Need for Speed: Rivals developer Ghost Games hasn't struggled to get any particular tricks of technology working on next generation consoles, according to senior producer Jamie Keen - thanks to both the bump in hardware horsepower and the user-friendliness of DICE's all-purpose Frostbite 3 engine, the studio feels it has put together an "unrivalled game experience". Did you see what they did there, and so forth.
"That's been one of the joys of working with both next gen and Frostbite," Keen told me at an event yesterday. "Just turning it on, seeing what it could do. Normally the process that happens during development is that you turn everything up, see how it runs, then turn everything down. We've been turning everything up and up and up.
"So that's been one of the real joys of working with this, that as the authorisation's come in [from the manufacturer and Frostbite team], we've said 'oh hey, we can try to do this now'. Hopefully, you'll agree that it looks great on Xbox One. We're really proud of it, we think it's one of the best-looking games you'll see at launch."
Need for Speed: Rivals runs at 1080p and 30 frames a second on both next generation consoles. "1080p is something that's really huge for us, we're really proud to be able to stand behind that - it gives it a massive visual fidelity," Keen observed. Asked about the possibility of running the game at 60 frames a second, he commented simply: "We'll see where we get to in future." Being the intrepid investigative type, I asked him to clarify whether this had been attempted with Rivals. "We'll see where we get to in future," he said again. OK then.
You'll read more about Rivals on the site later today - spoilers: it's rather good, and surprisingly atmospheric for a game that seldom gives you the opportunity to stop and stare. "One of my favourites is when you're driving around in the desert at dawn, there's just this hugely evocative - I know we don't usually associate "evocative" with racing titles, but for me you get that sense of 'OK, that's what dawn in the desert looks like'," Keen commented.
The game's make-believe Redview County setting occasionally verges on outright fantasy, I suggested, perforated as it is by enormous, twisted suspension bridges that resemble the hoops of offworld architecture you'll see in Ridley Scott's Alien. "Before we get too high-falutin', it's also very fun to jump off those bridges," Keen cautioned. Spoilsport.
While you wait for my hands-on thoughts, here's Craig Owen's enormous Rivals write-up from earlier in the month.