Darren Comments

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  • Face-Off: Saints Row 4: Re-Elected

  • Darren 25/01/2015

    @SeesThroughAll - It's a no-frills port basically, done to maximise profits and generate additional revenue in the easiest possible way on the new PS4 and Xbox One platforms. Much like the disappointing Sleeping Dogs and Shadow Warrior ports to Xbox One and PS4 basically.

    I'm all for having good games ported over from the last gen systems - after all you don't have to buy them if you've already played them - but they are only really worth buying again if they actually improve on the originals in the same way that Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and GTA V did on the current gen platforms. Just porting it over and rendering it at 1080p with no AA, screen tearing and a variable/poor framerate is not acceptable IMO, certainly not in games that are selling for 30+.
    Reply +11
  • Darren 25/01/2015

    I have seen reports of the game crashing on the current gen consoles and, indeed, I experienced one such CE-34878-0 crash after playing the standalone Gat Out of Hell for 3 hours last night on my PS4. Prior to the crash, I noticed that the framerate felt like it was getting more and more chuggy...it was subtle but noticeable...memory leak perhaps?

    Other than that, the game is fun and funny (gotta love those musical cutscenes!) but also shallow and technically underwhelming. Not that I expect technical perfection from anything by Volition or High Voltage, I was at least expecting some post-process AA and a working 30 fps framerate cap (what is the point of the V-Sync option in the game's Display settings exactly?).

    I suspect the developers are using the PC code as the basis for the PS4 and Xbox One versions and since that version only supports MSAA (2x, 4x and 8x variants) as its anti-aliasing method and is so demanding on bandwidth then my guess is that the developers opted to not use it at all. They never bothered to add SMAA/FXAA either, well, because quite frankly it would have been too much effort for them to add it.

    All that said, the overall dark look of Gat Out of Hell combined with the fact that I've grown accustomed to seeing jaggies in Wii U games means that I haven't found the aliasing to generally be too distracting in this game (played on a 32" Sony Bravia HDTV). Saints Row is one of those games that people enjoy for its silly gameplay not its visuals, which are mostly mediocre IMO, not that it excuses not adding post-process AA to a game released on the PS4 and Xbox One in 2015. As for the framerate, well it feels at least as variable as it does in inFamous Second Son/First Light, possibly more so since this game can hit 60 fps, but I quickly got used it. I would still like to see a 30 fps cap option added though.
    Reply +5
  • 'Sorry about Christmas' PSN discount rolls out Friday

  • Darren 23/01/2015

    @FMV-GAMER - True, it's not that generous a discount - 20% would have been better IMO - but any discount is better than none at all, right? ;) Reply 0
  • Darren 23/01/2015

    @jabberwocky - Yes, it was. I was unlucky and the website glitched out. Game is now downloading to my PS4 at home. :) Reply 0
  • Darren 23/01/2015

    I've just successfully used the UK 10% discount code to buy Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell on PS4 - mainly, just to see what it looks and plays like - but despite having received two emails confirming the funding and purchase of the game, I cannot see it in either my Purchase History, Download List or Download Queue on the Sony Entertainment Network site. The link to the standalone game on that site still shows an Add to Basket option and when I click on it I'm told that I cannot buy or download this item! :confused:

    Anyone else experiencing this? Is it because the game has not yet been released?

    *EDIT*
    Must have been a glitch with the site and/or Firefox...game showed as Purchased on Chrome on my HTC One M8 and, once I signed out and back in to the SEN site on my PC, it showed the same there. Panic over! :)
    Reply +2
  • Elder Scrolls Online gets console release date, drops subscription

  • Darren 22/01/2015

    The PC version goes free-2-play from 17th March 2015 so I may well return to it for a while to see what changes have been made since launch. I bought the game on release, having played the beta (twice), but found the main game to be a shallow imitation of the solo TES experience and stopped played after a few weeks, remembering to cancel my subscription. The biggest issue I had was seeing dozens of other people running around doing the same quests as me, which kind of killed the feel of being the special world-saving hero of the solo games. It's funny really because I always thought the TES games were ideally suited to playing alongside others but the reality is that it would work far better as a party-based co-op game rather than an MMORPG in my opinion.

    The game is above average but really nothing special in my view but considering how rare these games are on consoles then it might be one that finds a home on the PS4 and Xbox One, especially now that they're making it free-2-play. That makes it easier for more people to try.
    Reply 0
  • So, what do you actually do in No Man's Sky?

  • Darren 22/01/2015

    Quote: "Getting from one edge of the universe without the aid of hyperdrive would take around 100 hours, Sean estimates."

    Wow...small universe then...? ;)
    Reply +34
  • Face-Off: Resident Evil HD Remaster

  • Darren 20/01/2015

    Low shadows on the Xbox One? Medium ones on the PS4? C'mon, Capcom, what is this game doing that it cannot handle high-quality real-time shadows on a few 3D objects and characters against mostly static bitmap images? Sheesh! :eek:

    And frame pacing issues on the PS4 at 30 fps? I've no doubt this will be fixed but does it honestly need Digital Foundry to point out these issues in the first place? Does no-one actually, you know, play it for gawd's sake? ;)

    Good write up as usual but this was a game I was really not expecting a face-off on as I really do not see much point personally (but since you have, why are the PS3 and 360 versions not included for completeness?). I guess Digital Foundry need something to do though, right? :lol:
    Reply +25
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster review

  • Darren 20/01/2015

    @el_pollo_diablo - Would be fantastic, I agree, but I'd also be happy with a port of RE Remake on Vita too. The GameCube original was no more than 3 GB (2 x 1.5 GB discs) so that would easily fit on a Vita cart and is not too large for a download. Doubt it will happen though. :( Reply +2
  • Darren 20/01/2015

    @Gamblix - Agreed. I mean I played the original game on the PS1 back in 1996 or whenever it was released, before the advent of the internet, and I never had any problems completing any of the puzzles or the game itself.

    Maybe the reviewer thinks gamers have become so spoilt these days with dumbed down games that have three hour tutorials and then still hold their hands so much that they no longer have to think for themselves at any point? The puzzles may well be obscure in Resident Evil but as others have pointed out if you examine the environment and objects then the game provides the clues needed to solve them.
    Reply +19
  • Darren 20/01/2015

    @Cringles88 - The PS4 version is 14.2 GB not 3.14 GB. ;) Reply +1
  • Darren 20/01/2015

    @IronSoldier - And it really adds very little to the experience given how slow the pace is. I've been playing the game on PC this morning (it unlocked sometime during the night presumably) and both 30 fps and 60 fps feel virtually indistinguishable here. IMO.

    Anyways...the game is great. I always had a soft spot for the superb GameCube remake (which I still own along with Resident Evil 0 actually) and it still holds up fairly well on PC in 2015. Sure, the game has dated a lot due to the fixed camera angles (far less than the PS1 original however) but it has an old-school charm to it, the atmosphere is great and the mix of pre-rendered backgrounds (some softer than others) with 3D objects and characters still works surprisingly well for a game made in 2002. I am playing with the Alternative controls and not having many problems with the camera angles so far and it is far more preferable to the tank-like original controls IMO. Don't mind the door animations either...that was always part of the original experience so I'm fine with that. However, given the game offers a choice of controls and screen aspect ratios, Capcom could easily have added an option to remove them for people who find them annoying.

    Picked up the game for just over a tenner and at that price it is well worth it if you are a fan of the franchise and want to experience the definitive version of the original game.
    Reply +11
  • Driveclub's free Japan DLC available now via 3.33GB update

  • Darren 19/01/2015

    @IcemanAFC - I know that it sold well, and that is very likely due to the lack of other exclusives or competition on PS4 IMO (no Need for Speed last year and The Crew launched later for example) as well as Evolution's reputation rather than anything to do with its quality.

    I simple meant that it was not that well received critically. EG gave it 6/10 for example, a score which I agreed with. Driveclub is a competent but very ordinary arcade racer but one that I feel does not excel in any way except for its visuals which are almost always stunning.
    Reply -9
  • Darren 19/01/2015

    @Breach - That's great news - thanks for sharing that - but it again just enforces in my mind that Driveclub was shipped unfinished, simply to meet the PS4's exclusive games quota in the run up to Christmas (which amounted to a mere two anyway; this and the disappointingly buggy LittleBigPlanet 3).

    I know I will get negged for saying that by die-hard Evolution fans who cannot accept any criticism even if it is deserved but I honestly believe that had the game been delayed to add all the missing features Evolution are busy adding in now that the game would have fared much better critically and that I would have had a higher opinion of it.

    Unfortunately for Driveclub, I have also been playing Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One and, regardless of which I think is better, that is a game that worked from Day One, including its online modes, and already had things like replays, weather and photo modes present and correct.
    Reply +7
  • Darren 19/01/2015

    Not the greatest racing game ever (though far from being the worst), IMO, and it had a disasterous launch in which it basically did not work fully for the best part of two months but I commend the developers for releasing free DLC and continuing to improve the game post-launch. You can argue that the game should have been delayed until it was 100% finished (and I'd agree with you) but the deed is done now and the important thing is that the developers are continuing to work on the game and make it better with each patch.

    I wish they'd add replays though; it is such a lovely-looking game that it seems a shame that we cannot rewatch races and then use the Photo Mode from there.
    Reply 0
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell review

  • Darren 19/01/2015

    @RichardC - I had forgotten that but to be honest Stillwater and Steelport were really pretty much interchangeable, right? At least that is my excuse for thinking Steelport was in the first two games! :) Reply +2
  • Darren 19/01/2015

    Sounds like a real missed opportunity to me and that it might have been better developed into a proper full Saints Row (V?) release with a campaign/story missions.

    Still at 15 for the PC version, I'm sure I'm manage to get my money's worth out of it. Saints Row IV on PC was for me the pinnacle of the franchise and I absolutely could not stop playing it until I'd finished the campaign, which I did. Looks graphically mediocre but the humour, ludicrously entertaining super-powers and silly activities more than make up for that.

    I do hope that when they finally get around to making Saints Row V, that they set in a different location to Steelport. Four games in one location is quite enough IMO and reeks of lazy game design.

    *EDIT*
    Silly me, as two people have pointed out, the first two games were set in Stillwater but to be honest both it and Steelport are very generic city locations anyway and pretty much interchangeable. How do you tell them apart? ;)
    Reply +7
  • Elite Dangerous guide

  • Darren 19/01/2015

    @IronSoldier - GhostRobo's too and my own.

    What amazes me about Destiny is that it is one of the slickest looking, superbly animated, beautifully polished, great sounding games of 2014 with solid combat but it is just so boring to play. Repetitive grindy missions, dull, samey environments, poor almost superficial story-telling (that you need to access a website to find out details of things in the game is ludicrous IMO) and non-existent characterisation. It is all the things I dislike about competitive online gaming.

    It pains me to say that but that was honestly the last thing I expected from the developer of the epic Halo franchise. Perhaps I expected too much of it as a solo-only gamer. Regardless, it will certainly make me cautious of buying Bungie's next game.
    Reply +1
  • Dying Light physical release suffers delay in Europe, elsewhere

  • Darren 19/01/2015

    @CaptainKid - I meant the physical disc version would be added to my Steam library so that it was effectively the same as any other digitally purchased and downloaded game on Steam. If I deleted the game then I could simply redownload it from Steam, in other words, I could throw the disc away once I had entered the key and installed it. Reply +2
  • Darren 19/01/2015

    Yes, I think I can wait a week since my physical PC copy is just 23.61 versus the 39.99 asking price on Steam. Even with a 20% discount at GreenManGaming, it still works out at nearly 10 more.

    I have mostly switched to digital downloads on the PC except where a physical copy is much cheaper. Since it is added to Steam anyway and can then be redownloaded as a digital game then I do not have any complaints about buying disc copies (which act as backups should I ever need to reinstall anyway). I do prefer digital for PC though as the discs, once installed, are worthless and cannot be resold.

    Still cannot help but wonder if the delay is intentional; to make people opt for the more expensive digital version instead. Call me cynical but I've seen a lot of PC physical copies delayed a week or two; Dying Light is certainly not the first and it won't be the last either.

    *EDIT*
    Dying Light key on PC is 24.99 at SimplyCDKeys (SimplyGames)...hmmmmm...very, vey tempting...

    *EDIT 2*
    And...bought for 24.45 (with small loyalty discount) so only 84p more than the disc version! :D

    I hope the key is valid though... :confused:
    Reply +2
  • Digital Foundry vs Saints Row 4: Re-Elected on PS4

  • Darren 18/01/2015

    No anti-aliasing in a current gen console game released in 2015?!?!?!?!? You mean to tell me the PS4 cannot even manage basic, console-friendly FXAA??? Oh dear... :eek:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Saints Row IV on PC from start to finish and was looking forward to revisiting it on my PS4 along with the new content but the lack of AA, poor texture filtering and variable framerate means I won't bother and I'll just pick up Gat Out of Hell on PC instead at 15. If you cannot code a console game to run consistently at 60 fps then it should be locked to a consistent 30 fps IMO. In this case that would have meant the developers code have added FXAA, better anisotropic texture filtering, depth of field and possibly even extended the draw distance a little.
    Reply +3
  • GTA 5 PC pre-orders include a free Rockstar game

  • Darren 16/01/2015

    What a pity I already own all of those games. Oh well, I guess I could add Max Payne 3 to my Steam library to replace the non-Steam disc version I bought.

    *EDIT*
    Oh right, that doesn't apply to the 33 Amazon pre-order then. Just my luck but at least I save on the Steam and digital price.
    Reply 0
  • Motorcycling game Ride release date revealed

  • Darren 15/01/2015

    Wish it was coming from a different developer... :confused:

    Milestone make competent games in my experience but rarely are they exciting and they have a somewhat dated feel to them in terms of presentation and visuals. Last year's MotoGP 14 for the PS4 was a disappointment for that reason and in spite of the bland graphics it still only ran at 30 fps, which is unacceptable in my view for a racing simulation. Oh how I miss Climax Brighton and their superb MotoGP games on Xbox and Xbox 360 which ran at 60 fps (well, mostly)...
    Reply +5
  • Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Prime Trilogy headed to Wii U eShop

  • Darren 14/01/2015

    9 for Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a good price though IMO the games should remain at that price. 18 is too much for an old Wii game in digital format IMO. I'd buy it if I had a Nunchuk but unfortunately I only have a gold Wiimote from the Zelda: Skyward Sword bundle I've still got. Reply +2
  • Nintendo announces new Smash Bros. and Mario-themed Amiibo waves

  • Darren 14/01/2015

    I've bought seven amiibos so far: Mario, Luigi, Donkey & Diddy Kong, Link, Yoshi and Star Fox. I have Sonic, Toon Link and Bowser pre-ordered to make the number up to to a nice round ten. I do want the Toad and Wario ones as well though but I'm not interested in any of the others from lesser Nintendo games, only the classic characters. They are quite nice IMO and make fine little figurines/ornaments for display.

    I am a little annoyed at the red base ones though, especially as they're in different (and better) poses to the ones already out. Also, Luigi does not have the silly bit of inappropriately coloured plastic either. Quite why it isn't transparent is anyone's guess because the colours do tend to draw unwanted attention to them otherwise as is the case with several of the figures I have, e.g. Star Fox has a blue bit and Link has a yellow bit, neither match anything else on the figures! :confused:
    Reply 0
  • Microsoft announces Forza Motorsport 6 for Xbox One

  • Darren 13/01/2015

    Hopefully this game will finally add day/night races in variable weather at long last plus plenty of tracks which the last game, excellent though it was for a launch title made to a tight deadline, was a bit lacking in. And as others have pointed out, lets not bother with the microtransactions this time, eh? Reply +15
  • Digital Foundry vs Resident Evil on PS4

  • Darren 08/01/2015

    @andrewsqual - It never affected other Resident Evil games that ran at 30 fps on consoles though and 60 fps on PC, e.g. Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, etc. Reply +3
  • Darren 08/01/2015

    I must admit to being extremely surprised that this Resident Evil Remaster is not running at 1920x1080 and 60 fps on the new consoles considering the backgrounds are static 2D images. That means the engine is only having to render a few 3D detailed models in realtime with the bulk of the scene being a bitmap image (except for a few places where they use 3D renders but even then the camera is mostly static anyway) and the PS4 and Xbox One really cannot run them at 60 fps??? Really? The article even mentions that the fully 3D rendered Revelations 2 is running at 1080p60 on PS4. :eek:

    I intend getting the game for my PC anyway so the framerate should not be an issue on that platform.
    Reply +18
  • PS4 Data Bank dock allows huge storage

  • Darren 07/01/2015

    The type pad is ugly as sin, especially the font used on the keys. It looks like it was designed in the 1970s and does not fit with the aesthetics of the DualShock 4 controller at all IMO. Yuck! Reply 0
  • PlayStation 4 has sold 18.5m worldwide

  • Darren 06/01/2015

    @jabberwocky - Hear, hear!

    The PS4 is a great piece of hardware and the multiformat games have been mostly fantastic on it, The Last of Us, GTA V, Diablo III: RoS and Dragon Age Inquisition especially, but it is the weakest platform so far this generation for exclusives in my honest opinion. The Wii U had the best exclusives last year followed by the Xbox One and the PS4 last.

    Not that Sony have anything to worry about if people are buying the machine even without those supposed system selling exclusives. I think 2015 will be a big year for the PS4 though, what with Uncharted 4, Bloodborne and Tearaway Unfolded.
    Reply +4
  • Darren 06/01/2015

    Impressive sales figures for sure. It makes me wonder how well the PS4 will sell once it actually has some must-have triple A exclusives instead of the OK-to-good-but-definitely-less-than-amazing ones it has had so far. I mean Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son and DriveClub all look like what a current gen exclusive should in terms of graphical fidelity but they've all been a bit underwhelming in the gameplay department IMO. Uncharted 4 cannot come soon enough IMO; I've absolutely no doubt that that game will deliver on all fronts. Reply -4
  • Video: Watch us play Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition live from 5pm

  • Darren 06/01/2015

    Looking forward to playing this on my Vita. It's a perfect game for a handheld IMO. Reply +5
  • Assassin's Creed film now due Christmas 2016

  • Darren 06/01/2015

    Well at least no-one can complain about this one running at 24 fps... ;) Reply +5
  • Reader's top 50 games of 2014

  • Darren 02/01/2015

    A very good top ten with the exception of Destiny which I personally thought was dull and overrated. I was expecting a story like Halo's with epic set-pieces and instead I got a threadbare plot with very repetitive MMORPG like gameplay. It looked great and sounded fantastic but it was such a massive disappointment to play. I expected much better from Bungie. :-(

    I would replace that with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, a game that is addictive, rewarding and an absolute blast to play even solo (unlike Destiny!).
    Reply +9
  • Latest Assassin's Creed Unity patch boosts performance

  • Darren 23/12/2014

    When I first tested the PS4 game with Patch 4 the first thing I came across was Arno clinging onto an invisible wall and maintaining the climbing posture for several minutes afterwards as I ran around Paris. A most amusing glitch to be sure and one that I never encountered prior to Patch 4. :confused:

    The game sadly remains a disappointment in terms of performance. It runs better, yes, but it never feels completely smooth unless you're on the rooftops or climbing with the camera pointing upward. On the ground, the framerate is still all over the place, especially in busier scenes. Add to this the appalling LOD issues, where NPCs literally change when standing still and panning the camera, and it's hard not to feel letdown by the rushed mess of a game. Even on PC at the highest settings the wonky LOD is jarring. The game looks fantastic admittedly but it breaks apart somewhat in motion.

    Hopefully, Ubisoft will learn a valuable lesson from this game, i.e. do NOT release a game until it is properly finished. Even now I'd argue that the game is still a beta and I will certainly not be pre-ordering any future games from Ubisoft until they get their act together.
    Reply +1
  • Xbox One vs PlayStation 4: Year One

  • Darren 22/12/2014

    @SeeNoWeevil - Sorry...what Leaderboard position was I putting in in Driveclub?

    Well how about none because the online mode was essentially not working for the best part of two months which was when I spent the majority of time playing it!!! Every race would begin with a red server connection error message and most of the modes, including the Clubs, were greyed out and unselectable! :lol:

    The game shipped in a broken state and that is inexcusable IMO. I will not defend a game now just because they've got it working. I played if briefly last week when the weather patch was released and I still consider the game to be merely competent at best. Sure, it looks lovely but those graphics are married to a very, very ordinary arcade racing game IMO.

    I completely agree with EG's 6/10 assessmnent of the game (and they played a version that was less broken that the one everyone had). My opinion of the game is based on the first two months I tried to play it, i.e. when it wasn't working as advertised, so how I can I honestly praise it?
    Reply -8
  • Darren 21/12/2014

    @SeeNoWeevil - That is clearly where the majority of the effort went into in Driveclub and certainly not the gameplay or network code, the former of which is very ordinary IMO and the latter of which was basically broken for the best part of two months. Certainly not one of the PS4's finest momemts IMO, especially after the truly embarrassing launch - the game essentially shipped incomplete as well (those glorious weather effects and a Photo Mode only just having been added and there's still no replays) - and overall Driveclub remains one of this year's big disappointments for me personally. I expected better from Evolution. :(

    Both consoles have failed to deliver a defining "next-gen" experience IMO despite the massive increase in memory. Part of the blame lies in publishers still developing for the aged last gen platforms but also it mostly comes down to them simply playing it safe. When a game costs millions of dollars to develop then it is far less risky to stick with what you know will sell. This is why Activision continue to churn out annual Call of Duty games that visuals and setting aside all play exactly the same and why Ubisoft continues to release Assassin's Creed every year that are structured the same and play identically (even Unity is only a graphical update with minor tweaks to the parkour and combat).

    I have enjoyed playing a lot of great games this year though - Dragon Age: Inquisition is the highlight of 2014 for me despite it's lack of originality or innovation. I bought my PS4 and Xbox One knowing full well that I would mostly be playing prettier versions of familiar genres and franchises. I am actually fine with that as the sharper visuals, improved framerates and larger, more detailed worlds add to the immersion and my enjoyment of them. However the latter half of this year has been spoilt IMO by too many broken, rushed releases such as LittleBigPlanet 3 (leading me to cancel my pre-order), DriveClub, Assassin's Creed: Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
    Reply -11
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker goes on sale two weeks before official release date

  • Darren 19/12/2014

    ShopTo.net sent my copy this morning. I must admit I was surprised because their website stated, at least when I checked earlier, that the release date was still 9th January 2015. A pleasant surprise to receive a game earlier than expected and it will no doubt run perfectly out of the box (unlike some recent major releases that I won't mention which required multiple and multi-gigabye patches to work properly!!! ;) ). :D Reply +4
  • Sony beefs up PS4 20th Anniversary Edition sales system after thousands use exploit to gain unfair advantage

  • Darren 18/12/2014

    Bloody stupid idea anyway. Why not just produce a limited number of consoles and just sell them on a first come, first served basis directly from the Sony or GAME website? This is not a competition where you WIN a 20th Anniversary PS4, in which case I could understand why it was done like that, but a means of PRE-ORDERING a 400 console! They did not do this in the U.S., did they?

    Sony seem to doing some really dumb things of late... :confused:
    Reply +5
  • Judge allows lawsuit over Killzone Shadow Fall's 1080p graphics to proceed

  • Darren 18/12/2014

    I wonder if this Douglas Ladore would have realised the game he was playing was not actually 1080p native had Digital Foundry not published their findings because I do not remember seeing much complaining prior to that article?

    Whatever, it's tragically sad in my opinion that an individual such as Douglas Ladore feels the need to sue because a game he was likely enjoying anyway was not running at its stated resolution. I mean of all the evil nasty things that happen in the world and people like him feel they have to sue over something as trivial and inconsequential as a game resolution?!? Sheesh! Grow up, will you! :rolleyes:

    I think shotbyascot summed it all up well in the first post though.
    Reply 0
  • Ubisoft delays Assassin's Creed: Unity's next major patch

  • Darren 17/12/2014

    Post-patch 4 (PS4 version), the framerate is a little better in places in my experience, although it hard to be absolutely certain as the difference is definitely not night and day IMO, but what I noticed was that in large crowds the game still chugs, sometimes really badly, and it is only when running along rooftops and climbing buildings that the framerate ever feels like it hits 30 fps on a consistent basis. In emptier areas at ground level though the game does play OK but overall this patch feels a bit disappointing. The performance improvements are likely there but they do not give the game the same perfect 30 fps framerate that last year's wonderful Black Flag had on PS4 (and at 1080p too, not 900p).

    It is clear to me now that Ubisoft are never going to wholly fix the framerate issues on the consoles but any performance increases, no matter how slight, are an improvement. I look forward to reading Digital Foundry's verdict on this supposedly 'miracle' patch though.
    Reply +4
  • Darren 16/12/2014

    I must admit that I am very doubtful that Ubisoft will be able to fix the appalling performance issues in the PS4 version of Assassin's Creed Unity that I have not been playing recently! So it came as no surprise to me when the much-awaited Patch 4, the one that promised to fix the performance issues, was delayed literally at the last minute to, and I quote Ubisoft here: "refurbish Paris". Forget the fact that they mention quality control as being important to them so as not to disappoint their customers (if that was the truth then they would have delayed the game until it was working properly in the first place!), what is more interesting (read: worrying) to me is what exactly this "refurbish" comment means.

    I can only guess that Ubisoft have realised that their performance tweaks and optimisations are either not enough or not noticeable at all (like 1-2 fps at most) and so they've taken the decision to adjust/retweak large sections of the game in a desperate attempt to fix the framerate issues. That may mean thinning out the crowds, reducing the geometry detail on the buildings, adjusting the level of detail (which is already appalling IMO as models switch between low and high detail just a couple of game feet away!) and even the draw distance, post-process effects and/or lighting. This impressive-looking game (at least when it isn't moving at 20 fps) could suddenly look a lot less impressive post-Patch 4 and I'm sure there will be those who will argue that taking a hit to the graphics is better than having a wonky framerate. I would actually agree with that (though the question has to be asked as to why they did not do that in the first place) but it will be hard to shake off the disappointment if that is what happens, especially in a game that is already running at 900p on the current gen platforms.

    I somehow doubt that the PS4 version will miraculously running at a locked 30 fps like last year's superb Black Flag. More likely we will end up with a graphically inferior game that runs at 2-3 fps more at best in a game that already feels like it is sub-20 fps for the majority of the time anyway. I know I should be more optimistic but this is Ubisoft we're discussing here.
    Reply +3
  • Last-gen revisited: Dragon Age Inquisition

  • Darren 16/12/2014

    Considering these versions of Dragon Age Inquisition are running on almost-decade old hardware, it really is impressive that these games even look and run as well as they do in my opinion. The point is that 360 and PS3 owners can play the exact same superb game that PS4, Xbox One and PC owners are playing and that has to be a very good thing for people who cannot afford to (or won't) upgrade yet. Reply +23
  • You can move Dark Souls from Games for Windows Live to Steam next month

  • Darren 16/12/2014

    @JonFE - I have the retail boxed collector's edition (with the artbook and poster etc) and I cannot register my GfWL key on Steam as it states it is registered to another account that is not my own (I only have one Steam account and have had it since it started in 2004 when Half-Life 2 was released). When I select the option to recover the game then an email is sent but never to me.

    My guess is that someone is using the same key as me, either due to a hiccup with the publisher issuing a duplicate or possibly fraudulently. Either way, despite contacting Valve about it they have no absolutely no interest in helping me and my only recourse with them is to buy the game again unfortunately. In fact, I got the feeling that they thought I was the one who had stolen the key. :(

    This kind of thing makes me realise how despicable DRM really is if a publisher goes under or the service the game uses is terminated like as happened with GfWL (which was a god-awful service anyway, even by Microsoft's standards, let's be frank).

    *EDIT*
    I see ghostgate2001 has the exact same issue as me. Makes me wonder just how common this issue is.
    Reply +1
  • Eurogamer readers' top 50 games of 2014 voting

  • Darren 12/12/2014

    There's been a lot of great games this year but my list is as follows:

    1. Dragon Age: Inquistion
    2. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
    3. GTA V
    4. Wolfenstein: The New Order
    5. Bayonetta 2
    Reply 0
  • DriveClub revisited: is dynamic weather a game-changer?

  • Darren 11/12/2014

    The game looks absolutely fantastic, more so now they've added fully dynamic weather, but the actual gameplay still remains a bit of a disappointment for me. It just isn't that exciting with a dated single player mode and really iffy CPU controlled cars that still crash into me way too often. Also, it's odd how many of the tracks appear the same in terms of layout and only differ in terms of scenery; there isn't the variety that you get from, say, a GRID or DiRT game.

    It's not terrible by any means but I still feel that EG's 6/10 score still holds even with the superfluous additions (the weather as far as I know as not implemented into the main single player mode and the Photo mode is almost wasted without the replay facility). It's hard to love a game that for two months was essentially broken and missing most of its promised features and even now it still feels a tad unfinished (the omission of replays for example).

    Hopefully, Evolution will learn from this and the inevitable Driveclub 2 will be a much, much better game.
    Reply -12
  • The Crew review

  • Darren 11/12/2014

    It's not often that I give IGN any credit for writing good reviews but in the case of this game I find their's to be a far more accurate summing up in my experience than EG's (IMO) overgenerous review and score. They gave it 6.0 here, citing dated visuals and dodgy A.I. as shortcomings of the game: http://au.ign.com/articles/2014/12/02/the-crew-review

    And 5/10 from Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/the-crew-review/1900-6415988/
    Reply +3
  • Darren 10/12/2014

    Quote: "The AI rubber banding in particular is outrageous, ensuring that if the game has decided that you're only worthy of battling for third in a race, then barring a massive accident on the final stretch that's exactly where you'll finish."

    That reads like something that would utterly kill any other racing game where the prime focus is on its racing because if your driving skills are hampered by cheap rubber-banding then it just sucks all enjoyment out of the game, especially if you have to repeatedly do missions. Yes, it can make races more tense and exciting but it can also turn a racing game into a joyless exercise in frustation in my experience if it goes too far.

    I think the game (PC version) is competent overall; the driving and handling is fine, the graphics are dated and average at best (except for some nice lighting) and the missions and side activities are plentiful and reasonably varied. What sells it for me though is the huge open world as it is just fun setting a waypoint and driving there while listening to the radio (or custom music on the PC). Hell, anyone remember that otherwise awful World Racing game on Xbox with its atrociously complex menu design? I spent hours just driving around to music in that game and I will likely do the same with The Crew, even though I have no interest in playing it with others!

    I would not rate the game more than 6.5 personally though, it just doesn't do anything especially well IMO and some of the missions are very annoying (I absolutely detest the ones where you have to chase down and ram vehicles which are always faster than the car you have!!!).
    Reply +35
  • Square Enix confirms Microsoft will publish Rise of the Tomb Raider

  • Darren 09/12/2014

    It makes no sense to me to have what are traditionally multi-platform sequels then be exclusive to one console and that applies both to Rise of the Tomb Raider (exclusive to Xbox) and Street Fighter V (exclusive to PlayStation 4). Why would a publisher want to limit their sales/revenue by restricting the game to fewer formats? It makes no sense to me unless the amount of money they receive exceeds the amount paid for the exclusivity in the first place, which somehow seems unlikely.

    Of course, Sony and Microsoft will be hoping these exclusives sell more of their consoles but I do not believe that will happen because, in Rise of the Tomb Raider's case it is a timed exclusive anyway therefore it makes no sense to go out and buy a console for one game when it more than likely will come out on that platform anyway...provided you're prepared to wait six to twelve months. As for Street Fighter V, I'm not convinced that the franchise carries the same prestige as it did back in the SNES/Megadrive days and Capcom have been milking the previous entry to death with numerous different versions (including another for the PS4!) that I'm surprised everyone isn't sick and fed up of the franchise!
    Reply +4
  • Video: Uncharted 4's demo dissected

  • Darren 09/12/2014

    Maybe I'm easily pleased but I thought the gameplay demo looked incredible and I do not care one iota whether it has been toned down from the E3 2014 trailer or not. All I know is that the game looks great now and in ten months or so time when it is released it will look even better.

    That said, it's obvious that these in-game engine rendered but *not* necessarily real-time trailers that publishers such as Ubisoft seem to favour needs to stop as they are grossly misleading and not representative of the final game at all, leading to inevitable disappointment and much complaining on the internet when the game fails to match the target render. Better to show a trailer from a game when there is *actual* gameplay footage to show as Rockstar have always done with their games, including the recent PS4 and Xbox One releases of Grand Theft Auto V.
    Reply +32