Darren Comments

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  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC patch released, pulled

  • Darren 04/09/2015

    The game now runs much, much better with only a little stuttering every now and then (almost unnoticeable). I can get 50-60 FPS on High Settings at 2560x1600 @ 1920x1200 (DSR) and all the GameWorks features enabled. I have a GTX 980 Ti, i7-4770K, 16 GB, Windows 10 Pro PC. VRAM usage is around 4.3-4.6 GB.

    Anti-aliasing is still extremely poor, thanks to it only having FXAA, but maybe they'll patch in SMAA, MSAA and TXAA later. The last two Batman Arkham games had those and ran on DX11 so I fail to see why they cannot be included here.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 03/09/2015

    Seriously if I had not gotten this game free with my GTX 980 Ti card then I'd be extremely angry right now at having to wait over two months for this game to be fixed. Fortunately, I have the game on PS4 so I am less bothered by it but really the game should never have been released in that state in the first place.

    We PC gamers get annoyed when games are delayed months after the console versions but at the end of the day we get more annoyed when they are pushed out in this state. GTA V was a great game at launch and benefitted tremendously from being delayed even though it was frustrating.

    I would rather have a game late than broken. Publishers (Ubisoft, Warner Bros., EA, etc) take note!
    Reply +5
  • Face-Off: Dishonored: The Definitive Edition

  • Darren 03/09/2015

    A game game, definitely, but a disappointing and lazy no-frills port otherwise with no effort made to achieve 60 fps. That it runs at 30 fps and still has tearing is deeply underwhelming. Same as the lacklustre Gears of War "remaster" on Xbox One...

    Yes, it is sensibly priced and cheap and, no, no-one is forcing me to buy it but calling it the Definitive Edition just outright cheeky IMO as that version already exists on PC and came out years ago.
    Reply +1
  • Big PlayStation 4 update increases cloud storage to 10GB

  • Darren 02/09/2015

    The increased cloud storage space is something I have been waiting a long time for as I used the measly 1 GB currently on offer within three months of buying my PS4. since then I've had to endure notifications about lack of space for current save games everytime I turned my PS4 on and have had to manually backup my saves to a 32 GB memory stick instead. Reply +2
  • Mad Max review

  • Darren 01/09/2015

    My only minor complaint about this game is that Max himself feels a bit sluggish/laggy to control but that might be because I have come from playing MGSV: The Phantom Pain for the last 20 hours (that game has really tight, precise controls IMO). It made just walking through a door or standing in front of a ladder to climb it a bit problematic but it is something I have adjusted to. I accept that I may be alone in thinking that though. Reply +3
  • Darren 01/09/2015

    Currently playing the PC version which, as expected coming from the developers of Just Cause 2, is a very well optimised and graphically stunning game from the makes of Just Cause 2. This is no PC Batman: Arkham Knight fiasco, thank goodness, even though it comes from the same publisher: Warner Bros.

    I have a GTX 980 Ti, 16 GB, i7-4770K PC and I can pretty much run this game Maxed (haha!) out at 50+ fps at 4K, which is amazing considering how good the game looks. Drop down to 2880x1800 and it holds 60 fps 99.99% of the time, only juddering/hitching when the game auto-saves (mildly annoying but not game breaking).

    Really enjoying the mix of Batman: Arkham style melee and vehicle combat plus the exploration. Avalanche have done a stellar job of making the desert location look distinctive and varied plus this game has the best skyboxes and explosions I have seen in a game to date.

    If Just Cause 3 is running on this engine then we are in a for a real treat.
    Reply +33
  • Face-Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

  • Darren 01/09/2015

    I have been playing this epic game on PS4 for around 18-20 hours now since I got it on Saturday and feel I have only just scratched the surface of this deep and immersive stealth/combat experience having just finished mission six.

    Definitely a contender for my Game of the Year if it keeps up at this rate.

    Graphically, the game is stunning considering it's an open world experience (in Free Roam anyway) running at 1080p and 60 fps. Few games aim for that and fewer still achieve it. While there is some noticeable level of detail transitions on mountains/hills and visible draw in of shadows, the overall technical prowess on display is impressive. Its aesthetic and art style is also astounding IMO. The game is also incredibly polished and I have yet to come across anything that I would consider a bug other than some minor texture/shadow flickering here and there.

    Highly recommended.
    Reply +11
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Metal Gear Solid 5

  • Darren 28/08/2015

    Maybe the texture streaming glitch and 30 fps double-buffer issues on PS4 are fixed in the v1.01 patch? Otherwise I see no reason why the PS4 can not do triple buffering like the Xbox One. I hope this isn't another Witcher 3 situation of a developer using double-buffering on PS4 and triple-buffering on XBO. That said, if it is limited to cutscenes then I can live with it.

    Hoping to get my PS4 copy today. :D
    Reply +3
  • Until Dawn review

  • Darren 27/08/2015

    I thought this game looked really intriguing for several reasons. 1, I am a big fan of horror movies; 2, I thought it looked stunning graphically; and, 3, it stars the gorgeous Hayden Panettiere (of Heroes fame).

    The only things putting me off it was that it was (a) previously a PS3 Move game; and (b) the early reports of it being an "interactive movie", which usually means quick-time events and minimal gameplay with a linear story and no reason to replay it once completed. It had all the hallmarks of being another graphically stunning but disappointing PS4 exclusive to join The Order 1886, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Driveclub.

    However, I have watched GiantBomb's Quick Look video and read several reviews and it seems to be getting very positive feedback, particularly in regards to it being intriguing and better than expected. The Butterfly Effect mechanic is what makes this game really interesting IMO and means plenty of reasons to replay it. Could it really be as good as the reviews are saying? Well I am willing to find out for myself as this EG review has pretty much sold the game to me. Was not expecting it to get a recommendation. Insta-ordered. :D
    Reply +4
  • Digital Foundry vs Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

  • Darren 27/08/2015

    I know they are non-interactive but I was disappointed to read that those magnificent looking cutscenes that I'd been seeing in trailers from the Ultimate Edition are, in fact, pre-rendered FMV. There is something undeniably impressive, for me anyway, about knowing that your console (or PC) is running those near photo-realistic cutscenes in real-time. In that sense, the Xbox 360 versions come across as more technically impressive here because it *is* running almost all of the cutscenes in real-time (and they still look very good). :(

    Makes the forthcoming PC version a lot less interesting too actually, since the original game on that platform already uses DirectX 10, runs at 60 fps and has terrific-looking real-time cutscenes plus all the missing levels/chapters that have been added back here for the Xbox One version. Would have been interesting to have had a PC DX10 vs. Xbox One comparation video at 1080p. Definitely more interested in the PC remake though as I have Windows 10 so the fact it uses DirectX 12 is appealing. Whether I buy it or not though remains to be seen (if I can find a sub-20 download key then I'd be tempted for sure).

    Finally, the campaign not running at 60 fps on Xbox One and with screen tearing (yuck!) is a bit of a surprise when games like The Last of Us and the Nathan Drake Uncharted Collection are targeting 60 fps on PS4 (and, possibly, even real-time cutscenes) and no tearing.

    Still a great game (I still play the PC version from time to time even with the awful Games for Windows LIVE integration) and the Ultimate Edition looks to be the definitive and more complete edition on the Xbox platform but possibly not on PC. We'll see.
    Reply +4
  • Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection is more than just a remaster

  • Darren 22/08/2015

    The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4 certainly look superb and I am very much looking forward to revisiting the first game without the annoying screen tearing of the PS3 original. Blueprint were clearly an excellent choice for handling this classic trilogy IMO.

    As for the lack of motion-blur, it may have been left out for performance reasons to maintain a more consistent 60 FPS or it may simply not have been added yet and will appear in the final game? Whatever, I would hope that there is a 30 FPS mode with the original per-object motion-blur intact for the purists. There would be no reason not to really.
    Reply +6
  • Face-Off: Zombi

  • Darren 20/08/2015

    @UkHardcore23 - At a guess, not for basic ports of old games like this one but rather their console exclusives, which are usually far better optimised and more indicative of what the hardware is capable of? ;) Reply +1
  • Digital Foundry vs Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

  • Darren 19/08/2015

    @Old_Books - Absolutely agree with you there.

    I absolutely loved The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on PC. It was enjoyable to explore and engaging for as long as it lasted. It was even enjoyable to explore.

    The speed in Everyone's Gone to the Rapture is just too slow, even with the run button, and it does suck a lot of the enjoyment out of exploring, making it feel more of a chore than in other games where you just walk around and soak in the atmosphere and story. A shame really as the game does look mostly very good, though not quite photo-realistic IMO due to the lack of tessellation and occasional poor quality texture.

    Definitely needs a 30 fps cap as well as an option.
    Reply +8
  • Zombi review

  • Darren 19/08/2015

    Graphically the game looks a bit dated but that did not stop me enjoying the Wii U version immensely. I picked it up on PC, a bit of a no-brainer really at the 15 price point, for the improved framerate and resolution. Runs extremely well as you would expect on decent hardware (even manages 60 fps at 4K on my system) and loading times are mercifully brief. I was surprised at its 21 GB download size though.

    My only complaint is the loss of the mucky lens effect that is seen during the intro FMV cutscene (since they did not bother to redo those from the Wii U even to the point of being badly compressed and suffering from visible artifacts) but disappears once in the game and taking control of your character. Normally, I would complain about such effects as they do not mimic what the human eye sees (this is a first person game after all) but it adds a dank, grimy, dirty atmosphere to the game that effectively conveys a post-apocalyptic feel and also helps mask the low-fidelity visuals. It should at least be added back as a toggle option IMO.

    Also, the lack of a shadow cast by the character is an odd omission as it makes me feel disconnected from the world. In a game like this, where atmosphere is king, having the odd tense moment or scare because you saw your own shadow and thought it was a zombie's would add so much to it in my view (Alien Isolation also missed this trick).

    I have not missed the Gamepad screen at all in this game. The in-game overlaid inventory works perfectly fine and actually allows you to see a little around your character while sorting through it. On the Wii U, you had to look up at the TV screen, which added to the tension but could get annoying. Even the scanner works better in this game; holding the Gamepad up to scan was certainly novel and fun the first few times but the appeal quickly wore off. I have found myself using the scanner far more in this game because it is so easy to access.

    Glad this game got released on other platforms too. That means that if it sells well then there is far more chance of a sequel than on the Wii U. And if more people get to experience it then all the better, right?
    Reply +7
  • How to unlock 'very high' quality in Windows 10's Xbox One streaming app

  • Darren 13/08/2015

    Great tip. Worked perfectly for me and I was able to stream Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise (from the Rare Replay collection) with much better image quality than before.

    Weird that Microsoft would leave the option hidden though but then my experience of Windows 10 Pro so far is that it is a solid and very stable operating system but one that has lots of bugs and glitches, most minor but some annoying (the over-simplicity of the apps and their lack of options for example...I am still unable to delete a reminder I made with Cortana two week previously from the Calendar app because there are no reminders according to Cortana and, of course, including a Delete Reminder option in the Calendar app is apparently beyond Microsoft!!!).
    Reply +1
  • One and three month PlayStation Plus subscriptions set for price hike

  • Darren 11/08/2015

    Quote: "While PlayStation Plus offers great value when you consider the number of games Sony gives to subscribers, the PlayStation Network continues to suffer criticism for poor stability, slow download speeds and its paltry 1GB limit for cloud storage."

    I completely agree with this.

    I lost the ability to upload save games to the cloud about 9 months into owning a PS4 and instead do manual backups to a USB memory stick. Some save games are 100+ MB in size such as those for DriveClub and WWE 2K15 meaning that you either have to be selective about what you backup via the Cloud (which kind of defeats its purpose in the first place) or do what I do and do manual backups. IMO, the cloud service storage space needs increasing to 5 GB at least. The measly 1 GB Sony offer is insufficient except for the most casual of gamers in my view.

    Also, the download speed is atrocious at times and it is not uncommon for me to see multi-GB patches listed as taking 5+ hours to download, which means more often than not I have to wait until the next day to play the latest version of a game. I have no problems downloading stuff quickly on my PC and Xbox One though.

    I have also noticed a bug with the Store not loading if you shut the PS4 into standby mode with a game running. These kinds of things really should have been fixed by now.
    Reply +9
  • GTA5 modders who made their own multiplayer banned by Rockstar

  • Darren 10/08/2015

    Seems a bit unfair really but perhaps the modders should have checked with Rockstar first that it would be OK before making it, especially with it being multiplayer and that element of the game being subject to bans if modded? It's courtesy if not common sense. Reply +16
  • Rare Replay review

  • Darren 04/08/2015

    Got my copy this morning (only cost me 14.41! :D ) and have been playing through some of the older "classics", mostly because those don't require a 500+ MB update to play them!!!

    Anyway, I think the collection is superbly presented and the games play faithful to the originals (the CRT filter is also a nice touch but the curved screen edges are overdone IMO...can we have an option to turn those off? but I would have liked an option to fix the sprite flicker and slowdown (very jarring in Knightlore when moving from an empty room to one with enemies moving about in) even if the purists would argue otherwise.

    Terrific value though even if it not quite the perfect Rare collection (it is missing Goldeneye 007 and all the Rare Donkey Kong games for example due to licensing plus, one of my underrated favourites from the GameCube, Star Fox Adventures, due to the character being owned by Nintendo).

    P.S. Collection is missing the original manuals from the menus and there is no control customisation either, which seem odd oversights IMO.
    Reply +2
  • Should you install The Witcher 3 patch 1.07?

  • Darren 19/07/2015

    @Ramesses_ - I am in the UK and I got the patch late on Friday night but it took so long to download that I only got to play it early Saturday morning. I am sure I am not the only person in the UK to have gotten the v1.07 patch. :confused: Reply 0
  • Darren 18/07/2015

    Eurgh, great feature additions in this patch in the form of the Stash, separate Book inventory slot and the alternate Geralt movement but the performance is a real disappointment on PS4...still! :(

    Just add triple buffering to the game and be done with, CD Projekt Red. It might impact the controller response slightly but at least those off-putting 20 fps dips will be significantly reduced.

    I really cannot believe that they removed it from the Xbox One version as well so that it too runs worst with double buffering! Seriously, what were they thinking...? :eek:
    Reply 0
  • Batman: Arkham Knight's first major DLC falls short

  • Darren 15/07/2015

    @GamesConnoisseur - I do not understand why anyone would buy a season pass before ALL the content for the game is out or they know what it is they are getting for their money. Well I do, I suppose, if you want more content for a game you have or are enjoying playing.

    However, in most cases, I would say that it is better to wait until all the promised content is out then decide whether to buy the season pass or not. In some cases, said passes will have been discounted, for example, in a Steam sale making it better value. That is if you can wait. 32.99 is a lot of money after all...almost as much as I paid for the PS4 game!
    Reply +4
  • The latest Witcher 3 patch is... 1.07

  • Darren 10/07/2015

    @Aussie_JR - At this point, I don't think the 20 fps framerate issue will ever be fully fixed on the PS4 otherwise they would have done so by now.

    What is odd is that the Xbox One version, with its reliance on a small 32 MB frame buffer, should use triple buffering whereas the PS4 version, which runs on a system with less memory restrictions, does not. That is what baffles me. :confused:
    Reply +2
  • Darren 06/07/2015

    So they've fixed those framerate drops to 20 fps on the PS4 then...?

    Didn't think so... :(

    Otherwise a very, very good patch with some extremely welcome improvements.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 25/06/2015

    Disappointing to see that there is no mention in those v1.05 patch notes of the PS4 versions's double-buffering issue being fixed (which is the reason for those annoying dips from 30 to 20 fps during cutscenes and gameplay). My understanding is that the Xbox One version does not have this issue so why does the PS4 version? :confused:

    Bloodborne's framepacing issues were never addressed either and that was an issue that I thought would have been relatively easy to fix, seeing as Bungie and Blizzard managed it for Destiny and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls respectively.
    Reply +2
  • Darren 08/06/2015

    @snafu65 - It's under Options > Video > HUD Scaling from memory, something like that. You can toggle between Small and Large. Reply +1
  • Darren 08/06/2015

    @Jimbo101 - The text size in the PS4 version is noticeably larger IMO and makes everything much easier/more comfortable to read even on my 32" Sony TV. You can see the difference by toggling the setting in the Options menu. Reply +1
  • New PS4 hardware is more efficient with less fan noise

  • Darren 07/07/2015

    @adampoole - I have not really noticed much noise from my launch day PS4 either while playing games. The only time is does make any obvious noise, other than the beep when turning it on, is during the initial install of a game from disc, which can be very loud (but, oddly, not always...), then it is pretty much silent as far as I am concerned for general usage, including games.

    Mine is stood vertically on the official stand, if that makes any difference (vibration-wise).
    Reply 0
  • Vanishing of Ethan Carter PS4 release date

  • Darren 06/07/2015

    @patricksayet - Unfortunately, I have never played Shadow of Memories so I cannot comment on how it compares with this game.

    The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a game which requires you to walk (or run if you want to) around and find clues which you then have to put into order of occurrence so you can find out what happened and advance the story. Every now and again there is some narration. It is a very relaxing game to play and it is at least more interactive than either Dear Esther or Gone Home.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 06/07/2015

    @mkreku - No, Daylight has that honour except that game is complete rubbish (IMO). Reply +1
  • Darren 06/07/2015

    I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful looking game on PC and actually spent over 11 hours playing it in total. I did spend a lot of time looking around though and at first I was utterly confused by the checkpoint system which only saves the games after you complete a puzzle. As such I spent a lot of time exploring (about 2-3 hours), even coming across parts of the puzzles, only to discover that my progress had not been saved. That really is the only flaw with the PC version IMO and some stuttering (a common issue with Unreal Engine 3 games that try and do open worlds via streaming).

    I found this game utterly engrossing; it was memorable and the ending was really moving. I would highly recommend this if you like games like Gone Home and Dear Esther, which this game resembles. And did I say that it looks visually gorgeous?
    Reply +7
  • Bloodborne 1.05 patch matches player levels when using passwords

  • Darren 06/07/2015

    I wish they would fix the horrid frame pacing issues because that is by far the biggest issue I have with the game. You would think that it would be easy to fix as both Blizzard and Bungie fixed the same issue in both their games on consoles.

    Tut, those Japanese developers, eh? ;)
    Reply -14
  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC fixes are "significant" and "will take some time"

  • Darren 29/06/2015

    @StooMonster - I read an interview with the developers of the gorgeous The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (which is being ported to PS4 using Unreal Engine 4), which uses Unreal Engine 3 currently on PC and unfortunately hitches badly, that the console version of the engine supports asynchronous streaming whereas the PC version doesn't.

    What that means, if I understand correctly, is that the consoles can both read and write at the same time to the hard drive without it affecting the running of the engine (so they can auto-save the game whilst streaming in texture data) whereas that is not possible on PC.

    Apparently, Unreal Engine 4 is supposed to improve things somewhat but not completely get rid of it. I can confirm this as Khorat and the awful Daylight, which use UE4, both stutter on my PC.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 29/06/2015

    One thing that astounds me having played games on both PC and consoles over the years is how Unreal Engine 3 games like Batman Arkham Knight can run 99.9999% smoothly oon PS4 using a 5,400rpm laptop hard drive without the kind of hitching/stuttering I see in the PC version running on a much faster 7,200rpm hard drive with a much larger buffer (64 MB vs. 8 MB).

    This is a decade-old engine that you would think would be running flawlessly on most modern PCs but, nope, everytime the PC version auto-saves on my system, the engine hitches slightly (which does not happen in the PS4 version). There is the odd stutter in the PS4 version but the issue is so rare as to be insignificant.

    Maybe the PS4's unified memory benefits the game here as on the PC the game is using both fast graphics memory and much slower system memory?
    Reply +5
  • Darren 29/06/2015

    The surprisingly small (67 MB) patch released over the weekend at least brought the PC version in line with the excellent PS4 version graphically by adding the trickling rain effect and ambient occlusion to the game. The game now looks terrific IMO.

    Thankfully, I am one of the lucky few who can play this game mostly without issue and certainly without any crashes (clocked up almost 15 hours so far) because of the system I am running (i7-4770K, 16 GB, 6 GB GTX 980 Ti, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit). I also got it free with my new graphics card, which makes the wonky state of the port a bit easier to endure (but does not excuse it, let's be clear on that)!

    There is still some stuttering, mostly while driving at speed or using the grappling hook to traverse large distances (clearly this is a streaming issue) but it's about 97% smooth. I found that using an uncapped framerate broke the texture streaming so I am playing it at 30 fps but at a higher resolution of 2880x1600 (using DSR so it is downsampled to 1920x1200). I was also able to play it at 4K (3840x2400) as well and still maintain mostly 30 fps but the game has a memory leak in my experience so I dropped the resolution a little to keep my VRAM usage below 6 GB (yes, this game uses all 6 GB of the GTX 980 Ti's memory even at 1920x1200!!!).
    Reply +4
  • Face-Off: Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

  • Darren 29/06/2015

    @Antropie - Even 2xMSAA would have improved the image quality noticeably at 1080p. There really is no excuse for any current gen game lacking anti-aliasing IMO, certainly not an old one like this game. Reply +9
  • Darren 29/06/2015

    I cannot believe that this seven year game is not running at 1920x1080 and a flawless 60 fps on both the PS4 and Xbox One and with 2xMSAA or FXAA at the very least! :eek: Reply +8
  • Batman: Arkham Knight's leaderboards aren't working on PS4

  • Darren 26/06/2015

    Well at least the leaderboards are the one thing that DO work on the PC version! :P Reply +5
  • Warner suspends Batman: Arkham Knight PC sales

  • Darren 26/06/2015

    @icantremember - I read that the PC version was only started work on five months ago and by a small team at Iron Galaxy. That kind of makes sense given that it was outsourced to a third-party; at that point the PS4 and Xbox One versions would be near completed by Rocksteady.

    If that is true then the fault really lies with the publisher, Warner Bros., for not not treating all platforms equally and basically not giving Iron Galaxy enough time to do the work. It sounds like it would have been better all round if the PC version had been delayed; after all its not like we're not used to them. GTA V was definitely a better game on PC because of the delay.
    Reply +2
  • Darren 25/06/2015

    Quote: "We are working with WB Games and the development teams to address the performance issues of the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight," a spokesperson told us. "We have made our QA and engineering resources available and will provide updates when they are available."

    What baffles me is that this game is endorsed by NVIDIA as part of their "The Way It's Meant to Be Played" programme so why did they not do extensive quality assurance ahead of launch to ensure the game deserved their endorsement? :confused:

    It's like Batman: Arkham City on PC all over again. That was also an NVIDIA endorsed game that shipped with a completely broken DirectX 11 mode; the irony being that in order to use all the wonderful effects that NVIDIA added as part of their endorsement you had to be using DirectX 11! And it didn't bloody well work for weeks until they eventually (mostly) fixed it!!! :lol:

    Sometimes I think NVIDIA only endorse games so they can boast a checklist of features to sell their graphics cards and that they are less concerned with the quality of the game's themselves...or their drivers for that matter, which of late have been a bit hit and miss for many (the dreaded TDR issue for example which has yet to be addressed).
    Reply +2
  • It gets worse - Batman: Arkham Knight on PC lacks console visual features

  • Darren 25/06/2015

    @Riggerto - That is not true apparently.

    Someone got the Afterburner OSD to display with all the GameWorks effects by forcing PhysX to use GPU rather than Auto and it showed it was using DX11.

    The game has now been removed from Steam it seems...
    Reply +1
  • Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4 is a technical tour de force

  • Darren 24/06/2015

    @jabberwocky - Patches normally download very quickly for me on my PS4, although they seem to start off very slow for some reason (almost as if it using peer-2-peer!). However, last patch took a ludicrously long time and coupled with the ridiculous install issue I had meant I could not play the game at all until this morning.

    I was clearly very unlucky because I do not normally experience these kinds of issues on my PS4 and installs are generally completely transparent.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 24/06/2015

    I only got to play the PS4 version briefly this morning even though I got the game last tonight. The problem was that the v1.02 update for the game, weighing in at 3.6 GB took a staggering 6+ hours to download on my PS4 (in the end I left it downloading overnight) but as a comparison I downloaded the free PC version at 33.7 GB in just over 7 hours. PSN issues perhaps?

    Not only that but when I tried to play the unpatched version on starting a New Game I was told that the install would take what I thought would be 8 minutes 59 seconds. In actual fact this turned out to be 8 *hours* and 59 *minutes* and it got down to 6 hours plus change by the time I went to bed at midnight. It was still shwoing as 5 hours to install this morning too until I closed the game, ejected then reinserted the disc.

    Guess I was just very unlucky. :confused:

    The PC version in comparison might be a bit of a disappointment - the capped 30 FPS framerate and the lack of Graphics options being two immediately obvious annoyances - but I found that the game works absolutely fine as long as I don't tamper with the config files. I am playing it maxed out at 3840x2400 (using DSR to downsample to 1920x1200) with all GameWorks features on and I am getting a solid 30 FPS for 99.8% of the time. It is surprisingly playable, comparable in feel to the PS4 version as I using an Xbox One controller, but with much improved image quality due to the higher resolution. The only issue I have with the PC version is the stuttering, which is particularly bad when driving at speed in the Batmobile but it is certainly not unplayable. This is a cvommon issue with PC Unreal Engine 3 games that use streaming (the UE3-based and gorgeous-looking The Vanishing of Ethan Carter also has this issue).I have an i7-4770K, 16 GB, 6 GB EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC and Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit by the way. The game has been completely stable for the 3-4 hours I have played it so far.

    The only real problem I had with the game was when I uncapped the framerate (chnaged the MaxFPS=30 variable to MaxFPS=120) as I then saw lots of low-res textures (literally N64 quality), some of which took 5+ seconds to fully load and others which did not load at all! My guess is that the engine is not optimised to stream the textures well above 30 FPS even on PC (though the uncapped benchmark seems to work OK...got an ave. FPS of 76 fps in that by the way). The higher framerate obviously feels better but driving at speed still causes stuttering as does audo-saving. The texture streaming issue is ultimately what made me revert back to a 30 fps cap though.

    Fantastic game in spite of the issues I've had. Definitely feels like an evolution of what we've had before with a more believable and varied world. Visually the game looks stunning and makes superb use of the aging UE3. Clearly dropping the Xbox 360 and PS3 has benefited this game.
    Reply +7
  • Rocksteady and "external PC development partner" investigating Batman: Arkham Knight performance issues

  • Darren 23/06/2015

    I got my copy of the game free with a new NVIDIA graphics card so I am less bothered by the issues and not at all surprised, given Rocksteady's last PC game, Batman Arkham City, which shipped with a broken DirectX 11 mode that tooks weeks to fix.

    Arkham Knights at least functions on my PC and, to be honest, technical issues aside seems like a really great game with stunning presentation and visuals. Disappointingly the number of graphics options are scaled back from the last Arkham Origins game so no MSAA or TXAA anti-aliasing options, no tessellation adjustments and no anisotropic filtering for that matter either. Even the Textures setting only has options for Normal and Low settings (though on my GTX 980 Ti the game uses between 5.6 and 5.9 GB of VRAM on Normal!!!). Worst of all though is that the PC version is capped by default to 30 FPS, which is surprisingly seeing how the previous games weren't. It is not a smooth 30 fps either (framepacing issues?) and uncapping the framerate in the INI files results it what appears to be texture streaming issues and bad hitching on my system while driving at speed in the Batmobile. It's like the engine is not optimised to run above 30 fps... :confused:

    The game is certainly playable but I have a feeling that I will enjoy and play the game more on my PS4, at least until the PC version has been patched a few times! Oh and unlike people who got the game free with NVIDIA graphics cards, you get the Harley Quinn DLC with the PS4 version too...

    Seems like a great game from what I've seen of it but my recommendation would be to hold off buying it for PC at the moment. Get it for consoles instead.
    Reply +3
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited review

  • Darren 22/06/2015

    "Competent but boring" is how I would best describe The Elder Scrolls Online. "Disappointing" is another. It's perhaps better value now they've dropped the monthly subscription fee but that doesn't make the gameplay any better unfortunately. Reply +2
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Batman Arkham Knight

  • Darren 20/06/2015

    Got a copy of the PC version free with my new EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC graphics card a few weeks back (well, if you can call it "free" when the card cost 560!).

    Anyway, I hope it runs well on PC; I still remember the fiasco of Rocksteady's last game on PC, Batman Arkham City, which shipped with an essentially broken DX11 mode that took weeks (could have been months?) to fix. I had to play it in DX9 mode just to get half-way decent performance on an NVIDIA graphics card and it was one of their "The Way Its Meant to be Played" endorsed titles as well! Embarrassing all round really. :redface:

    Fingers crossed this one is as polished as the PS4 version seems to be...
    Reply 0
  • Digital Foundry vs Xbox One backwards compatibility

  • Darren 20/06/2015

    Looking forward to hopefully having my XBLA games collection again playable on Xbox One, in particular Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. Currently the emulator sounds like it is more suited to running less demanding XBLA titles than the more intensive disc games. Not so bothered about emulating the disc games, except for perhaps Red Dead Redemption, and I sold them all along with my Xbox 360 some 3.5 years ago anyway. Reply +3
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with the Gears of War Ultimate Beta

  • Darren 17/06/2015

    I still have the DX10 version of PC Gears of War which has always ran extremely well maxed out at 60 fps and with excellent anti-aliasing too (something of a rarity for older Unreal Engine 3 games in my opinion). Not really sure what the PC remaster will add except for not requiring Games for Windows LIVE as it already looked and ran fine. Would perhaps have been a more interesting proposition for PC owners if it had been upgraded to Unreal Engine 4 (for improved lighting and texture streaming) and used DX12. Shame also that it is not a complete collection that includes all of the Xbox 360 sequels too.

    Good to see Microsoft finally committing to supporting the PC with games though after years of basically ignoring it except to sell Windows on. This, the free Windows 10 upgrade and the promise of DX12 all make the PC potentially the most exciting platform for game visuals IMO.
    Reply +9
  • Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain are heading to PS4

  • Darren 16/06/2015

    Much as I love my PS4 for gaming, the number of remasters coming out/being announced is getting ridiculous now. Not that it would be a problem if Sony were releasing lots of great new exclusives for the PS4 in 2015 as well but most of their stuff announced at E3 is for next year! Reply +1
  • The Elder Scrolls Online still feels limited in its opening hours

  • Darren 11/06/2015

    Ironically, I enjoyed this game on PC a lot more during the two beta phases and only played the game for a month after buying it before I got utterly bored of it. It's not an awful game, just an extremely mediocre and joyless one.

    I also was surprised at just how immersion-breaking it is to have dozens of other people all running around doing the exact same quests as me but that is really what killed the game for me. I know it is now free to play but every time I load it up I just end up wanting to play something else instead. And I do.

    I thought The Elder Scrolls universe would actually make for a great MMORPG and maybe it will one day in the hands of a creative development team but, sadly, this is not it.
    Reply +1
  • PlayStation Store reveals Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

  • Darren 04/06/2015

    Absolutely want! Will be awesome to play all three games at 60 fps and the first game without any screen tearing. :D Reply +4