Video Games

Madden NFL 23 Performance Review

EA’s latest entry in the long-running Madden series sees several upgrades over the previous generation of games, including improved visuals, presentation, and animations. Today’s analysis is about graphics, performance, and cross-platform and generational comparisons, but we won’t delve into the details of sports simulations.

performance

As representatives of previous console generations, we look at the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PS4 Pro. They all target and hit 60 fps all the time during gameplay, but due to the stop-and-start nature of the game, these segments are rarely very long. The only time I noticed a drop from his solid 60fps line was when the game transitioned to real-time replays, first segments, or video wipes. That said, these segments represent a TV presentation style, so they had no impact on gameplay.

The only exception to that 60 fps target is Series X and PS5 quality mode replays, which now target 30 fps instead of 60. This also applies to the PS4 Pro and Series S, which only have a single mode instead of quality. Or you can choose from Performance. Again, given that these sections are non-interactive, the impact here is minimal and aside from the shift into these segments, it holds 30 fps without issue and playback resumes All formats and modes offer a smooth and consistent level of performance overall.

Loading is fast on current-gen consoles, with PS5, Series X, and Series S all popping up from menus in less than 3 seconds. The PS4 Pro is slightly slower at around 10 seconds, with other changes and reductions in presentation style, video quality, and character models.

graphic

The current generation version offers upgrades in several key areas. The biggest one is the Field Sense animation system. Many may perceive this in other forms, such as Naughty Dog’s similar motion matching system used in The Last of Us Part II, or his Ubisoft Motion Blending we saw in For Honor. I have. It’s also been used in EA’s previous FIFA titles, including previous generation consoles. But here, this new motion-blending technology is only available on PS5, Series X, and Series S. Its purpose is to keep a number of motion-captured animation cycles in memory and dynamically blend many of them in real time based on the number of animation cycles. of the factors that caused them, such as foot position, velocity, speed, and even mid-air collisions. Its purpose is to make human movements and interactions during games and replays more realistic and compelling.

Realistic human movement is an important aspect of sports games like this. The human eye and brain are naturally good at detecting when things like weight, limb position, and collisions feel or look unrealistic. In this sense, the new entry is an excellent first step towards improving the quality of simulations. Comparing the previous generation to the present, you can certainly see that the animations in his routine are cleaner and more organic as the player turns, spins, and tackles. The PS4 Pro version may highlight keyframe jumps between two or more animation cycles when the model warps to a new position or jumps out of its current position. In contrast, the FieldSense system improves motion accuracy. This is most highlighted in replays and can demonstrate excellent levels of blending.

However, the main problem is that this is not always the case and not all blends are hidden. This means that what you see is more noticeable because the quality is inconsistent. This is exacerbated by severe clipping in many areas (both gameplay and replay) and severely degraded model quality. These are also upgraded on newer generation systems (perhaps due to the additional bone-rigged models required to run). This new animation system. As with some of the various fireworks and particle systems, you’ll notice that some sections make the model smaller and appear less buffed. However, the number of triangles increases. This can be seen in the deformation of arms and other areas when the Skeletal Rig is moved to extreme positions. This means the new console is pushing more polygons per frame while calculating higher bone densities in animations and blends. This is excellent overall. So does lighting with better coverage per pixel, better quality shadows and shading, and more detail in stadiums, lawns, and textures.

Finally, a physically driven hair system can also improve model quality. Here he offers much denser hair his geometry, rather than the flat, motionless hairfins of the PS4 Pro version, as seen by Mr. Madden himself, but this varies by model. There is a problem. Some might argue that some visual changes aren’t necessarily improvements, but ultimately the current generation version has better detail, shading, materials and post effects than the previous generation version. provide.

resolution

All this means that resolution counts give different numbers. The Series S offers a fixed output of 1920×1080 for both gameplay and real-time cinematics. This is not surprising as FIFA games using the same engine were also in his 1080p. The shock could come from his PS4 Pro, which targets 3200×1800 and uses checkerboard resolution to reach that level. That means the final output image is sharper than the Series S, but with lower pixel quality and less heavy chromatic aberration used in games. High resolution sharpness.

Chromatic aberration also affects larger consoles. Both always target 3840×2160 in quality mode and indicate a 30 fps frame rate during replay. This is the sharpest image you can choose from, and overall the game is very stable in most sections, with a very flat lighting model and no cropped specular or noisy pixels. It’s in performance mode, which allows you to target 3200×1800 and double the real-time replay to 60fps. However, this may be dynamic or the checkerboard technique used here may fail. That means you can get the count down to 2560×1440 on both consoles. In gameplay, both modes target the same level and output, using a checkerboard technique to display his 3840×2160. In other words, changing to Quality mode will only increase replay resolution and increase depth of field bokeh, allowing you to revert to a cheap Gaussian blur filter. Dense geometry shots show subtle shadow and hair variations, likely a result of the low resolution buffer. Overall, even in a side-by-side comparison, the difference shows that the increase in resolution is not as pronounced as the decrease in frames per second in his. Anyway, the options that exist are the best. Most importantly, pick poison as the gameplay is the same from both.

The increase that Madden 23 offers over the current generation is good, but not huge. Most players will likely not notice improvements to the instant gameplay animation system, and even less will notice improvements in model quality and replay frame rates. Also, the improvements here are inconsistent and sometimes even always better than older models. Fixed vertices are not properly placed and have no movement when it should be cloth, low poly arms can appear front and center in replays, and crowds can look just as bad. The collisions are heavy and there are still obvious jumps between animation cycles. This greatly expanded the movesets and blending his techniques used here for the next game in the series, and many players redesigned his models to work better with this new system. , provides fidelity. Other small changes like updating or interpolating video wipes to his 60 fps when in performance mode would also be welcome. All the boosts Series X, Series S, and PlayStation 5 players get are certainly welcome and visible, but we wouldn’t expect previous generation players to miss out on much.

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