‘Fallout 4’ 1.02 Patch Improves Corvega Plant Framerate By Cutting Shadows

The Fallout 4 1.2 patch was released to the PC on Monday and is now available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The update was most notable for memory and performance improvements with specific attention paid to performance improvements in the Corvega Assembly Plant. A Digital Foundry analysis of the game since the patch shows improvements, but they come at a cost.

As previously covered by the Inquisitr, Fallout 4 suffered performance issues at launch that impacted the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions the most. Framerate would frequently drop to well below 30 frames per second, and performance was particularly bad in certain areas, such as inside the Corvega Assembly Plant.

The lighting in Fallout 4 is fantastic when cranked up all the way. [Image via Bethesda]

The 1.2 update is described as a “night and day difference at points” by Digital Foundry. Their testing of Fallout 4 post-patch on the PS4 showed a steadier 30fps in areas that were dragged down to the mid-20s pre-patch. It’s not completely perfect, though, as explosions can bring the framerate down along with more expansive views such as the top of the Corvega plant.

“Clearly [the Corvega Assembly Plant] was a priority for the developer, and justifiably takes third billing in its patch notes,” Digital Foundry’s Thomas Morgan wrote. “We’re far from a perfectly stable 30fps, and accuracy while aiming manually still suffers from sharp declines in response during combat. But as an update released ahead of Christmas – a period in which new players are likely to jump into the experience – patch 1.02 is thankfully small, and at least takes the edge off some of its nastier frame-time spikes.”

While the performance of the Corvega Assembly Plant is improved, it appears the improvements come as part of a tradeoff versus an optimization of the area. Commenters in the Digital Foundry article, NeoGAF, and Fallout Reddit group all point to how the use of shadows changed inside the plant.

Indeed, the accompanying Digital Foundry video comparison shows a stark contrast in some areas of the Corvega Assembly Plant. The following image from the 1:40 mark of the video shows the same view looking down the stairs from before and after the 1.2 update was released. However, the comparison looks like two completely different areas due to the removal of shadows and possibly other lighting effects post-patch.

Fallout 4 1.02 Corvega Assembly Patch Comparison (PlayStation 4)
Pre-1.2 Patch on the left has shadows. The post 1.2 patch on the right does not. [Image via YouTube]

This, unfortunately, is a disappointing part of game development. Studios have to make tradeoffs between what they want to do and what they can do. In this instance, Bethesda Game Studios chose to prioritize performance by turning off some graphical features that were taxing consoles and even PC versions of Fallout 4. It’s possible this is a temporary solution while a permanent fix is being sorted out. As Morgan notes above, making the game run as smooth as possible as millions of more players jump in is important.

As a recap, here is what Bethesda Game Studio listed as the fixes for the Fallout 4 1.2 update on the official forums.

New Features

  • Number pad keys can now be used for remapping (PC)
  • Remapping Activate now works on Quick Container (PC)

Fixes

  • General memory and stability improvements
  • Performance improvements inside the Corvega Assembly Plant
  • Optimizations to skinned decal rendering
  • Fixed issue with player becoming stuck in terminals
  • Fixed issue where equipped weapons become locked after completing Reunions
  • Fixed issue with “When Freedom Calls” where the quest would not complete
  • During “Confidence Man” fixed issue where player’s health would continuously regenerate
  • Fixed crash related to jumping into water and reloading saved games
  • Fixed issue where Launcher would not save God Rays Quality setting properly (PC)

What do you think of the 1.2 update for Fallout 4 so far? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Fallout 4]