When Quantum Break launched, it did so pretty much to universal acclaim. Many fans and critics alike praised the game’s storytelling, fast and frenetic gameplay, and it’s ability to weave the gameplay and the live action show seamlessly. However, the much anticipated version of Quantum Break on Windows 10 left a lot of people wanting more, specifically when it came to technical performance. Another flagship title on the much-maligned Windows Universal Platform, Quantum Break had the opportunity to show critics of the platform that big, triple-A games could thrive and be just as relevant there as they are on Steam and other PC game aggregate sites.
Quantum Break on Windows 10, for the most part, fell flat on its face.
Reports began to trickle out right before launch about a bevy of issues facing the Windows 10 version of Quantum Break. Reviews had been out a few days prior, but they only reflected the Xbox One experience. PC codes were sent to reviewers days before launch, which is not always a good sign. Digital Foundry then released their customary port analysis, finding major technical flaws with Quantum Break, ranging from an artificially capped framerate, to wildly uneven frame-pacing, to the fact that the Windows 10 version still operates using the temporal reconstruction that is necessary on the Xbox One to achieve it’s 1080p output. If you’re playing on PC, the game is actually rendering at two-thirds your target resolution, meaning the 1080p picture is still technically 720p but reconstructed to look 1080p.
Remedy, the developer of Quantum Break, came out this week and acknowledged many of the PC issues, as well as deliver some vague time tables as to when they might be fixed. For some of the issues, such as the framerate cap, Quantum Break’s developer Remedy is citing issues with the Windows Store app, stating that the ability to disable VSync will be coming in May when Microsoft enables it on their end.
“In May, Microsoft will be enabling the ability for developers to disable v-sync and adding support for G-Sync and Freesync monitors. This means that UWP games running in full screen, borderless windowed mode will have all of the performance advantages of traditional full screen exclusive mode.”
Microsoft, on their part, is also aware of the issues. A Microsoft Spokesperson provided the following statement in regard to the Quantum Break Windows 10 problems.
“We are aware of the issues that have been reported and are working diligently with our partners to look into them. We will be providing more details in the near future.”
The biggest red flag on the list that Remedy released is the rendering technique. Many PC gamers are up in arms over this issue, given the fact that PC hardware is capable of outputting native 1080p with relative ease. While the rendering technique might have been needed to tailor the experience to the Xbox One and make it smooth, that kind of rendering doesn’t need to be in place on PC. Or, at the very least there should be an ability to toggle the feature on or off, like Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege affords PC players. There is already a stigma around the Universal Windows App that it’s hindering PC players from getting the most out of their investment, specifically as it pertains to Gsync or FreeSync monitors. The idea that Quantum Break is hindering players from getting the actual resolution that their monitor is capable of is not sitting well. For instance, if you have a native 1440p monitor, the game is actually upscaling from 1706 x 960, well under even a 1080p image. And since UWP doesn’t allow for downsampling, to get a true 1080 render, you’d have to use a 4K monitor.
No true timetable is set as to when all of the issues will be remedied. However, the fact that the game released in such a state is a definite black eye on Microsoft’s attempt to court PC gamers. There have been two major triple-A franchises that have released on the Windows store recently, and both have had major issues rendering the games somewhat unplayable. Quantum Break is the latest example, and it’s a shame because technical issues aside, it’s a really great game.
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