We’ve already got Nathan’s opinions on the actual content, but what about the game’s performance from a technical standpoint? Fortunately the internet is full of those too. And the best part? You don’t need to spend quite as many thousands of dollars to get 200 FPS as you’d think.
Usually 200 FPS town is the domain of people who don’t baulk at spending $1000+ on a new GPU the day it comes out. It’s the kind of place occupied by those who go to BYOC LANs with their own routers so they can have a network inside a network. The kinds of people who spend way more money than one should be spending.
As it turns out, however, Star Wars: Battlefront is incredibly well optimised. The game runs incredibly smoothly, even on consoles, although things are much more enjoyable on PC especially when hooked up to a 120hz/144hz gaming monitor.
(The performance of the servers has been trouble free for me on PS4 and PC as well, which given the ignominy of the Battlefield 4 launch is nice. But moving on.)
Overall, the performance between AMD and NVIDIA cards is largely negligible. The 390X and GTX 980 are neck and neck in the GamersNexus benchmarks, with every card from a GTX 960 up getting a playable 60+ FPS at 1080p in Ultra settings.
At Medium settings the 270X achieves an average of 104 FPS, which is a pretty astounding result and something DICE should be relatively proud of. Even a GTX 750 Ti gets a playable average 66 FPS on 1080p/Medium settings.
The real feather in the cap, mind you, is the top end: two GTX 980 Ti’s hit an average of 186 FPS at 1080p, which is nearing Battlefront’s natural 200 FPS cap (although you can unlock that through a console setting). The lowest frame rate recorded was 124 FPS, which is nice if you’re trying to maintain a buttery smooth frame rate for monitors with high refresh rates.
GameGPU had similar results with the 980 Ti’s in SLI, hitting an average of 198 FPS at 1080p on Ultra with a i7-5960X (at 4.6ghz) rig. A Fury X Crossfire setup hit an average of 186 FPS as well, and in the Russian site’s tests a Fury X performed one frame better than the 980 Ti or a GTX 780 SLI setup.
You can fire up a rough translation of the Russian site’s benchmarks through Google Translate, which helps add a little context to the testing, although most will be satisfied just running over the figures.
They’re graphs that DICE and EA would undoubtedly be happy with, even if the end user experience is a little shallower than many Battlefront or Battlefield fans would like. The first DLC pack is due out in a fortnight and hopefully the release of The Force Awakens improves the player base a little — the Player Stats Network is putting the total player count at just over 300,000 across the major platforms, with a peak count on PC of less than 50,000.
That’s about the same as the player base for ARK: Survival Evolved or Garry’s Mod, which isn’t fantastic for a new Star Wars shooter with little single-player content less than a fortnight after release. Still, it wouldn’t be the first game to enjoy a second wind post-launch, as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continues to show.