Developer Insomniac has confirmed that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will launch with not just 30 FPS and 60 FPS, but a glorious 40 FPS mode, which has quickly become this generation's ideal performance target for those big, cinematic games that we've come to expect from Sony's first-party studios.
Community director James Stevenson says on social media that Spider-Man 2 features modes for "30 FPS, 40 FPS, and 60 FPS" gameplay, "all with ray tracing." It seems Insomniac isn't concerned about ray tracing negatively impacting those performance targets, either.
"There's no mode of this game that has the ray tracing turned off, no need for it," tech director Mike Fitzgerald tells IGN. "We've really figured out how to deliver what we feel like is the right Spider-Man picture and visuals and we want to make sure every player is seeing that."
30 FPS and 60 FPS modes have become pretty common for console games. Most TVs display exactly 60 frames every second, which means that for a game to display smoothly, it has to run at a frame rate that divides evenly into 60 - usually either 30 or 60. Otherwise, motion will start to look subtly wrong, which you may have noticed if you've ever played a game that, say, hovers just under a 60 FPS target.
But many high-end TVs these days feature 120Hz display panels, and that math opens up a new performance target option: 40 FPS. 40 FPS modes feel dramatically smoother to play than 30 FPS, and they don't have to make nearly as many graphical compromises to achieve the performance target.
In most games I still prefer the added smoothness that 60 FPS modes provide, but when it comes to the highly cinematic aspirations of Sony's first-party games, which are as much about visual splendor and spectacular stories as they are about action, the visual compromises of high frame-rate modes are tough to ignore. But 40 FPS modes serve as a perfect compromise.
40 FPS options are becoming more common, but they're often relegated to post-launch patches, as was the case for Horizon Forbidden West and Insomniac's own Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PS5. That's why I'm beyond relieved to see Spider-Man 2 offering the option right at launch. This kind of thing makes it a whole lot easier to justify all the money I spent on my television to myself.
In our Marvel's Spider-Man 2 preview, Sam reckons Insomniac has somehow made the swinging even more fun.