In our test, Motive Studios’ new edition of the survival milestone Dead Space not only convinced with an oppressive atmosphere, but also with impressive technology. Dense fog covers intense lighting, creating an eerie scene where a fearsome Necromorph could lurk anywhere.
However, the newly developed version of the classic is not free of errors, as we found out in our analysis. In the performance mode in particular, a clearly recognizable blurriness was annoying, which is largely due to incorrect use of the so-called variable rate shading (VRS).
A patch for the PS5 has now been released overnight that will remedy the situation and largely eliminate the VRS difficulties. However, Xbox fans still have to be patient, the update should appear there within the next few days, the team did not give a specific date.
Variable rate shading explained:
Shading is a technique used to manipulate the color information of individual pixels. The process forms the foundation of today’s graphics engines, umpteen complex effects can be realized with it. These include the metallic sheen of Isaac’s suit in Dead Space and the sparks from the USG Ishimura’s reactors.
So that each pixel does not have to be shaded individually, VRS combines them based on similar color information and thus frees up computing power for other tasks. The resulting gain in performance is not to be scoffed at, since shaders can now be programmed flexibly and are therefore used in numerous areas.
That brings the new patch
Dead Space originally shipped with an annoying bug that caused VRS to be inaccurate and unintentionally use the lowest detail level in some situations. This resulted in a washed-out, roughly pixelated display, for example when the protagonist was traveling in elevators or gondolas:
The update also has positive effects on the environments. In the aforementioned gondola and elevator scenes, the Dead Space remake now remains razor-sharp, as captured by images of Reddit users:
A quick fix bodes well for the future
However, the blurriness has not been completely eliminated, at least in the performance mode of the Dead Space remake, since the level of detail there continues to be greatly reduced as the distance increases. With the elimination of the VRS bug, however, the new edition has clearly gained in image sharpness.
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We’re also pleasantly surprised at how quickly Motive Studios responded to incoming criticism and released the patch. This gives us hope that the developers will continue to expand the titles in the future, for example with support for variable frame rates (VRR) or a 40 fps mode that bridges the quality trimmed to 4K and the smoothly playable, but fuzzier performance mode might hit.
Did you treat yourself to the Dead Space remake right away at launch? If so, what picture mode are you playing in?