Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales is available on PC, following the resounding success of the basic game, Marvel’s Spiderman, on PC earlier this year. Like the original version, Miles Morales is packed with the latest PC gaming technology and perfectly polished to run on different hardware. It’s a great PC port. Except for DLSS 3 frame generation, ie.
Nvidia’s latest upscaling technology joins Intel XeSS and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) in Miles Morales. These are all great upscaling options, but DLSS 3’s unique frame-generating capabilities are a sore point. If you plan to pick up Miles Morales On PC, be sure to keep DLSS frame generation disabled to avoid an occasional AI frame generation mess.
Miles Morales joins a growing list of games that support DLSS 3. This technology combines DLSS Super Resolution, which is available for all Nvidia RTX graphics cards, with DLSS Frame Generation. On RTX 40-series GPUs like the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080, your GPU can generate a single frame every two frames with AI, dramatically improving performance. One frame is rendered by your graphics card, one by the AI, and they come and go.
And indeed, DLSS 3 massively improves performance, especially with the heavy CPU bottleneck in Miles Morales. The trade-off is image quality with Frame Generation, which is particularly unpleasant in the fast-paced action that accompanies any version of Spider-Man. The Super Resolution part still works and looks fantastic.
You can see video of a few gameplay segments in the video above with DLSS frame generation enabled. You can mix and match Frame Generation with DLSS Super Resolution, XeSS, or FSR, but I kept scaling off to get a clear view of what Frame Generation was doing. I captured this footage at 120 frames per second (fps) in 4K with just DLSS frame generation enabled and slowed it down by 50% (YouTube only supports up to 4K at 60 fps). Keep encoding artifacts and YouTube compression in mind when watching the video. There are definitely issues, but the video doesn’t show the full quality of playing a game on an actual screen.
The combat sections see the biggest problems, especially with the snowy Manhattan cityscape that Miles Morales is installed. The snow is a pain point in itself, as you can see in the two screenshots below. In the rendered image, the snow appears perfectly, but it disappears in the AI image.
It is a constant trend. Particles like snow disappear with AI frames, which manifests as a slight flicker with Frame Generation enabled. It’s never an issue in slow sections and much less noticeable when swinging around town. But Miles Morales is a game where you are constantly on the move, defeating bad guys and flying through dense city streets. Having the image crash when there is a fast moving object isn’t ideal for a game like this.
To illustrate how much of a difference there can be, you can see the AI frame stacked on top of a native rendered frame below. One was captured with Frame Generation enabled and the other disabled, so they are not sequential frames.
And just to show that it’s not an encoding issue, here’s the image right after for both scenes. The striped lines disappear, and as you move to the next frame in the scene, they return.
The problem also extends beyond fast-paced combat and flashy finishing moves. DLSS Frame Generation does not take into account elements of your screen such as the HUD. With scaling, these elements are ignored or hidden because they don’t ask to appear on screen, and the reduction in quality is very noticeable. DLSS Frame Generation tries to create a new frame, HUD and all, leading to unfortunate situations where the HUD smears across the screen as you can see in the screenshots below.
Although DLSS Frame Generation does not Miles Morales unplayable, choppy quality becomes noticeable once something on the screen starts moving rapidly. The good news is that DLSS Super Resolution, FSR, and XeSS all offer solid performance improvements with upscaling, so I’d recommend sticking with those.
Much more work to do
Just like with Marvel’s Spiderman when it was ported to PC earlier this year, Miles Morales is a litmus test for DLSS frame generation. It’s fast, and any image reconstruction technique – be it scaling, image generation or something else – is pushed to the limit when a lot is going on. quickly on the screen.
However, this is not unusual behavior for DLSS frame generation. As you can read in my RTX 4090 review, these artifacts appear while cruising around Night City in Cyberpunk 2077 and even do something as mundane as running in the grass A plague tale requiem. They are not as severe or frequent, but they are present.
Frame generation is not going anywhere. AMD has already revealed that its upcoming FSR 3 will include framing functionality, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Intel look into framing as well with its XeSS scaling. There are, however, some growing pains with the technology at the moment.
Over time, I have no doubt that Nvidia will continue to improve image quality for DLSS frame generation. That’s what happened with DLSS itself a few years ago, with the first version showing some nasty visual artifacts.
My main concern is DLSS 3 on graphics cards further down Nvidia’s product stack. We currently have the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080, but less powerful cards like the rumored RTX 4060 and RTX 4050 could magnify image quality issues with DLSS Frame Generation. Every second frame is from the AI, so issues will become more noticeable at lower frame rates.
Although DLSS Frame Generation is disappointing in Spider-Man Miles Morales, the PC port is anything but. On several test machines, I had rock-solid performance, and the graphics menu is dense with settings to optimize your frame rate. It’s definitely the one to remember if you missed the original version on PlayStation 5 – I’ll just stick to upscaling via DLSS Frame Generation.
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