This is DC we are talking about. Dying for good isn't part of what superheroes or super villains do in that universe.
Raven10's forum posts
@gizmo88: That is true but there is a lot more to it than that. Maybe Rocksteady didn't get Iron Galaxy the assets soon enough, or maybe WB didn't give Iron Galaxy enough time to do the port. Or Iron Galaxy underestimated how long it would take. Or maybe there were driver issues that Nvidia/AMD promised would be optimized by launch and that didn't pan out. Or maybe Rocksteady's alterations to the UE3 texture streaming system made a simple PC port incredibly difficult. My understanding is that stuttering from texture streaming is the issue at hand. Generally this is caused when a game goes over its VRAM budget and has to use system RAM to store textures. On consoles there is no split RAM. Everything runs off a single system on a chip, so as long as the studio really optimizes the number of draw calls it is making, stuttering shouldn't be an issue.
Basically, I would bet Rocksteady rebuilt the UE3 compiler to allow for fewer total draw calls as consoles are far more CPU limited than RAM limited. The opposite is true for a lot of PC's. Up until a couple months ago, the only card that had as much VRAM as a console was the Titan. Now there are a handful of others but none under the $500 mark. The other possibility is that the game simply didn't have its config settings set correctly in the master, and players just need to go into the .ini file and tell the game to use all of their available RAM.
Or there could be any number of other issues, but if asset streaming is once more at the core of a botched open world game then it continues to show just how badly Microsoft messed up with DX11 considering draw calls will be getting a 2000% performance boost when DX12 comes out. I have an older computer and I was just playing Ghost Recon Future Soldier. With DX11 on the game ran at no more than 20 fps even with all DX11 exclusive settings turned off. When I switched back to DX9, using identical settings, the game ran between 45 and 60 fps. No visual change, no settings tweaking. I just swapped from one API to the other and got that boost. That will fix most of the problems with Ubisoft's games and with a variety of other titles.
EDIT: Just checked Digital Foundry and they finally have some numbers up, the most important of which is this one: At 720p with all settings set to their lowest the game was still using 2.7 GB of RAM. That means a 3 GB card is the minimum requirement to run the game and most likely you'll be wanting either the brand new this week Radeon 390x with its 8 GB or RAM or the Geforce Titan X with its 12 GB of RAM to play at 1080p/60. So basically, anyone with a less than $500 graphics card shouldn't be running the game at 1080p. I can't say I'm surprised that console performance recommends 4 GB of VRAM as the consoles have access to as much as 6 GB. What is surprising is how poorly the game scales to older graphics cards considering this is a UE3 game. Seems to me that Rocksteady brute forced their way to the visual quality seen on the consoles by loading massive chunks of data straight into RAM, bypassing the streaming issues that have been destroying console performance this generation but making a PC port incredibly difficult to do without major engine changes.
I would bet those with a 2 GB graphics card would be able to get by if they load the game onto an SSD, but looking at the performance profile we are suffering from a game that was heavily optimized for consoles with no thought put into making it work on anything but the highest end PC.
Dunno about the missing effects, though. SSAO is built right into UE3. It should be as easy as checking a box to turn it on. The missing rain effects could be the result of Rocksready building a software level solution that didn't port well to DX11 for whatever reason. Ubisoft ran into a similar issue with its AA solution for Assassin's Creed Unity. Couldn't make it work with DX11 so PC players just have to brute force it. But there are DX11 AA features built into the API, so it isn't a major issue to add a handful of them to a PC port. Writing an entire rain simulation engine is an entirely different issue.
Here's the thing. A lot of the things in Doom simply don't hold up. For example, the keycard collecting objectives of every level weren't the most fun thing in the mid nineties and I have no interest in anything related to hunting down keycards these days. Doom levels were cool in how open they were but that openess and the lack of direction made some levels incredibly frustrating and at times nearly unbeatable.
I think one of the absolute key differences between Doom and modern shooters is how in Doom enemy projectiles moved slow enough to be dodged (or you moved fast enough). These days shooters use realistic physics that make such a format impossible but to capture the feeling of Doom you need to be able to dodge enemy projectiles. Without that it isn't Doom. Outside of the speed of movement I think the main thing that made Doom popular was the violent and atmospheric nature of the concept. Thing is that so many games have taken both violence and atmosphere to levels so far beyond what Doom did that simply recreating similar levels won't feel special.
If anything, I think this game felt a little too much like Doom. Cause the simple fact of the matter is that game design has evolved in leaps and bounds since Doom came out. Look at what Id did with Rage or what MachineGames did with Wolfenstein. Single player shooters need to have more than dozens of levels of the same handful of enemies in the same handful of areas. Cause when it comes down to it, Doom was repetitive as all hell. The only change to the gameplay came from the addition of new weapons and the very occasional introduction of a new enemy. Every level from the first to the last played out almost exactly the same. These days where shooters have numerous unique objectives and one-off encounters, a game where you collect keys for 20+ hours is just not going to fly.
I never had a PS1 so my first chance to play the original was on the PS3 as a PS1 Classic. To say it didn't hold up remotely would be something of an understatement. There were a couple sequences that remained pretty neat but it mostly felt like a chore to the extent that I eventually gave up on it. If this game modernizes some of the systems (I'd really love it if they added in the random battle system from Bravely Default where you can turn them off or lower how numerous they are) and does a good pass on updating the script I think this could be a cool opportunity for those like myself that missed it the first time around.
I just have basic gaming headset so I couldn't really hear the difference. My understanding is that to hear a lot of the extra detail you need high quality headphones. I know that I can immediately tell the difference between listening to a lossless file on some bose headphones and listening to an MP3 using my headset, but I just don't have the money to spend hundreds of dollars on headphones.
While this sounds pretty black and white the guys at Valve are smart. It's not super tough to figure out if a player has beaten most games. Almost every game released on Steam these days has achievements and there is almost always at least one achievement for beating the game. So that is an easy way to stem abuse from people trying to "rent" games from Steam. Another way might be to use cloud saves that let developers basically check off a variable once a certain action has occurred in the game that would mean the player is past the point where the game can be refunded. Or you could go with, say, a 10% of the average playtime as the amount of time you get before a game isn't valid for a refund. That would of course be a lot more effort on Valve's part as they would have to create an easy to monitor system that would let people know when they are nearing that point, but it seems like the most fair way to handle this.
The PSN Flash Sales sometimes have things like 75% off, but I guess those are only a US thing? I agree that even in the US the prices for some digital games can be a bit insane.
As to the argument of whether the console makers taking a cut hinder the possibility of Steam-quality sales, they don't. All stores including console, brick and mortar, PC download, and those of Google and Apple take 30%. The difference between digital and retail are twofold. First the games have no manufacturing cost, no distribution cost, and no sales force cost. So you are cutting between 10% and 25% off of your costs depending on how much money you are paying to the retailers for shelf space. And that shelf space is also the second difference. A physical store has a limited amount of space to put new products. Price cuts at retailers occur most often when a store purchases more copies of a game than they end up being able to sell at full price, or a manufacturer produces more copies than they can sell to stores. In these cases the games still have to be sold as they have already been made. So they drop the price until the copies leave store shelves. It's all about inventory control. All price drops for any product at a brick and mortar store are. Now a digital game is just a piece of code. Having 100,000 copies of the game takes up only a couple more kilobytes on your servers than having 1 copy. So price drops serve no purpose. Sales, meanwhile, are not constrained by supply limitations and so they can be more common. Physical retailers are also never going to drop the price of the product below the price they paid for it, and manufacturers aren't going to sell the game to retailers for less than it costs them to make it and ship it. Hence you have a minimum price that varies depending on how much it costs to get the game to your location but at the very minimum is probably around $5 and in some parts of the world with heavy import fees could be $20 or more. So a digital game can be sold for under a dollar because every cent of that sale is pure profit. Now that profit gets split between the developers, publishers, and retailers but 33 cents a game is better than not selling a game at all in the digital space, whereas making 33 cents on a physical game means you lost money on manufacturing it.
@the_ruckus: Dunno if you are still looking for this but two games that popped into my head were Wizardry 8 and Might and Magic VII. Both were first person, not isometric. But both had some minor sci-fi elements thrown in including guns that were known only by a select few. In Might and Magic you are given a castle so not exactly a tower but there was a tower in the castle. I never finished Wizardry so I don't know if you get a tower in it or not.
You also get a tower in Morrowind and there are some futuristic weapons made by dwarves that most people don't know exist. I don't recall a gun but then again it has been a long time and there were a lot of weird elements to that game.
As far as isometric RPG's go, the only thing I could think of would be maybe Ultima VIII? I don't know if guns were involved in that entry as I never played more than an hour of it but the series had a history of mixing sci-fi and fantasy and it was possible to own property in at least some of the games. It's a bit older than the others but isometric RPG's were not too popular in the mid 00's.
@nwcra1: Do you know what platform the second one was on? Like are we talking a console game, PC game, or handheld/mobile game? Or could you even remember exactly what platform? That would really help narrow it down.
I would be down for a cross-coast quick look with the San Fransisco office showing off the PS4 version and the New York office showing off the PC version since I don't think the PC's they have out West are going to handle this game especially well.