PS5’s Zen 2 CPU Will Allow for Greater Destructibility, Fancier Combat, and More – Everspace 2 Developer

Rockfish Games CEO Michael Schade is quite excited about what next-gen console hardware will make possible.

Posted By | On 22nd, Oct. 2019

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PS5 is promising to be an impressive leap forward as Sony prepares to enter the next generation of console gaming, and among the various aspects of the hardware that have received quite a bit of attention already, one of the most impressive is its AMD Zen 2 CPU (of which it uses a custom version).

Just how tangible of an impact the new processing unit will have in next gen games is something that we won’t find out for a while yet, and even after next gen begins, it’ll take a while for developers to fully utilize it to its max. But eve right now, at least theoretically, it’s clear to developers in the industry that the impact of PS5’s new CPU will be pretty significant.

One such developer is Michael Schade, CEO of Rockfish Games, developers of the upcoming open world space shooter Everspace 2. Speaking with us in a recent interview, Schade got to talking about Rockfish’s ow experience with the PS4’s CPU, and how its performance had a sigificant impact on the first Everspace. 

He explained that a 3D space shooter such as Everspace (and its upcoming sequel) is quite CPU-intensive, with complex collision detecttio calculations, destructible environments, hundreds of projectiles on-screen at a single moment, and more. As such, according to Shade, a faster CPU will automatically allow for much better performance in these areas ad more.

“So yes, a faster CPU allows for more NPCs and projectiles on the screen at the same time and more accurate collision detection and fancier combat AI, let’s say when dog fighting within a dense asteroid field with lots of obstacles to crash into, which would be awesome,” Shade said following his aforementioned explanation.

“However, to make that same combat scene still work on less powerful systems, we would have to to come up with some clever tricks for reducing CPU load, like swapping kinetic for energy weapons to reduce the count of visible projectiles being calculated on the screen and/or simply decreasing the amount of enemies attacking,” he continued. “Obviously, everything would have then to be carefully rebalanced, so that the difficulty is still consistent. Tricky!

“Having more destructible level geometry and/or greater detail would be another feature benefitting from a faster CPU. This however, would be easier to scale down on less powerful systems, which is why it would be much higher up our list of things to implement.”

Everspace 2 is due out in 2021, but will be launching in early access on Steam next year. Our full interview with Schade will be live soon, so stay tuned.


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