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NFS: Rivals – double the frames, double the speed

Need for Speed: Rivals was released in North America yesterday but gamers were quick to pick up on the game’s 30 frames per second lock, even on PC. It didn’t take too long for modders to figure out how to remove the frame limit, but unfortunately, it seems the gaming gods didn’t want PC gamers to enjoy the benefits of having much more capable hardware, as the game becomes unplayable upon removing the frame lock:

As you can see, playing the game above 30 frames per second seems to dramatically speed up the gameplay and completely breaks the physics of the game.

Why did this happen? Well it all comes down to the fact that the game was built for underpowered hardware- the next gen consoles. You might remember the article we wrote on Dead Rising 3 running at 720p, well that story didn’t end there. It turns out that the game drops to as low as 20 frames per second when the action kicks in. To avoid falling in to this sub 30fps trap, the developer, Ghost, had to hard code the frame rate to the games operating cycle to avoid slow down.

For console gamers this isn’t a big deal but PC gamers like options, especially with our more capable hardware. If PC’s didn’t offer a better gaming experience then nobody would bother investing the money into one. If we want to play at a higher frame rate, then why shouldn’t we?

need-for-speed-rivals

Obviously a factor in this could be the seamless multiplayer feature- allowing players to drop in and out of games. Locking the game at a pretty achievable frame rate ensures that there isn’t any hardware advantages during multiplayer races.

Hopefully this will be a lesson to other developers, don’t skimp out on the PC ports. We have powerful hardware and we might as well utilise it, the next generation is supposed to help PC gaming, not gimp it.

Kitguru Says: It must be a bad port if you can break the game by changing one simple command line. Hopefully this can be rectified- who wants to play a racing game at sub 60 frames per second anyway? 

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