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[Digital Foundry] Like a Dragon: Ishin! DF Tech Review - PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S vs PC vs... PS3?

Lunatic_Gamer

Gold Member


The Yakuza franchise has evolved - not just in terms of its name but also its key technology. The bespoke Dragon engine powering the series has been replaced by Unreal Engine 4 - but the first title to see the change is actually based on an old Japan-only series entry first seen on PS3. So how does the game play out on all systems? Oliver Mackenzie investigates.

Summary:

- Hybrid remake/remaster using UE4
- Uses modern rendering sensibilities like better lighting along with redone assets, character models, bokeh DoF etc.
- However, some geometry is still almost exactly the same as PS3 just in higher resolution.
- Animations are also reused, they're fine in cut-scenes but game play can stick out compared to modern games.

- PS5|SX: 1440p/60 FPS
- Series S: 1080p/60 FPS
- PS5 has toned down Ambient Occlusion and sharper shadow filtering.
- SX has stronger AO coverage and 'softer' filtered shadows which DF prefers

- All consoles target 60 FPS for game play and 30 FPS for cut-scenes. There are also a lot of 60 FPS "dialogue" scenes that are not like the high-quality cut-scenes.
- SX hits 60 FPS in game play outside of one off drops in intensive game play and heavy QTE's in boss fights.
- 30 FPS scenes suffer from uneven frame pacing
- 60 FPS dialogue scenes can drop a frame or two during camera cuts
- PS5 is a mirror to Series X in all aspects above

- Series S can have more sustained drops and heavy dips in boss fights with QTE segments, on the flip side it looks visually very similar to the big consoles (resolution difference only accounts for some softness)

- PC version launched with stutter issues, but the latest patch seems to have resolved most of those
- However, PC version still suffers the one-off drops in camera cuts and 30 FPS cut-scenes with bad frame pacing just like PS5|SX
- PC version supports most modern upscaling techniques (FSR2, XeSS)
- FSR2 Quality is clearer than native 4K and the lower modes do a good enough job.
- PC version has only basic settings to toggle.
- PC Max is hybrid between PS5|SX with restrained AO like PS5 and softer shadows like SX as the highest preset.

Thanks adamsapple adamsapple for the detailed summary
 
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30 fps cutsecenes and minigames is a shame, but aside from that I'm really enjoying this game.

Not gonna watch a 15 minutes video with a dude whose voice puts me to sleep, but I'd like to add that they fixed the stutters on the PC version with the latest patch.

Dragon engine powering the series has been replaced by Unreal Engine 4
Not sure about this. They stated that they were tinkering with it to test if it's best to use UE4 or keep improving the Dragon Engine. Based on this "remake" has come out I really hope they stick with the Dragon Engine.

I have a crazy theory tho: all of that is false, and the truth is that this remake has been developed by inexperienced interns while the main devs work on LAD 8 and LADGTMWEHN. Those interns don't know shit about the DE but they know UE4,m so that's why they went with it.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Summary:

- Hybrid remake/remaster using UE4
- Uses modern rendering sensibilities like better lighting along with redone assets, character models, bokeh DoF etc.
- However, some geometry is still almost exactly the same as PS3 just in higher resolution.
- Animations are also reused, they're fine in cut-scenes but game play can stick out compared to modern games.

- PS5|SX: 1440p/60 FPS
- Series S: 1080p/60 FPS
- PS5 has toned down Ambient Occlusion and sharper shadow filtering.
- SX has stronger AO coverage and 'softer' filtered shadows which DF prefers

- All consoles target 60 FPS for game play and 30 FPS for cut-scenes. There are also a lot of 60 FPS "dialogue" scenes that are not like the high-quality cut-scenes.
- SX hits 60 FPS in game play outside of one off drops in intensive game play and heavy QTE's in boss fights.
- 30 FPS scenes suffer from uneven frame pacing
- 60 FPS dialogue scenes can drop a frame or two during camera cuts
- PS5 is a mirror to Series X in all aspects above

- Series S can have more sustained drops and heavy dips in boss fights with QTE segments, on the flip side it looks visually very similar to the big consoles (resolution difference only accounts for some softness)

- PC version launched with stutter issues, but the latest patch seems to have resolved most of those
- However, PC version still suffers the one-off drops in camera cuts and 30 FPS cut-scenes with bad frame pacing just like PS5|SX
- PC version supports most modern upscaling techniques (FSR2, XeSS)
- FSR2 Quality is clearer than native 4K and the lower modes do a good enough job.
- PC version has only basic settings to toggle.
- PC Max is hybrid between PS5|SX with restrained AO like PS5 and softer shadows like SX as the highest preset.



Apples note: DF made no note of which console is a better choice between the two outside their preference of the shadow filtering on SX.
 
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Only 1440p for a game like this is embarassment.
 
Yes, realistically shadows become softer if the shadow casting object is at a distance, it doesn't always stay pin sharp.

Regardless its not a massive difference. I didn't really notice it until he posted that screen. Both versions are almost identical now that I'm seeing the difference. Still game seems to run fine on both which is good to see.
 

sendit

Member
This game is a runner up for one of the ugliest games in 2023. It has no right running at only 1440p on the PS5/XSX.
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
They aren't pin sharp in this game.

Well, yeah, but you get the idea of what I meant I hope.

Far Cry 3 technically has "sharper" shadows on 360 compared to PC, but that's because of the difference in filtering, the PC method is a higher "more accurate" filtering.

Some people may very well prefer the sharper look, that's not an issue at all.



 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
One detail they didn't mention is that apparently the original version of the game took place in Mexico while the remake is set in Japan



NGL in some places I actually like the originals warmer tone more.
 

Lysandros

Member
Difference in ground textures besides shadows:

Can be seen clearer there:

(Are you seeing your own reflection somewhere in the picture or what adamsapple, what's so funny about it? Still not bored playing the emoji trolling?)
 
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Killer8

Gold Member
I have no idea why he chose to use the PS3 version running in an emulator as the point of comparison. For a channel that prides itself on accuracy, it's not very academic to resort to emulators which may have a host of broken or incorrect effects. At the very least use the retail PS4 version.

It's also pathetic that yet another PC release has stutter. Yes, the devs fixed it - pat on the back for them, I guess. But it's yet another instance of that particular issue slipping through the net and then needing a week after release to fix it. Why are we celebrating such a state of affairs exactly?

I went with the game on PS5 and did not look back.
 

YCoCg

Member
With it being locked at 1440p its got me thinking that an FSR2.2 update is coming down the line as 1440p would scale up to 4k just fine under "Quality" mode.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
With it being locked at 1440p its got me thinking that an FSR2.2 update is coming down the line as 1440p would scale up to 4k just fine under "Quality" mode.

I think they just used 1440p/60 cause that's the same resolution all the dragon engine games use. I don't think there was much else to it. RGG studio doesn't generally revisit games after launch to add substantial things like different AA or different resolution/performance modes, so I wouldn't hold my breath for any FSR implementation or a 4K Quality mode.
 
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Thebonehead

Banned
Difference in ground textures besides shadows:

Can be seen clearer there:

(Are you seeing your own reflection somewhere in the picture or what adamsapple, what's so funny about it? Still not bored playing the emoji trolling?)

Incredible - It's 4090 levels
 
I have no idea why he chose to use the PS3 version running in an emulator as the point of comparison. For a channel that prides itself on accuracy, it's not very academic to resort to emulators which may have a host of broken or incorrect effects. At the very least use the retail PS4 version.

It's also pathetic that yet another PC release has stutter. Yes, the devs fixed it - pat on the back for them, I guess. But it's yet another instance of that particular issue slipping through the net and then needing a week after release to fix it. Why are we celebrating such a state of affairs exactly?

I went with the game on PS5 and did not look back.
Because games have been launching in a broken state for the last 10 years AT MINIMUM and clearly nobody cared.
 
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