Sucker Punch studios’ inFamous: Second Son was one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4 back in early 2014. Revisiting this title at the end of 2016 reminds us how well this game has aged and although its facial capture techniques are more or less ancient, no one can argue that its post processing and particle effects are still way ahead of the curve than most recently released games. As one of the titles that was confirmed to receive PS4 Pro support, we were keen to check out how the Pro version performs compared to the base title.
inFamous Second Son is an interesting case, primarily because it was one of the few console titles back in 2014 that allowed players to choose between a locked 30 fps or an unlocked frame rate. Playing the game in locked 30fps provided a better experience overall but the unlocked frame rate showed potential of running the game at 60fps. However that potential was never really realized.
And this is where the Pro patch comes in, especially for 1080p TV set owners. Second Son is one of the few PlayStation 4 Pro games that delivers remarkable boost to performance for those opting to play the game on a 1080p TV. The game runs at an almost locked 60 frame per second in high performance mode with a super-sampled 1080p image on an HDTV. This not only results into fluid gameplay but also better image quality overall.
For 4KTV owners, Sucker Punch have used the custom checkerboard rendering to the run the game in 4K resolution. Of course this is not native 4K resolution and some level of softness in image quality can observed but this is still quite a boost in terms of pixel count compared to the native 1080p resolution on the base PS4. Of course, a checkerboard 4K/60fps experience is out of the question here so the best way to play Second Son is on a 1080p screen with frame rates reaching close to 60fps
And this is always been our expectation with the PlayStation 4 Pro. The hardware is clearly not powerful enough to run games at native 4K, so we prefer that most titles run at 1080p/60fps on a HDTV and for 4K enthusiasts, developers should provide a checkerboard 4K/30fps option. Of course the latter may not be possible in fast paced games like first person shooters or racers but a 1080p/60fps target with super-sampled image and better performance should be the way to go for most developers.