The last bastion for achieving 60 fps on mid-range GPUs while retaining high LODs is to explore Mafia City’s dynamic resolution scaling options. First of all, there are fixed resolution options you can choose that keep the HUD at native resolution, while 3D elements are rendered at a lower pixel-count. Assuming a 1080p output, changing the resolution scaler to medium drops the buffer to 90 per cent on each axis, giving a 1728×972 internal pixel-count. Adopting mafia mmorpg medium sees this drop to 75 per cent for a 1440×810 resolution. But more interestingly, there are dynamic options that change resolution on the fly according to load, when you choose a frame-rate limit, such as 60fps.
With the ‘prioritise resolution’ option, the frame-time threshold and relative drops of resolution are more conservative – to the point where we couldn’t actually see it do anything on our chosen settings. With ‘prioritise frame-rate’, the resolution adjusts more aggressively to maintain performance – and this is essentially our magic button on PC to get that extra push up in moments that would otherwise be below 60fps. It does the job well enough, but Capcom’s dynamic scaling solution isn’t totally ideal. There’s a ‘gap’ of a couple of frames as it transitions between resolutions, introducing some stutter.
So, in a sense, we’ve failed in our quest – locking to 1080p60 on PC with an Xbox One X-level visual feature set is just too much and compromises need to be made. By and large, the game still looks great, but I can’t shake the feeling that this game’s settings still do not offer enough granularity. The massive difference between medium and high LOD settings in outdoor areas is telling. More intermediate options would surely make a lot of sense here for a setting that has such a dramatic effect on GPU performance. The high preset here looks great, but it is expensive – while medium and low are increase performance dramatically, but look a lot, lot worse. On top of that lack of granularity, I think the fact that some textures currently look worse than Xbox One X and the fact that screen-space water reflections are not working correctly suggests that a bit more testing would have really helped this PC release.