Leveraging The Benefits of PS4 Pro: An Interview With Helldivers Dev

Arrowheads VP of development talks about bringing Helldivers into 4K.

Posted By | On 06th, Jan. 2017 Under Article, Interviews

Microsoft may have declared 2017 to be the year of Project Scorpio but Sony’s PlayStation 4 is still very much in the lead. We already know about the console selling more than 53 million units and there’s no doubt that despite initial criticisms, the PS4 Pro had a role to play. Even as the years roll on, it will be Sony’s best bet at introducing 4K gaming for PS4 players everywhere.

GamingBolt spoke to Arrowhead Game Studios VP of development Patrick Lasota, whose studio worked on Helldivers for the PS3, PS4 and PlayStation Vita, about his take on the console. Arrowhead recently released a PS4 Pro patch for Helldivers so it knows a thing or two about taking advantage of the console’s power.

Helldivers 3

"I think it’s a nice option for those that really want to do 4K gaming or want a higher framerate."

The PS4 Pro patch isn’t out yet. Is there a specific reason behind the delay?

The PS4 Pro patch was released on October 26th, though we patched the game a couple of times after that to catch the few issues we found.

What visual modes can we expect with the PS4 Pro version? Will the 4K rendering be native, checkerboard rendering or something else?

The game uses checkerboard rendering to achieve 4k resolution.

Did you ever think of leveraging the PS4 Pro’s additional memory to improve on gameplay aspects, like say the AI? In that case how will you balance PS4 players against Pro players?

No, our game runs on the Vita, PS3 and PS4 already with cross play between all three. Segmenting off the PS4 Pro players with their own gameplay wouldn’t make any sense for the game or the community.

What are your thoughts on the overall future of the PS4 Pro and the trend of souped up refreshes for existing hardware, case in point Project Scorpio?

I think it’s a nice option for those that really want to do 4K gaming or want a higher framerate. It was not enough for me personally to warrant an upgrade of my PS4, but I like that the option is there.

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"It took us very little time to get the game running on PS4 Pro in 4k."

The system architect of PS4 Pro, Mark Cerny, converting A Base PS4 Game to PS4 Pro Version Is Just 0.2 Or 0.3% of The Overall Effort. How true is this in the case of Helldivers?

I’d say that the minimum effort is probably even less counting the work hours involved compared to the work hours put into making the game. We did a bit more than that and yet it took us very little time to get the game running on PS4 Pro in 4k.

As someone who has worked exclusively on PS4 for a while, what kind of differences are you finding between the Pro and the base PS4? Is the Pro powerful enough to render games at native 4K?

I’m sure it is if one takes it into consideration from the beginning. I’m not an engineer so my best guess isn’t worth much though.

To close off this short interview, what are you working on next?

We have brought the studio together to one big team and are working on something new. Unfortunately I have to give you the boring staple answer of not being able to comment further. Rest assured however, it will be even more awesome that anything we have done so far.

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