Home / Software & Gaming / Evil Within to run at 30FPS, in letterbox

Evil Within to run at 30FPS, in letterbox

It's a bit of a shame that considering this generation of consoles was supposed to make developing games that were compatible with them and PCs, a lot easier, it seems to be leading to crippled ports. The hardware in them is near identical to a mid to low end gaming PC, so it should be simple. Instead though, most PC ports we've seen so far won't even support a higher frame rate than 30 out of the gate and that's exactly what's happening with the upcoming Evil Within, despite its ridiculous VRAM requirements.

The reason for the low frame rate, was apparently a decision that was made early on in development. “Shinji Mikami and the team at Tango designed The Evil Within to be played at 30fps and to utilize an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 for all platforms”, a Bethesda spokesperson said. “The team has worked the last four years perfecting the game experience with these settings in mind.”

They did however offer a caveat for PC gamers: “For PC players, we’ll provide debug commands on how you can alter the framerate and aspect ratio, but these commands and changes are not recommended or supported and we suggest everyone play the game as it was designed and intended for the best experience.”

evil
I'd sacrifice a few wrecked mouth reflections for a few more FPS

Along with the sub-par frame rate, the aspect ratio seems like a weird choice too. Deliberate letterboxing is rarely something aimed for in an entertainment product, but according to Bethesda the idea is to display “certain elements,” in the black areas off screen. Weirdly, turning them off will be a “console-only,” command. It will be possible on PC, but Bethesda doesn't recommend it.

Despite these restrictions on performance, Evil Within will still need a GPU with at least 4GB of VRAM to be able to run with the highest quality textures.

This is similar to the recent Shadow of Mordor bloated VRAM necessities and it stems from the fact that with the Xbox One and PS4 both feature 8GB of shared system memory that a developer can utilise big chunks of for texture storage. On the PC however, even though system memory is often higher, it can't be so easily shared with the GPU, hence even those with Titans are struggling to run these games at maxed out settings – even if it doesn't make much difference to fidelity when compared with other options like higher resolutions.

The PC version will get some extra graphical options to play with, but if you're running a system with more than 4GB of VRAM, I expect you'll easily be able to max out a game that can run on the GPUs in the PS4 and Xbox One anyway.

PC graphics options include:

  • Fullscreen or windowed support
  • Anti-aliasing – FXAA, MLAA, SMAA
  • Shadow Quality – High, Medium, Low
  • Motion Blur
  • SSAO
  • Reflections

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KitGuru Says: A 30 FPS lock in 2014 seems ridiculous, especially considering the requirements want an i7 or comparable CPU as well as all that VRAM.

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44 comments

  1. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Like you said Jon, it’s 2014, this shouldn’t be the case.

  2. yeah, i have a feeling the meta score isn’t going to be too forgiving on this one.

  3. as long as the game is good, i don’t care about the capped fps, i actually like the cinematic feel of low fps (24-30), but that’s just me…

  4. MMmm do you think there is a conspiarcy going on.
    Perhaps microsoft/Sony not wanting the PC versions to be better than the consoles?

    Clearly there is a theme here, Ubisoft also seem to me in on this.

    Just saying

  5. ” Hardware is near to a mid-low end gaming PC” Seriously man if this is your day job just give up already,what low-mid range gaming PC uses unified memory, a slow 5500Rpm 500GB Hard Drive and an APU that’s used in tablets and smartphones ? Answer Not a single one.

    Even a Budget gaming PC has a 1TB 7200Rpm Hard Drive and a entry level GPU such as a 750Ti or similar along with a “PC Grade” CPU/APU and will run rings around a XB1/PS4 so quit spouting that BS about them being comparable the consoles are not even close

  6. He’s being as forgiving as possible so that it doesn’t give peasants any ammo. We all know you’re right, including him, but it’s better to be conservative about it.

  7. Wow. 24FPS. Wow.

  8. when they run a movie, say, The Hobbit, at 24fps, you have to realize that they’re recording the footage in ULTRA High Definition. games aren’t the same

  9. They wonder why some people pirate games. People don’t want to spend hard earned money on crippled games. We don’t built high end rigs to be able to play games at the same fidelity as someone’s cookie cutter console.

  10. Gary 'Gazza' Keen

    Let’s give it another generation or two and hopefully consoles will die out. I know it’s not ideal but it needs to happen, consoles have become a poison in the industry and it’s destroying the technological capabilities of today as we know it. Why should I have to buy dual 980’s and an i7-5960x just to only just play a mediocre looking game for the benefit of consoles?

  11. unfortunately they’re not going anywhere. they do serve a purpose, letting people who don’t know how or want to know how to build a computer, and who don’t have the money for a corporate built gaming rig, to play games. it’s a multi billion dollar industry

  12. Gary 'Gazza' Keen

    My only hope lies within the Steamboxes. It’s kind of a bridge between consoles and PC’s as it contains physical hardware with the console-esque operating system and controller. If developers treat Steamboxes as a console it will hopefully raise the quality of PC games and eventually phase out the crap we’re given by Microsoft and Sony

  13. wow..the resolution has nothing to do with frames in the first place..get your stuff right.

  14. why movies olok smooth at low-resolution is because they have motion blur happening IN camera. You can’t do that in real-time and have to make it a post-processing effect, which at low framerates looks like ASS. Also, 24FPS give you about 80-90ms response time on the controls vs 17ms at 60FPS.

  15. problem is by being “conservative” it causes more problems all it takes it one glance at the comments sections on most articles/Youtube video to see how deluded Console gamer’s are thinking they have something powerful when no self respecting system builder or individual would build a “gaming pc” budget or otherwise using such weak outdated components.

    It’s far better to be honestly blunt and tell them how it is even if it comes off as “elitist”

  16. In a movie it’s controlled and carefully edited… in a game where I control the action, 30fps or lower makes me feel sick and completes ruins immersion.

  17. Wow… Yes it does.

  18. This feels like shilling.
    I can’t even fathom why anyone would buy the whole “cinematic feel” PR circlejerk.
    Ubisoft has out-ciclejerked /r/pcmasterrace at this point

  19. Jevgenij Stepanov

    30 FPS… 30? REALLY? I turned vsync once in Dead Space 1 which caps FPS at 30. Game felt like ASS!

  20. I know what you mean but the aim is that PC gamers can’t be accused of misinformation if we’re always conservative. It’s fine for us in the comments to talk about the reality but as a journalist for PC games I like that Jon and others are much *much* better than their console counterparts. It seems more civilised and it’s like taking the moral high ground.

  21. The OS and controller are interesting, but “Steamboxes” themselves are just mITX PCs.

    Just get something like an RVZ01, ML07, or an EVGA Hadron to build into, throw SteamOS on the finished build, and you have a Steambox.

  22. Guess what: we’re not watching a series of cut-scenes, we want to play games! Gameplay is king and if you think stuttering or lagging gameplay makes for a better experience please go dip your head in tar and set yourself on fire! That might also make for a good experience.

  23. Too Right! I wouldn’t waste shit on the Evil Within especially since I’m supposedly “stuck” running it at 30fps!

  24. are mentally ill or something, how old are you? we are talking here about GAMES, not life and death situations, no need to talk like that, little uneducated child….

  25. Sorry, I’m a bit busy working on a masters degree, in field of game immersion no less. No need to tell me how to talk, it’s called freedom of speech, if you don’t understand that then maybe you are the one lacking in education 😉 So how’s that cinematic tar experience working out for you?

  26. you don’t worth the effort…whatever

  27. Yup, disabled v-sync and was running at 110+ FPS. I had a lot of screen tear, but it was so much easier to play!

  28. Yes Toben, i want a pc game and not an emulation of a console game running on my pc, if wanted that i would use a ps2 emulator and would play ps2 games on my pc…So you’re totally right! At last someone that understands me 😀

  29. The plot is to sell more pc components! or force you to buy a console, all articles about PC gaming these past years point for PC gaming to end, and it didn’t work by influence, so now they are taking action to induce people to quit pc gaming, they dont want people to upgrade their systems they want us to buy a hole system each time if you dont belive me search for an article that is something about motherboards coming with soldered CPU’s instead of sockets that allow upgrade (that article is from last year i think).

  30. For a guy working on a master degree you are quite dumb, your freedom of speech ends when you start messing with others freedom of speech, or if you harm them or even if you are insulting someone…Grow up, even 6 year old understands freedom of speech better than you Sr. Master Degree(which almost certainly is just small talk to justify your rudeness).

  31. OH it doesnt, go to your pc and run a game at 720p, 1080p and 4K and compare the frame per second and then tell me the differences between each one…More resolution means that it takes more horsepower to render the frame thus at lower resolutions you can have more detail in each frame,while using the same specs you used to run the same scene at higher resolution…

  32. People are rude on the internet?!?! You must be new here :3

  33. Ohhhh the temptation to be a Grammar Nazi. Must. resist. the urge!

  34. mother fucker, not not everybody in this world has english as native language. how pathetic can you be to start a dispute and throw insults over some FPS, it seems pretty clear that you are just a uneducated child with nothing to do all day long than playing games and wasting his parents money, grow up you piece of shit!

  35. he’s probably 14-15, a little bitch!

  36. Lag-Fighting Tactics

    In Letter box? Not full 1080p
    We wont be buying this.

  37. No I ain’t new here but to say what he/she said without provocation it’s a dumb person, even if it is a 14/15 years old person

  38. You are a Grammar Nazi yourself when you use so many endpoints where you shouldn’t.

  39. Don’t worry he’s not a native tongue English man, if he were one he should know when to use endpoints(.), if you know what i mean 😀

  40. :DDD

  41. Completely disappoint with this title and the lack of support from the developers, especially when they favor the console more then the PC.

    PhoneyVirus
    https://twitter.com/PhoneyVirus
    https://phoneyvirus.wordpress.com/

  42. I’m not a english native yet i can see he made rookie mistakes conserning his grammar

  43. keen eye, you got there!

  44. 🙂