Given Naughty Dog’s reputation, it should be no surprise that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a visual showcase, but an in-depth report from Digital Foundry suggests that the game’s tech makes a crucial step forward.

The angular Crash Bandicoot has been all over the headlines in recent weeks, reminding us all of a time when graphics weren’t quite as impressive as they are today. However, Naughty Dog’s latest release — the critically lauded Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End — is truly a state-of-the-art video game.

A new report from Digital Foundry, published on Eurogamer yesterday, suggests that the game “delivers a genuine step advance in real-time rendering on console hardware.” Between its unmatched image quality, its excellent approach to character rendering and animation, and its dense and detailed environments, Uncharted 4 is a showcase from every angle.

In fact, the team at Digital Foundry go as far to say that A Thief’s End ranks as the best console game they’ve ever put through its paces. The report notes that last year’s Star Wars Battlefront came close with its impressive visual fidelity, but couldn’t offer quite the same level of consistency and polish.

The article references the ongoing speculation about the rumored PS4K, and notes that developers like Naughty Dog are still able to get amazing results out of aging PS4 hardware. It’s certainly interesting to imagine what top-tier studios are going to be able to create on consoles if new iterations are on their way this year.

Uncharted 4 Review - Environments

Digital Foundry douses the graphics of Uncharted 4 with praise, but notes that the visuals aren’t just superficial, contrasting A Thief’s End with titles like Ryse and The Order: 1886. The report states that graphical fidelity doesn’t hamstring any other area of the experience, and the gameplay actually expands upon previous Uncharted games.

However, the article isn’t just an appreciation of what Naughty Dog managed to accomplish. The game doesn’t meet the promise of 1080p resolution at a solid frame rate of 60fps, which was promised in 2014, but that’s not to say that the finished product suffers as a result.

There’s also some minor criticism of the way that the game handles its load times. Under the hood, it’s set up to make things as seamless as possible during a standard playthrough — but, as a result, playing individual chapters or scenes can result in lengthy loads.

All in all, this is a resounding confirmation that Naughty Dog is one of the most technically advanced outfits working in the video game industry. Many would argue that you could discern that simply from playing Uncharted 4, but the analysis offered up by Digital Foundry illuminates the work that went into this feast for the eyes.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is available now for PlayStation 4.

Source: Eurogamer