The latest chapter in our technical conversations with NVIDIA DLSS 3 developers is about Need for Speed Unbound, launching today for EA Play/EA Play Pro subscribers and users who pre-ordered the Palace Edition.
Need for Speed Unbound as a racing game is an interesting use case for DLSS 3. As we discussed in previous articles, the new technology from NVIDIA can significantly increase FPS thanks to its Frame Generation component that runs independently of the CPU. However, the downside is that there is a bit of extra latency compared to DLSS 2 (Super Resolution) and Reflex, which can be an issue in games that involve precision.
We discussed this and more, including confirmation of in-game AMD FSR 2.2 support and additional details on the PC’s specs, with Andrei Shires, Technical Director of Criterion’s studio. Stay tuned to Wccftech for more Need for Speed Unbound, including our review.
What was your first impression of DLSS 3 as a developer? Do you think AI-based framing is the future of rendering to keep up with advanced but demanding technologies?
Our first impression was very positive. As a game that’s all about buttery smooth frame rates, this seemed like a great new technology to leverage. Like any rendering technique, we want to employ the best technology available to get the best result for the player.
How much improvement does DLSS 3 bring to your game compared to DLSS 2 (Super Resolution)?
The addition of Frame Generation allows us to achieve frame rates that would otherwise not be possible with the hardware we see today. In the same way that Super Resolution allows for a higher quality image, all of this contributes to making better use of the software and hardware that the players have. This can only be a good thing.
One of the potential downsides of DLSS 3 is the added latency, which would be especially egregious in a racing game. Does Frame Generation add significant latency to your implementation or is Reflex able to cover this?
Our studio is all about a tight driving experience that would be significantly affected by any large increase in latency. We’ve tested this technology and found that it doesn’t affect the player experience, and in fact having a higher frame rate is a benefit you really notice.
Do you also plan to add support for other upscaling technologies beyond DLSS 3 such as AMD FSR 2.2 and/or Intel XeSS?
We already support AMD FSR 2.2, which is available now. This was a late addition that we’ve worked on a lot with AMD and we’re pleased with the results. We are currently investigating Intel XeSS technology with Intel for a possible future update.
Will there be ray tracing support in Need for Speed Unbound? If not, why?
Ray tracing is currently not supported in NFS Unbound. We have focused our technical and artistic efforts on making NFS Unbound the most beautiful game the franchise has ever seen for everyone.
Can you share the target resolution, frame rate and graphics preset for the minimum and recommended settings respectively?
We’ve set minimum specs at 30fps at 1080p and recommended specs at 60fps at 1080p. However, we expect players to tune the settings for their exact systems, and they can use dynamic resolution scaling or AI-based upscaling as appropriate to get the best possible look and performance.
Is there anything else worth noting you’d like to share about Need for Speed Unbound’s tech?
As I said above, Criterion’s focus is always on a seamless player experience with a high value placed on the feel of the game. We’ve significantly improved the overall simulation and rendering experience with Unbound, meaning players can experience tighter control of the franchise’s most realistic looking cars. This isn’t due to any technology or change, but is about optimizing and leveraging the overall power of the Frostbite Engine and building on the ongoing development of the franchise, which has taken place over several years.
Thank’s for your time.