Rocket League

Today, we’re looking at Rocket League on the PS4 and Potato Masher!

SHINY
Rocket League was a surprise runaway hit this past summer. Not only does it feature fast, competitive, and easy to learn gameplay, but it is one of the very few games that allows people on different platforms to compete with and against each other. Because of this, you’d expect it to be very important for both platforms to have a visually similar experience, to avoid giving one side a competitive advantage. This is largely the case. The Potato Masher does look a little better, but it’s by a very small margin. Anti-aliasing is much better on the PC, and anisotropic filtering is slightly better. A few maps had subtle changes to lighting quality or volumetric effects like smoke clouds, but these are so small that I didn’t notice them until I did a few side by side comparisons. Curiously, the PS4 version of the Utopia map features additional architecture on the virtual stadium’s perimeter and a slightly darker lighting setup, but other than that both versions of the game are very close to identical. (I’ve since been told that a small update happened in the 2 days between recordings, and the architecture update is now on the PC version as well) The PS4 runs Rocket League at 1080p and an unlocked framerate. While it’s capable of 60fps, the game normally stays in the mid 40s or low 50s. It is vsynced, so there is no noticeable screen tearing. On the Potato Masher, Rocket League ran at Very High settings, 1080p, and 60fps. There were occasional dips to 57 or 58fps, but the game is mostly 60 and dips of 2-3 fps aren’t felt. Dropping to High settings means that the framerate never drops at all, but given the slight drops at Very High settings, I’d rather have the better visuals in this case. Overall, both versions look great and while the Potato Masher is technically better looking, the differences will almost unnoticeable to anyone who isn’t that bothered by excessive aliasing. A stable 60fps is of course better than a variable framerate, but the PS4 keeps the framerate high enough that it’s only really noticeable when the footage is slowed down to half or even quarter the normal framerate. I did see a little bit of frame time variance on the PS4 version at quarter-speed, but this was unnoticeable when I was playing the game.

OTHER RESOLUTIONS
At 1440p and High settings, Rocket League still maintained 60fps. I had zero dips in framerate, so High settings once again appear to be the sweet spot between quality and performance. As usual, 4K requires a little more sacrifice. Rocket League still looks great at Low settings, and you’ll need to drop the settings that far to maintain 60fps. If you increase the settings to Medium, the game is still mostly 60, with drops into the 40s and 50s, much like the Playstation 4 version. This is pretty impressive, considering 4K is 4 times the resolution of the PS4 version.

CONCLUSIONS
I have played at least 15 hours of Rocket League on both platforms, before I started this comparison. Yes, the Potato Masher has more options to tailor the experience to exactly what you want, but both versions run extremely well and look fantastic. If it weren’t for the excessive aliasing on the PS4, I would call this a complete tie!

 

Jeremiah