Dead Space patch fixes annoying fuzzy textures one day after Digital Foundry callout

Dead Space cover
(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

The new Dead Space is a great remake of a survival horror classic. I have few complaints about my first 90 minutes of necromorph chopping on PC: It's grand, gorgeous, gorey, and maybe a little too easy on default difficulty. But up until yesterday's 1.03 patch, it also had one annoying graphical flaw—forced variable rate shading (VRS) that created fuzzy, flickering textures in the darker corners of the Ishimura.

Digital Foundry specifically called out Dead Space's problems with VRS in an in-depth technical analysis video. Just a day later, EA has already issued a patch allowing PC players to turn off VRS entirely and disabled it on consoles. In fact, the option now appears to be off by default on PC.

Honestly, I can barely spot the difference on my setup. The game definitely looks better with VRS off, but whether or not it's noticeably fuzzy at all on PC is mostly up to what other graphical tricks you have turned on. As pointed out by this helpful comparison video by YouTuber Sholva, the fuzzy VRS textures were at their most noticeable in combination with DLSS Performance mode.

That makes sense, considering you're stacking two different performance-optimizing technical solutions on top of each other. VRS was rendering some parts of the screen at lower fidelity, which DLSS Performance mode exacerbated when upscaling, creating some major pixelation on some edges. I have DLSS set to Quality and didn't notice nearly as much blurriness with VRS enabled, if any at all, but it did become more obvious with standard TAA antialiasing.

Suffice to say Dead Space is probably going to look very good at whatever configuration you're running at. VRS may boost your average fps by single digits, but you can comfortably keep it off for cleaner textures and de-fuzzed dark corners, especially if you're running DLSS at the same time. As for the PS5 version, which is primarily the version that Digital Foundry highlighted VRS issues with in its video, DF staff writer John Linneman reports it's much improved after patch 1.03. 

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.