Fallout 4 PS5 Performance
Image: Push Square

Ah, the Commonwealth. A great example of dense open world design, Fallout 4 still has its charms almost a full decade after its original release in 2015. We've spent a good ten hours or so with the game's freshly launched PS5 version, and we're here to report on our findings with regards to technical performance. For the record, we'll be doing a full review in the near future as well — but for now, consider this an appetiser.

Bolstered by the recent Amazon Fallout show, interest in Bethesda's open world RPG has hit an impressive high. But those who are completely new to Fallout 4 may not realise how... clunky the title was almost ten years ago, back on the PS4. To be fair, it was by far Bethesda's most competent console release — it wasn't littered with crashing issues like Fallout 3, New Vegas, or even Skyrim on the PS3 — but its shoddy frame rate and lengthy load times left something to be desired.

Thankfully, Fallout 4's PS5 version is a massive upgrade. Now, obviously, you'd fully expect this to be the case — again, this is essentially a decade-old game — but it's still nice to see that Bethesda hasn't somehow buggered it all up.

Fallout 4 PS5 Performance
Image: Push Square

To start with, let's outline the game's optional performance mode, which targets 60 frames-per-second at a dynamic 4K resolution. For most returning players, that sweet promise of 60fps is the real selling point of this port — especially since, as mentioned, the original Fallout 4 suffered from a frustratingly inconsistent frame rate. Fortunately, we can confirm that the game has maintained a near perfect 60fps for the vast majority of our playtime.

Fallout 4 might not be the most refined shooter on the market, but playing at a smooth 60fps still makes one hell of a difference. The game's chunky movement feels better, aiming feels more responsive, and you don't get those nasty frame dips that could actively hamper gameplay on PS4, forcing issues like input lag. Needless to say, this is the best that Fallout 4 has ever played on a PlayStation console.

The dynamic resolution seems to hold up pretty well, too. We haven't noticed any sudden moments of blurriness, even during the most chaotic of firefights.

That said, with performance mode disabled, the game does look sharper overall, pushing what Bethesda says is a native 4K resolution. Predictably, though, this quality mode is capped at 30fps, and in our opinion, the trade-off probably isn't worth it. Halving the frame rate for the sake of a slightly sharper image is a tall order when you'll be spending most of your time looking at fairly muddy textures to begin with.

Which brings us to our next topic of conversation: asset quality. In its upgrade notes, Bethesda says that performance mode uses 'standard settings', while quality mode uses 'ultra settings'. But based on our experience, there isn't a noticeable difference unless you go looking for it. We think draw distance might be impacted, with more visible details applied to distant buildings and the like, but aside from that, we'd wager that most players will struggle to see the improvements.

Fallout 4's PS5 version runs great pretty much across the board, then — but as the headline of this article suggests, there are some smaller problems at play. Annoyingly, most of these issues aren't anything new, having also been present in the original PS4 release — and for whatever reason, they haven't been addressed here.

The most prevalent of these problems is hitching. When you're entering a particularly busy area out in the open world, where there's no load screen to separate things, the game will hang for a second as it keeps track of the surrounding environment. Just like in the PS4 version, this is most noticeable when you're creeping through downtown Boston, where large numbers of enemies congregate across multiple streets and alleyways.

To be clear, the hitching isn't a huge deal — it just sticks out in a game that runs really well otherwise. And the same is true of visual bugs like flickering textures, which can be disappointingly common in built-up areas. Fallout 4's not exactly a visual feast — we'd go as far to say that it was quite ugly even back in 2015 — but it's still a shame that these graphical anomalies persist.

Fallout 4 PS5 Performance
Image: Push Square

Let's end on another positive, though: the load times. Like every Bethesda title before it, Fallout 4 has a lot of load screens. You get one every time you fast travel, and every time you enter / exit an interior location. On PS4, you could spend what felt like an age waiting for the game to load more demanding areas, but on PS5, load times have been significantly reduced. At most, you're left waiting four or five seconds.

So, in summary, Bethesda's done a solid job with this PS5 re-release. Yes, those relatively minor issues are a bit annoying, but if all you've ever wanted is a PlayStation version of Fallout 4 that doesn't have a dodgy frame rate, you're in luck.

Are you playing Fallout 4 on PS5? Are you happy with how it's turned out? Remember to reload your revolver in the comments section below.