News broke this week that The Last of Us Remastered won’t only have a 30 FPS lock option in the settings, but that it will ‘enable higher quality shadows in-game’. During our PS4 playthrough of the game we decided to document our travels to see what kind of difference it makes. The results show something more than subtle.
What you’re going to see in our screenshots and videos are a variety of results, sometimes indistinguishable, and other times enough difference present to raise an eyebrow. When playing at 60 FPS without the lock enabled, you will encounter shadows with high aliasing (blocky edges), and sometimes even shadows missing altogether. With the 30 FPS lock enabled, the edges of shadows are much smoother, and shadows will appear on certain surfaces.
First up, the screenshots. Be sure to view the gallery below in full screen (a button is available on top). To see the image in the largest resolution possible, you can right click it and select ‘copy image URL’, and then paste it in your URL bar.
Here are some highlights from the images so you can see them side-by-side. The 30 FPS lock image is on the right for all four images.
The below images really show it all. On the left side a whole shadow is missing on the 60 FPS image. Meanwhile, Joel and the shades behind him are casting blocky shadows. Click to visit a full 1080p image of each.
Now for the videos. In each of these videos I begin with the 30 FPS lock disabled, and then change the setting. You won’t be able to see the difference in framerate due to video compression, but you should be able to notice a divergence in shadow quality. One thing to note that in the case of the first video, there is actual flickering of the shadow as I changed my view. This happens on several occasions, and is the kind of inconsistency that you will notice during play.
In my opinion, I think Naughty Dog wanted to incorporate the higher quality shadows by default, but simply couldn’t get the game to run smoothly enough, opting to lower the intensity of shadow quality when running at 60 FPS. After all, in the case of PC games shadows are usually the first thing to go when performance takes a dive.
During my playtime with the 30 FPS lock disabled, I didn’t necessarily notice the blocky shadows during gameplay. The only occasions where they caught my attention is when I was looking for them, or a shadow was flickering (uncommon).
Also See: The Last of Us Remastered Review
As big of a difference as this might seem, 60 FPS was a larger factor for me. As such, I only find the 30 FPS lock worth enabling when taking screenshots, especially when taking advantage of the robust Photo Mode.
That said, which option are you going to use during your playthrough? Let us know in the comments below.