It turns out that Starfield’s 30 FPS lock wasn’t a “creative decision” after all

Starfield

While Starfield still has a mixed overall review score of 61% and a recent review score of 48% on Steam, the latest update (1.11.36) was so good that even the pixel counting wizards at Digital Foundry paid their respects to Bethesda.

The main headline of the update is the magical transformation from a crappy 30 frames per second experience to a smooth 60fps shooter. I use the term ‘shooter’ quite loosely, because while we are indeed talking about a Bethesda title, it is not Doom Eternal in terms of gameplay mechanics.

To keep things short and simple, Series If your TV or monitor does not have this latest technology, you will only see options for a 30 and 60 fps mode. The Visuals and Performance modes prioritize graphics and framerate respectively. Series S has been skipped, I’m afraid.

Starfield

Photo: Digital Foundry

How well does the 60fps performance mode hold up? In indoor areas where you fight enemies with the right effects, everything is fine, and the same goes for most cities. There are some drops in the open world areas, but only a few frames. However, the framerate can dip into the lower 40s and even 20s in places like Akila City or New Atlantis. The 30fps visual mode tends to hit its target almost everywhere, aside from the two cities mentioned earlier.

Incremental graphical improvements have also been made, but you’ll never know the difference unless you compare them side by side. There is more grass here and there and a few more stones, but no overhaul. When you switch between the two modes, you’ll see some temporary lighting changes due to the real-time global lighting that Starfield uses. Wait until everything settles down and everything will be fine.

Unfortunately, hitting 60fps on the Xbox Series But the core experience is smoother than ever, and if that was a deterrent before, it’s now completely gone.

A lot of people love Starfield, and that’s great because that’s what gaming is all about: finding what you love and getting lost in those universes or worlds for dozens of hours. With this latest update, now is the best time to try or even retry Starfield if you have an Xbox Series X. Who knows, the magic that so many people have found will finally reach you.

Starfield

Photo: Digital Foundry

Aside from the many delays, the recently updated display settings for Xbox Series X have been the subject of many controversies before, during, and after launch. First, there were rumors that the game would have a maximum speed of 30 fps. Then, just a few months before it was released, Todd Howard and Xbox chief executive Phil Spencer said it was a creative decision to keep it at 30.

I think given our previous games it won’t be a surprise what we’re going for. Always these huge, open worlds, completely dynamic, hyper-detailed where anything can happen. And we want to do that too. It’s 4K on the We don’t want to sacrifice any of it,Howard said during an interview with Ryan McCaffrey, the editor-in-chief of Previews at IGN.

Well, given that it runs at a full but not fully locked 60fps today, logic would dictate that the “creative decision” marketing language and the like were nothing but a veil designed to cover up Bethesda’s technical shortcomings nice to hide. You could even go a step further and straighten things out by deducing that the 30 fps lock was because, after so many delays, not to mention the exorbitant $200-$400 million budget, they simply couldn’t had time to run it at a steady 60 fps. fps and had to release the game.

Unfortunately, mismanagement, game delays, cancellations and, most recently, mass layoffs and studio closures have become the norm at Microsoft’s gaming division. From an external perspective, things are very bad there, even if many recent budget constraints can be attributed to the $68.7 billion and $7.5 billion acquisitions of Activision-Blizzard and ZeniMax Media. After such a spending spree, Microsoft certainly had to cut costs somewhere.

Starfield

Photo: Betesda

The studios that had to leave were Arkane Austin, responsible for Redfall, followed by Tango Gameworks, which made Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Within, and then Alpha Dog Games and Roundhouse Studios. This was after they laid off 8% or 1,900 of the 22,000 employees of their gaming division on January 25, 2024.

Next on Bethesda’s adventure list are Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, Elder Scrolls VI, and Fallout 5. While we can expect the latter two to arrive sometime between 2026 and 2032 (including delays), the upcoming Indy adventure title starring Troy Baker will starring Harrison Ford is scheduled for release this year. It’s coming to current-gen Xbox consoles and PC via Steam, but the best part is that it will be free for Game Pass members.

The Game Pass lineup includes Manor Lords, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 on May 21, Frostpunk 2 on July 25, STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl, Hollow Knight: Silksong, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Avowed, Fable and many more external parties. titles yet to be revealed.

If you want to hear some more juicy Game Pass rumors, sources say we’ll hear about Call of Duty hitting Game Pass during the Xbox showcase on June 9, although it’s uncertain if there will be a price increase for the subscription service. We should also hope for a new Gears of War game and new footage from Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Avowed and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle.

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