One of the bigger and flashier games to hit PSVR this year is Robinson: The Journey from famed German development outfit Crytek. The studio’s VR adventure has been given a fair bit of attention in the run up to release and now we’re jumping on that hype train, too.
Well, not really; we don’t really buy into “hype” but we do like to get stuck when it benefits the player. In this instance, it’s all about Robinson: The Journey on PS4/PSVR, and what the PS4 Pro brings to the table in terms of improvements. We’ve just received our press packet from Crytek for our review, and within the pack are some details on the enhancements the PS4 Pro will bring to Robinson: The Journey.
According to Crytek, the PS4 Pro will bring enhancements such as higher rendering resolution, enhanced SSDO/SSAO light affects, longer view distances, higher quality texture filtering, and more seamless level of detail generation. Now honestly, how much of that flew right over your head? Don’t worry, we’re here to help, not judge.
Wait, I thought the PSVR had a fixed resolution?
Rendering resolution basically speaks for itself: the game will render at a higher resolution. This should, in theory, give the game a cleaner image when viewed on the PSVR’s display as well as on the TV for spectators.
What about SSDO/SSAO? What are they?
SSAO – Screen space ambient occlusion is a tricky took that developers use to get extra shadows into their games without hurting the overall performance. It’s a cheap trick, and like all cheap tricks it can be done well or done poorly. It adds a small extra layer of detail to a game’s world. It also works in tandem with SSDO, though how the developers use the two technologies can differ.
Longer view distances? So my eyes will be better?
No, silly, but your in-game eyes might be! Normally, in games, there’s a limit as to how far you can see. Have you ever looked into the distance in your favourite game and thought “what’s up with that fog?” before carrying on and not caring? In a nutshell, it’s that, the fog. A longer view distance means you’ll be able to see more of the world without it being blurred/fogged out. Imagine playing GTA V and only being able to see 100 in-game meters in front of you (so basically GTA on PS2.)
What’s texture filtering, and why does it matter?
Texture filtering is basically the layer of paint that’s been slapped onto the game’s world. When you look forward and see the ground, you’ll see in some games the detail drops the further away you’re focusing, whereas if you were to look directly down where you stand, you’ll find lots of lovely details. It’s a basic explanation but it gets the job done.
Level of detail? Does that mean better graphics?
Yes, and no. Sort of. Not really. It means that the game’s world won’t magically sprout from the ground as you walk along, or more realistically, it may do that, but at a further distance from you that so that you don’t notice/it isn’t as noticeable. Let’s go back to GTA as an example. Remember driving really fast in GTA San Andreas on the big highway loop outside of Las Venturas? Remember how those cars suddenly appeared out of nowhere and the walls either side of you seemed to be falling into place as you drove along? That’s level of distance, and the better the LOD is, the less you’ll notice the game pushing its bits into place as you mooch around it.