Prey and Dishonored on Xbox Series X / S: FPS Boost is much more than 60FPS.

As part of its celebration of the purchase of Bethesda, the second wave published by Microsoft with games with FPS Boost for the Xbox Series consoles includes some substantial improvements for classic titles of the American company. Well-known games such as Skyrim, Fallout 4 or Fallout 76 will go through the Digital Foundry benchmark later, but to begin with, we wanted to revisit two titles from Arkane Studios, Dishonored Definitive Edition and Prey. Both are brilliant games, but they didn’t perform optimally in their original console incarnation. FPS Boost improves both dramatically, and what is most fascinating is that not only doubling the frame-rate is key to improving the experience. FPS Boost, in fact, goes beyond what you would expect, to the point that, with Prey in particular, it almost seems like we are entering more remastering territory.

Let’s start with Prey, one of my favorite games of 2017, but also one that I didn’t get to play in its entirety on previous-gen consoles. A mix of performance issues, input lag defects, and long load times were quite a stumbling block, and why suffer from all that if you could play a PC version that was much better?

First, some basic facts. Prey runs at 900p on Xbox One S, with resolution increasing up to 1440p if you play on Xbox One X (where the draw distance is also extended and reflections are improved). These resolutions are maintained in Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, respectively, but with FPS Boost activated all performance problems disappear and both new generation machines offer sixty frames per second, with just the occasional small jerk. However, the performance improvement is only part of the equation, because there is a similar improvement in input lag, solving one of the biggest defects that the version for the previous generation presented.

Prey and Dishonored on Xbox Series X / S: FPS Boost is much more than 60FPS

And what about loading times? A one minute and fifteen second wait on Xbox One S is reduced to just thirteen seconds on Xbox Series. Prey is a game with a great exploration component, especially in the final section, where moving around the map is as frequent as it is essential. What was annoying and almost unacceptable on Xbox One is now so much better. FPS Boost makes the game change from night to day, making it a much closer to PC experience. Prey is now available on Xbox Game Pass, so it goes without saying that if you’ve bought a new Xbox and haven’t played it, I highly recommend doing so. The only downside is that in Series S it still works with the 900p resolution of the standard Xbox One S, when it is clear that the console could do much more, but even so the improvement over the previous generation is still spectacular.

I’ve also wanted to try Dishonored Definitive Edition, which we first saw in 2015 and was, to be honest, disappointing. Originally released in the late days of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, a 60FPS version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One seemed unavoidable, considering how light the requirements of the PC version are, but it was not the case and the port was surprisingly poor. There are some issues that remain when playing on Xbox Series consoles, but the improvement is huge and once again not limited to frame-rate alone. Yes, sixty frames per second is the goal, but curiously not even Xbox Series X manages to stabilize at that figure. The interface elements that appear on the screen cause some jerks, but regardless of that there is a feeling that something is not quite right.

Prey and Dishonored on Xbox Series X / S: FPS Boost is much more than 60FPS

The improvement, in any case, is still very great whether you play in Series X or Series S, but what has really caught my attention is the gigantic improvement in loading times. In my tests the waits have been reduced to just a couple of seconds, which is a change like from night to day. How the Xbox Backward Compatibility team has accomplished this remains to be seen, but it’s easily the biggest improvement I’ve seen in load times, and I wouldn’t be surprised if key data is cached in memory to facilitate the massive reduction in load times. loading times. Once again, the change is transformative; Dishonored is a game that is based on experimentation, on challenging its impressive AI. This involves many deaths and loading screens, a process that was torture on previous generation consoles and that here is not the slightest problem thanks to FPS Boost. Beyond the performance hitches, the only real issue is the lack of Xbox One X support, which means both Series S and Series X run at the original 1080p resolution. Still, the game is fabulous, it’s on Xbox Game Pass, and it’s worth playing.

But clearly what we glean from here is that FPS Boost is really more than just doubling performance. The reduction in input lag is a direct effect of the improved frame-rate, but the feeling is that the Xbox Backward Compatibility team is doing a lot more to reduce load times than you might expect. And considering how much the storage speed limitations were in games like Fallouts, it will be interesting to see how well they work with FPS Boost turned on. We’ll check it out soon, but for now, here and now, what we have are two great games from Arkane that feel refreshed and fresh, and which we highly recommend.

Prey and Dishonored on Xbox Series X / S: FPS Boost is much more than 60FPS