Final Fantasy XV releases tomorrow, but the Judgement Demo was already a quite impressive showcase of the game’s graphics on PS4 Pro. Yet, apparently Hajime Tabata’s team wasn’t yet done polishing up their gem.
Unfortunately, smaller outlets like ours received a review copy only yesterday, while the big ones had theirs over a week ago, making it impossible for us to deliver a fair review in such a short notice (it will come, but we will give it all the time it deserves). It’s regrettable, but this is the nature of the beast, and it isn’t certainly a problem limited to Final Fantasy XV.
That said, we can at least show you how the game’s visuals have been improved from the demo. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s visible.
We used exactly the same screenshots as our previous comparison between platforms done between different platforms, and took screenshots of the same scenes in the final game, updated to the day one patch. version 1.02, and below you can see the results.
In the gallery below you can check out pairs of screenshots on PS4 Pro at “High” resolution settings, with the demo coming first, followed by the final game in each pair. Each screenshot was captured in seamless PNG via an Elgato HD 60 at 1080p resolution, to ensure lossless quality.
As with our previous comparison, we reproduced as precisely as possible not just the angle and position of each screenshot, but also the lighting conditions
The visuals are very similar, and the differences require squinting, but they are there. The largest difference can be seen in the distance, with elements of the environment that are visible in the final game, but aren’t in the demo. This means that the draw distance has been increased. The LOD (Level of Detail) of said distant elements has also been improved, resulting in more complex and scenic mountains close to the horizon.
Shadows are also stronger and better defined in intense environmental light conditions (the difference doesn’t appear as visible when the light is weaker in interiors or in mornings), slightly increasing the dramatic effect of the scene.
While the improvement isn’t enormous, the extended draw distance and improved LOD are quite relevant in this kind of open world game, that relies heavily on majestic environments to deliver visual spectacle.
One thing is for sure: the game looks fantastic on PS4 Pro, and while the jury is still out on our full review, I can definitely say that I am very impressed by what I saw so far.
Will a full playthrough deliver? I can’t say for now, but I am definitely optimistic.