Returnal’s 4K Image is Upscaled from 1080p, Performance Mostly 60fps With Some Drops


Housemarque’s Returnal drops today, and as one of the first major third-party PS5 exclusives, many are understandably curious about how it pushes the hardware. Well, the tech-heads at Digital Foundry put the game through its paces, and it seems like the game pushes PS5 hardware quite hard. You can check out the full video below, provided you have 20 minutes to spare.

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Returnal throws a lot at the player and targets 60fps, but that comes at the cost of image quality. While Returnal technically runs at dynamic 4K, a lot of techniques are used to get there. According to DF, Returnal’s native resolution is only around 1080p. Housemarque says they then used temporal upsampling to get to 1440p and then checkerboard rendering to get to 4K – the effect of this double upsampling is a game that can look a bit grainy at times, though it's still described as visually rich by DF. As for performance, expect a mostly locked 60fps, although DF did pick up brief moments when the action dipped to the mid-to-low 50s. Again, though, Returnal's performance is 'generally great' according to DF.

Don’t expect too many fancy ray-tracing visual effects, as Housemarque mainly used it behind the scenes to improve rendering efficiency. That said, they're also using it to accelerate audio environment queries and improve the 3D audio effect, according to DF.

Here’s what Wccftech’s Kai Powell had to say about the game in his full review.

Returnal checks all of the boxes for what a best-in-class roguelike should aim for -- a gameplay loop that rewards the player for innovation and mastery, loot that can synergize to create some unstoppable character builds, and most importantly, weapons that simply feel right in the player's hands. Without a doubt, Returnal is one of the finest PlayStation 5 exclusives available in 2021 and those that are eager for the next great challenge can find plenty to look forward to when they take Selene's first steps onto the alien planet again and again.

Returnal is available now on PS5.

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