Lego Builder’s Journey: the ray tracing showcase hits PS5

Lego Builder’s Journey is a spectacular activity with a detailed ray tracing function established that provides the title a CG-like good quality on a superior-conclude gaming Computer. This tends to make the new PS5 release somewhat intriguing. Like the Computer, it promises ray-traced visuals, contrary to last year’s release on Xbox Series consoles – so can the PS5 produce a prime-class encounter and how does it look at to the conventionally-rendered Xbox versions?

Just before we get into the comparisons, let’s crack down Lego Builder’s Journey into its developing blocks. This is a alternatively minimal title, fundamentally a series of modest puzzle phases, presented from an isometric perspective with limited camera motion. The authentic release focused iPhones and iPads just after all, with very simple and graphically standard stages that would not glance specially remarkable on consoles or Pc. But this relative simplicity, along with a conversion from Unity’s extra constrained Common Render Pipeline to their superior Significant Definition Render Pipeline, authorized Light-weight Brick Studio to truly scale up the visible high-quality when it transported on Computer final yr. Even with out raytracing capabilities the title looked superb, with carefully executed SSR, ambient occlusion, subsurface scattering, and volumetric lighting.

Ray tracing, of course, took the title to the upcoming stage, solving all the problems inherent to the monitor-room methods and providing a significantly far more precise lights simulation finish with RT for shadows, ambient occlusion, world illumination and reflections. An up grade like this would likely establish really complicated for a common AAA title that was developed from the ground-up with precalculated options in head, but in this article, a ray-traced pathway was eminently feasible and produced fantastic effects. So how perfectly do these console releases look at to the top rated-end Computer system release?

The primary iOS release has been massively scaled up for Computer – and PS5.

Let us start off with resolution. According to Mild Brick Studio, the recreation operates at a indigenous resolution of 2954×1662 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and 1970×1108 on Series S. The heavy reliance on article-processing serves as a little bit of a leveling system and all console versions of the match appear subdued, with out a large amount of great depth. Even so, the foundation resolutions are getting upscaled to a 4K output in this article using AMD’s FSR spatial upscaling know-how. For the relatively uncomplicated artwork below, FSR does a fantastic job at sustaining depth. The Sequence S launch, for occasion, has extremely comparable edge detailing to the better-stop devices irrespective of rendering internally with much less than 50 percent the pixel count. FSR often offers rather mixed benefits in other titles but in this article it operates nicely: the mix of decreased-detail artwork and restricted digital camera movement shows the approach at its best.

But what about the underlying visible options? Builder’s Journey is an very scalable title, and the current=gen console versions come in to the major close of that scale. The Xbox Collection releases lack any RT options, but appear quite related to the Laptop model at max configurations and RT disabled. There are some cutbacks, even so – bloom, volumetrics, motion blur, and depth of discipline options are all pegged to the PC’s medium options, although ambient occlusion is set to minimal and world-wide illumination is curiously established to off. In immediate comparisons the console versions hold up fairly perfectly relative to the maxed-out non-RT Laptop release at the exact same resolution, so these settings tweaks really don’t seem to be to influence visual quality significantly.

In the meantime, the later PS5 release packs two modes, like most games with RT on console. The default mode is to leave ray-tracing disabled with a 60fps frame-charge concentrate on. This method seems equivalent to the Xbox Collection releases in visual options. Far much more appealing is the ray-tracing mode, which halves body-amount to 30fps but resolution remains at 1662p with FSR upscaling. The visible configurations that don’t involve RT look similar to the PS5 in 60fps manner.&#13

lego a builder's journey screenshot comparison digital foundry
By accepting a halved body-fee, the RT method presents a more realistic glance.

For reference, the Computer version features four ray-tracing configurations – shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, and global illumination, at three excellent concentrations – lower, medium, and substantial. PS5 in RT mode appears to characteristic implementations of RT AO and reflections, while the Personal computer-equal settings usually are not exactly uncomplicated.

The PC’s minimal RT AO location seems like a very good match for PS5 – just a faint touch of AO all over locations where by geometry intersects. The problem with reflections is a little bit far more curious. In common, reflections seem to be significantly fewer existing below than in other versions of the recreation. The PS5 variation running in the 60fps manner showcases some fantastic-hunting reflections, as does the Computer variation with all RT results enabled. On PS5 in RT mode on the other hand, reflections look absent from the sides of a lot of surfaces.

In accordance to the developer, concerns with the way the reflections interact with fog, and issues with a precise shader sub-go for computing lighting for reflections, lead to the reflections to effectively disappear on some surfaces. A patch to resolve the challenge need to arrive in the up coming 7 days or two, which would put the PS5 on level pegging with the PC’s lower RT reflections setting.

lego a builder's journey screenshot comparison digital foundry
Screenshots offered by Light Brick Studios display the missing reflections concern solved put up-patch.

Fortunately efficiency is a significantly far more clear-cut proposition on PS5. Both equally the 60fps and RT modes strike their targets properly, with out even a hint of body-level drops. This is a somewhat sedate title with very little require for twitch reflexes, but even still the regularity is appreciated. Sequence X is likewise fantastic, with only Collection S demonstrating any weak point with body-prices dropping to the 50s in some of the densest phases.

So what’s the last term on the console releases? Sadly, the headline attribute that caught our awareness in the to start with put – a ray-tracing selection on PS5 – would not deliver the envisioned benefits at the second. Presuming the forthcoming patch fixes the concerns on PS5, the RT mode should come to be a lovely showcase.

Excitingly, Light Brick Studio also instructed us that they are setting up to release this RT manner on Xbox Sequence consoles later this year, after the Unity motor implements RT support for Xbox.

lego a builder's journey screenshot comparison digital foundry
Is there enough headroom on PS5 and Collection X to focus on far more state-of-the-art RT at the expense of resolution?

I speculate if you can find place for an even extra bold RT method as well – one particular that sacrifices resolution for even extra ray-tracing capabilities at greater top quality. The maxed-out Computer release is exceptionally demanding, but there should really be headroom to thrust settings more listed here. For case in point, in my screening with an RTX 3080 Laptop computer GPU, which has very similar overall performance to a desktop RTX 3060 Ti, a steady 30fps in Builder’s Journey with all settings maxed out was attainable. That features RT absolutely enabled at a 1080p internal resolution, upscaled to 4K by FSR. This notebook is a additional powerful system than the PS5 but it’s in the exact ballpark, and the use of FSR manages to continue to keep picture top quality inside of acceptable bounds.

That stated, the non-ray traced iterations of the activity on PS5 and Collection X/S are also properly worth enjoying. Even without having all the ray-tracing bells and whistles, Lego Builder’s Journey is even now a lovely title. This isn’t a leading ray tracing knowledge just however, but the parts are below, just ready to be assembled.

About the author: Joshua Parker

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