Fallout 4’s Far Harbor is a somewhat sizeable expansion. It’s the biggest DLC landmass that Bethesda have ever made don’t you know, which ipso facto probably makes it the biggest DLC landmass anyone has ever made. And as with all Bethesda products, their scope and sheer weight of ambition invariably means there are some quality control issues; just look at the hilarity we saw with the bed building bug and the ‘ceiling NPCs’ that resulted from the workaround.
The main casualty of their latest quality control snafu? Far Harbor PS4 performance has been ropey. Really ropey.
It’s not surprising that the Fallout 4 Far Harbor PS4 performance has been poor, to be fair – there’s an awful lot going on and a lot of new stuff to load into memory, combined with an obscene amount of fog and atmospheric effects – but it’s interesting that the Far Harbor PS4 version has been hit harder than its console counterpart, the Xbox One.
When Digital Foundry, Eurogamer’s performance testing purists, pitted the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the stock Fallout 4 game against one another, they generally found that the PS4 version outstripped the Xbox One in almost all categories for frame rate, smoothness, pop-in and draw distance… except one: The Xbox One managed to maintain better frame rates under heavy particle effects than the PS4, just like we’re seeing with the Far Harbor PS4 issues around the thick, soupy Maine fog, presumably.
Bethesda have rushed out a Far Harbor PS4 performance fix to resolve these issues, but the remedial steps on their end were so great that they’ve actually had to submit it to Sony as an additional package. The net result? You’ll need to download the 5 GB update file again to replace your original Far Harbor PS4 install; this is essentially a full-on sledgehammer of a reboot, not a dainty little precision patch.
Talk about going nuclear.