The first peeks into Saints Row 4 on PS4 aren’t looking positive.
While the iconic game known for its superpower abilities, open-world gameplay that rivals Grand Theft Auto, and zany premise and sense of humor, it doesn’t seem the highly anticipated PS4 remaster of Saints Row 4 is going to please those who are pedants for graphics. It is being reported that Saints Row 4: Re-Elected will be running at 1080p and 60 fps. Sounds awesome, right? Turns out, looks can be deceiving.
Yes, Saints Row 4 will indeed be running at 1080p and 60fps. This is a very important addition to a console game, especially a next-gen (or current, if you’d rather) title, as the increase in resolution improves the gorgeous visuals, while the increase in framerate makes the game smoother and more enjoyable to play. However, this induction comes with a price, as the PS4 has its limits. Despite being the highest performing console on the market, Saints Row 4: Re-Elected seems to struggle at achieving its graphical goals. The 1080p is a no-brainer. Images are crisp in HD, and will lend themselves perfectly for the whoppingly huge TVs many people have their PS4 hooked up to in the living room.
The issue becomes maintaining a constant framerate at those higher resoltuions. Some of the early, simple cutscenes near the beginning of the game offer a smooth and crisp experience. This allows players to experience a smooth performance throughout the tutorial, a 60fps experience that is so often lost to those who do not game on PC. But as soon as scenes with more particle effects – explosions, smoke, flashing lights, and what have you – framerates become variable. Digital Foundary dives into the details:
“Once we get further into the game, environments become much more open and detailed, and performance drops to the 30-40fps level. Small variations in performance near 30fps create mild judder, which isn’t a major concern, but sudden shifts in frame-rate when speeding through the city and taking part in fire-fights create a jerky experience that feels distinctly uneven to play.”
Few things are worse than a juddering framerate or uneven gameplay, especially in chaotic scenes. Those who try to drive vehicles in Far Cry 4 know the pain. But at very least Far Cry 4 was a new release on all consoles, a first-gen PS4 game. Saints Row 4: Re-Elected is a remaster that has been out for nearly two years, and was part of the last in the line of last-gen releases. Unfortunately, cutscenes will also be locked to 30fps.
Sure, even getting a 30fps on the PS4 is better than the sub-30fps that was delivered in the original version. But with a game that aimed high with its goals, the results are extremely disappointing. “Fluctuating performance in the 30-40fps range doesn’t provide much in the way of improved controller feedback and sometimes the increased judder results in an experience that looks as though it’s running at a lower frame-rate than it actually is.” The results are even clearer to see now that YouTube offers their 60fps function, allowing you to visible see the difference in performance.
It should also be mentioned that the PC editions of Saints Row 4 has no issues running the game at 1080p, 60fps on max settings due to the superior hardware when compared to the PS4. For those looking for the objectively superior experience, PC remains the place to invest ones time.
Whether people want to buy into Saints Row 4: Re-Elected is inevitably up to them. Saint Row 4 was easily one of the most fun and compelling open-world sandboxes in recent memory for those who need a break from Grand Theft Auto V. But for those who were hoping for a high-end experience on their next-gen console, or one that even begins to measure up to its PC counterpart, they may find themselves sorely disappointed at the results they achieve in-game.