With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End scheduled to come out tomorrow, May 10, Digital Foundry has now posted its technical analysis for the long-awaited PlayStation 4 action-adventure game. The site gushed about the game, saying it raises the bar for current-generation games.
“This is a must-play experience that delivers the rare mix of pitch perfect gameplay and high-end visuals,” Digital Foundry said. “Uncharted 4 is the technical powerhouse we’ve been waiting for.”
“The set-pieces are more impressive, the maps larger, the characters and environments more detailed and the gameplay mechanics are richer than ever before. This is the real deal.”
Uncharted 4 runs on the latest version of Naughty Dog’s proprietary engine, which, this time around, allows for an “almost obscene wealth of new rendering features,” Digital Foundry said.
The game runs at 1080p/30fps for its campaign and 900p/60fps for multiplayer. Regarding the campaign visuals, Digital Foundry said, “Uncharted 4 delivers the best image quality we’ve seen in a console game to date.”
“Thin edges are remarkably clean, shader aliasing is almost non-existent, and shimmering is all but eliminated,” the site explained. “Large, complex fields of detailed foliage remain razor sharp even at a distance while finer details on Nate’s weapons remain clearly visible.”
On the subject of character rendering, Digital Foundry said Uncharted 4 looks better in this department than games like Halo 5: Guardians, Quantum Break, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. “Uncharted 4 pushes things even further,” it said.
According to the report, skin and fat “bend and move realistically,” while Drake’s shirt will react to the wind as it should. “Even his chest hair is impacted by the wind,” Digital Foundry said.
Digital Foundry’s full report offers a deep, deep dive into Uncharted 4’s technical performance, touching on things like its use of real-time cutscenes and how the AI is smarter this time around, among other things. The report wasn’t completely positive, however, as it also mentioned long load times and a photo mode that is not as robust as it could have been. Additionally, Digital Foundry said shadow quality could be better.
But overall, Uncharted 4 blew Digital Foundry away.
“There is a clear dedication to excellence here and it has paid off and Uncharted 4 is the best-looking console game we’ve ever tested,” it said.
Uncharted 4 launches on May 10 exclusively for PlayStation 4. Reviews for the game started to show up last week, and critics are handing out high praise. It is the last game in the series Naughty Dog plans to make and the final one that stars Nathan Drake. However, there could be an Uncharted 5.
“In its writing, in its design, in its understanding of what makes games unique, Uncharted 4 is something to aspire to,” critic Mike Mahardy said. “It’s a shining example. And we’ll be talking about it for years to come.”
For more on the game’s critical reception, check out this review roundup.
In other news, co-director Bruce Straley has advised against rushing through Uncharted 4. “Take your time. Its not like the last three. Don’t try to gobble it down in one sitting. Settle in. Enjoy the moment,” he said.