken currently, and GPU compute usage doesn’t spike when the game is running its own dedicated load. So even though it doesn’t use perhaps the most interesting part of the DirectStorage 1.1 API, the game loads significantly faster than it would otherwise. Streaming tends to stay at a reasonable level during gameplay, typically maxing out at 300MB/s when moving quickly through the game world and swinging the camera around.

However, there seems to be a bug related to streaming. After loading a save, the game keeps him transferring 500MB/s for several minutes, even when the camera is completely still. In one example I captured him transferring 90 GB of data in 3 minutes until it stopped working for no apparent reason. Forcing DirectStorage off seems to degrade performance significantly in CPU-constrained scenarios, but disabling DirectStorage requires digging into command line options, so it’s unlikely to affect normal play. not in

On an 8GB GPU, textures do not load correctly on any setting I tested.  On the 10GB GPU this is resolved.
On an 8GB GPU, textures do not load correctly on any setting I tested. On the 10GB GPU this is resolved.

From everything we’ve seen so far, Forspoken’s PC release sees a lot of issues. Unfortunately, this carries over to general performance and “optimized” settings. This game is noticeably unplayable on GPUs with VRAM below his 8GB. I tested with the textures set to standard or any setting and the textures do not load and remain a blurry mess, but on his graphics card with 10 GB of VRAM the textures load fine. This makes it impossible to recommend games on PC unless you have more than 8GB of his VRAM.

If you have a sufficiently capacious GPU and want a stable 60fps, RT options (shadows and AO) unless you have a modern (e.g. at least Ryzen 5000 or Intel 12th Gen) processor is recommended to be disabled. Then lower the cloud quality to easily improve GPU performance. You will see little difference, but in some situations you may get a performance improvement of 10% or more. Third, if you’re looking for higher GPU performance, consider turning Screen Space Reflections down to standard. Otherwise there are no optimized settings. The game doesn’t look as good compared to similarly performing titles on PC, and it’s unwise to sacrifice settings such as shadows and model quality.

So, despite Forspoken’s comprehensive PC settings menu providing a good first impression, this is a very disappointing port, with RT being of little use and on graphics cards with 8GB or less of VRAM. Incurs severe texture quality penalties. On PC, with the right hardware and software, overall image quality and load times are improved compared to the PS5, but lower-end hardware won’t be able to restore performance or push visuals beyond the PS5 version. There are few meaningful options for doing or doing things. Because there’s a core of fun gaming here, and PC players deserve better games.

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