It's been a long time coming, but the expanded, tuned, moddable and polished-up PC port of magical realist pretty-boy road-trip RPG Final Fantasy XV is nearly here. The only question that remains is "How well will this thing run on my PC?"
Well, hypothetical questioner, I've got some good news for you: Square have been kind enough to release a benchmark tool for the game, allowing you to ogle a bit of it in action on your own PC, and receive advice on whether you'll need to lower your settings or resolution in order to get a consistently smooth result out of the game.
My results are largely what I expected - my score tells me that I'm pushing around 5% fewer frames than your average desktop 1070-powered machine, but given that I'm on a laptop now, that's a pretty damn good result, and amounts to a fairly consistent 75-80fps at 1080p, standard detail settings; an astronomical increase over the original console version's choppy performance.
Doesn't hurt that the game looks properly lovely in action, and the world-altering summon spell shown off near the end of the benchmark is particularly spectacular at a solid framerate. It's taken forever to get here, but it seems they've put some real effort into the port.
I must admit that I can't wait to get my hands on the PC version of the game now. I played the original PS4 release a bit near launch, but never sank as much time into it as I'd like. In the meantime, I've seen the game evolve and expand an enormous amount, reworking weaker chunks of the main story, adding DLC side-stories and a co-op side campaign, and even a few game-changing features. All of those are going to be included as standard in the PC edition.
While some were excited enough when Square patched a monster-truck style offroad vehicle into the game, allowing for vastly more freeform exploration, the biggest addition has to be the recently added option to switch control between all four members of your party. At launch, you played solely as sad-eyed swordboy Prince Noctis, but once you're a ways into the campaign, you can now unlock the option to directly control the other three lads and use their signature abilities directly in combat.
While I didn't try it myself before I removed the benchmark to save on precious SSD space, I did hear on the grapevine that you can break the benchmark by mashing on the arrow keys and other buttons once Noctis and his crew get out of their car to wander around on foot. You'll take partial control of the character and be able to wander semi-freely. As far as bugs go, that's pretty great. More intentionally, the benchmark also supports Nvidia Ansel, if you want to take some pretty shots of your own.
You can grab the benchmark for yourself here, and compare how you stack up against other users with similar hardware over here. The PC version of Final Fantasy XV will land on PC on March 6th for a surprisingly reasonable £35/$50, on par with the upcoming Royal Edition of the game launching soon on consoles.