Darren Comments

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  • The madness of Gran Turismo Sport

  • Darren 25/05/2016

    Quote: "The visuals lack polish, and are given to some noticeable stutters when the current cap of 20 cars are all jostling on track, and the sound, while an improvement upon what's gone before, still falls flat when compared to its peers."

    I noticed some screen tearing near the top of the screen during the gameplay videos too... not exactly "in yer face" so to speak and a big improvement on the tear-rific PS3 games but disappointing to see all the same (as are all the other issues mentioned) on a machine supposedly more powerful than the Xbox One, which runs Forza Motorsport 5 and 6 at a native 1080p with near-flawless 60 fps even in 24 cars races or wet weather, all with slick presentation and visuals. Oh and great sound!

    Gran Turismo on PlayStation has always been a bit of a diamond in the rough but 5 was a crushing disappointment (poor menus, hideously long loading times, ugly mix of PS2 and PS3 car models, pathetic A.I., screen tearing/slowdown, etc, etc) so much so that I skipped 6 completely. I will likely buy Sport though, depending on the reviews, but it really sounds like Polyphony Digital need to be paying more attention to the competition as their game is no longer the pinnacle of racing simulations in a world of Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally, Project CARS and, of course, Forza Motorsport.
    Reply +10
  • Face-Off: Doom

  • Darren 21/05/2016

    Great article as a always.

    I have been playing the game on PS4 and PC and while the latter definitely has the edge running at 2560x1440 on maxed out Ultra/Nightmare settings on a GTX 980 Ti, the loading times are horrendous. The PS4 version takes around a minute from clicking on the game icon to actually playing it. On my PC it is more like 2-3 minutes; a minute to load to the main menu and another two to start playing a saved game.

    Yes, I have the game installed on a hard drive rather than an SSD but it is a 2 TB 7,200rpm Western Digital Black performance drive with read speeds of 180 to 210 MB/sec. My PS4 has a 2 TB 5,400rpm laptop drive yet still loads faster! I suspect Digital Foundry only test their PC games on SSDs but the Steam forum has similar complaints from people with long loading times. Not sure why this is happening as my system is an i7-4770K with 16 GB of RAM running Windows 10 Pro v1511. Thankfully, subsequent loading times for new levels and reloading after dying are much quicker but, ouch, that initial load is painful...

    It is really the only flaw in an otherwise impressive looking, super addictive and entertaining single player game (sorry but the multiplayer is just hugely disappointing, generic and bland in comparison).

    P.S. There is a bug in the PC version which can cause the game to exit to the desktop without an error message or event log entry. I have had it happen twice in the 13 hours I've been playing it, usually after dying and attempting to reload the last checkpoint.
    Reply +6
  • Uncharted 4's wonderful accessibility options

  • Darren 20/05/2016

    The ability to hold down a button instead of tapping it in Uncharted 4 is a wonderful little touch IMO and makes for a more enjoyable experience. I've never really understood why developers think mad button bashing is fun in any modern game. It does not make it challenging, just plain annoying IMO. Reply +5
  • Performance Analysis: Homefront: The Revolution

  • Darren 19/05/2016

    @Esppiral - It's true that the PS4 and Xbox One are weaker than a mid to high-end gaming PC but that does not mean that they are not capable of producing fantastic games in the hands of capable developers. Heck, the criminally ignored Wii U has some brilliant games despite being no more capable than the last generation PS3 and Xbox 360.

    Uncharted 4 has already been mentioned but games like Forza Motorsports 6, Doom, inFamous Second Son and Ratchet & Clank are just a few of my favourite games this generation off the top of my head and all of them run great and look glorious visually.
    Reply +15
  • Darren 19/05/2016

    Sounds a bit of a mess on consoles such that I have ask if it was really ready for release? Certainly does not sound like it.

    If a game cannot hold 25-30 fps at all times then the developers should lower the resolution and/or the graphics settings. What is the point in playing a great looking game if it lurches along at a stuttering sub-25 fps for a large chunk of playtime. That just is not fun no matter how good the actual game is (not this game sounds particularly good from the reviews I've been reading).
    Reply +5
  • Finally, the Batman: Return to Arkham collection is official

  • Darren 18/05/2016

    Seems odd to omit Arkham Oranges from the collection. If nothing else it would add to the value in a game costing 40 and give PS4 and Xbox One owners the chance to play all the Batman games on the newest console hardware. Based on the trailer though the games look identical to how they looked on PC so the move to Unreal Engine 4 seems to add very little (I am sure Digital Foundry will correct me on that score), which might explain why there is no mention of a PC version. Reply 0
  • The new Doom campaign turns around Steam user reviews

  • Darren 18/05/2016

    I have been really enjoying this game's single player mode and have absolutely no intention of ever revisiting the multiplayer after trying out the mediocre beta. It is perhaps ironic that the planned DLC for this game sadly will not include any single player levels as, for me, that is where the game positively shines not its generic online mode. Reply 0
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 review

  • Darren 17/05/2016

    Will definitely be picking one of these up at the end of the month. Looks like a great card offering a more guaranteed 60 fps at my preferred maxed out settings at 2560x1440.

    Anyone interested in buying my GTX 980 Ti? ;)
    Reply 0
  • Uncharted 4 UK sales up 66% on Uncharted 3

  • Darren 16/05/2016

    Uncharted 4 is, for me, one of the most polished and entertaining games I've ever had the pleasure of playing and stands above just about everything else released this generation IMO.

    I am playing the game in bite-sized chunks of 1 or 2 chapters per day (typically 90-120 minutes) on Hard difficulty so as not to finish the game too quickly. So far I am just over half way through it after 12 hours of playtime (which does not include multiplayer). Absolutely love it. It deserves to do well.
    Reply +12
  • Mario 64's hidden RNG decoded

  • Darren 16/05/2016

    @JamesSwiftDay - It would have benefitted this article significantly IMO if the article actually mentioned that RNG stood for Random Number Generator instead of assuming that everyone would know! Reply +37
  • Combat fatigues: How Uncharted is a walking simulator in action game's clothing

  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @Agarwel_Idiriz - 10-16 hours of non-stop shooting would be just dull though IMO; it's the reason I don't play Call of Duty any more! ;) Reply +5
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @ChockysChild - I don't think it is meant to be taken seriously. After all, if Uncharted is a walking simulator than so is every other game that mixes story-telling with interactive combat and exploration: Quantum Break, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Tomb Raider, those are all games where you walk slowly or drive quickly from A to B shooting things between non-interactive cutscenes that tell a story.

    The only difference between those and Uncharted is that the writing and characters are nowhere near as good or memorable.
    Reply +10
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    I have played many of these so called "walking simulators" such as Gone Home, Dear Ester, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Amnesia, Outlast, etc, and enjoyed them all but I have never once considered the Uncharted games to be part of that genre. They are far too interactive to be called that IMO.

    The banter that goes on between Nathan and his side-kick while exploring (a.k.a "walking" around) is usually what makes this game stand out from other games which typically have you roaming around in silence, even with a partner, and reading notes and/or listening to audio tapes which tell the plot. It helps make the journey much more entertaining and natural. Quantum Break for example is a perfect example of how not to tell a game's story IMO as much of it requires you to stand and read tons of text, which is just not fun at all or particularly interesting.

    As a lover of narrative driven games, I am finding the pacing to be absolutely perfect in Uncharted 4 so far and after four games I feel the characters come across as real people as opposed to the personality-free avatars that populate most games not by Naughty Dog or Rockstar. The blend of story-telling, combat, exploration and puzzles is just perfect. I am taking my time playing the game though, intentionally, and have reached Chapter 10 after some 8 hours of playtime. I am playing the game on Hard and taking my time to explore for Treasures, which initally seem pointless (you don't even get any info on them unlike Tomb Raider for example) but these unlock bonuses, and, this is the big thing for me, taking the time to play stealthily as opposed to going in all guns blazing. The combat is definitely much improved in this game but I like that I can now choose whether to avoid enemies, take them out silently or shoot them all. It adds variety and extra challenge, helped significantly by the improved A.I. (there are a few occasions though where Sam is in clear sight of enemies but they don't see him but generally this is much less jarring than, say, The Last of Us).

    A fantastic game that I am finding hard to find any major fault with.
    Reply +21
  • Watch: So, is Doom any good? Find out live, at 1pm

  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @Zippity-zap - More like "running" simulator!!! The game is simply too fast to ever be described as "walking"! ;) Reply +3
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    I played about 40 minutes of this game on PC when it unlocked at midnight this morning and first impressions are that it is very, very good (although the initial loading time of almost 3 minutes is a bit of a disappointment).

    The speed to the game initially shocked me so much that I thought it was too fast for me but I soon adjusted. The pace, the audio and visuals, the secrets and the abundance of enemies, all make this feel much more faithful to the classic original than, say, Doom 3 was. Add in upgrades, power ups and a brilliant jump/climbing mechanic and this feels like what Doom would have been had it been made in 2016 and not 1994.

    Although it is too early for me to say for sure, I think this game could well be the best first-person shooter since the superb Wolfenstein: The New Order. Cannot wait to get home and play some more of it.
    Reply +3
  • Lionhead: The inside story

  • Darren 12/05/2016

    Loved Bullfrog's early stuff on the Atari ST and Amiga and absolutely loved games like Dungeon Keeper 2 on PC. However, while Lionhead's The Movies and Black & White were fantastic fun on PC, I was really never a big fan of Fable on Xbox. I felt the original game undelivered on its promises and was a shallow, short RPG. The sequel was better but other than its very British humour, the game still felt a bit slight and undercooked. I am sad to see them go though and how the developers go on to better things. Reply 0
  • Nvidia unveils GTX 1080 and GTX 1070: a new level in GPU power

  • Darren 07/05/2016

    I own an EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC (which runs at a core clock of 1,441 MHz, some 44% faster than its rated base clock speed), and while I am very happy with it, since upgrading from a 1920x1200 to a 2560x1440 60 Hz display I have found it harder to achieve that ideal 60 FPS on my preferred maximum settings in many recent games (The Division, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3, Quantum Break, etc, etc) so I am very interested to see what the GTX 1080 might offer me in terms of an upgrade.

    My only concern, having owned the GTX 980, is how long it will be before the inevitable GTX 1080 Ti is released at the same price but with better specs? Of course, I can play the waiting game because something better always does come along, just that I don't usually expect them within three months as seems to happen with the Ti variants!

    Also, as Digital Foundry mentioned here, DirectX 12 performance on NVIDIA's cards has so far proved to be extremely disappointing, given all the hype and the fact that AMD's card seem to fare much better in most current games (up to 50% better in Hitman for example).
    Reply +2
  • Has Remedy fixed Quantum Break on PC?

  • Darren 06/05/2016

    I am wondering if the crashes Digital Foundry are experienced are specific to their card or whether it affects all GTX 970s? I am surprised that they have not tested the game with a GTX 980, 980 Ti or even a Titan X to confirm it isn't.

    I have not experienced a single crash in the 10 or so hours I've been playing the game on maxed out settings @ 2560x1440 on my own GTX 980 Ti. I have mostly played the game with the v364.72 WHQL driver but the v364.86 Hotfix and current v365.10 WHQL drivers seem to also be stable. Obviously, I cannot disable Upscaling at 1440p without the game stuttering badly, likely due to it exceeded the card's 6 GB of VRAM, but with it enabled the game plays absolutely fine. In fact, I had no issues playing it pre-v1.7 patch either; sure, performance might not have been optimal but it felt as smooth at worst as the Xbox One version I initially played but most of the time smoother (due to it running above 30 FPS). Possibly I have just been very lucky with the game but I have played far worse ports than this (Batman: Arkham Knights for example with its dreadful hitching at launch when in the batmobile).
    Reply +5
  • Devolver Digital massively discounts games this weekend on Steam

  • Darren 06/05/2016

    @DozyKipper - I found the game hugely relaxing personally except for a few puzzles. The majority of the time, you can take as long as you like with each puzzle and that's what I find so appealing about it. It feels open-world-ish too. allowing for some exploration and choice in which puzzles you do. Get stuck and just do another one instead. Absolutely love the game. It's a gem IMO. I have only used a guide for one of the puzzles so far. Reply +3
  • Darren 05/05/2016

    The Talos Principle is a beautiful, relaxing and atmospheric puzzler with a gorgeous soundtrack and intriguing plot. I cannot recommend it enough. I'd buy it if I didn't already own it. Great at full price, it's a steal at 75% off IMO. Reply +12
  • You can play the whole of Uncharted 4 with cel-shading

  • Darren 04/05/2016

    These look fun to mess around with in the short-term and I can see myself dabbling with the cel-shaded one after completely the game. Not so sure about the others though for actual gameplay... the 8-bit one for example looks far too blocky as to render the graphics almost indistinguishable. Doubt anyone would be able to play with that enabled unless they wanted an extreme challenge! :lol: Reply +3
  • Shadow of the Beast remake will include the original Amiga game

  • Darren 04/05/2016

    I loved my Amiga but while the original Shadow of the Beast was a stunning technical showcase at the time, setting the benchmark for graphics and sound, the actual gameplay itself was shallow and dull IMO. It always seemed like the graphics came first then the gameplay last and while not a terrible game (personally I think it is average at best), I do feel its "classic" reputation is undeserved. Beast 2 was much better.

    The new game certainly looks like an improvement and I am definitely interested provided it plays well.
    Reply +22
  • You can't buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered separately

  • Darren 03/05/2016

    I hope this decision backfires on Activision because it is clearly only intended as a way of coercing people into buying a more expensive package. They are likely worried that people might buy the remastered older game over the newer one.

    Stupid really. Why limit any game to just a minority of gamers who might, say, buy the new game in November and the remastered version sometime later? Activision clearly haven't thought this through very well. By all means make it available only as part of a more expensive package at launch if you must but it does not make any sense at all to not sell it separately some months later. Why limit your profits?
    Reply +5
  • Digital Foundry's top ten picks for PlayStation Neo upgrades

  • Darren 30/04/2016

    @Master09 - Prepare to be disappointed then because there almost certainly will still be more 1080p30 games on the Neo than 1080p60 ones. Reply +46
  • Goofy slapstick replaces the run-and-gun action in the Ratchet & Clank movie

  • Darren 28/04/2016

    I am really looking forward to this movie, particularly as the superb new game has whetted my appetite for more Ratchet and Clank. They are such great characters and the games have always been packed full of great gags and humour aplenty. I hope the movie does well and appeals to more than just gamers who are familiar with the franchise. Reply +3
  • Why insiders think we'll see a new Xbox One at E3

  • Darren 28/04/2016

    Hmmmm, not really sure what Microsoft can actually do to improve on the Xbox One controller really. The Xbox One Elite controller, which I use for PC gaming, is pretty much perfect. In fact, I cannot think of anything that I dislike about it unlike the DualShock 4 controller for the PS4 (which IMO has shockingly poor battery life and very cheap-feeling, plasticky R1 and L1 buttons that could definitely be improved upon).

    As for the Xbox One console itself, well the hardware design could definitely do with an overhaul if only to make it smaller and less like something from the early 1990s, not that I spend too much time actually looking at it, mind.
    Reply +6
  • In Theory: Can next-gen Nvidia tech offer Titan X power for GTX 970 money?

  • Darren 28/04/2016

    My wallet is ready for a new graphics card in July but having upgraded from a GTX 980 to a GTX 980 Ti within (from memory) six months common-sense is telling me I should wait it out and buy the inevitable GTX 1080 Ti at the same price as the GTX 1080 when it launches some months down the line.

    The GTX 980 Ti is an absolutely outstanding card for sure and the best graphics card I've owned to date but having upgraded from a 1920x1200 to a 2560x1440 display I am finding some games, such as the recent Hitman and Tom Clancy's The Division, are no longing holding that ideal 60 fps framerate I like at maxed out settings, being that I am a no-compromises guy and someone who is against multi-GPU setups (having experienced both CFX and SLI I find them to be poorly supported by both NVIDIA/AMD and game developers in general)! :D
    Reply +4
  • Nintendo's NX console launches March 2017 globally

  • Darren 27/04/2016

    @specialgamer - I highly doubt that the NX will be as powerful as the PS Neo; in fact, I suspect it won't even surpass the PS4 and possibly not even the Xbox One.

    For one thing, cost is going to be a big factor in how well the new machine sells; price it too high due to higher spec components and it'll flop. Nintendo have never been a company to put technical specs before gameplay anyway and I doubt that will change with NX. I'd be very surprised if it did and, of course, that would push the price of the new machine up to 300 or more, something they need to avoid if they want to repeat the success of the Wii (which I believed launched at 200 here in the UK). To catch the public's attention and those people who bought the Wii in droves, the NX needs to have some unique appealing feature and sell at a reasonable price point (250 or less IMO).
    Reply 0
  • Darren 27/04/2016

    I cannot say that I am surprised that the new Zelda game has been delayed, although as an owner of a Wii U I am still very disappointed. :(

    I really fear for Nintendo with the NX though, mainly because they are in a precarious situation where their new console could be a huge success or a massive flop. They've gone from massive success with the casual appealing must-have Wii to the lacklustre selling core gamer only Wii U in the space of one generation. And with the Wii U's life being cruelly cut short to pave the way for a new console, which some might argue is premature, then Nintendo risk upsetting even their core user base.

    The success of the NX depends on how well Nintendo market this new machine (they messed up with the Wii U IMO) to a wider audience, particularly the people who bought the original Wii, and how well third-party publishers support it. They are also up against the well-established Xbox One and PS4 which both have the kind of third-party that Nintendo's last few consoles have lacked. It is absolutely going to be a tough battle for them, I'm sure.

    I'm definitely interested in the new console for sure but my decision as to whether to buy it at launch depends really on whether it will be backwards compatible with Wii U games and what games will be available at launch (Zelda aside as I could just buy that for my Wii U if I wanted).
    Reply +2
  • PS4 exclusive Ratchet & Clank tops UK chart

  • Darren 25/04/2016

    Funny how two old-school third-person shooters are released the same week under the guise of a reboot so it is hard not to draw comparisons between them (even if Star Fox 64's origins are older than Ratchet & Clank's).

    While I have been thoroughly enjoying and completely addicted to the new Ratchet & Clank game, I have been really struggling to get any enjoyment out of the disappointing Star Fox Zero, mainly due to its (IMO) awful controls and the distracting way I have to keep switching between looking at the TV and the gamepad screen. If the motion-controls could be turned off completely then I reckon my appreciation of the game would increase tenfold (in spite of dated visuals and lacklustre audio that has character voices only audible through the gamepad's tinny speakers!).

    Ironically, Insomniac's game feels more like a classic family Nintendo title than Nintendo's own franchise!
    Reply +8
  • Face-Off: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture on PC

  • Darren 23/04/2016

    Doesn't CryEngine have problems with POM and anisotropic filtering being used at the same time, or has that been addressed now?

    I seem to recall the issue in the PC version of the first Crysis and Everyone's Gone to the Rapture uses this engine, albeit a newer build. Also, the PS4 version uses POM but does not use anisotropic filtering, which might explain why it isn't working in the PC version, no?
    Reply +4
  • Star Fox Zero review

  • Darren 21/04/2016

    I got my copy of this game yesterday and played it last night. I am trying really hard to like the game, having previously played all the Star Fox games on N64 and GameCube since the superb Star Fox 64 which I imported for my U.S. N64, but it just feels so underwhelming overall that it's hard for me to not to be disappointed. For starters, the game looks pretty average at best and if someone told me it was a GameCube game then I would believe them because it is chock full of flat-looking, simplistically modelled and textured environments and ships and explosions on level 2 as you destroy the ships is just laughable. The only time the game looks moderately good is in the cutscenes.

    But graphics do not a good game maketh right? Very true but but even the gameplay is spoilt by the horrid controls that, by default, rely on you having to constantly glance at the gamepad to target enemies from the wireframe cockpit view. It feels completely unnatural and distracting. You can switch the cockpit view from the Gamepad screen to the TV but the game just feels 'off' playing what is supposed to be a third-person shooter in first-person (plus you're in a nuch closer viewpoint to see those dated graphics... not a good thing IMO).

    I did find that you can turn set the motion controls to only kick in while pressing ZR but that option is only available in the pause menu as the game itself lacks any kind of Options settings in the main menu (sadly, a common issue with many Wii U games, especially those published by Nintendo). The game does play better but it never feels as comfortable or intuitive as the N64 original and since gameplay IS everything here then the game ultimately fails to be quite as entertaining and fun as I'd hoped. Even the audio is weak with voices seemingly only coming from the Gamepad rather tinny mono speaker and not my surround sound system plus as with many Wii U games there's no option to adjust the volume levels of the music (which can barely be heard) and sound effects.

    Believe me, I hate to be so negative about this game as I absolutely loved Star Fox 64 (and Star Fox Adventures, hell even Star Fox: Assault was fun) but this game just feels undercooked and uninspired. The controls though are what really let this game down; there should be a way to completely disable the motion-controls and just be able to play it with a Pro Controller as I personally do not think they add anything at all to the game; they just make it more awkward and frustrating to play.

    Just so disappointed to be honest. :(
    Reply +6
  • Why you should install Dark Souls 3 patch 1.03

  • Darren 14/04/2016

    @GreyBeard - I don't understand your logic here.

    Digital Foundry have shown that the PS4 version is running at 30 fps for the majority of the time with dips here and there. This is similar to many other console games that run mostly but not quite at a locked 30 fps. However, most games manage to do that without framepacing issues. The only time they feel less smooth is when the framerate actually dips below 30 fps.

    Take the recent Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the underpowered (in comparison to PS4) Wii U for example; this game runs with a similar level of performance to Dark Souls III on PS4 but it does not have framepacing issues so feels smooth for 99.99% of the time. If Dark Souls III is anything like Bloodborne then it won't feel smooth for 99.99% of the time.

    IMO, the issue is a result of sloppy coding. Other developers have fixed this issue, e.g. Bungie for Destiny and Blizzard for Diablo III on PS4.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/04/2016

    @Kain1 - The lighting is the most noticeably improved aspect of Dark Souls III in my opinion and textures look more realistic but otherwise it is really the game's stunning art design that makes it look so damn breath-taking at times. However, if you look closely then the cracks do show (object pop up and a lack of tessellated surfaces for example... just look ugly and blocky the faces and head geometry look in the character editor for example with hair and beards looking particularly pixellated and shimmery?). Reply 0
  • Darren 13/04/2016

    @GreyBeard - A game can run at a locked 30 fps but still have framepacing issues.

    Framepacing is about delivering frames evenly, in this game's case, one new frame every 33ms. However, as the video clearly explains the game sometimes delivers a frame in 50ms then tries to make up for it by delivering the next at 16.7ms so that two frames still took 66ms even when it is holding a perfect 30 fps. It is this uneven delivery of frames which makes the game feel far less smooth than it should. Compare Bloodborne with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on the PS4 for example. The latter runs at a locked 30 fps with evenly delivered frames whereas the former does not even though it may be running at the same 30 fps as Black Flag. The problem with Dark Souls III (and Bloodborne) is not that it dips below 30 fps from time to time but that the frames are not delivered evenly when it *is* running at 30 fps.

    I would liked to have played Dark Souls III on my PS4 but after Bloodborne, a magnificent game by the way, I decided I was not going to put up with framepacing issues and went instead for the PC version. So far that version of the game is running smoothly for me (at 2560x1440 Ultra settings at 60 fps) and without any framepacing issues. It is a night and day different in comparison to Bloodborne and makes the game far more enjoyable to play.
    Reply +10
  • Quantum Break UK's best-selling boxed game

  • Darren 11/04/2016

    Quantum Break is a great game which I started playing on Xbox One to half way through Act 2 then continued on PC through to the start of Act 5, thanks to the cloud saving feature that allows to use the same save game on both platforms.

    Luckily for me, the game runs fine on my PC (i7-4770K, 16 GB, GTX 980 Ti using the v364.91 developer drivers) feeling IMHO as smooth at worst but usually smoother than the Xbox One version and having less in the way of texture pop in issues and certainly no screen tearing. Even the Episode streaming (since you cannot pre-load them on PC) has worked fine for the three I've watched so far on my PC. I have not experienced any crashes either in the 6 hours or so I've been playing it on PC. Reload times on PC are also much quicker than on Xbox One (game is installed to a hard drive by the way not an SSD), which is a relief as I have died quite a few times!

    No-one is more surprised than me to be writing that after all the bad press the PC version was getting last week. I'm not excusing the PC version, which could and should have been much better. The only thing I've done is to force 16X anisotropic filtering and a 59.7 fps frame limit in the driver game profile using NVIDIA Inspector. Whether that has smoothed out the framepacing issues, I couldn't say, as there's no way to current monitor it but I certainly never noticed any and I am usually very sensitive to issues like that (it marred Bloodborne on PS4 for me).
    Reply +3
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Star Fox Zero

  • Darren 10/04/2016

    I am looking foward to the day but it is disappointing to read that it is yet another exclusive that is bereft of even post-process anti-aliasing at 1280x720. Not a game-killer by any means but it does highlight how weak the Wii U hardware is when games actually make proper use of its game pad screen rather than just mirroring it. After the beautiful crisp 1080p visuals with AA of the Zelda: Twilight Princess conversion it is going to be hard to go back to 720p and no AA. Reply -2
  • What went wrong with Quantum Break on PC?

  • Darren 08/04/2016

    Kind of ironic that Iron Galazy, who coded the god-awful PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight, are the same developers who also coded Killer Instinct on PC, which is the only triple A game since Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Windows Store that actually isn't fundamentally broken on PC!!! It's a strange old world, aint' it? :lol:

    Mind you, Killer Instinct is not using DirectX 12 apparently so make of that what you will! ;)
    Reply +4
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    @mega-gazz - Well UWP is perfectly fine for mobile style apps and smaller games which is really what the Windows Store is selling. The triple A releases like this game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Killer Instinct all seem tragically out of place amongst, what is let's face it, 95% casual mobile rubbish.

    These games deserve so much better IMO. Steam might not be perfect but it is far less restrictive than the Windows Store and games are generally promoted much better. Hopefully Microsoft will realise that sooner rather than later...
    Reply +3
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    @mkreku - Oops, my bad, missed that line.

    You can fix that apparently by forcing 16X AF globally through the graphics driver control panel. From the screenshots I've seen it makes a night and day difference on mid-distance signs and so forth.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    @itusuk - That's the sad thing though... if people don't buy the games then Microsoft will see this initiative as a failure and go back to not supporting the PC at all for gaming.

    I don't think anyone really wants that if we have the chance to play Microsoft owned IPS like Forza and Quantum Break.

    Actually advertising Quantum Break on PC would be a start but possibly they might want to wait until the issues have been fixed first... ;)
    Reply 0
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    Quote: "Until these limitations are removed from UWP, it's really hard to recommend purchasing any game that runs on it."

    I hope you do an article on it but Killer Instinct seems like a decent PC port in my experience and I was able to play it without any issues other than an abnormally slow download time. I understand that owners of high refresh monitors are experiencing speed up issues due to the way the game's code is tied into the framerate but the developers are supposedly working on that. And from what I've read, Rise of the Tomb Raider was working fine on the Windows Store at launch. It's really just Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Quantum Break that have been released basically broken.
    Reply -2
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    I've just read the article and I am GLAD that Microsoft have not yet sent me the code? I shall enjoy the game on Xbox One instead but maybe that was their plan all along... to make the console version seem better in comparison to PC then it would have otherwise? Yeah, call me cynical! :D

    But seriously, this game has far too many issues to excuse and I am absolutely delighted that Digital Foundry have published this article if only to embarrass Microsoft into actually fixing them. Did they not test this game at all or were Microsoft so committed to launching the game on both platforms at the same time that they released what is basically an unfinished and untested PC build? The framepacing issues are utterly inexcusable as is the poor anisotropic filtering (not mentioned in this article). The capped framerate issue (50 fps tops on a 60 Hz display) is downright laughable IMO.

    Is this port possibly more borked up than Batman: Arkham Knights on PC? Do we now have a new benchmark for how NOT to do a PC game?

    I suspect a parity clause is the reason for the lack of some obvious features in the PC game such as native rendering rather than the sub-native reconstruction technique that is used on Xbox One. It makes sense to use that on a platform that has limited hardware but on PC it really should be an option. Would the game run better at the native resolution with post-process SMAA? It would almost certainly look sharper and clearer IMO.

    P.S. I have not mentioned the developers, Remedy, because I absolutely do not blame them for the state of this game. The blame for that lies solely at Microsoft's feet because we know from past games that Remedy are a more than capable developer and the Xbox One version of the game is excellent considering the limitations of the hardware it is running on.
    Reply +7
  • Darren 08/04/2016

    Why am I not surprised?

    I pre-ordered the Xbox One version at 44.99, mainly for the 'free' PC code, as I figured that the PC version on the Windows Store would cost the same or more (as it happens it cost 5.00 more but it seems to be in a state of flux at the moment alternating between showing as 49.99 and 44.99 on the Store for some reason for me here in the UK!!!). Needless to say I am STILL waiting for this code to arrive but last night I got pre-maturely excited when my phone beeped to alert me to a message from Xbox Live and I read the part of the text that was showing "Your Quantum Break pre-order..." but it turned out not to be the PC key but the code for the Xbox 360 version of Alan Wake's American Nightmare (which I already had anyway). So thanks for getting your priorities right, Microsoft (...though to be fair they likely assume most people pre-ordering the Xbox One version are playing the game on Xbox One...!). Still, in this digital era of no production costs on serial keys, why are we having to wait 7-10 business days for keys that should have been available at midnight on Tuesday when the game launched?

    While it is great to see Microsoft actually releasing games on the PC - with four so far this year - after years of claiming to support the PC for gaming when clearly it only extended to its Windows operating system, it is just so disappointing that they seem to just mess everything up at the moment. The Windows Store seems designed solely for mobile (cr)apps and not for triple A major releases. Case in point, Quantum Break was released with no fanfare on the PC and featured on the Store front for all of an hour before being replaced by a mobile game (it was Jetpack Joyride when I looked this morning). The game is nowhere to be found on the Store unless you actually search for it!!! Seriously, how is a game like this supposed to sell if it is hidden among hundreds of rubbish mobile apps? That is the first big mistake that Microsoft made by releasing the game only through the Windows Store. It really should be available on Steam, Origin and Uplay if they want it to actually... you know... sell! Why limit it to just one distribution platform? It really doesn't make any sense! :confused:

    The Windows Store is ill-suited to larger games as well. Downloading games is painfully slow for me (Killer Instinct at 22 GB took almost a day!) whereas Steam etc are much much faster. There's no backup option, there's no means of verifying the files and there isn't even an easy way to create a desktop shortcut to run the game. Also, Windows Store games are running in borderless window mode so that means if you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen (which I do when I'm using a controller as many games do not hide the damn mouse pointer!!!) then the taskbar appears; move it to the top and the minimize/exit bar appears! Add these to the issues with the games themselves and I am starting to think that Games for Windows Live actually wasn't that bad! No, really!

    This game does not need DirectX 12 on the PC in my opinion, which so far has proven to a disappointment as it offers no performance improvements over DirectX 11 on my GTX 980 Ti system in the games I've played (in fact, many of them actually run worst!) nor does it offer any visual improvement either. I suspect that if Quantum Break had been released on Steam and using DirectX 11 that the game would not only have ran better but also would be selling better too.
    Reply +10
  • Tech Analysis: Final Fantasy 15 Platinum demo

  • Darren 04/04/2016

    I thought this Platinum demo was charming but suffered from such horrible framepacing issues that it actually felt like it pre-dated the Episode Duscae demo!!! Also, while the visuals are pretty nice, the amount of aliasing is at times at eyesore and really tarnishes the lovely art work. The combat, likely due to the wavering framerate, however never felt satisfying or particularly responsive. A very disappointing demo in my view so thank goodness they still have another five months to fix it.

    P.S. What it is of late with Japanese developers and framepacing issues (Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3 and now this game)?
    Reply +6
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 review

  • Darren 03/04/2016

    So what about the sound quality? Does the S7 still have crappy mono sound, one of the main reasons I ditched the Samsung Galaxy brand for an HTC M8? Also what is the call quality like? I am amazed that sound does not get mentioned in phone reviews on this site. Reply +36
  • Tech Analysis: Quantum Break

  • Darren 02/04/2016

    Wow, so the 75 GB of videos are not in the expected MP4 format but using Bink?!?!?! I'm astounded by that because Bink videos, IMO, usually suffer far more from artifacts like macroblocking and colour-banding. I would have thought MP4 would have been a far better codec to use for a game that uses a lot of live cutscenes? Is Bink cheaper to licence or something? :confused: Reply +30
  • Quantum Break review

  • Darren 01/04/2016

    One thing that puzzles me and it's something I hope Digital Foundry will cover is that the episodes are 75 GB in size but yet only contain 4 x 20 minutes = 80 minutes of content. That's roughly one and half hours for video that is 50% larger than what a dual-layer Blu-ray disc can hold, say, for a three hour plus movie.

    So why is this file so large? Are there actually more episodes in there than the four the game currently has?
    Reply +5
  • Darren 01/04/2016

    This game seems to be attracting some mixed reviews and scores with the lowest being GiantBomb, who gave it 2/5, and sites like Destructoid, Jim Sterling and IGN scoring it much better at 80%+.

    What amuses me from reading the comments in the more negative reviews, is how many people are saying they are glad they did not pre-order/will pick it up in a sale based on that SINGLE review!!!

    Do people put their complete trust in one site for reviews or something because that to me is just outright stupid because no two people can possibly have the same opinion on EVERYTHING! If I only read EG and bought games based on what they deemed as worthy/good (as in Recommended or Essential, which seems to be what some people only consider to be "good" games!) then I would have missed out on some truly great games that I have thoroughly enjoyed in spite of their flaws.
    Reply +4
  • Darren 01/04/2016

    Quote: "The live action sections ask for an optional 75GB download, though you can [CONTENT BUFFERING] choose to stream them if you wish."

    And that is sadly what will happen for many PC gamers playing the game next week, I'd wager, because, unbelievably, the Windows Store does NOT support the pre-loading of these episodes and so can ONLY be streamed according to Remedy. After the fiasco of Gears of Wars Ultimate Edition on the Windows Store, you just know that it is not going to go smoothly on PC...

    Thankfully, these parts of the game are optional so having already pre-loaded the Xbox One version (all 125 GB of it, including the Episodes content), I may just watch these non-interactive scenes on my Xbox One and skip them entirely on my PC (the digital version comes free with the Xbox One version by the way, which is nice).

    Despite the shallowness of the gameplay, which I was kind of expecting, I am absolutely sure that I will enjoy this game as much, if not more so, that the excellent Alan Wake or Max Payne games. Can't wait for next week to be honest.
    Reply +1