Darren Comments

Page 1 of 246

  • Digital Foundry: Hands-On with Project Cars

  • Darren 17/04/2015

    Oh yuck, screen tearing in a racing game and on current gen systems? :confused:

    How disappointing... I will definitely pick this game up for PC now rather than PS4 as I had originally planned.
    Reply +1
  • What does it take to run GTA 5 at 1080p60?

  • Darren 16/04/2015

    This game sets a new benchmark IMO for what PC multiformat games should have in terms of optimisation and settings.

    The only thing missing really is a choice of SMAA over the inferior FXAA but otherwise this is an extremely impressive port in my experience. I have a non-overclocked i7-4770K, 16 GB, NVIDIA GTX 980 and Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and can pretty much max out every setting except for Shadows (Softest as PCSS seems to incur a large performance hit) and FXAA + 2xMSAA (since MFAA is enabled, I get 4xMSAA quality and TXAA does not look noticeably better when I enable it either). The game is mostly running at 60 fps with some dips to the low 50s, usually when driving but they do not bother me.

    GTA V is possibly the more impressive multiformat game I have played on PC recently and is a refreshing change from all the broken Day One releases we have been getting (Mortal Kombat X, which came out right after, unfortunately was released incomplete and is woefully lacking in graphics options! Surprise, surprise!).
    Reply +4
  • Project Cars on PS4 and Xbox One has PC-like graphics settings

  • Darren 16/04/2015

    That is great news.

    Although it may seem like it would require a lot of extra work to test different settings, the reality is that as long as the game is optimised to run well with all of them enabled then it should not create any problems if those options are turned off (since the game would then run better, perhaps with a higher minimum framerate, albeit capped at 60 fps anyway).

    Certainly, there should be options to turn off/lower film grain, bloom and that ghastly chromatic aberration effect developers are so bizarrely fond of at the moment so you can adjust the game's image quality to suit your tastes.
    Reply +2
  • F1 2015 will be 1080p on PS4, 900p on Xbox One

  • Darren 16/04/2015

    Excellent to see Codemasters aiming for 60 fps with their current gen console games as opposed to the 30 fps of the PS3/360 era. IMO, all racing games should be aiming for 60 fps because it just looks and feels better than 30 fps. I just hope that they can achieve this without the screen tearing issues of their last gen console games... Reply +6
  • Bloodborne sales pass 1m in under two weeks

  • Darren 14/04/2015

    Absolutely fantastic game but From Software really need to sort out that framerate IMO, specifically the awful frame pacing issues which make the game feel distractingly jerky almost all the time. Reply -4
  • Tech Analysis: Splatoon

  • Darren 04/04/2015

    The majority of Wii U titles seem to lack any kind of AA which is a little surprising given that its GPU is more powerful than the 360's and most of its game had some kind of post-process AA.

    Clearly, Nintendo's target of a locked 60 fps at native 1280x720 in their in-house games is the reason why so many Wii U games are missing AA. That is understandable but still disappointing that its GPU cannot also add some low-performance FXAA to smooth things over as upscaled even on a 32" 1080p HDTV the jaggies do tend to start out more than they do on AA-free PS4 and Xbox One games at 1080p.
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

  • Darren 30/03/2015

    When I found out the console versions definitely lacked PhysX, which was expected as neither the PS4 nor Xbox One have NVIDIA GPUs and the tech is very heavy on the CPU, then I thought that would mean that a flawless 60 fps performance would be possible on both systems, at least solo. The game seems to run extremely well on a wide range of PCs after all from what I've read. :o

    Seems to me that the developers should have locked the game on PS4 and Xbox One at 30 fps or reduced the resolution to allow for a locked 60 fps. Screen tearing of that level in a current gen game is unacceptable really as well.

    Speaking of screen tearing, how is it that some developers can restrict the tearing to the top of the screen and others don't? For example, Dragon Age: Inquisition on PS4 has intermittent screen tearing but because it is kept in the top third of the screen it is far less noticeable during regular gameplay unless you intentionally look for it. If a game has to tear, for controller latency reasons, like this one then why not similarly restrict it to the top of the screen so it is less obvious?
    Reply +4
  • Has Rockstar really downgraded GTA 5?

  • Darren 30/03/2015

    @Bilbur - I have to agree with you there. I used to regularly stop and stare at the scenery while playing GTA V on PS4 and I definitely noticed the use of POM. Hopefully it won't be long before Rockstar patch that and anisotropic filtering back in as I was hoping to return to the game over the Easter period. Reply +5
  • Darren 30/03/2015

    @ChockysChild - Yes, I do remember reading that too (about the traffic framerate dips being fixed in v1.07).

    I have never played GTA V online but does that game use an identical engine to the single player or are the effects and whatnot compromised for the sake of having X number of people playing it? I was wondering if that is why POM is missing and the game had all the other issues in v1.08, i.e. that they were meant only for the online mode? I notice that the patch notes usually always refer to the online mode.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 30/03/2015

    Excellent as GTA V is on PS4 and as a single player game mostly it was bug-free, it was months before Rockstar added in foliage and tree animations which were oddly missing from the release build.

    The absence of Parallax Occlusion Mapping from the game could well be a bug given that the effect is not really visible or in use when driving at high speed around the city and that is where the PS4 noticeably dropped frames (though it really wasn't that bad IMO; I never felt the game had become unplayable for example). Or perhaps Rockstar intended removing POM so they could increase the anisotropic texture filtering but forgot to include it?

    Either way, it would be nice to have the choice between having POM or better texture filtering via a graphics options.
    Reply +2
  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U will not launch in 2015

  • Darren 27/03/2015

    Why do I get the feeling that this will be the last Nintendo exclusive for the Wii U with that release date...? :( Reply +8
  • How to avoid Bloodborne's game-breaking glitch

  • Darren 27/03/2015

    @riceNpea - ...or a USB memory stick if, like me, you exhausted Sony's distinctly measly 1 GB of cloud storage a year ago! ;)

    Seriously, there's one game that has an 875 MB save file for example (WWE 2K15 I think) and DriveClub's replay ghosts are 150 MB+. Sony need to increase that to 5 GB in my opinion, particularly to people who are paying 40 per year for PS+.
    Reply +12
  • Darren 27/03/2015

    Quote: "Sony said update 1.02 will alleviate this problem, and we can expect that next week. This update will not shorten load times, however, though that's still being worked on for a later date."

    Will it fix the atrocious frame pacing problems though? That really should be the second issue to prioritise a fix for IMO and a.s.a.p.

    Those performance benchmark videos might show the game running at 30 fps but in play it feels jerky, like it is running at 20 fps at times. It one of those issues that I find to be constantly distracting and prevents me from being 100% immersed in what is otherwise a really excellent if challenging and sometimes frustrating game.

    It really should not require Digital Foundry to point these issues out before developers promise to fix them! Do they really not test/play their own games? How can they have missed it?!? The issue is obvious within seconds of playing it! :o
    Reply +11
  • Bloodborne review

  • Darren 27/03/2015

    This has been a great if very frustrating game for me so far as I have been dying a lot and those tedious loading times do not help there. Once I started learning the game's mechanics, stopped dying so frequently and got used to the health recharge system replacing the lack of a shield and my character's extra agility then the game becomes a more enjoyable experience but obviously still extremely challenging. Patience is rewarded here. Luring enemies in small groups is more effective than running in blind (obvious advice to anyone who has played Dark Souls). I have not found the gun to be very useful so far (perhaps I am not using it right?); I either quickly run out of ammo or enemies fail to react to being shot at (which seems odd; I have even had them not react to a molotov landing right next to them). Devil May Cry this definitely ain't!

    The biggest issue with the game though by far, at least in my experience, is the appalling framerate or rather the frame-pacing issues which make the game feel constantly juddery/jerky and, at times, as if it is running at 20 fps! Considering this game is exclusive to the PS4, i.e. designed for that hardware, and had a 2.7 GB Day One patch, that really is unforgivable in my view as even if the developers eventually fix it and the loading times (as they claim they are doing) via a future patch then it doesn't change the fact that what people are playing now is an inferior experience that is souring their impression of what is otherwise a really fantastic game as we have come to expect from From Software (unfortunately, what I have also come to expect from them are technical issues as well... :( ).

    P.S. The use of the chromatic aberration (i.e. dirty lens effect) in this game is predictably a bit of an eye-sore at times and I really wish developers would stop using it as does not look remotely realistic in my opinion.
    Reply +8
  • Pillars of Eternity review

  • Darren 26/03/2015

    Picked up the Hero Edition from CDKeys.com earlier for 18.90 and have pre-loaded it from Steam ready for tomorrow. :D Reply 0
  • MotoGP 15 zooms to PC and consoles in June

  • Darren 26/03/2015

    Another competent but bland racing game from Milestone that differs only from last year by its licenses? Oh, Climax Brighton, how I miss you! They knew how to make exciting motorbike racing games in my opinion. :( Reply +1
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection has 16GB day one patch on Xbox One

  • Darren 26/03/2015

    @lostmuppet - Well PhysX can run off the CPU but the PS4 and Xbox One's are so weak that that was not an option either. Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

  • Darren 25/03/2015

    @IronSoldier - The FFXV demo being better on PS4 is the only reason I bought Type-0 HD for my PS4 and not Xbox One. Kind of ironic that we have a game with near-perfect parity but the decision which version to buy lies with the demo!!! :lol: Reply +1
  • Darren 25/03/2015

    On the one hand, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is an impressive update considering the limitations of the original PSP hardware it was designed for and looks far better than I expected it to but what kills this game for me is the awful camera system, which in conjunction with the motion blur actually makes me feel nauseous and uncomfortable the longer I play it. I'm not sure which is worst, the motion blur or the camera but together they give an unpleasant experience for me unfortunately. It seems much worst outdoors than indoors as well.

    It really is frustrating as this is the first game I've played where I have been affected this way. It is a shame as I really do want to enjoy it, especially as the PS4 is somewhat lacking in Japanese RPGs at the moment. I would like to think they can fix this with a patch but somehow I doubt it will happen. :(

    P.S. Does anyone understand the story in this game? It seems to throw tons of jargon at you right from the outset and I was struggling to understand any of it. Still don't! :lol:
    Reply +7
  • MGS5: Ground Zeroes 5.79 in PlayStation Store Easter Sale

  • Darren 25/03/2015

    Ni no Kuni is my favourite J-RPG to date so I would highly recommend that to anyone who has not played it. It is gorgeous visually, sounds incredible and is a just a fantastic game to play. At 4 it is an absolute bargain IMO. Reply +3
  • PS4 firmware 2.5 release date and details

  • Darren 25/03/2015

    @fasterthanapigeon - The Samsung M9T is the only 2 TB hard drive that I am aware of that will fit inside the PS4: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-9-5mm-Internal-Drive-Compatible/dp/B00I8O6OQ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427295215&sr=8-1&keywords=ps4+hard+drive

    Toshiba are supposed to be releasing some 3 TB laptop hard drives in the spring so hopefully that will be compatible with the PS4. It would make a nice upgrade from the 1.5 TB one I currently have.
    Reply +2
  • Darren 25/03/2015

    @kadooosh - The backup feature certainly is handy for that reason but it is a shame that the PS4 does not also support external drives for game installations as well.

    I have a 1.5 TB drive installed in my PS4 but with the sizes of games increasing I am finding myself having to constantly delete old games to make space for new ones even on that. I would welcome another 2 TB of space personally but the largest drive you can fit internally is 2 TB and it is not worth me upgrading to that just for an extra 500 MB.

    I like to have a large library of games on tap that I switch between and while PS4 games install very quickly, making reinstallation a painless process (unlike the Xbox One!), it does not change the fact that many games come with large patches which would also have to be redownloaded too. Oh how I wish games could just be partially installed and ran from discs instead like the "old days"! :lol:
    Reply +4
  • Performance Analysis: Bloodborne

  • Darren 25/03/2015

    @music1 - That is not surprising at all. A great game can make you overlook its various issues but those issues still exist none the less and if fixed will make a great game even better. ;) Reply 0
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @obidanshinobi - Dead Rising ran at 720p though on the Xbox One and yet still managed to drop below 20 fps at times. I think if the game had ran at 900p or 1080p then those performance issues would have been more forgiveable. ;) Reply +4
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    Bloodbourne may come to the PC: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/03/24/amazon-france-lists-bloodborne-for-pc

    Very likely a mistake but if does turn out to be true then the game could really benefit from having higher framerates and better image quality on PC. Let's hope it is true.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @Timorous - Very good explanation there but what puzzles me is why it takes a technical article from Digital Foundry to point out these frame pacing issues in the first place. Do the developers and testers really not notice them? :confused: Reply +12
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @telboy007 - Even on a PC, you would not really buy an SSD to install games onto.

    The majority of people use them to speed up boot times and the responsiveness of the operating system as SSDs are still too expensive to be viable for mass games storage.

    I install all my PC games on 7,200rpm hard drives (some 9 TBs worth!!!) and loading times are never a problem. If the consoles used SATA3 and had 7,200rpm hard drives in the first place then you would not need to consider expensive SSDs at all (which are limited by the older, slower SATA2 interface on the PS4 anyway).
    Reply +11
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @andrewsqual - What...sorry...you mean you can actually die in Assassin's Creed: Unity?!?!? ;)

    Seriously though, you don't die in an Assassin's Creed game anywhere near as often as you do in a From Software game like Dark Souls or Bloodborne so those long loading times are really not that big of a deal. However, if you are dying every few minutes then they certainly would be.
    Reply +19
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @saispag - If you are having to wait 37-44 seconds for the game to load from SSD then an extra 10-13 second wait on a standard hard drive is not going to really be that noticeable IMO. Certainly, I do not think it is worth forking out 200 on an SSD just to marginally improve the loading times for one game because loading times are still long on the SSD anyway!!! :lol: Reply +8
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    @sid-6581 - I agree with you and while gameplay is obviously far more important than graphics, you cannot really excuse frame pacing issues and intrusive loading times as both can impair the actual gameplay experience. Reply +10
  • Darren 24/03/2015

    Minor framerate dips I can live with as long as they are infrequent (though 24 fps puts it into the 'unplayable' range as far as I am concerned...) but frame pacing issues are totally inexcusable IMO, especially in a game that needs a 2.7 GB patch on Day One. That means that even if the game is running at 30 fps it is not going to feel smooth. How on earth did From Software not pick that issue up during testing? :rolleyes:

    As for those loading times...in a game where you can die a lot if you're not careful then the developers really should have coded it to take that into account, making respawns as quick and painless as possible, something that they clearly have not done here. If you're good at the game then it is not going to be a problem but I can see those loading times being a big deal for little old me however... :confused:

    As expected from a From Software game, the artwork and gameplay are exemplary but the technical execution falls a bit short. I have read that the game has weak anti-aliasing and poor anisotropic filtering too. If true then combined with the performance issues and long loading times, it is hard not to feel a little disappointed, particularly as this game is exclusive to the PS4. Makes me wish it was coming out on the PC as well to be honest. :(
    Reply +20
  • You've got the touch: How a mobile game gave birth to a human child

  • Darren 25/03/2015

    The Depeche Mode - Master and Servant song reference was the most exciting thing about that article! ;) Reply +4
  • Geralt's beard grows as you play Witcher 3

  • Darren 24/03/2015

    So The Witcher 3 is clearly not going to be sponsored by Gillette Mach 3 then? ;) Reply +4
  • Looks like Gravity Rush Remaster is coming to PS4

  • Darren 20/03/2015

    Mmmmmm, yes please! :D Reply +5
  • Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Xbox One release date

  • Darren 20/03/2015

    This is truly one of the best HD remasters I have played to date, retaining all the gameplay, atmosphere and charm of the original whilst ramping up the presentation, visuals and audio. The developers, Just Add Water, really have put a lot of effort into this remake unlike some of the other lazy efforts that barely qualify as such on PS4 and Xbox One. Reply +3
  • Use your remaining Club Nintendo stars on digital 3DS, Wii U games

  • Darren 20/03/2015

    @bratsampson - Ha, I was just thinking the same thing...I have 20+ Wii U games and I have not registered any of the points from them. Reply +4
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD review

  • Darren 20/03/2015

    Sounds like a decent game to me but one that really should have been sold at around the 20-25 price point on Xbox One and PS4 and no more than that. IMO.

    Square-Enix have obviously taken advantage of the Final Fantasy XV demo to inflate the price but who in their right mind would pay extra for free demos anyway, especially one of an unfinished game? I am certainly interested in this game and FFXV but I will wait for the price to drop first to under 25 before I bite. And if I miss out on the demo, well then tough, there's plenty of YouTube footage I can check out instead.
    Reply +16
  • Face-Off: Battlefield Hardline

  • Darren 19/03/2015

    @Antropie - For which version of Dmc Devil May Cry though?

    My PS4 version, which I received early, did get updated prior to its official release with an 18 GB "patch" that sat alongside the original installation of 18 GB to give a total install size of 36 GB. It showed as v1.01.

    However, after reporting the issue on Twitter and deleting the original install and reinstalling the game again, it is still 18 GB, v1.0 and there is NO patch at all despite checking manually everytime I play the game. So it looks like it was withdrawn due to the issue I had and has yet to be re-released, at least here in the UK.
    Reply +5
  • People are selling the Final Fantasy 15 demo on eBay

  • Darren 19/03/2015

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD really should not be more than 30 RRP in my opinion. I think charging 40 for it is a complete rip-off as no matter how good the game is it is still a port of an old PSP game and the Final Fantasy XV demo it comes with is in essence free since no-one in their right mind pays for demos (unless they are idiots as seems to be the case judging by the ones buying the demo on Ebay!!!). ;)

    I am interested in picking this game up for my Xbox One but I will wait for the inevitable price drop to under 30, ideally 25, before I do.
    Reply +1
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X review

  • Darren 17/03/2015

    @IronSoldier - It depends on whether this rumoured GTX 980 Ti has a 256-bit bus like the GTX 980 or a 384-bit one like the GTX Titan X. If it is the former then it will likely ship in 4/8 GB variants otherwise, with the latter, 6/12 GB models. Reply +1
  • Darren 17/03/2015

    I suspect a 6 GB GTX 980 Ti will be just around the corner and at a much more reasonable price. The GTX Titan X is certainly an impressive piece of hardware but not very good value in my opinion.

    For me though, the GTX 980 is more than ample for all the games I am currently playing at 1920x1200 and I have no desire to go above that resolution any time soon as it is a nice balance between max. settings and framerate with great image quality on a 24" screen.
    Reply +5
  • Dead Rising 2 and Off the Record arrive on Steamworks tomorrow

  • Darren 17/03/2015

    Has anyone successfully transferred their GFWL keys to Steamworks yet? I tried my two keys for the game this morning but was told they were invalid. Reply 0
  • Laid-off SimCity dev launches Patreon for creation of Cities: Skylines buildings

  • Darren 16/03/2015

    Cities: Skylines runs very well on my PC but the developers need to properly support dedicated fullscreen mode (as opposed to the windowed fullscreen it currently uses) as downsampling from 4K currently doesn't work and the 4K mod that is available disables Achievements.

    My copy also crashes for some reason when I exit it from either the game or main menu which is a bit unnerving... :confused:
    Reply 0
  • Dying Light to get bow and arrow weapon, time trial mode and dune buggies

  • Darren 16/03/2015

    I am surprised that there has been no update on this article since the EU/UK and Australian PS4 patches were never released and as of 16th March are still unreleased with no word from Techland on why it was delayed. My copy still shows as v1.02.

    I have been able to find out that the PS4 patch was intended to be released last week but that the EU/UK etc patch was delayed for some reason but that it should be out by the end of this week '100%' according to Techland.
    Reply 0
  • Lego Hobbit will not get Battle of the Five Armies DLC

  • Darren 13/03/2015

    Well I cannot say I am surprised at this point, though I was wondering if they had delayed it until the release The Battle of the Five Armies on Blu-ray and DVD. Sadly not.

    I bought the game for my PC and it was patched a few months back (before Christmas actually) to add a DirectX 11 executable (the game currently uses DirectX 9 as do all the other recent PC LEGO games). This led me to incorrectly assume at the time that the DLC expansion for the third movie was coming out but it never happened. To add insult to injury, the DirectX 11 executable actually doesn't work so it looks as if Warner decided around then not to bother with the last part but left the game files incomplete as well.

    Disappointing really. Maybe the LEGO Hobbit game did not sell well enough?
    Reply +4
  • Performance Analysis: Battlefield Hardline Multiplayer

  • Darren 13/03/2015

    @UkHardcore23 - Frostbite works fine for Dragon Age: Inquisition where the PS4 version is running at 1080p and (mostly) 30 fps, with minor screen tearing in the top third of the screen. ;)

    I think a big part of the issue is getting a solid 60 fps in any online game where every match is different in terms of physics and rendering. It must be extremely hard, perhaps impossible, to optimise for that. On PC, you can achieve a solid 60 fps only if your minimum framerate is above that otherwise even on a high-end system you can suffer from dips below the refresh rate at times plus Windows can be very unpredictable at times.

    Whether they use Frostbite, CryEngine or Unreal Engine 4 on the PS4 and Xbox One, the developers are always going to be limited by the weak CPUs and mid-range GPUs that both consoles have as well when targeting 60 fps for anything other than a single player game..
    Reply +4
  • Phil Spencer's new vision for the Xbox One

  • Darren 13/03/2015

    I think the big problem with Microsoft and the Xbox brand is that they and it lack the "cool" factor that Sony's PlayStation brand has always had (and which rival company Apple has by the truck load). I think Microsoft's talk of Windows this and DirectX that does them no favours and they just come across as a geeky PC-orientated company more interested in selling operating systems and services than games. We are now past their disastrous Xbox One unveiling were they stupidly focused on its TV and media features (much to the surprise of all the core gamers who watched it, including myself) and they have had a long hard struggle getting back on track since then.

    It still astounds me that Microsoft managed to mess things up so badly for the Xbox One (even the console's name makes little sense when it is their third Xbox!) after the innovative Xbox (the real Xbox 1!) in 2002, with its standard hard drive, custom soundtracks and (later) Xbox Live and DLC then the solid but less ground-breaking Xbox 360, which turned out to be a huge success despite those early reliability issues. The Xbox One really should have been Microsoft's most impressive and successful console yet, built on over a decade of experience with the brand. Instead, the decision to include Kinect with weaker hardware and inflate the price allowed Sony to take the lead in sales without even really having to try! (Mind you, Sony messed things up just as badly with the PS3, ironically also their third console too...must be something in that...? ;) )

    The Xbox One has definitely improved much over the last year. It is more feature-complete and it arguably has the best exclusives over the PS4. It is also better value now Microsoft have ditched the fad that was Kinect. In a couple more years with more exclusives, I expect the sales gap between the Xbox One and PS4 to have narrowed, just as it did with the Xbox 360 and PS3. I actually use my Xbox One the most out of all my consoles...just not for games (I watch Sky+HD through it)! :D
    Reply +5
  • Face-Off: DmC Devil May Cry Definitive Edition

  • Darren 12/03/2015

    @Malek86 - Dying Light uses Techland's own Chrome Engine (version 6 I believe) not Unreal Engine. ;) Reply +1
  • Two years on, DmC takes its rightful place in the series

  • Darren 12/03/2015

    Dmc: Devil May Cry does get a lot of undeserved hatred such that I wonder if Capcom would have been better releasing under a different name entirely and not calling it Devil May Cry at all? Whatever, it is a really great game and arguably much more accessible than the previous games (though I did complete Devil May Cry 4 on PS3 and PC, being my personal favourite in the series). Reply +3
  • DriveClub Lamborghini expansion due later this month

  • Darren 12/03/2015

    Replays next week? Hurray, the game will finally be complete (at least as far as I am concerned). :D

    The game has certainly come along way since it shaky debut. Though I still think the A.I. is annoyingly flawed, Driveclub is now a fairly decent if somewhat generic arcade racer. I just wish that Evolution had delayed the game and released it when it had most of these features added. I think it would have fared better with the critics if they had.
    Reply +3