“It’s the least well optimized game” this specialist is categorical, the PS5 and the Xbox Series are brought to their knees by this video game

“It’s the least well optimized game” this specialist is categorical, the PS5 and the Xbox Series are brought to their knees by this video game
“It’s the least well optimized game” this specialist is categorical, the PS5 and the Xbox Series are brought to their knees by this video game

Game news “It’s the least well optimized game” this specialist is categorical, the PS5 and the Xbox Series are brought to their knees by this video game

Published on 06/16/2024 at 11:45

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The ambitious overhaul of a survival game classic pushes the PS5 and Xbox Series to their limits with disappointing optimization. Poor performance on consoles highlights the technical challenges of this adaptation on Unreal Engine 5.

The game Ark: Survival Ascended is unanimously recognized as the least well optimized game on console, according to experts. This revamped version of Ark: Survival Evolved uses Unreal Engine 5 (UE5), incorporating many advanced visual features. However, this technical ambition comes at a high cost for performance on consoles. Despite the absence of versions for older generations of consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S struggle to manage the load. The game redesign includes geometric details using Nanite technology and realistic lighting by Lumen. These improvements, while dramatic, put a strain on the capabilities of modern consoles.

Ark: Survival Ascended looks like a PS3 game on Xbox Series S. Video from Digital Foundry

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Disappointing performance on all platforms

On PC, Ark: Survival Ascended struggles to reach 60 frames per second even with high-end configurations. In comparison, the PS5 and Xbox Series but often downscaled to 720p due to dynamic upscaling a technique, which automatically adjusts the latter in real time to maintain a stable level of performance. The Xbox Series S, with a 900p target, often displays internal resolutions as low as 450p. These limitations result in poor performance, oscillating between 25 and 50 fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and even lower on Series S! Resolution drops and graphics tweaks aren’t enough to stabilize the game at 60fps, leading to unwanted framerate stuttering and frequent framerate drops.

Framerate of Ark: Survival Ascended on different consoles

Visual sacrifices for meager performance gains

To attempt to improve performance, players can use the built-in control console to adjust various settings. For example, disabling volumetric clouds and global illumination can improve framerate, but at the expense of visual quality. On the Xbox Series S, reducing the internal resolution to 300p allows you to approach 60 fps, but the game loses graphic quality. On PS5 and Xbox Series X, similar reductions are required to achieve acceptable performance. However, these manual adjustments show the limits of the game on current consoles, suggesting that Ark: Survival Ascended is waiting for more powerful hardware to deliver a smooth and visually rich experience or needs to be better optimized.

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