VG247 features an interview with Crystal Dynamics developer Scott Amos, who went into detail on the three visual modes planned for Rise of the Tomb Raider on PlayStation 4 Pro.
The game's visual modes break down into specializations so that players can emphasize their preferred aspects of visual fidelity: high frame rates, enhanced visuals, and 4K. "You can go for a high frame rate – so if you’re going at 1080p on a PS4 Pro you can run with an unlocked frame rate. So instead of being just at 30 you can run north of 45 frames or better," explained Amos, who opined that this mode is likely to be favored by speed runners.
Enhanced visuals comprise the second of Rise of the Tomb Raider's three visual modes. " Then you’re like… this is a beautiful area, I want to take a closer look, you can slide over a notch and now we have enhanced visuals. That’s actually 1080p locked at 30 frames but we throw everything in that we can – lighting, multi-pass rendering, texture shading, reflections, density of pixels, density of particle effects... everything we can turn on."
If you want to go all in on visual fidelity, 4K mode is the option for you. " Something on the horizon that used to be a blob of kind of grey shadow on the hillside is now a very crisp outline of a ruin with a cross on top of it. It has some sunlight poking through a hole and trees way off in the distance, and you honestly couldn’t have seen that before, it would’ve just faded off and dropped to a low resolution – but now you can see it. That does have this ratcheting effect on the immersion and on the ‘oh my god, I’m actually there’ experience."
Rise of the Tomb Raider joins developer Thekla's The Witness in a group of titles looking to take full advantage of PS4 Pro's upgraded processor, memory, and graphics hardware. The Witness will also feature different modes that allow players to choose between higher frame rates and more detailed graphics.
Other developers are taking a more authorial approach; the forthcoming Mass Effect Andromeda will run at a locked 30 frames per second regardless of whether you run it on a standard PS4 or a Pro machine.
Sony announced PS4 Pro earlier this week, with plans to sell it for $399 beginning November 10.