Following its release nearly a month ago, Ride 4 is now one of few racing games out there to utilize the new hardware and technological features of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for an immersive and often beautiful racing experience.
The new two-wheel racer from developer Milestone does 60 frames per second at a resolution of up to 4K on both of the new consoles but with a few compromises.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, producer Luigi Crocetta noted just how important such performance enhancements are for a game like Ride 4.
“As a racing game, we know how important fps are for an immersive experience, so we decided to keep a rock solid 60 fps and to accept some minor compromises on the resolution side. If you look at many other games out there, you’ll see that also other companies have the same approach.
“Obviously, we’ll keep working to improve and optimize the quality of every single part of the game and I think we’ll see improvements in the next few years. That being said, we’re proud of how Ride 4 looks and works on next gen platforms.”
Crocetta made a little joke to explain the sudden fascination with stable 60 frame-rates at native 4K resolutions which was never a standard in the previous console generation. The current generation now has everyone expecting to play every game on those high standards, which Crocetta noted is actually not easy and sometimes not even realistic to achieve.
“Players’ technical expectations about next-gen titles literally exploded! On the previous consoles (PS4 and XONE), 60 fps and full HD were not even a solid standard for all games and now we expect to get photorealistic graphics, advanced graphical effects, four times the full HD resolution, everything running smoothly at 60 fps. Not to mention the 120 fps.
“These are extremely ambitious targets for any game! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s impossible and I can’t wait to achieve them, but it requires time because a great part of what you can get from consoles is the result of a long optimization process. I think that native 4K shouldn’t be an obsession if your experience is solid, so It’s basically a matter of balance between all the elements.”
When asked about any noticeable power difference while developing for both of the new consoles, Crocetta stated that teraflops are not the only aspects to consider when determining the power of a machine.
“The way your game is built and works plays an important role in determining your final output,” he said. “You can already see the proof of what I’m saying: despite many comparisons between the two consoles, results are different depending on the game.” That being said, Crocetta concluded that Ride 4 will offer a similar 4K experience on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
On that same note, Crocetta stated that it was easier to pump 60 frames per second at 1440p on Xbox Series S than expected. He marked the console as an “intriguing machine” as “it’s extremely small, affordable and powerful enough to allow players to enter the Xbox ecosystem and play next-gen experiences.” While some compromises had to be made in terms of complexity and detail, Ride 4 had to be fewer compromises than what the developer had earlier assumed.
Crocetta was also all praise about the new DualSense controller and its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, as well as the new solid-state drives for dramatically reduced loading speeds.
“At Milestone we’ve been among the first racing games to support them,” he said. “I’m satisfied with our tuning on Ride 4 because it allows players to perceive additional information about their bikes right directly through the pad vibration.”
“The most tangible differences we’ve seen on Ride 4 are the incredibly faster loading times on both consoles. The speed of modern SSDs is an absolute game changer for the videogame industry, and I think it will really change the way we approach the creation of videogames in the future. But again, as I just said about teraflops, even if the Sony’s SSD seems to be faster on paper, it’s not all about a single component or a single number. The package is what makes the difference.”
On the subject of implementing ray tracing and deep learning super sampling to boost visuals, Crocetta explained that “the improvements on games are strongly influenced by the optimization process of technologies” but both ray tracing and DLSS can help create better experiences.
“They are tools to reach the goal, not the goal itself. Ray tracing, for instance, is a powerful and promising technology, but it’s still too demanding to be intensively applied to games. Its usage is currently limited to specific game elements and when activated, you are forced to accept compromises on other areas. I think these technologies will be really useful when they’ll be optimized enough to let you create games without any strong limitation.”
Ride 4 was released for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (including Series S) on January 21, 2021. Those who already own a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One copy of the game can opt for a free upgrade. However, only Xbox players will be able to carry over their progression. Crocetta explained that “the reason behind this limitation on PlayStation 5 is exclusively technical and is related to the way the two platforms (XBOX and PS) manage the next-gen versions of the same title.”