You may want to hold off on playing The Last Guardian until you have a PS4 Pro, going by this performance report.
The Last Guardian is perhaps not a game you expect to have performance issues, seeing as it doesn’t offer intense action or AI-busy scenes.
Unfortunately, frame-rate drops and stutters happen often, according to a new Digital Foundry analysis.
The report starts off praising the game’s visual design and graphics. The image is a native 1080p on PS4, with rough edges and dithering kept to a minimum. Coupled with use of high quality motion blur, results in a “Pixar-esque quality in motion.”
Despite good lighting in scenes, texture resolution is lower than what you might expect from a PS4 games, though that could have something to do with how the game started off as PS3 title.
The Last Guardian supports PS4 Pro, and you’ll be seeing a boost to image quality and frame-rate. On 4K TVs, the resolution will go up to 3360×1890, though you’ll still see visual noise on foliage. Despite the resolution increase, textures and other effects appear to the be of the same quality available on base PS4.
Unfortunately, performance drops do happen in more busy scenes. If you’re running an HDTV, the the game will render at a native 1080p resolution, identical to what you get on a standard PS4. More importantly, this 1080p mode will offer a “much smoother frame-rate”.
We’re talking 30fps here, as the main game appears to regularly drop below that on both consoles. According to the report, the only way to get a smooth 30fps is to run the PS4 Pro’s 1080p mode. Drops can be between 20-30fps on a regular PS4, along with stuttering.
“But sadly playing The Last Guardian on a standard PS4 easily gives the worst performance of all three options,” the analysis points out.
On the other hand, the 4K mode on PS4 Pro – though running better than 1080p on PS4 – does still have frame-rate drops. In some cases, drops happen in the same spot on a regular PS4 running 1080p and PS4 Pro in 4K.
As you can see in the video above, drops are very apparent. Digital Foundry recommends using a PS4 Pro with an HDTV for the best experience. You can’t select the resolution in game, so if you’re running a 4K TV and would like to run it at 1080p, you’ll have to change the console’s output to 1080p from the settings menu.