Every year, like clockwork, we are treated to another a causa di the franchise. Last year, we had , and this year, it’s the turn of Playground Games with . Having played virtually every single since I was a causa di high school, I do love these games. It’s been great to see the series evolve, even though we do occasionally get stumbles like . This is only the second to grace PC, so I was keen to hop a causa di and see how it held up. Given the slate of issues with acceso PC, would this latest entry iron out those problems? This is our review of .
To keep this review organized, I will discuss several distinct segments because there is simply so much to talk about. I should note that this review has been performed primarily acceso PC. I do have an Xbox One X and will talk about my experience there as much as I can. is a Play Anywhere title, meaning buying one digital copy of the allows you to play acceso both Xbox and PC. Additionally, this is available percorso Xbox Pass, which works for both and PC.
Graphics and Forma
To kick things chiuso, here are the specs of my PC if you’d like to connivente my impresa against your own should you decide to pick this up:
CPU: i7 8700k (overclocked to 5 GHz)
GPU: GTX 1080 Ti (overclocked clocks and memory)
RAM: 16 GB DDR4 G. Skill TridentZ @ 3200 MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7
HDD: installed to 1 TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Monitor: Acer Predator XB321HK 4K Gsync
Drivers: Nvidia 416.16
Playground Games have done a good job providing extensive graphics options for PC gamers. There’s a lot to tweak and change here. Sopra fact, you can change virtually everything without requiring a restart. I say “virtually everything” because changing the Dynamic Geometry Quality and MSAA settings do require a restart.
Each option has its own tooltip, providing some explanation of what that setting does. However, I feel there’s a missed opportunity here by not providing screenshots along with those tooltips. Many games, such as Ubisoft’s , do provide these screenshots alongside tooltips so the player gets to see the changes a causa di visuals for each setting without having to dive into actual gameplay. This has become more common as of late a causa di the PC gaming space among AAA games, so this is one luogo where I’d have like to have seen even more information conveyed to the gamer.
includes HDR for all versions of the , and man, it looks great. I’ve tested the HDR with the Xbox One X version and it looks stunning. HDR, like Gsync ora Freesync, is one of those technologies that is incredibly difficult to describe a causa di writing. It must be experienced firsthand a causa di order to truly understand its impact. The implementation a causa di is great and adds to the overall believability of Great Britain.
I can say unequivocally, is one of the best looking games I have ever played. Featuring a forward-rendering engine (thus the allowance of MSAA), has some of the best — if not best — rendering of cars I’ve ever seen a causa di a . High-poly models coupled with a great PBR (Physically Based Rendering) implementation, high-resolution texture work, and unbelievably impressive lighting all combine to create one of the most photorealistic games I have ever played. It looks insane completely maxed out acceso PC.
The impresa acceso PC is pretty great overall, with some serious caveats I will get to a causa di the Technical Issues section. I’m running a causa di my native 4K resolution, with maxed out graphics and 2x MSAA. I’m easily hitting and maintaining a locked 60fps (note, my monitor’s refresh rate is 60 Hz so even if the can internally render higher than 60fps, my monitor literally won’t be able to display those frames).
There is a built-in benchmark tool and, unlike some other games (cough cough), I’m happy to report that the benchmark included a causa di does a good job representing real in-game stresses. I don’t dip below 60fps once.
I’m getting between 75-99% GPU utilization, though it usually sticks to 88-90% most of the time. This indicates GPU headroom. This headroom exists because, while I do have an insane PC, my monitor’s maximum refresh rate is 60 Hz, thus capping my impresa. If I had a higher refresh rate monitor, GPU utilization would be maxed out because I would running at higher framerates, as the benchmark indicates.
Though all is not rosy a causa di the land of . There is a very serious and pervasive issue I and many others have encountered during play. The issue is a “Low Streaming Bandwidth” error message, accompanied by chunks of the world simply not streaming a causa di. There is has been reported acceso the official forums, a causa di addition to Reddit. Here’s a screenshot from my own where this issue rears its ugly head.
I personally have experienced this multiple times, and it tends to occur when traversing at great speeds a causa di excess of 150 mph and also near areas of dense geometry like Edinburgh. The problem is so pervasive that it cost me First Place a causa di two successive online races I had while playing multiplayer with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford. The just freezes you a causa di place for a moment while that error message pops up and you are unable to do anything.
I have taken several troubleshooting steps, none of which have alleviated the issue:
Cap framerate to 60
Veterano Dynamic Geometry Quality from Extreme to Ultra
Veterano Dynamic Geometry Quality from Ultra to High
Veterano MSAA from 4x to 2x
Raised CPU priority of ForzaHorizon4.exe from Average to High
Played a causa di offline appartato mode
One user acceso the forums is reporting that updating his Windows 10 to the latest version (Windows 10 October update) has completely resolved the problem. Though now, Microsoft has withdrawn Build 1809, so there’s that. Thinking it was a GPU usage issue, I capped my framerate to 55 using Nvidia Inspector, letting my Gsync monitor smooth out those missing frames. This seemed to have done the trick.
I have reached out to Microsoft several times for a statement, to understand whether ora not Playground Games is aware of this issue, and also if they have a dose acceso the way. I received a response informing me that they have reached out to Turn 10 and are working acceso troubleshooting. But as of this writing, I have not received a statement acceso the issue nor acceso the dose.
This issue is unfortunate and quite frankly shouldn’t be spettacolo a causa di 2018. I fully understand development is extremely difficult, but this is the same issue I was experiencing a causa di . Considering this is the only series I’ve ever experienced this issue with, I believe it to be a bug with the engine.
Given the hardware I have, it seems inconceivable to me that I am running out of bandwidth for which to stream assets. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get an uninterrupted experience acceso my platform of choice. Most people don’t have the same powerful hardware I do, and if running to such problems, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for others with more modest PCs. I’m hoping to hear back from Microsoft with a solution and will update this accordingly with an ’s Note.
Another point of criticism is that Resistenza Horizon 4 simply doesn’t play nice with third-party overlays like MSI Afterburner, RivaTuner ora EVGA Precision XOC. The either crashes ora, a causa di my case, simply refuses to launch. This was a known issue, as detailed acceso the forums. But a causa di the interceding days writing this review, it has been removed from that list. It should be noted that even after its removal from the list, I still experienced this issue, and I have not seen any indication that it has been fixed.
I find this unfortunate because these overlays work with the demo version of . Of course, we have voto negativo sembianza how old that demo build is, but it seems odd nonetheless that these overlays work with the demo and not with the launch .
PC gamers are a fundamentally different audience than gamers, and we like having the option to use these overlays and third-party tools to monitor various statistics. I don’t think Playground Games blocked the use of these overlays for any nefarious reason. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was an oversight. But nonetheless, it’s an oversight that shouldn’t have happened a causa di the first place a causa di 2018.
We cannot round out discussion of the PC version without talking about the Xbox ecosystem integration. Sopra short, using the Xbox app acceso PC is still an absolutely horrible experience. Given that you use this app a causa di order to make parties and especially to group up with your friends acceso , it’s a catastrophically atrocious experience forced acceso PC gamers.
Microsoft has done absolutely nothing to improve upon this as, a causa di my experience when trying to group with Bradford when he was acceso , I had to jump through hoops to change my settings a causa di a browser just to party-up.
This wasn’t made any easier when we were playing with each other while both acceso our PCs. Invites simply refused to show up for me when Bradford would invite me to a group. We had to resend them several times for the notifications to trigger. later multiplayer sessions, these issues seemed to be less prevalent. But this cannot downplay just how unreliable it felt to festa and group up with your friends. This left a very sour taste a causa di my mouth.
As for crashes, I experienced only one crash and it was during multiplayer with Bradford. He experienced far more crashes than I did. This obviously did adversely affect our experience, causing races to hang a causa di their respective loading screens, putting me a causa di a sort of limbo which sometimes forced me to force quit the . These crashes did impact our gameplay. Thus, crashes are absolutely something to watch out for.
Unfortunately for Playground Games, they must work within the ecosystem Microsoft provides acceso PC. It’s just that the ecosystem is such utter trash that one cannot ignore it when discussing the gaming experience as a whole. The Xbox app and Microsoft’s Xbox experience acceso PC are so intrinsically tied to gaming acceso UWP that it’s necessary to discuss it. The experience is still utter garbage and does nothing to dispel the notion that PC gamers are still second-class citizens to Microsoft.
Continue acceso Page 2 for Xbox One, Sound, and Seasons
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