We recently wrote about the developer Star Wars Jedi: Survivor admitted that the game is useless to many PC players, and also how the PC release is being affected in reviews and player feedback.
Now, it’s time to have some discussion about the state of PC gaming in 2023. Many of us thought we would see the end of poor quality games. Following on from the reviews so far. The Last of Us: Part 1Having launched last month with an array of issues affecting performance, I’ve come to the conclusion that it seems the developers don’t even really care about the quality of their PC ports, and only resort to Twitter statements. Take how they strive for better and better. Will be releasing patches in the coming weeks/months to improve the situation.
But why is that? Why are many major releases delayed from their original launch dates (The Last of Us: Part 1) with the promise of the game in its “best possible form”, only to be released with so many problems?
It also feels like a certain segment of the online community is actively normalizing these technically problematic releases, advocating for gamers to upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware, inspired by a fix. In order to take advantage of forced forcing through the game. It doesn’t help that plenty of gaming outlets headline articles about memory requirements, when the reality is that these are largely due to poor optimization at the game engine level.
Take the screenshot above for example. Cyberpunk 2077 Where the engine is well optimized for a wide range of PC configurations. On my RTX 4090 with a 12700KF CPU and 64GB of DDR4 RAM, I’m seeing less than 5GB of system RAM usage, less than 12GB of VRAM usage. Note that it is using ‘Ultra Path Tracing’ graphics with DLSS quality and frame generation and SSR set to the highest psycho option. The fact that such an open-ended game with a bustling city with thousands of NPCs is capable of such memory usage while still balancing a healthy workload across all CPU cores and making the GPU efficient Using the method proves that it is completely. A modern game engine is possible to run optimally across the board.
This is not to say. Cyberpunk 2077 A great standard for what modern games should be. It also started with a myriad of technical issues that took the better part of two years to iron out.
On one hand, I can see where the blame for bad PC ports lies, and it lies with us gamers. If we continue to buy and pre-order new games without sampling demos or being able to read reviews published by reputable outlets before launch, many developers will continue to launch poor ports for Patching takes months, regardless of what the negative publicity says.
On the other hand, if we don’t buy new PC titles because of the above, then developers may ditch PC as a launch platform because the sales aren’t there. This ends up being a catch 22 as it will not satisfy the shareholders interest in meeting the sales and release schedule.
I was in the fortunate position to have had three generations of high-end GPUs since then. Cyberpunk 2077 Launched in 2020. An RTX 2070 Super, RTX 3080 Ti, and now, the RTX 4090. I’ve seen how games like it Cyberpunk 2077 Launch into a bit of a mess. Only those with power can force their way to passable frame rates, that is, if the traversal and shader noise can be tolerated in most cases.
with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it’s clear that the gameplay, story, and combat mechanics are great, but the technical issues are just too annoying and unacceptable. You’d think that seeing the negative publicity these big games get would ensure that the games just released would have to go through rigorous testing for a polished and refined title, but here we are.
The main issue around Jedi: Survivor, is that the engine is simply not optimized for acceptable GPU and CPU usage. On my i7 12700KF and 4090, the first three hours of the game sat between a nominal 60-75 fps at 3440×1440 with or without ray tracing enabled. Enabling FSR does absolutely nothing to frame rates, yet results in degraded image quality in motion. Alex at Digital Foundry.
Then, after I got to Koboh, the framerate went up to an average of 90-120 fps, GPU utilization sat comfortably at 90-99% – my first thoughts were that the performance issues only happened in the first 3 hours of the game. will , but it was soon crushed. As soon as I got to the bottom town of Koboh, on the world’s most powerful gaming graphics card, things took a downward turn with GPU utilization never exceeding 65%, and framerates dropping to the 30s. Before I mention the traversal stuttering during gameplay and frametime spikes that occur just by moving the mouse around the settings menu.
Even more surprising is that in 2017, Jedi: Fallen Order was also released with performance issues. No lessons seem to have been learned.
EA’s statement about going through extensive testing to make sure there aren’t any negative issues with the patch is also laughable because it contradicts the situation they’re currently in with the game. If extensive testing is necessary, then why are we having this discussion with a game that is in no condition to launch in the first place?
It would be interesting to hear our readers’ thoughts on this. Holding developers accountable for these issues through online outcry doesn’t seem to be working, and time and time again we find ourselves sitting in the same seat talking about it. In the past 12 months there have been no fewer than six major titles that have come out with major performance issues at the launch of the PC version, with developers then promising to improve things with the Day 1 patch and beyond. are,
In the case of Cyberpunk 2077, CDPR got things right, but it took a few years to get there. Other games like unordered There are still bugs like the mouse camera panning judder, the same bug that plagued it. The Last of Us: Part 1 Recently, and the mischievous dog managed to recover within weeks after a massive public slaughter.
unorderedHowever, remains forgotten.
I think what would make a lot of us happy are game demos or early access via Steam or other storefronts. Heck, if EA wanted to get more people onto their EA Play/Origin platform, early access where gamers could collect issues long before launch would be hugely popular, and it’d make us feel like we’re all over the place. were part of this process. A demo (or early access) allows enough time to gauge how performance is, and, if released long enough before launch, enough time to apply pre-launch patches if bugs are reported. Gives time.
Demos mean extra work for developers, but they’re now doing extra work weeks/months/years after launching the game, so it’s definitely smarter to go the demo route.
Alternatively, they can also test games on the most popular hardware configurations in circulation. The Steam Hardware Survey is updated regularly and shows which PCs the majority of gamers are playing on. It’s an invaluable resource for developers, yet it feels like no one uses it except for gaming websites.
Also, not all review outlets can be trusted, so the demo/early access route is honestly the best move in my opinion.