I'm sure that many of you are aware that developers are constantly fighting the good to try to get the best combination, the right balance, between the graphical quality of a game, and the number of frames per second it can output. Now I'm no technical wizard by any means, so don't expect detailed analysis of game engines, frame drops and more jargon that nearly only developers would understand. I'm more going to be talking about what I think the right balance is, why a trend is appearing, and which games have done it right, compared to what upcoming games look like they will do.
So to get the obvious question out of the way first, I would prefer 60 frames per second(FPS) with lower graphical quality compared to a very good looking game, which runs at 30(or lower) FPS. Let me cast your minds back to when the PlayStation 4 was first released, the first game I ever played on this amazing new console was Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4 runs on average, at 60 FPS, even in multiplayer(taking aside some glitches present in the release version of the game for some people) and I never thought I would be able to see much of a difference between the 30 and 60 FPS, but I was blown away as soon as I spawned in for the first time and it all ran super smooth! The main reason I wanted to bring this issue to the fore of my site, is because of The Witcher 3, which is a game I adore don't get me wrong. However if there was one thing which constantly annoys me whilst playing, and that is the frame rate, which is 30 FPS at best. There have also been reports that this is new even lower in places since the latest patch 1.07, which to all intents and purposes is a very good patch with some awesome additions. However having a game playing out at less than 30FPS, is simply unacceptable to me. I would rather the world be broken down into smaller chunks that need individually loading, and ever a lower graphical quality to get a good frame rate.
I believe that the gaming community has grown to obsessed with how pretty a game looks, and this has forced developers to make rather serious cuts to the frame rate of their games. Look at the upcoming release of Uncharted 4, it goes with out saying that this game looks stunning, but especially for a game as action oriented at the Uncharted series only 30fps may be problematic. To compare this to The Uncharted Collection which will run at 1080p(HD) and 60fps, now this is obviously because they are all PS3 games running on the significantly faster operating PS4. I believe that it is only when a game drops below 30fps that we can see problems emerging, but if a game targets 30fps there is a chance that a lower frame rate will be noticed by the gamer.
It is possible that I am on my own with these ideas, but there is nothing that can squash my enjoyment for a game than a low frame rate, maybe I am over accustomed to high frame rate games, but when I am riding around on my horse in The Witcher 3 and there is very noticeable jerking from the character, I am disappointed. There is a correct balance between graphical prowess and frame rate, but I think that balance has yet to be perfected on the new generation of hardware. Which is okay, we are at the beginning of a new age of consoles, developers were working on games that are being released now well before the consoles were released, and in some cases even announced!
Well that is my fill of your time for today, check back soon for more coverage of Batman Arkham Knight(including a review and Riddler Diaries!) and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt! Also let me know what you think about the balance between frame rate and graphical prowess!
I will leave you with some statistics for some of the well played games currently, and their frame rates, note that 1080p is also known as HD! Also(and I'm not trying to start a console war here) these figures are for the PS4 versions of the games, some of these stats are lower on the Xbox One, some also are upscaled on the Xbox One(which is something I don't really understand!)
Batman Arkham Knight, 1080p with 30fps
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, 1080p with 30fps
Uncharted Collection, 1080p 60fps(NOTE: This is a remastered version of PS3 Games!)
Destiny, 1080p with 30fps
Uncharted 4, Single Player: 1080p with 30fps; Multiplayer: 1080p with 60fps(NOTE: Frame rate for multiplayer is still a target and not confirmed)
Fallout 4, 1080p with 30fps
Evolve, 1080p with 30fps
The Order 1886, 1080p with 30fps
Bloodborne, 1080p with 30fps
There are more games I have missed, but I will leave that with you!
Thanks as always for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!