A Plague Tale: Innocence released a while back on all major consoles, and we absolutely loved the game. The character dynamics are very well portrayed and there is no reduction in the gore or violence on account of the young cast. It’s also one of the most beautiful titles we’ve played in a while and looks absolutely amazing on a 4K display. In this post, we have a look at the performance of the PC port of A Plague Tale: Innocence on some of the most popular consumer graphics cards and explain the different options available.

TestBench

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus Hero X
  • HDD: WD Black 4TB
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i

A Plague Tale Innocence: Benchmarks (Ultra)

1080p
1440p
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4K

In contrast to the other game we tested this morning (Rage 2), A Plague Tale: Innocence is a completely different beast. There, NVIDIA’s Turing cards and AMD’s Vega architecture are or less on par with each other, however, in this case, the Radeon parts seem to be lagging behind their respective GeForce counterparts. The Radeon VII is noticeably slower than the GTX 1080 Ti at all three resolutions, and so is the 1060 when compared to the RX 580.

Then if you look at the Turing flagship, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti it’s unsurprisingly at the top of the charts, but the delta between the top two fastest GPUs is rather glaring. So while the newer GTX 16 series and RTX 20 series weren’t given preferential treatment in this game, they are still much more efficient than the older Pascal lineup. This is most likely due to the game being built on the Unreal Engine which is optimized rather well.

Graphics Options Explained

In this section, we through the various graphics options that you can tweak in A Plague Tale. We’ll highlight the most taxing ones so you can get the best performance without much reduction in quality:

Plague Tale

Ambient Occlusion (SSAO): Ambient occlusion refers to the ambient shadowing where the casting object and the shadow overlap, and depending upon the algorithm used it can have a moderate to large impact on performance. Most modern titles use SSAO, and although NVIDIA’s HBAO+ has proven to be a more efficient choice, like Rage 2, A Plague Tale also sticks to the former. However, compared to Bethesda’s recent title, AO has a much less prominent impact on performance. We recommend sticking to high for best results.

Plague Tale

Screen Space Reflections: Screen Space Reflections are real-time reflections. In traditional rasterization, only the objects present in the scene are reflected, and this is done by re-rendering them on transparent surfaces like water, glass or nearby smooth metallic bodies. This is the most taxing graphics option in this game and it’s best to turn it off altogether to get a good boost without degrading the visual quality by much.

Shadow Maps: This option controls the resolution of the shadows generated by the GPU. A higher value will result in more sharper and more detailed shadows while at lower qualities, the edges will be a bit blurry. On our test-rig, we found that Shadow Maps also tank our frame-rates by quite a bit. Unless you’re are getting silky smooth 60FPS, it’s recommended to turn this option down to medium.

A Plague Tale: Innocence also features volumetric lighting and contact shadows, but surprisingly they both have a negligible impact on the game’s performance. We checked the quality of both the god-rays as well as the shadows, and they look quite decent, and the fact that there is almost a zero hit in frame rates due to them is another reminder of how well optimized Epic’s Unreal Engine really is.

So, that’s about it. If you think we missed something, do let us know in the comment section below!

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