After roughly one week of early access on other platforms, ANTHEM is finally out on PS4. We've already put a number of hours into the game, mostly so that we can determine how well it runs on Sony's system. You see, ANTHEM hasn't been doing too hot on PC and Xbox. Technical issues have been present since the demos that released earlier in the month, and by most accounts, the finished game ain't very smooth either.
The good news is that with the huge day one patch installed on PS4 by default (because the game's only just launched), the PS4 version runs much, much better than the aforementioned demos ever did. The frame rate appears to be way smoother, load times are noticeably faster, and we haven't encountered anywhere near as many bugs or connection issues. That's not to say ANTHEM runs perfectly on PS4, but it's a damn sight better than what you may have been expecting based on the demos.
Below, we've broken down ANTHEM's performance on both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. But before we get stuck in, it should be noted that these findings are based purely on our own experience with the game -- your own experience may vary.
ANTHEM PS4 Performance
How's the frame rate on a standard PS4?
Certainly not perfect. During busier fights out in ANTHEM's open world, we've definitely noticed dips here and there, although nothing too drastic. We also noticed dips while flying at high speed across the landscape.
Weirdly enough, it actually seems to be Fort Tarsis -- the game's hub area -- that suffers the most uneven frame rate on the base PS4. It can vary quite a bit as you wonder around. It's not great, but it doesn't make a huge difference since you're not partaking in any action.
All in all, the frame rate on the standard PS4 is good enough, but it's a shame that when things get busy, drops almost seem guaranteed.
How are the load times on a standard PS4?
Thankfully, the load times in ANTHEM are much better than they were in the demos, and that's across the board. However, on the standard PS4, they can still be quite lengthy, especially when first loading the open world, or Fort Tarsis.
Really, the load times wouldn't be a big deal if they weren't so frequent -- even going to your equipment menu before setting off on a mission leads you to a load screen, and it doesn't help that they're so boring to look at.
Still, the load times themselves aren't terrible, but if you hit a bunch of them in quick succession, you're gonna know.
How are the graphics on a standard PS4?
ANTHEM still looks great running on a standard PS4. There's a lot of detail to the environments, and the visual effects when fighting often look superb. That said, there is some noticeable pop-in. Whether it's enemies suddenly appearing or parts of the open world loading into place, it can be a bit jarring. This is especially common when you're flying. We've also had a couple of instances where textures have taken a long time to load in properly, leading to some seriously muddy environments.
Overall, it's a lovely looking game, but it clearly struggles to keep up its crisp and clean appearance when pushed.
How buggy is ANTHEM on a standard PS4?
Honestly, we're yet to run into any noticeable bugs in ANTHEM. There was an NPC in Fort Tarsis whose eyes were going crazy, but aside from that, we don't have any stories to tell. Let's hope it stays that way!
How is the online functionality on a standard PS4?
We only encountered one disconnect over the course of several hours, and lag, even when playing with three other people, has been barely noticeable. We did see a group of enemies suddenly blink out of existence at one point, but for the most part, ANTHEM appears to be holding up well on PS4.
If you're playing ANTHEM on a standard PS4, you should be fine. That said, performance is far from perfect. With the frame rate taking noticeable hits at times and the graphics tripping over themselves every now and then, it seems to be lacking that final layer of polish.
Good, but should be better.
ANTHEM PS4 Pro Performance
How's the frame rate on PS4 Pro?
The frame rate generally holds up better on PS4 Pro than it does on the standard PS4. We still noticed dips during heavy action, but the drops didn't seem to be as prevalent or as significant. It's the same story with Fort Tarsis -- it's just a lot smoother overall.
No real issues at all with the frame rate on PS4 Pro, as far as we could see.
How are the load times on PS4 Pro?
The load times are definitely still here, but they're reduced. Not by a huge amount, but we got into missions faster, Fort Tarsis and the open world loaded up quicker, and the smaller load screens that happen when you adjust your loadout, among other things, were over in just a few seconds. Thankfully.
There are still way too many of the things, but they're more bearable on PS4 Pro.
How are the graphics on PS4 Pro?
We're not entirely sure what ANTHEM's exact resolution is on PS4 Pro, but it definitely looks crisper than it does on the standard PS4. What's more, environments seem to load in a lot easier, even when flying through dense wilderness.
We did catch a couple of blurry textures here and there, but overall, ANTHEM looks gorgeous on PS4 Pro. Based on what we've heard, though, HDR isn't an option at the time of writing, which is a shame, because we're sure ANTHEM's bright colours would really pop with that kind of visual boost.
How buggy is ANTHEM on PS4 Pro?
Again, we haven't noticed any major bugs. We had an enemy clipping into the environment at one point, making it a little more difficult to kill, but aside from that, it's been smooth sailing.
How is the online functionality on PS4 Pro?
Pretty much the same experience that we had with the standard PS4. Just one connection issue after completing a mission. Everything else seemed very stable, with minimal lag, and thankfully, no obvious signs of rubberbanding.
In our experience, ANTHEM runs noticeably better on PS4 Pro. Smaller improvements, like less pop-in and better load times, really start to add up. It's still not flawless, and at times the game made our PS4 Pro's fans kick into overdrive, but it's visually fantastic and we didn't encounter any notable issues.
Is ANTHEM's overall performance acceptable on PS4 and PS4 Pro?
For the most part, we're going to say yes. After playing the demos, we had a horrible feeling that ANTHEM would be a technical mess on PS4, but in our experience with the full game, this thankfully isn't another Fallout 76.
Running on a regular PS4, there are some undeniably rough edges. Noticeable pop-in can damage the mood, and the frame rate's a bit of an annoyance at set points, but it's totally playable. Meanwhile, everything about ANTHEM's technical performance seems to be better on PS4 Pro -- it's a noticeably smoother game.
However, there is one key issue that impacts ANTHEM on both systems: the load screens. They're far too frequent -- even happening at certain points during missions -- and they're incredibly boring to look at. Even after just a few hours we're sick of seeing them, so god only knows how insufferable they'll become over time. In our experience, they're not insanely long -- certainly not as long as they are in the videos doing the rounds on social media -- but they're still a pain in the arse.
Have you played ANTHEM yet? How's the game running on your PS4? Let us know if you've ran into any problems in the comments section below.