Not all remasters are created equal.
Released today, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is an update for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC of From Software’s action role-playing game for the older consoles last year. But it doesn’t perform consistently across the two console versions. The Xbox One version particularly suffers from framerate problems that result in sluggish combat, according to Eurogamer’s performance analysis.
A target of 60 frames-per-second is considered the gold standard for console games, but Dark Souls II dropped to a low of 36 fps on Xbox One in testing, compared to a low of 48 fps on PS4. It’s a significant difference that means Xbox One owners are getting a lesser experience from what is intended to be the definitive version of Dark Souls II.
The problems are partly because of the increased enemy numbers in this remaster, which Xbox One struggles most to cope with.
“This boosted enemy count evidently fulfills an ambition for the game that isn’t possible on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it also takes a toll on both PS4 and Xbox One to differing degrees,” says Eurogamer. “Xbox One pays a persistent price for matching the PS4’s visual standard. Both formats target 60 fps … but Microsoft’s platform suffers the greater drops between the two in each scene of our frame-rate analysis.”
Even in quiet, enemy-free areas, though, the XBox One version can’t match the PS4’s framerate, often running at around 50fps rather than 60 fps.
While the PlayStation 4 can’t manage a consistent 60 fps throughout, it is a “consistently better performer.”
“By bullishly matching Sony’s platform point-for-point across all graphical settings, Xbox One places Dark Souls II’s visual presentation above its playability to a certain extent,” concludes Eurogamer.