Nioh Tech Analysis: The Definitive PS4 Pro Game Out There

Nioh is a great example of how a console game should be developed.

Posted By | On 19th, Feb. 2017 Under Article, Graphics Analysis | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

We said this a year ago and we will say it again. Team Ninja’s Nioh is a technically impressive title that set’s new precedents on how console gaming development should be approached. After conducting several tests in the form of alpha and beta builds, Team Ninja’s Nioh is finally out on retail shelves. Combining the best elements from Team Ninja’s previous games such as Ninja Gaiden and From Software’s Bloodborne and the Souls series, Nioh sets the stage on fire with an extremely fast paced combat and intimidating boss battles.

At first glance, Nioh doesn’t look like a title that is pushing the boundaries of modern graphics technology. And to an extent that is true but Nioh excels in what other modern AAA games fail at achieving. It provides its end consumers with several graphical options regardless of whatever their choice of platform is. Team Ninja have provided three graphical settings for the base PS4 as well as for the PlayStation 4 Pro. The three modes are Action mode, Movie mode and the Variable mode.

As the names indicate, the movie mode prioritizes resolution over frame rate, the action mode provides a higher frame rate experience at the expense of image quality and finally the variable mode finds the middle ground between movie and action modes. While playing on the base PlayStation 4 in Movie mode, the game runs at a native 1920 X 1080 resolution while locking the game’s frame buffer at 30. Slight frame rate drops were observed during this mode but in return you get a much cleaner and crisper image representation compared to the Variable and Action modes. On the PlayStation 4 Pro, the Movie mode allows the game run to at a dynamic resolution up to a full 4K image buffer. The dynamic resolution is in place so that the game’s engine can maintain the frame rate at 30 in this mode.

The Variable mode is perhaps the one that won’t be selected by many players. The game runs at an unlocked frame rate and a dynamic resolution buffer is in place so that a best mix of resolution and performance can be achieved. As noted before, Nioh is an extremely fast paced game and a variable frame rate is the last thing you would need in a challenging title like this. Higher frame rates are achieved in this mode but they aren’t stable, increasing the chances of you getting killed by an enemy.

So it goes without saying that most players will prefer to play Nioh in action mode. Both the PS4 and PS4 Pro run the game at 60 frames per second in this mode. Once again a dynamic resolution is in place here but performance is prioritized over image quality. Nioh’s action mode is pretty similar to what we have seen in last year’s Titanfall 2. Achieving 60 frames per second was the priority for Titanfall 2 and although the resolution dropped down to sub-HD levels, performance never took a hit. Team Ninja, a developer known for developing 60fps games like Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden have taken the same approach in Nioh’s action mode. On the base PS4, sub HD resolutions are achieved but in return players receive rock solid 60 frames per second experience with minimal drops. The PlayStation 4 Pro is able to run the game even better and at a higher resolution due to its better GPU.

We also found that players who have a PS4 Pro and a 1080p TV can enjoy a supersampled image quality. This results into a much sharper and crisper 1080p representation on the PS4 Pro compared to the base PS4. So overall, it seems that Team Ninja have covered every type of PS4 owner out there. An impressive job indeed!

On the graphical front, Nioh uses a decent post processing anti-aliasing solution that smoothens out the edges however it’s not perfect. Aliasing is observed at times and it kind of hits the game’s representation at times. However it makes up for it with some outstanding eastern art style, intricate enemy design and some impressive alpha and particle effects. Nioh uses a limited physical based renderer which means that certain objects will react according to the source of the lightening. So weather effects and volumetric effects such as rain and wind look and feel pretty decent, nearby objects and materials react accordingly to the lightening source.

In the end, Nioh is a great example of how a console game should be developed. Given that Team Ninja had to effectively work on just one platform, it might have been a tad bit easier to include so many graphical options in Nioh. Regardless, Nioh gives choice to the player. Players can dictate how they want to play it, what system they want to play it and what display set they want to play it on. In many ways, Nioh eased our itch for a 60fps Bloodborne experience. Now only if Sony and From Software can care enough to release that 60fps Bloodborne PS4 Pro patch. Is it happening or are we in denial?!

Anyways, this will be it for this video. What are your thoughts on Nioh and its various graphical parameters? Let us know in the comments below and if you like what we are doing, go ahead and subscribe to our channel for daily video content. I will see you next time.

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