Getting on for a full decade after its preliminary PlayStation 3 launch, Quantic Dream’s cornerstone basic – Heavy Rain – is now accessible on PC, albeit restricted to patrons of the Epic Games Store. Releases for Beyond: Two Souls and the far more superior Detroit: Become Human are en route too, so what can we anticipate from the developer’s PC debut?
Heavy Rain made its first splashes as a work-in-progress title with a demo snippet main as much as the launch of the PlayStation 3, showcasing outstanding character rendering know-how for the time. The closing launch developed a cult following of types for quite a lot of causes (Jason!!) and it is also identified for the craft and nice degree of element in put into its particular person scenes. A PS4 port adopted, upgrading the sport to 1080p decision, including post-process results like screen-space ambient occlusion whereas enhancing efficiency and eliminating the unique’s off-putting penchant for intrusive screen-tearing.
As I see it, the arrival of those PC ports may be very thrilling – Quantic Dream’s video games have at all times been bold when it comes to know-how on their respective platforms. Being in a position to have these historic technological advances catalogued for eternity on PC brings a smile to my face. But simply how good are the ports?
Overall, I might say that Heavy Rain is strong, boding nicely for the opposite titles – however there are some teething points. Booting up the sport and setting decision to 4K, issues did not look proper. Bizarrely, after a spot of pixel-counting (not often required for a PC sport!) I discovered that Heavy Rain was rendering at 1440p as an alternative. Resetting decision and restarting solved the problem however the sport handles this side in a unique method to different PC video games.
Borderless and fullscreen choices appears to be a lot the identical, the place the sport internally scales up your chosen in-game decision to your desktop show decision. For instance, selecting the 1080p in-game on a 4K show scales up 1080p internally to your 4K desktop decision. It means you could have a pleasant native scaling choice and the advantages of borderless window mode, but it surely’s a additionally unfavorable as downsampling requires you to downsample your desktop and you’ll unwittingly lock your self out of choosing the right refresh fee you need to be utilizing.
Heavy Rain by no means obtained a PS4 Pro improve, so the PC model is welcome in that you may lastly exceed the 1080p30 profile of the PlayStation 4 remaster. However, until you probably did into .ini recordsdata, your frame-rate choices in-game include a 30fps or 60fps cap. If you need to go larger, go into the config file, change each vertical sync choices to 0 and cargo up the sport once more, utilising v-sync out of your graphics management panel, or by utilising borderless windowed mode and setting your desktop decision and refresh fee to your required degree. This typically works surprisingly nicely in my expertise – yep, you’ll be able to get pleasure from each yell of “Jason!” or “Shaun!” at 120Hz or larger do you have to so want.
Even with no absolutely unlocked frame-rate, 60fps is a superb improve over the console variations and is actually the best differentiator between the PS4 and PC variations of the sport at first look – animations are simply that a lot smoother than the PS4 launch. Since this sport has no actual movement blur of the item or digital camera selection, any bit of additional smoothness helps. That mentioned, there are some relics of the console launch there: generally digital camera motion or particular animations in some scenes locks to 30fps. Thankfully, these artefacts are few and much between they usually’re by no means sport breaking – simply the legacy of a sport initially designed round a 30fps frame-rate.
Increased decision and frame-rate are the best enhancements over the console builds, which some may contemplate a disappointment – however that is principally in keeping with the vast majority of last-gen PC ports. And there are some extra minor enhancements below the hood on high of that right here. Anti-aliasing is far improved over the unique, providing FXAA and SMAA choices which can be utilized together with 2x, 4x or 8x MSAA. Image stability is vastly improved, with significantly better dealing with of the dreaded ‘jaggies’.
The final actual tangible settings improve over PlayStation 4 is the selection to show ambient occlusion off, or use HDAO or HBAO as an alternative. HDAO seems to be to be the closest visible match for the PS4 construct, however on the similar time, even this has fewer ‘halo’ fashion artefacts than the console construct, the place PS4 appears to have outlines surrounding many objects no matter their precise world place . HBAO in comparsion to HDAO eliminates that halo as a rule, whereas nonetheless including in ambient shade. The look is completely different, however I’d advocate HBAO as the popular choice right here.
But that’s actually the place the improve over the PlayStation 4 remaster ends: decision, frame-rate, anti-aliasing, and ambient occlusion – that is your lot.. Every different direct comparability I carried out confirms that PC’s excessive setting is equal to the output delivered by PlayStation 4. There are some additional picture high quality variations I take a look at a little bit extra carefully within the video, comparable to mipmapping variations, extra saturated colors and bloom depth that does not fairly appear proper at something aside from the PS4’s authentic 1080p decision.
Performance? Well, this can be a PS3 remaster so the system necessities are slight. A GTX 1060 utilizing SMAA anti-aliasing with HBAO and every thing else on excessive performs principally at 4K60, with simply heavy alpha results inflicting drops into the 50s, whereas scenes with a number of viewpoints drop that additional into the 40s. AMD’s RX 580 performs a little bit sooner than GTX 1060 – seeing little to no drops in any respect in gameplay, however nonetheless struggling in these moments when a number of viewports enter the fray.
Most fashionable gaming-level GPUs ought to simply be capable to ship 1080p maxed and the most important issue getting in the best way of a locked 60fps could be your alternative of CPU. Frame-rate drops can happen when a number of internal thought textual content choices pop up on-screen. Here, your FPS can go from a gradual 60 to a middling 50 one thing and even down into the 40s. This occurred for me utilizing a Ryzen 7 1700X, however did not manifest in any respect utilizing a Core i5 8400. Either that is an engine challenge with Ryzen, or particularly some limitation with Ryzen – because the variations in single-thread efficiency I’ve come to anticipate with the AMD processors don’t account for this oddness.
The final distinction with the sport stacked up towards the console model is one thing of a welcome ‘improve’ for my part: as customary you’re utilizing a mouse or keyboard or different xinput management machine which means that quite a lot of the unique sport’s movement management segements are translated into thumbstick flicks or depressions. Honestly, this makes the sport a lot extra gratifying and fewer tedious than it was earlier than. I at all times felt this sport was slowed down within the tedium of getting do these controller shakes or spins.
Overall although, whereas the conversion work is hardly revelatory, the PC model of Heavy Rain is a welcome launch. It liberates the sport from the console setting, and ensures it should run on an open and ever-improving platform. It seems to be higher than the PS4 model and has the profit larger resolutions and frame-rates. Meanwhile, the age of the sport additionally means it runs actually properly on an enormous array of PCs on the market. It might use a patch or two to clear up the excellent points however total, I loved my time with this one and I am wanting ahead to Beyond: Two Souls – and particularly the Detroit: Become Human port.