Final Fantasy XV was the talk of the town last week after the Uncovered Event, which finally revealed a release date for the JRPG that for a long time looked like it was never happening. It also marked the launch of the Platinum Demo – a smaller, more linear demo than Episode Duscae from last year that offered a more recent look at where the game was at on a technical standpoint. And despite looking gorgeous, it has some alarming issues.
Firstly, there’s a lot in the Platinum Demo to get excited about. As Digital Foundry took a deep dive into the demo, they found that features such as dynamic lighting, texture detail and particle effects were all exquisite. Final Fantasy XV is a beautiful looking game, accentuated by some top-notch shadow rendering and animation details, which really bring the game alive. It’s also more stable than Duscae, although given its smaller map that to be expected.
Sadly that’s where the real negative start creeping in. For starters the game doesn’t hit a locked 1080p on either PS4 and Xbox One. Instead, it uses a dynamically scaling resolution that many games have been forced to implement already. This means that on PS4 the game usually runs at around 900p, while it sits closer the majority of the time at 792p on Xbox One. The PS4 can reach 1080p on some occasions (something the Xbox One can’t match), but these are in rare areas.
The compounding issue is that even in this confined demo, the scaled back resolution does little to help the framerate. Both systems struggle to keep 30FPS locked, with the Xbox One trailing the PS4 in most cases. However there are many areas where the framerate dives into the low 20s, and further still down to 15FPS in graphically intensive fights. For a demo that isn’t even rendering a large world on top of the action, that’s quite alarming.
In addition to that PS4 also suffers from a frame time issue, where frames are doubling up on themselves and not syncing up correctly. This means that even at 30FPS the game could feel like its experiencing judder – something which isn’t present on Xbox One.
Final Fantasy XV is still a good five or so months away from launch, and heavy optimisation usually takes place closer to the end of production. But Digital Foundry makes a compelling argument in that the Platinum Demo shows little improvement over the technical roadblocks that Duscae had – and that was well over a year ago. Whether they are able to iron them out before launch might be a step too much for Square Enix.
Last Updated: April 4, 2016