Square Enix released last week its new Souls-like Final Fantasy spin-off, Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin. Developed by Team Ninja, the team behind the Nioh series, it’s time now to benchmark it and see how it performs on the PC platform.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3800Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, NVIDIA’s GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti and RTX 3080. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce 511.79 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 22.3.1 drivers.
Team Ninja has added very few graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures and Shadows. There are also settings for Anti-aliasing, Screen space reflections, Ambient Occlusion, Chromatic Aberration and Motion Blur. The game also sports an FPS Priority Mode and a Resolution Scaler. Furthermore, the game supports framerates up to 120fps.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin does not feature any built-in benchmark. As such, we’ve decided to benchmark the first main mission area during a number of combat scenarios. As such, our benchmarks can give you a better idea of what you can expect from this game.
In order to find out how the game scales on multiple CPU threads, we simulated a dual-core, a quad-core and a hexa-core CPU. Team Ninja recommends at least using an Intel Core i7-6700 and this appears to be accurate. After all, and even with Hyper-Threading, our simulated dual-core had noticeable stuttering issues that made the game almost unplayable.
Our octa-core, simulated hexa-core and simulated quad-core systems performed similarly. However, there was a massive framerate hit during some fights on our simulated hexa-core system. Minimum framerates in this game are inconsistent, so you may experience similar drops on more powerful systems (especially in later stages).
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin requires powerful GPUs, even for gaming at 1080p/Max Settings. As we can see, only our top three GPUs were able to offer a constant 60fps experience. The AMD Vega 64 came close to a 60fps experience, however, there were numerous drops to mid-50s.
At 1440p/Max Settings, the only GPUs that could run the game with constant 60fps were the RTX3080 and the RX Vega 6900XT. And as for 4K/Max Settings, there wasn’t any GPU that could run the game smoothly.
From what we could see, the main issue in Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is the finishing moves. For whatever reason, the framerate takes a big hit when using them. So while the game may be running at 60-70fps outside of combat, it can easily drop by up to 40% during combat. Team Ninja claimed that it will be adding DLSS via a post-launch update that will undoubtedly help performance on RTX GPUs.
Graphics-wise, Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is not that great. While the game packs some cool destructible objects and great 3D character models, it has an awful and dated lighting system. We also noticed various ambient occlusion artifacts, and there is a lot of aliasing, even at 4K. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. There are also a lot of low-resolution textures, and the environments feel so old-gen-ish. So while at times the game can look great, it can also look awful. And no, it does not justify its high GPU requirements.
Before closing, we have to mention some frame pacing issues. Even when the game was running at 60fps, it never felt as smooth as other 60fps games. For those wondering, the game does not suffer from any major stuttering issues. However, and after playing both, I have to say that Elden Ring felt smoother than Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin. Yes, Elden Ring initially had some shader cache stutters. However, FromSoftware has addressed most of them, and we didn’t really experience any other major stuttering issues (in the game’s latest version).
I know that some have reported weird 1-2 secs stutters in Elden Ring, but these appear to be hardware/software-related issues. For instance, some players suggest disabling the device that manages the Game Pass virtual disks in Device Manager. Others claim that they resolved their stutters by disabling their XMP RAM profiles. Since we haven’t really experienced these stutters, I’m certain that these issues are due to hardware/software issues that are not related to the game itself. As such, and if you don’t resolve these hardware/software issues, you may also experience additional stutters in other games.
All in all, Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin suffers from major performance and optimization issues on PC. The game has major framerate drops during combat, especially when using the finishing moves. There are also numerous frame pacing issues. Still, I wouldn’t call it a “complete disaster” as we’ve seen worse PC ports. Moreover, the game features proper K&M on-screen prompts (when Nioh 2 did not at launch) and plays great with the mouse and keyboard. We also did not experience any major stutters or crashes.
Lastly, and even in its current state, the game runs better on a high-end PC system than on PS5 or Xbox Series X. For what it’s worth, these consoles can drop to 40fps during combat scenarios.
Here is hoping that Team Ninja will not drop the ball, and will further optimize it via post-launch updates!