Now let’s get down to the real details. Since the launch of this game yesterday, I have been working on coming up with a way to best present it. Unfortunately, there is no in-game benchmark tool, so I’ve had to get a little creative by coming up with my own benchmark run.
For our tests today, I am using my own person rig, featuring an Intel Core i7 5820K, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GTX 980Ti running the latest ‘Game Ready’ drivers. If my system can’t run a game well, then chances are, a lower end system would have an even harder time. Since I am not an official member of the hardware team, I don’t have access to the usual trove of graphics cards that you see in our regular reviews.
Since we are using an Nvidia based system, I went ahead and recorded my benchmark run using ShadowPlay, which minimizes performance impact on Nvidia GPUs, though the trade-off is some fairly lossy footage so keep that in mind while watching if you are trying to judge the graphics.
The run takes place during the first mission following the prologue. I made my way to the village Wialo to pick up some intel. To replicate the run, all you need to do is start off on the rocks overlooking the village, then make your way down and take the first guard on the right. From there, just go through and take out each guard one by one before proceeding to the building with the satellite on top of it.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvS9JjfBr1o’]
Now that you have seen our run, we can talk about performance in greater detail. Just like in Ground Zeroes, the FOX engine continues to be incredibly well optimized. During my few hours with the Phantom Pain, the GTX 980Ti has managed to maintain a solid 60 frames per second in almost all circumstances. I say almost, as there has been a split second or two where I have experienced hitching but these occurrences have seemingly been random as I have been unable to consistently cause it.
Given the performance we are seeing, even at 4K, it is clear that this game was designed to run at 60 frames per second. One thing to keep in mind though, is that this game only goes up to 60 frames per second. It may be possible to unlock this via a .ini file, though that may cause unforeseen performance issues. Additionally, there have been reports that 21:9 ultra-wide resolutions are not natively supported, so that might be worth looking out for.
Looking throughout the world, it is easy to see why we can get such great performance. Metal Gear Solid V is a good looking game but as with any open world title, there are some clever tricks implemented to keep the frame rate up. For instance, while character faces themselves look particularly sharp, hair quality takes a bit of a hit.
Another thing I noticed is that clothing textures lack quite a bit of detail. Wall and ground textures are also fairly low resolution, though this is only noticeable when you get very close to them. Given that this is a third person game, it should be expected that many of the assets in the world are designed to be looked at from a distance. I could make similar observations about the textures in many other third-person open world games, including Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3.
All of that aside, the scenery and terrain in this game are stunning. I haven’t encountered any texture pop-in and the view distance is pretty solid, making for a pretty great experience overall.