In Theory: what would a current-gen upgrade for Red Dead Redemption 2 look like?

June 8, 2024
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It’s one of the most baffling mysteries of the current generation era. So many PS4 and Xbox One titles have received remasters or 60fps upgrades and yet one game stands alone… Red Dead Redemption 2. Tthere’s no real reason why developer Rockstar couldn’t deliver a mightily enhanced version of the game for PS5 and Series X, with the PC version combined with console-equivalent hardware giving us some insights on what quality and performance modes could actually look like.

Right now though, today’s consoles are limited to backwards compatibility versions of the existing last-gen version. What that means is that PlayStation 5 runs with a lacklustre 4K checkerboard rendition of the game, locked to 30fps. The situation improves somewhat on Xbox Series X, which runs at a native 4K – again at 30fps. However, both of these experiences are basically interchangeable with gameplay on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. This game deserves better.

First of all, I want to highlight the work of modder Illusion, who has released a frame-rate unlock mod for Red Dead Redemptio n2 that – alas – only works on exploited PlayStation 5 consoles. By removing the Sony system call to limit to 30fps, the game ‘just works’ at 60fps. PS5 has more than enough horsepower to double frame-rate at checkerboard 4K – and in fact, thanks to another Illusion mod, v-sync can be disabled and the frame-rate completely unlocked. Run Red Dead 2 in its 1080p mode (accessible via the console front-end) and we can see that even in the most CPU intensive areas, we’re always above 60fps.

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