Kena: Bridge of Spirits looks great on PS5, but what about PC?

Kena: Bridge of Spirits appears nice on PS5, however what about PC?

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits from Ember Labs lastly launched this week, initially capturing our consideration on the PlayStation 5 gameplay reveal occasion final yr due to a visually contemporary, interesting presentation. Based mostly on Unreal Engine 4, Kena shines by way of the inventive accomplishments of the developer, backed by a strong sport design and largely strong efficiency. Nevertheless, underlying points with UE4 do peek by way of – they usually’re particularly evident on the PC model of the sport.

In placing this piece collectively, we took a take a look at the sport operating in each high quality and efficiency modes on PlayStation 5 and factored in platform scaling in each instructions. In principle, the PC model ought to enable us to see Kena operating at its best possible, whereas having a look on the sport working on PS4 Professional provides us an thought of how older {hardware} copes with a really enticing sport. Because it occurs, every little thing performs out as logically as you’ll count on – however the additional horsepower in PS5 and high-end PC goes a great distance in delivering Kena at its finest.

The Digital Foundry video breakdown of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Every thing it’s essential know PS4 Professional, PS5 and the place PC slots in.

By way of what makes Kena particular, it is not simply the model of the artwork that stands out but additionally the essential high quality in supply. Each object, each texture and materials appears to have been authored with a constant model and polygon price range. There’s an understanding of which edges have to be rounded and which may retain a extra apparent polygonal construction. Mix all of it collectively and also you hardly ever discover an object that stands out as being of an inconsistently low res, or modelled oddly. On high of that, character expressions and animations are top quality: Ember Lab beforehand labored on animation shorts for fan movies, product ads, and different mainstream media.

Prospers in all areas of the animation are wonderful, whereas the expressiveness of Kena and her ‘rot’ companions can also be a excessive level – it is lovingly crafted and so, so cute. Secondary animations resembling the consequences of your actions inside the scene are additionally expertly applied. The extent of polish is great however not with out its points: transitions between animations aren’t fairly easy sufficient, whereas digital camera movement will be liable to minor hitching.

By way of engine scalability, let’s begin on the backside of the stack. We did not have time to check the bottom PS4 sport, however the Professional targets 30fps and appears to run at a dynamic decision between 1188p and 1440p, however appears to stay to the higher finish of the vary for essentially the most half. Compared to PS5’s 60fps efficiency mode, vegetation density is pared again, object LODs are extra noticeable and shadow decision can also be chunkier. Signed distance subject ambient occlusion – used to nice impact on PS5 – can also be lacking. For its half, the PS5 efficiency mode operates in an analogous decision window with reconstruction as much as 4K, however can run in some areas with a lowered decision. Each variations look good on a 4K display screen at commonplace front room viewing distances, however don’t cross for a local 4K presentation. The Professional’s 30fps mode is extraordinarily strong in efficiency phrases, whereas PS5 concentrating on 60fps is usually positive however can often drop frames because of real GPU limits, whereas traversal may also exhibit minor stutter.

PlayStation 5 additionally gives a top quality mode too. 30fps is the order of the day right here, and with a DRS window that got here in at 1944p-2160p in our samples, you’re getting a pristine presentation. On high of the improved readability, high quality mode additionally gives up a richer scene by way of improved plant density – and just like the one efficiency choice on PS4 Professional, 30fps is delivered with a superb degree of consistency, as you’ll hope.

The PC model gives vital upgrades over PlayStation 5, however the additional you push in efficiency phrases, the extra unstable the expertise turns into. Nevertheless, definitely from a visible perspective, the sport is a deal with. Nevertheless, there isn’t a ‘out of the field’ help for temporal anti-aliasing upscaling – an excellent characteristic in UE4 that gives close-to-native high quality if used sensibly, whereas lowering GPU load significantly. Fortunately, this may be enabled by way of a quite simple .ini file tweak. What you do get with the equipped settings menu is improved shadow high quality, higher textures, far superior anisotropic filtering and a lift to volumetric fog high quality.

PC Equal Settings PS5 Efficiency PS5 High quality PC Optimised
Decision Dynamic 1296p-1512p Dynamic 1944p-2160p Consumer Selection
Movement Blur Excessive Excessive Consumer Selection
Shadows Excessive Excessive Excessive
Foliage Excessive Extremely Excessive
Texture High quality Low/Extremely Low/Extremely Extremely
Texture Filtering Low Low Extremely
Volumetric Fog Low Low Low
Ambient Occlusion Excessive Excessive Excessive
Submit-Processing Extremely Extremely Excessive

In deciding on optimised settings, choosing PS5-equivalent settings matched to efficiency mode is an effective place to start out, however I might suggest dropping again depth of subject, shadow high quality, ambient occlusion and movement blur. DX11 and DX12 choices can be found which, when examined on an Nvidia GPU, sees DX11 provides total increased frame-rates in GPU-bound conditions however introduces poor frame-times – DX12 is the higher choose. Even so, traversal can nonetheless trigger apparent stuttering and what appears to be dynamic shader compilation stutter when sure results kick in for the primary time. Different studios have managed to largely handle this situation, resembling The Coalition with Gears 5, or Sony Bend with Days Gone. Extra not too long ago, we noticed Neon Large Video games repair this situation in a patch for the Ascent. So, it’s doable – Ember Lab simply must determine it out.

By way of the sort of {hardware} it’s essential get 60 frames per second operating constantly on optimised settings, an Nvidia RTX 2060 will do the job for native 1080p, whereas {hardware} within the class of an RTX 2070 Tremendous is required for 1440p. In the meantime, a convincing 4K-like presentation is attainable utilizing a GPU like an RTX 3070 or RTX 2080 Ti – however for this, you will have to dig into the .ini information and permit for TAAU temporal upscaling. Setting this to 83 p.c renders natively at 1800p, however the upscaling is excellent. For those who’re trying to support efficiency, this can be a superb place to start out and at 4K output, a spread of 70 to 83 p.c nonetheless appears good. TAAU can be utilized for decrease output resolutions in fact, however the values will have to be increased.

In abstract, this can be a good sport that is nicely price your time, however the PC model does exhibit some technical hitches that undoubtedly want addressing for a stutter-free expertise – and I can not assist however suppose that checking out these issues could nicely enhance PlayStation 5’s consistency in efficiency mode too. I might additionally wish to see Ember Lab use extra of the UE4 toolbox – dynamic decision scaling, ‘official’ TAAU and DLSS choices would solely make an excellent sport even higher.

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