Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s 4K performance analysed on PS4 Pro

At its heart, it’s still Call of Duty – but both tonally and technologically, Infinite Warfare is quite a shift from CODs of years past. Sitting down to play the campaign on PlayStation 4 Pro, there’s still the sense that this is the videogames equivalent to a full-on Michael Bay-style Hollywood blockbuster, but now the core aesthetic of the game has evolved to match the franchise’s cinematic aspirations, requiring a significant shift in rendering technology. The question we had going in: what’s changed under the bonnet, and can the title sustain the series’ signature 60fps action?

We’ve already looked at the game late on production via – the PlayStation Meeting PS4 Pro reveal, based on a snippet of campaign action, and the EGX multiplayer version. Single-player performance in particular was a concern, varying between 40-60fps. Understandably, multiplayer looked more solid, but frame-rate still dropped around explosive moments, and actually looked more impacted than the standard PlayStation 4 release based on completely unscientific comparisons undertaken at the EGX showfloor.

The happy news is that the final release code represents a huge improvement. Multiplayer is rock-solid, while the campaign gets very, very close to it – as you can see for yourself in the video below. Similar to Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1, the implementation of dynamic resolution scaling makes a key difference here, reducing rendering load in problematic areas, keeping frame-rate high. The base PS4 and Xbox One versions use a horizontal upscaler ranging from 960×1080 to full HD, with additional super-sampling provided via a temporal component. PS4 Pro uses a different solution, ranging from checkerboarded 1560p all the way up to full 2160p 4K.

Tech Analysis: 4K gaming on PlayStation 4 Pro

It all seems to have rather gone rather quiet for PlayStation 4 Pro, mere weeks before the system’s launch. What’s clear is that anyone who didn’t attend the PlayStation Meeting in person a couple of weeks back still hasn’t seen much of what the system is capable of. Follow-up downloadable media released in the wake of the event has mostly been bereft of quality and doesn’t showcase the hardware favourably. Meanwhile, the first public reveal of the system at EGX recently was limited to just six units running just one title – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

With just over a month to go before the new console launches, the lack of exposure for the system is puzzling. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the hardware’s chances, principally because the software I’ve seen – principally Days Gone and Horizon Zero Dawn – looks impressive. They’re not launch titles, of course, but they perhaps hint at the kind of quality we may see more generally a couple of months on from release. More than that, the price-point of the PlayStation Pro – $399/£349 – makes the hardware a no-brainer for new console buyers as we move into the holiday season.

The bottom line is this. While we can fully expect bundling deals and special offers to drive down prices on existing hardware, the retail pricing for PS4 Pro is undeniably compelling – $100/£100 more than the new CUH-2000 ‘Slim’ PlayStation 4 model buys you 31 per cent of extra CPU power, 2.3x the GPU grunt, faster RAM and twice the storage space. As things stand, the base PS4 is suddenly looking very expensive for what it offers, relatively.

The Eurogamer Podcast #14: Does anyone have a script for Aaron Paul?

Spare a thought for Aaron Paul. That guy is busy. He needs a holiday! He needs a long bath, as they say, to soak his hams. How do we know he’s busy? Because, weirdly enough, Microsoft chose to make his busy-ness a core component of the marketing for Titanfall back in the day. Aaron Paul: Busy! But not too busy to play Titanfall.

We discuss all this on the podcast this week because we’ve discovered what Aaron Paul’s been so busy with. And once again it has to do with games! What could it be…?

“YO.” as Aaron Paul might say. Not “YO!”, mind. Aaron Paul says “YO.” He’s all business. Anyway, if you were wondering if we could go a week without talking about XCOM 2, I have some wonderful news! We could not go a week without talking about XCOM 2. This time, however, the roles are reversed in an exciting fashion. As we kick off podcast 14, I have been playing Firaxis’ tactical masterpiece on console, and Chris Bratt has to listen to me talking about why I love it. We are a beautiful democracy. As proof, he got to mention an excellent he hosted at EGX.

When is a layer not a layer? Dishonored 2’s intricate approach to level design

Last week, Aoife and I paid a visit to Bethesda’s offices in London to get hands on with Dishonored 2; we had a couple of hours to fully explore the clockwork mansion level as we learned how to use Emily’s powers and got reacquainted with Corvo now he’s learned to talk.

The clockwork level itself is quite impressive. It also seems like a real statement, emphasising that the opulent, Victorian inspired visuals that so characterise Dishonored are more than just set dressing; as you go about the house, you pull levers to reconfigure the environment around you with a satisfying series of clicks, clanks and whirs. Reconfiguring the house, of course, opens up different pathways to your target – in this instance, the renowned inventor Kirin Jindosh. It’s a strong reminder that while Dishonored 2 (and the original Dishonored) may not be a puzzle game, it’s sure as hell built like one.

I spoke to lead level designer Christophe Carrier at EGX to explore the design ethos behind Dishonored 2 and, indeed, the clockwork mansion. Before we dive into that though, you might want to watch the video first in order to get a good sense for what the level actually is.

Shovel Knight will guest star in Yooka Laylee

Shovel Knight is going to guest star in Yooka-Laylee, where he will appear as a non-playable character. That’s nice.

“We’ve always been fans of Shovel Knight,” Playtonic’s Chris Sutherland told Eurogamer at EGX, ahead of the character’s unveiling today on the developer sessions stage, “and thought it’d be great to have some guest star characters from the rest of the indie community.

“It’s great for indies to be able to do that. There’s no kind of big barrier, you don’t have to go through seven levels of approval, you just go: yeah, we’re going to do that.”

Watch Sunday’s EGX 2016 sessions live

Once more into the breach. It’s the final day of EGX 2016 but the show has saved some of its best developer sessions until last.

All of today’s sessions are streamed live on the EGX Twitch channel – which you can watch right here if you’re so inclined.

Miss one? Each panel archived on YouTube too so you can catch up.

Games of EGX 2016

Hello again from Birmingham’s NEC, where we’re wrapping up day three of EGX 2016. And what a day – announced, a hugely-promising look at , and a chance to watch Ian and Bratt making themselves .

Treadmills aside, EGX is full of gems to try – and if you’re here tomorrow, or are simply looking for our opinions of what was great here this year, look no further. Below, we’ve each picked a particular favourite to recommend to you. And so, without any further do:

Generating some of the biggest buzz on the showfloor and attention any AAA-sized game would go green as a lizard in envy for, Yooka-Laylee lit up EGX this year. It’s kind of appropriate, really, for a game whose team seem to be punching above their collective weight in every way. Sure, as a group of a dozen or so veterans they have a hundred years worth of experience in the industry (mostly at British legend Rare). But Yooka-Laylee is also a type of game we don’t see much anymore – a retro-feeling 3D platformer, heavy on nostalgia and collectibles – from a small team with their heads down, hard at work in a room in the Midlands.

Failbetter Games announces Sunless Skies

Failbetter Games has announced Sunless Skies, a sequel to Sunless Sea, live on stage at EGX 2016. The follow up to the Victorian exploration game is currently in the very early stages of development, with a Kickstarter campaign due to launch in February of next year.

As you have almost certainly guessed, Sunless Skies swaps the murky waters of the Unterzee for the open air, in a move best described as ‘doing a Bioshock’.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Hannah Flynn of Failbetter Games said: “We hope Sunless Skies will be another helping of what players loved about Sunless Sea: the choices that make you close your eyes as you click, delivered in our finest prose, surrounded by atmospheric and lush art.

Watch Saturday’s EGX 2016 sessions live

We’re back at the NEC in Birmingham for day three of EGX 2016. Do say hello if you’re here, or if you’re not – well, then you have more time to watch Saturday’s developer session schedule.

All of today’s sessions are streamed live on the EGX Twitch channel – which you can watch right here if you’re so inclined.

Miss one? We’ll have each panel archived on YouTube too so you can catch up.

First-person VR Pac-Man is as ridiculous as it sounds

The future is here, and it’s a first-person Pac-Man game with VR headsets and a slippy treadmill which requires oversized Crocs.

We sent Ian Higton and Chris Bratt into this dystopian future and yes, the results were as just as we planned.

You can try this setup for yourself at EGX 2016, where Pac-Man VR is running on Android Gear headsets and ROVR treadmills.