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SCEA Explains Reason For 30FPS In God Of War III

As some of you already know, God of War III will run at 30 frames per second, which some are calling the lone downfall of what is guaranteed to be an unbelievable action experience.

But SCEA Santa Monica senior producer Steve Caterson wanted to clarify the issue a little bit, and explain why the designers took the 30FPS approach. He spoke about the technical aspects of the mammoth project in a recent I Eat Games interview. After admitting to some screen tearing in God of War II, Caterson said you shouldn't find any tearing whatsoever in GoWIII and then went on to add:

"In some respects—and I know I’m going to get shredded on the boards for saying this—we intentionally slow things down. We want to show you what’s going on in some scenes. A good example is this one huge creature who grabs Kratos and, if we showed that at speed, you would just never even see him. So we say, ‘ok slow the camera down, zoom in—there he is! Doesn’t he look cool?!’ and then we ramp the speed back up and put you back into the action. It’s a pacing thing.

Also, there are some small pauses in the combat that some people though were slowdown because there were so many guys on screen but it’s intentionally there because it makes the hits feel more impactful."

But in case you misinterpret his words, Santa Monica director of technology Tim Moss adds this to the explanation at his Twitter page:

"We slow timestep so 1 sec of game lasts >1 sec for dramatic effect. NOT the same as slowing the framerate."

Some people really do get too caught up with frame rate but if it falls a lot, it can be quite annoying. However, we seriously doubt you'll find much in the way of frame rate issues when playing God of War III; fluidity should most certainly be the name of the game.

Related Game(s): God of War III

3/1/2010 9:06:17 PM John Shepard

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Comments (59 posts)

Irievibes
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 9:38:41 PM
Reply

sounds interesing, i even like that aspect , because really im a sucker for Art and graphics in all respects , and there is simply so much going on, so many animations, even the background , that it gives you a chance to fully appreciate the detail of the enemies, buildings, and even those awsome backgrounds of the massive titans

bayonetta, for its awsome combat system, half the time i can barely make out the animations and figure out what the hell is going on , same as sigma 2 , yeah it looks beautiful, but ryu does the move so dam fast , that you cannnot even see the animations themselves ,

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Naztycuts
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:41:07 PM

Your comment should be shown to the people that are going to try to discredit this exclusive by pointing at the framerate, I especially like the part about the other game's characters moving too fast, who cares how bad*** something is if you blink and don't even see it? Wish those other devs took this approach.

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redman479
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 9:57:30 PM
Reply

I don't care about the frame rate, just give me the game!!!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:04:23 PM
Reply

Personally I love when GOW styled games hit the slo mo just to show the power of what is going on. It's a shame they couldn't do this at 60, but I honestly can rarely tell the difference. As long as it doesn't fall into the horrendous Dragon Age frame rate range (The only bad thing about that game) then I think we will be fine.

You can bet a monkeys bright red ass that the bots will jump on this fact though.

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rogers71
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:12:09 PM

"You can bet a monkeys bright red ass that the bots will jump on this fact though."

Ding Ding Ding....You are correct sir...Tell him what he's won!!!!!

A beautiful, sparkling thumbs up.

You're welcome World

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:58:46 PM

Thanks Rogerdodger, just bringin' it to you all ice cold like it is.

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DarthSayver21
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:23:09 AM

GoWIII does go @ 60 fps bro but at certain times in the game it drops down to 30 fps, for da slow-mo effect.

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geovanwitdakick
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:07:19 PM
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Glad Santa Monica didn't have to give us some crap about "hardware/technical limitations" brought on by another console. *wipes sweat off brow*.

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NoSmokingBandit
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:09:44 PM
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Santa Monica has shown us twice that they know what they are doing better than pretty much anyone else in the world, so if they felt the game needed to be slowed down at points i'm sure it was the right decision.

I'd rather have a smooth 30fps than a tear-fest at 60fps.

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Gone
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:10:17 PM
Reply

I am just ready to go after Zeus.

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inkme101
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:54:53 PM

i would like the games to go on to star diff gods. i would love to play as zeus!

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Jawknee
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:17:39 PM
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I don't really care. 60/fps is certainly nice and i do notice the difference in some games, Like MW2 vs Killzone 2. While Killzone 2 is a better game, its undeniable its nice having 60/fps in MW2. For God of War III, i want to see every bit of head cracking and teeth gnashing i can. So if they think this will allow that to happen then im game.

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Highlander
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:26:16 PM
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I've seen this done in movies where there is a high speed action sequence and each hit by the hero is punctuated by a slight pause as if to focus on the hit and then back to the action. Then (usually for the final big punch) the action switches to slow motion Crouching Tiger Hidden dragon motion cam style.

Sounds like these are artistic decisions being made, not technical ones.

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main_event05
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:53:19 PM

Good call. I was gonna say that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:59:33 PM

See: 300

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Nynja
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:38:26 PM

That's a trade mark of the God of War series. It's been like that since the beginning. I don't recall anyone complaining then.

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convergecrew
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:40:06 PM
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This is two different things theyre talking about--frame rate and speed ramping have nothing to do with each other. It would be pretty pathetic if they were trying to pass off frame rate drops as "intentional" ramping, as you would easily be able to tell the difference. But if they turn such whatever incidents that might suffer from drops and creatively implementing a ramp, well, I guess we will just have to see how effectively its handled when the game comes out. It could be cool, but if its used everytime there are 50 baddies on the screen then things could get a little lame.



Last edited by convergecrew on 3/1/2010 10:41:15 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:47:34 PM

No offense. But i'm pretty sure they know what they are doing. God of War III will be another one of these Sony exclusives that sets a new bar. So trust and verify.

Last edited by Jawknee on 3/1/2010 10:47:47 PM

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

convergecrew
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 11:32:54 PM

Youre right... I just dont like how some game producers come off sounding recently--talking to us like were ignorant. Anyways, that how I took that explanation as.

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The_Vandelizer
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 10:48:08 PM
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im honestly disappointed in this move. first the take off 1080p now the 60 frames. whats going on?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:00:35 PM

Sadly I don't think we will see many native 1080p games this gen.

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Highlander
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:00:43 PM

To every gamer who makes judgments regarding games based on the resolution or frames per second. You are using the wrong measures. Try this method instead;

1) Start game.

2) Play an hour.

3) If you think it's awesome, or great, then it is.

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Jawknee
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:10:16 PM

The box says its in 1080i at least. That's a step in the right direction.

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Alienange
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:12:44 PM

Indeed TheHighlander... indeed.

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mike rlz
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:18:47 PM

speaking of, what games DO run native 1080 p?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:22:21 PM

@ Jawk, the box says it plays everything in 1080i. They are what you would call "untruthful" about resolutions.

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Jawknee
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:34:20 PM

Not on the new boxs. it says 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p on most of them. Then the resolution it defaults to is highlighted in Red and or placed inside the small Television graphic thats apart of the resolution logo on the back of the box. Most of this i assume us up scaling though rather then native yea?

Was MGS4 in 1080p? Or was that just up scaling by default too. When ever i play MGS4 and check the resolution on the TV it defaults to 1080p without having to turn off the 720p and 1080i in the PS3's display settings. Bioshock 2 and World at War do this as well. others like Uncharted 2 and Killzone 2 you have to turn 720 and 1080i off in the display settings to get it to display in or upscale to 1080p.

High, you know why this is?

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Highlander
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:52:51 PM

If you have a 1080p TV then every input is scaled and if necessary de-interlaced to give a progressive scan image. All this extra scaling/de-interlacing is done automatically by the video processor inside the TV. In other words everything you see is 1080p on the screen regardless of the input quality.

Of course scaling is just another word for magnifying, which doesn't add detail, so for 720p on a 1080p screen, it just magnifies from 720p to 1080p. For 1080i the TV does one of the variety of decent techniques for combining the interlaced frames (de-interlacing) to give a 1080p video feed.

The PS3 is probably only rendering to 720p anyway with an internal option to scale to 1080i for consumers who have TVs that only offer 480p and 1080i capability. If a game renders to 720p but offers a 1080i output, stick to the 720p resolution because it is better. The 1080i scaled version is the original 720 render scaled and interlaced. This is specifically for older TVs that don't handle 720p or 1080p.

A general rule of thumb is that unless you know that the game specifically renders in 1080i (and is not scaling from 720p) stick to 720p and let your TV handle any final scaling it wants to do. Very few PS3 games even offer a 1080p output option. If a game offers this, I'd use it, but even so, unless the game is known to render at 1080p resolution, I'd bet it's actually rendering to 720p and scaling up to 1080p.

If you force the PS3 to scale the picture to 1080p, your TV will display it that way, but the game still renders to the original resolution, and then scales the image. If you simply view the 720p feed on your TV it will automatically scale it to fit the physical screen - scaling the 720p to 1080p.



Last edited by Highlander on 3/1/2010 11:55:15 PM

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Jawknee
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:01:41 AM

Cool. Thanks Highlander.

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Mouse_101
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 11:20:06 AM

i think lair runs native 1080p ?

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Irievibes
Thursday, March 04, 2010 @ 12:20:30 PM

@mike,

I know MGS4 does in full 1080p , cant recall any others atm though...i think both ninja gaiden sigmas run at 1080p too, maybe Uncharted 2 too?

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Karosso
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:08:41 PM
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Nothing wrong with the frame rate on this baby. Its like poetry in motion, albeit a very gory poetry ;)

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Alienange
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:14:50 PM
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Shhhhhh Steve... You had me at hello.

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Robochic
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:31:19 PM
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I will be honest don't know much about frame rate still just understanding the little things about games in context to resoultion ect. As long as it looks amazing on my tv and has no big issues I'm fine with that.

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johnld
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:53:49 AM

same, i dont really care about these things. framerate drops and screen tearing doesnt really bother me at all. as long as the game is great, i could care less about the minor details.

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Nynja
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:34:56 PM
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I think the demo says it all. Runs as smooth as anyone could ask for. Sure 60fps looks great, but 30fps with Uncharted 2 or God of War III graphics will always come out on top in my book.

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Jawknee
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:40:32 PM

i noticed a few hitches in the demo but i just assume that's because its a demo. I'm sure the final product will be killer 60/fps or not.

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Odd Child
Monday, March 01, 2010 @ 11:39:18 PM
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I already have 2 Copies pre-ordered, for me and my bro.

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Dridion
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:08:12 AM
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Actually this makes A LOT of sense. Ever since I got my hands on the demo a couple of months back, I noticed that they had these "slow down" parts during heavy impacts such as spinning the gauntlets around. My initial thought?.....I loved it!!!! It really felt like every hit mattered and that there was pure power behind them. Playing a game like GoW3, that's exactly the feeling I'm looking for. I thought it was just me but I guess that's what S.M.S was aiming for. Job well done!

Last edited by Dridion on 3/2/2010 12:09:01 AM

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___________
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:22:42 AM
Reply

so they lied to us?
did they not say a few weeks ago that it would be a variable frame rate at 60FPS and very rarely lowering to 30?
you cant have a fast paced action game like this with 30FPS, theres a reason why dantes inferno, bayonetta, darksiders, DMC4, and other fast paced games run at 60FPS.
im starting to believe that 120FPS, 1080P stats farther ken told us at E3 06 was a load of PR BS!
but than it certainly would not be the first.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:29:32 PM

I hope you are not this negative in life outside of videogames.

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Lex Luthor
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 @ 4:55:30 PM

As usual, talking sh** and nothing more...

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just2skillf00l
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:48:27 AM
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This is one thing I love about the GOW games. That slow down during the very powerful attacks which displays the true destructive nature and power of Kratos's attacks is by far one of the coolest mini-additions in a game. When a developer takes the time out to detail a game to this extent, you know they are dedicated and love doing what they do. Can't wait for this game!

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Club80
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 2:01:34 AM
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I downloaded the Gametrailers GOW3 special, in HD. I honestly don't see 30fps being an issue. The "dramatic" close ups of the Leviathan and the way you see Kratos' facial expressions change when he's taking down a minotaur are quite detailed and stunning! If it takes 30fps to achieve a cinematic feel with such incredible detail, then kudos to SCEA Santa Monica, because they've made that framerate rock! It almost looks 60fps, IMO.

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Shams
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 3:17:52 AM
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The real reason why there is a variable frame rate that drops to as low as 30fps, is that there are at times super huge and moving on-screen assets like the titans that move from background to foreground, that are just as big and detailed as whole city areas in games like GTA4, inFamous, or AC2. Kind of like Shadow Of The Colossus, except we won't have to deal with a slide-show like stutter/slow-down.

And there are 3 types of framerate variation: Slow-Mo, Slow-Down, and Reduced Sampling. The difference between Slow-Mo and Slow-Down, is that one of 'em is deliberate. And in reduced sampling, this is done to eliminate the lag of slow-down, by maintaining the speed of action by 'dropping' frames. So instead of showing a one second segment of 60fps at 30 fps over two seconds, it shows it at one second and 30 fps. I noticed this happen in R&C:FTOD/ACIT, especially in the arena battles, when you had 100's of on screen enemies, bolts, and debris flying everywhere. Also it happens when you are rotating your view, sometimes, to eliminate screen-tearing.

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Imagi
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 3:57:42 AM
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:/ So 1 second at 60fps is faster than 1 second at 30fps?

Framerate does not bother me that much as long as it does not get in the way of the game play or rips you out of an immerse game.

People do get hung up on 60fps though, though nice, as long as a game runs at a smooth consistent 30fps or above, all is good.

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Shams
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 8:12:53 AM

It gets a little ambiguous when you talk about it in terms of just 'seconds'. Look at it this way: if an action segment was spread across 60 'frames', if there was no slow down, and the engine was working at 60 fps, that segment would last 1 second.

Let's say there was too much on screen, and instead, the engine processed the same number of frames, but slow-downed to 30 fps. That segment would last 2 seconds, instead of just 1 second, with the added detriment of input-lag.

With "reduced sampling", instead of processing the same number of 'frames', and instead of introducing slow-down, it drops the total number of frames sampled, say, to every other one. So instead of processing 60 frames, it processes every other frame, or 30 frames. So if the engine slows down to 30 fps, the segment will last only 1 second, just like originally, except there will be no input lag, and it will start and stop at the same point just as if there was no slow-down. Quite a few games use this technique, like inFamous and R&C to reduce slow-down.

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Imagi
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 11:55:05 AM

I get you, but the terminology is wrong. It is the same as saying 1 Ton of feathers is heavier that 1 Ton of concrete. The Ton and the Second are the constant.

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kraygen
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 4:33:48 AM
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who would complain about this, man i've played games barely pulling 18 fps and they look fine, most mmo's i've played only run between 25-30. Granted they're not action games but i agree with the producer guys explanation.

I don't want to see kratos as a grey and red blur, i want to see his blade slice through flesh and bone.

I want to see the blood splatter upon his face and run across the ground.

p.s. regardless of popular belief I do not have an insatiable bloodlust. well maybe ;)

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 7:57:22 AM
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Indeed, I prefer a smooth 30 fps over a messed up 60 fps.

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FullmetalX10
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 11:14:51 AM
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If it looks as awesome as it does in the new trailer (haven't seen the gttv stuff yet, want to keep as much of the game at bay as possible), who cares if it's 30 fps, as long as it doesn't affect the game in terms of lag and/or screen tearing.
Btw, have they brought the game to 30 fps the whole time, or is it still 60 fps some of the time?

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Mr Bitey
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 12:37:17 PM
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*takes shirt off*

In the end there will only be chaos!! ROAR!!

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FlyingKickPunch
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 3:42:22 PM
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i...i think i might be gay for this game...

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LittleBigMidget
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 5:11:31 PM
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That doesn't even make sense......

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just2skillf00l
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 @ 12:41:19 AM
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I really don't care about the frame rate as long as the game runs fine. But 60 fps is so smooth, I can't say I wouldn't prefer it...things just connect and flow with 60 fps on a almost rhymetic level. Poetry in motion anyone?

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Zodiac_MaxX
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 @ 3:44:18 PM
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I think the guy meant slowing things down not slowing the framerate.

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Cabalavatar1
Thursday, March 04, 2010 @ 11:26:01 AM
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I swear this is going to somewhat remind me of the cinematography from the movie _300_. Do you remember the fight scenes just outside of the mountain pass? Ramp up the speed to normal, sloooow down for the major hits, ramp up the speed to the next opponent, then slooow down for the hit. It's intoxicating. I'd love to see slow-mo fluid closeups of enemies and my hitting them. This style of in-game cinematography (excuse the inappropriateness of the term) will be something of a hallmark, and I'm looking forward to the experiment!

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Irievibes
Thursday, March 04, 2010 @ 12:28:21 PM
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its not about FPS

think aobut it like this,

for every second in real life, a second goes on in the game, during these "slowdowns" its not the framerate that actually drops, but rather they make the equivalent second in-game, actually take longer than a RL second, so in essence its the actual render speed that is paced and not how many frames are drawn in the screen at any given speed AKAfps

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Doomsquirrel
Saturday, March 06, 2010 @ 11:40:51 AM
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they did those slowed-down impacts in the first and second games, e.g. in GOW with the Blade of Artemis, L1+Δ launched your opponent into the air and L1+Δ sent them face-first into the dirt; each impact was slow-mo

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