Just how fast are PS5 load times? Fast enough to “break your brain,” according to one Warframe developer.
My brain has been broken for years, you might be thinking. First of all, if your brain was broken, you wouldn’t even be able to have that thought. Second—it’s hard to imagine millions of people clamoring to pay $500 for a machine that literally breaks your brain.
Warframe—an online action RPG that recently made its PS5 debut—was built for PCs. Console users have given Warframe its fair share of attention, but Sony’s next-gen technology provides Warframe players with a consistent experience on all platforms for the first time. “Players who are playing on PS4 or Xbox—it’s still a great experience, but it’s just not that seamless,” says Digital Extremes COO Sheldon Carter.
Recently, TheGamer spoke with Carter about how Digital Extremes leveraged the power of next-gen technology to present players with an elevated experience—one that was historically reserved for best-in-class hardware. “When you get to next-gen and you start seeing what the experience can feel like… I think the one I was most excited for as a game developer was load times, just watching it be mock speed.”
The PS5’s warp-speed load times have been touted as one of the console’s headlining features since the beginning of last year, but few console players have had a real sense of what drastically decreased load times would mean in practice.
On consoles, Warframe calls for regular intermissions as players traverse between the game’s various environments—which the devs consider a major disruption to the game’s flow. It’s a problem with all games that involve heavy rendering, but some developers come up with clever workarounds to the loading question.
Electronic Arts’ Fallen Order, for instance, expropriates oppressive load times to simulate space travel—which helps maintain a continuous experience for players. But Warframe, according to Carter, lends itself well to an instantaneous transition between the game’s distant worlds.
“We want it to be as seamless as possible. If you’re playing in Deimos, being able to quickly go from inner Necralisk out into the landscape right away—those kinds of feelings are what players on PS4 or Xbox are missing,” Carter explained, adding, “We’re talking like five or ten seconds into the level versus 45 on PS4. It’s stunning. It breaks your brain when you’ve been so used to playing one way to see it go that fast and just be in and out of missions.”
Load times aren’t the only part of the equation that next-gen helped solve for Digital Extremes. “You’re also able to take more horsepower,” shared Carter. “We revved our whole rendering engine to get ready for this changeover. Dynamic lighting, how it feels to be in it, the frame rate being smooth. I’ve been around for a couple of changes over, but this one, from frame rate to just game look and load times, has been really exciting.”
Overall, Warframe is a great ad for the limits of next-gen capability—or lack thereof. PC users have distanced themselves from consoles, but the gap is finally closing. Warframe is a testament to the narrowing margins between the two platforms.
“It’s interesting with Warframe because obviously, we’re a title that’s been on PC from our start. We’ve always wanted it to feel fluid – the movement is fluid, so just being able to transition a little quicker has been a big deal.”
Read the full interview here.
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Nathan is a writer who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. He enjoys long walks down Knickerbocker Avenue, cold Burger King chicken nuggets, and being stuck on the Soul of Cinder for close to two years.
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