Control Ultimate Edition – how next-gen consoles transform a classic game •

Control Ultimate Edition - how next-gen consoles transform a classic game •

Remedy’s Control holds a special place in the collective heart of Digital Foundry. Not only is it one of the best games of 2019, but the revised Northlight engine is also an absolute showcase of state-of-the-art rendering technology, which also features one of the best implementations we have ever seen. have seen hardware accelerated ray tracing. . Somehow, the developer has managed to bring the base experience (RT bar) into the next-gen hardware, but now next-gen console owners can see Northlight stretching their legs: the control over the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles is a delight.

The basics of upgrading are already there, courtesy of Remedy PR. There is feature parity between the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with control rendering at native resolution of 1440p, with temporal oversampling at 4K. Two modes are offered: a 30 fps capped experience with ray traced reflections (including transparencies) as well as a 60 fps performance mode without RT features. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S lacks RT features, meaning a performance mode like the standard that natively renders at 900p, with 1080p output. Dynamic resolution scaling is not implemented in this game.

But before I get into the details, I think it’s important to recap why this is such a historic game. From my perspective, Control was a glimpse into the future of rendering technology – and even next-gen gameplay. Even taking ray tracing into account, Control does a lot of things behind the scenes. Take the destruction system, where almost every object can be broken down into its building blocks. Then there is the sheer richness of these objects in any given scene – a total shootout with the physical system in full effect is an astonishing sight. Then there’s the fluid rendering simulation for the Hiss smoke: when objects or enemies pass through this semi-transparent fluid, there is visible turbulence – a vibrant dance of color with waves.

Everything you need to know about Control Ultimate Edition, with PlayStation 5 as the focus.

And even without hardware RT, Control still uses some form of ray tracing on all systems: signed distance fields are used to provide coarse but precise reflections to increase the standard screen effect. Basically, when screen space data is not available, fold-back reflections are generated by some sort of trace in a simplified game scene. All in all, that’s a lot of technology that isn’t often seen on last-gen consoles, and it originated on last-gen systems where PS4 Pro ran at native 1080p, while One X went over 1440p. Meanwhile, there was a feeling that older Jaguar processor cores were being pushed to breaking point – performance in Control was improved through fixes, but overall consistency was still an issue.

On next-gen consoles, the PS5 delivers 1.8 times the pixel density of the PS4 Pro and does so with double the frame rate or hardware-accelerated ray tracing – a specification that matches the series. X. to play with RT or to run at 60 fps, but Control is an action-packed game and sometimes requires fairly fast inputs, so for pure gameplay the performance mode will be hard to beat. Even so, all modes get a further boost in quality of life and refinement – load times are drastically improved to the point where the PS5 can even stream data a bit faster than a Core i9 10900K paired with a fast 3.5 Gb / s NVMe SSD. It’s a day and night improvement over last-generation consoles.

We will talk specifically about the performance in a different room. So far we’ve only played the PS5 with the Day 1 patch, but we’ve taken a look at Xbox series consoles with a Gold Master Code. On PlayStation 5, 60fps is generally solid, with the slowdown only really showing up in the heaviest effects heavy fights, where the screen is filled with grueling effects. Meanwhile, the capped 30 fps RT mode is consistent, properly timed, and stays on target for the vast majority of the game with only minor deviations. Xbox series consoles are similar, but what looks like occasional I / O stuttering seen in last-gen versions (and also on PC) is present. We’ll cover this in more detail in a separate article with a more detailed analysis.

But while 60fps is the preferred way to play, Control’s RT 30fps mode is dazzling. The RT power of the new consoles isn’t enough to deliver the full range of PC ray tracing functionality, but you get your money’s worth with RT reflections on opaque surfaces – like marble, metals and all. which is shiny from a distance – as well as transparent reflections to the glass. I would suggest watching the video at the top of the page for a more detailed breakdown of the wonderful benefits that real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing brings to the table, but we’re basically talking about precision, precision, and often processing. visual effect. Simply put, the choice of materials in Control’s environments and objects, not to mention its overall design, matches the technology perfectly. With nightly and daytime improvements in environmental detail, right down to intricate detail added in the smallest of objects, RT at 30fps is still a brilliant way to play the game.

My favorite part about ray tracing reflections on PS5 is how they stabilize the image. In a third-person perspective game, it is very common for your character model to obscure a relatively large portion of the screen, so that screen space reflections no longer work properly – the character simply obscures too much of the screen. visible area, creating large visible errors in SSR effects. With RT reflections in quality mode, this is completely canceled out and the picture is much more stable, in addition to being more realistic. The 30 fps cap may be too heavy for some to swallow, and I can only hope that a lower resolution 60 fps RT mode could make a difference at some point in the future. The drop to 900p in the S series for its performance mode is obvious, but it’s a trade I might be willing to do if I could pick up the RT reflections as part of the trade-off on top performing consoles.

Overall, I think Control Ultimate Edition on PlayStation 5 is excellent. Whether you get RT reflections at 30 fps or run the game full blast at 60 fps, you’re about to see Remedy’s vision come to fruition at its best – and the upgrade from the last generation is deep. The only way to improve it is through the existing PC game running on high-end hardware, preferably with an Nvidia RTX card: you get more ray tracing effects, more precise rasterization settings, and one from Nvidia’s best DLSS AI upscaling implementations, opening the door at 4K 60fps with all RT effects enabled on RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 3070 or better. Lowering the resolution and lower performing RTX cards can still provide a fantastic experience.

Our original Control PC showcase from 2019. Since then, DLSS 2.0 has dramatically improved image quality to the point where AI upscaling can overtake native rendering.

In the video at the top of this page, you’ll see how the next-gen console versions stack up more directly to the PC, although the new console version is based on a revised render of the Northlight engine with two key differences. The first is the ray tracing implementation, where consoles use checkerboard resolution (for reflections only) versus native resolution on PC. The other custom setting is for the detail distance level, which works differently under the new engine version found on PlayStation 5. In practice, I’ve found that this new LOD sorting generally produces a lower effect than the lowest setting of the. PC. It’s worth pointing out that these are pretty minor things in terms of overall presentation.

Finally, Control has evolved into new generation machines. This is clearly a big step up from the last generation versions of the game – even running on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. The ray tracing effects are gorgeous, while playing Control at 60 fps takes the gameplay to another level. It’s also nice to see this smooth and fluid transformation of the experience offered on all new machines, even the Xbox Series S. Remedy himself mentioned that this was just the start of their efforts to embrace the next gen. console. hardware and there’s a lot more to come in the future – and based on what the team has been able to extract from the latest generation hardware, the possibilities are tantalizing. We’ll take a more in-depth look at how the game performs and comparisons across all next-gen systems as soon as possible. However, after sampling the game’s fully patched PlayStation 5 rendering, the idea that this excellent conversion is offered for free with PlayStation Plus may well make this one of the best lines we’ve seen from the service.

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