Today, we’re looking at Mad Max on the PS4 and Potato Masher!
Mad Max runs at 1080p and 30fps on the PS4. That was a very easy target to hit with the Potato Masher. On Very High, the game barely stressed the system, and I think I know why. Mad Max has a great looking lighting system and art style, but it’s not very technically complex. Anti-aliasing is very basic, and I think the PS4’s AA actually looks a little better than the PC. It’s a little softer, but edges are smoother. The PC version also tends to have a momentary stutter when the game autosaves, and I didn’t notice this on the PS4. That doesn’t really affect gameplay, but it’s noticeable and worth mentioning. The PC version has higher resolution shadows and slightly better ambient occlusion, but other than these differences, the two versions of the game look almost identical. If I didn’t have the PC’s performance overlay, I’d have a very hard time telling them apart with moving footage. Screenshots are a little easier, but kudos to the developers for making a good-looking game that runs well and looks the same on both platforms. Of course, gaming on a PC means that you have more options to make your experience better, so let’s look at the framerate.
30fps is ok, depending on what type of game you’re playing. A locked but slightly lower framerate is always better than one that varies noticeably. That said, 60fps is always better than 30, if your system can handle it. The Potato Masher does a great job. I did have to drop to High settings to maintain a smooth 60fps, but there is almost no visual difference between high and very high, or at least nothing that I noticed after switching between them repeatedly. Driving, shooting, and fighting are all better at 60fps. Dropping the graphics to High is definitely worth it to keep the framerate up.
So far, the Potato Masher has had no real issues running the game. This is also the case at 1440p. At Very High settings, the game maintained 30fps, albeit just barely. If you want 60fps, you’ll need to choose Medium or Low settings. Medium works most of the time, and if you can handle a few small framerate drops, 60fps is very doable. If you want a more consistent experience, you’ll want to drop it to low. Good art design is still good art design, and the game still looks great. You really just need to choose your framerate and resolution, and the game can be made to work with it….as long as you don’t want to game at 4K. On Very Low settings, the game barely maintained 30fps, with frequent drops into the mid 20s. That might be acceptable performance on some console games where you can’t manually monitor the framerate, but not on a PC. Of course, the Potato Masher only struggles to run the game when it is at 4 times the resolution of the Ps4, so this isn’t exactly a common issue that many people will face. That said, the Potato Masher was not able to maintain acceptable performance at 4K.
Good games offer a quality experience on every platform. Mad Max is definitely one of those games. Being able to game at 1440p or 60fps is always preferred, but if you have a PS4, you’re getting a very high quality version of the game. While slower and slightly less pretty, the PS4’s version has fewer technical hiccups. I’m still giving the win to the Potato Masher, but really, both versions of the game are great.