In case you haven’t noticed, chipmakers are in the middle of an upscaling revolution. AMD, Intel, and Nvidia are all out to prove that algorithms can trump native rendering performance. Why spend precious GPU cycles on native 4K when you can actually get a sharper, more detailed image by upscaling smaller pictures instead?
It’s an argument that’s never quite convinced me, I’ll admit. But AMD’s new FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0, arriving for the first time today in an update for Deathloop, may have the potential to change that on PC. The new game patch also includes some key accessibility options — more on that later.
PC Gamer now says FSR 2.0 “really looks better than native 4K,” and Hardware Unboxed has a phenomenal video showing off FSR 2.0’s performance in almost every type of shootout you’d want — including Nvidia’s DLSS, the original FSR 1.0, and native rendering each at 4K, 1440p and 1080p resolutions.
While I won’t truly be convinced till I have time to fire it up myself some evening, both journalists seem convinced that FSR 2.0 really does look better than native 4K in terms of detail, and Hardware Unboxed suggests it may give Nvidia’s DLSS a run for its money as well. Things get a little more even at 1440p and downright dicey at 1080p, but it clearly looks way way better than AMD’s FSR 1.0 (though that tech does have its uses, too).
And for those who do agree it looks as good or better than native rendering, there’s a huge framerate boost waiting: enough to run Deathloop at 1440p with the highest settings, including raytracing, at over 60fps with AMD’s humble new $400 RX 6650 XT, says the company. But importantly, it doesn’t require an AMD graphics card: Hardware Unboxed tested on an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, for example, where they averaged over 60fps at 4K with FSR 2.0’s Quality mode.
In a blog post, AMD says 12 other games will add FSR 2.0 “in the coming months,” including:
- Eve Online
- Farming Simulator 22
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Perfect World Remake
- Swordsman Remake
- Unknown 9: Awakening
At GDC 2022, AMD claimed it’s a pretty easy tech to adapt to games, and may even come to Xbox, but it does take some doing — if a game isn’t using Unreal Engine or temporal anti-aliasing, it might be four or more weeks of development work.
FSR 2.0 isn’t the only big update to Deathloop. The new patch today brings a dedicated photo mode, and a whole bunch of accessibility improvements, after the game was criticized early for lacking them. Arkane clearly took the feedback: among a whole list of intriguing toggles that let you do things like tagging multiple enemies at a time or enabling one-shot kills, you can now adjust the entire speed of the game, change combat difficulty, and choose how many respawns you want.