Hideo Kojima’s magnum opus, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is out today on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. In spite of all of the Konami drama over the last year, MGSV is no worse for wear. In fact, it’s received nigh-on universal praise for both its ambition and gameplay execution. But how do the graphics hold up?
First thing’s first: the resolution is different across the board. The last-gen consoles are rendering the game at roughly 992×720, the Xbox One is running at 1600×900, the PS4 at 1920×1080, and the PC version can deliver 4K if you have the gear to handle it. While it’s slightly disappointing that the Xbox One still can’t hit 1080p, this is a substantial boost from last year’s720p release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes on Microsoft’s console.
Over at Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, you can see a full breakdown of all of the console versions. Sadly, the PC version will have to wait a bit, but expectations are definitely high after a solid showing with Ground Zeroes. Thankfully, both of the current-gen consoles are capable of delivering a nearly perfect 60 frames per second. There are occasional dips on both platforms, but it’s pretty rare. I’ve spent about three hours with the PS4 version already, and it’s been silky smooth from top to bottom. Gameplay is absolutely unhampered here.
The PS4 offers better texture filtering than the Xbox One, but the difference is trivial. Pop-in is extremely mild on the newer consoles, and you probably won’t even notice it. However, one thing stands out as particularly puzzling. Subsurface scattering, an effect designed to make skin look slightly more realistic, seems to be missing completely from the Xbox One version. That effect was present on the Ground Zeroes release for the Xbox One, and it isn’t even particularly taxing on the hardware. Digital Foundry is so confused by this omission, the team posits that it might actually be a bug that can be patched down the road.
Unsurprisingly, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game don’t hold up quite so well. The target frame rate is halved to 30 frames per second, but neither the PS3 or 360 can keep it pegged. The PS3 seems to be running at a slightly worse frame rate over all, but neither one is very good. There’s substantially more pop-in, and the textures are clearly blurrier on the old consoles.
However, it’s still impressive that the entire game is running on these ancient machines. The unstable frame rate will make lining up shots during frantic moments a bit harder, but it’s nice that those among us still clinging to the last-gen consoles still get to enjoy what seems to be the last “real” Metal Gear game.