Maid of Sker will soon be releasing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with a whole bunch of enhancements and feature for players to enjoy.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, marketing manager Ben Tester explained that Maid of Sker was originally designed for previous-generation consoles before being carried over to current-generation consoles.
However, the first-person Welsh horror game proved too demanding to achieve stable 60 frames per second at 4K resolution on PS5 and Xbox Series X, the latter Xbox version actually faring better in comparison but still dipping frame-rates during some scenes. Hence, why developer and publisher Wales Interactive decided to add fidelity and performance modes to the game.
“[Maid of Sker] didn’t quite hit 60 FPS at all times on PS5 while the Xbox Series X version hit the target a lot closer, excluding some more demanding moments in the game that would drop it a little.
“This is why on the Xbox Series X the 4K mode is actually set to target 60 FPS, and you will see that with occasional drop in rare moments, while the performance mode on both consoles has a solid 60 FPS 1440p with no drops at any moments.”
Tester pointed out an unlocked frame-rate option on PS5 for players who still want to enjoy the game in 60 frames per second at 4K resolution even with frame-rate dips. This mode uses dynamic resolution but which Wales Interactive has “opted out of for now, but might patch it in for the PS5 at a later date.”
Having Maid of Sker make full use of the new DualSense capabilities on PS5 was an easy decision for Wales Interactive since haptic feedback and adaptive triggers do “add to the experience in the way that Sony wanted.
“Wood floors feel like wood, and grassy areas feel like you’re walking on grass. It’s not just footsteps though it’s everything from bumping into tables, drinking health potions and even using the Phonic Modulator.
“Then there’s the adaptive triggers which are implemented for that sound device previously mention, but really shines in the new FPS Challenge Modes which utilizes an array of weapons which, is the primary objective of creating realism.”
Tester was pretty candid talking about the DualSense controller. He (and perhaps even the developer) “was somewhat skeptical” about the immersion levels claimed by Sony regarding haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
“However, since Maid of Sker and playing other games such as Astro’s Playroom, I’m convinced in its ability not just to enhance games but to be at the forefront of game design for many PS5 developers. Horror game in particular will benefit from these features with immersion being what creates a scary experience.”
Coming back to both the hardware of PS5 and Xbox Series X, Tester reminded that Maid of Sker initially had 10-15 seconds of loading times on PS4 and Xbox One. These have now been reduced to a mere 1-2 seconds on PS5. The Xbox Series X version however lags behind but only slightly since the it is running through backwards compatibility.
Furthermore, improving the quality of textures for 4K fidelity has drastically increased the size of the game. Thanks to the compression technology of PS5 however, Tester confirmed that “the PS5 version is only marginally larger than the PS4 version despite actually having several gigs of extra data from the improved textures.”
Unfortunately though, ray tracing will not be part of the upcoming enhancements. “With DLSS, since we use Unity, once they implement the feature, which is later this year, we’ll likely try and see if it’s feasible since it’ll involve updating the engine to a much newer version,” added Tester.
Maid of Sker will release natively on PS5, and through backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X, on May 26, 2021. Existing owners (both digital and physical) will be able to avail a free upgrade. Also, anyone who owns the game on Xbox will receive a free Windows 10 copy through the Microsoft Store.