To say Dishonored 2 released in a shoddy state is an understatement. The game’s PC launch was eerily reminiscent of the Batman: Arkham Knight debacle last year. Naturally, Dishonored 2 really rubbed some PC players the wrong way with how it launched, especially considering that outlets have been heaping praise on a game that is, by all accounts, a decent entry in the series.
Yesterday, developer Arkane Studios released a patch to the PC version to start tackling those issues many people are having with the title. It’s not a small patch either, as Steam’s download queue had it showing as a 6.5-gigabyte patch to the game, which is essentially like saying Arkane pushed an entirely new build to Steam users. But what did the patch do, and does it actually fix performance issues in Dishonored 2?
The patch notes are incredibly extensive, and for a patch as large as version 1.2 seems to be, they would have to be. The patch includes adding more options to the menu, entirely reworking the visual auto-detection, and implementing some of the community work-arounds into the game itself.
An example of this was the ability to set Dishonored 2‘s “Max pre-rendered frames” to “1,” something that usually helps smooth out performance. This is now built into the new build of the game itself, so Arkane is advising that players reset that value in their graphics card’s control panel before launching the new game. Additionally, new Vsync options are available, a frame-rate limiter is now in the game, and the ability to select better anti-aliasing techniques (which Dishonored 2 needs badly) are now in the menu.
However, the big question is what Dishonored 2 handles like post-patch. Well, it’s kind of a mixed bag. One of the major issues with Dishonored 2 was the way the game felt, especially thanks to the stuttering across the screen when you panned the camera. The frame pacing in the game was causing a horrendous response for the player, essentially making higher frame rates feel just as unresponsive as if you were playing it at console levels. Much of that is cleared up, though, thanks to the new patch. Mouse look and using a controller feel smooth and responsive, the way they should. This is the most worthwhile improvement.
The unfortunate thing is that the game still doesn’t handle the way it should. Frequent framerate drops still occur, either when overlooking open areas in Karnaca or even stepping inside a building, and it plagues the experience. I’m running the game on an i7-6700K CPU, GTX 980 and 16 GB of RAM clocked at 3200Mhz, yet I still see the game tank from above 60 frames per second to the high 30s. For a machine as powerful as this, it just shouldn’t happen – especially when the game isn’t anywhere near as graphically intense as other games on the market running flawlessly.
Resolution scaling doesn’t seem to help either, which is a shame. The idea of resolution scaling is to keep performance optimal, yet even when it’s enabled (which with a rig as powerful as mine, it shouldn’t have to be), you’re met with both a slash in visual quality as well as a dipping framerate.
In terms of how Dishonored 2 released, this is a vast improvement. Many will likely find this manageable and truck on with the game, eager to play through what has been deemed a “Game of the Year” contender by many. And in the moments where Dishonored 2 has worked flawlessly (as few and far between they’ve been), it’s a fun game. In my opinion, though, Dishonored 2 honestly just does not run well enough, even post-patch, to recommend someone buy the game just yet on PC. This is just one fix of many Arkane will be pushing out, so here’s to hoping that the game’s on track to work properly so people who spent real money on the title can enjoy the game they all wanted.
It’s just a shame that going on a week and a half from launch the game still isn’t in proper shape. However, if you’re willing to put up with the issues, it’s a far cry better than when gamers got their hands on it eleven days ago.
Playing Dishonored 2 on PC? Having issues or is the game working well for you? Sound off with your Dishonored 2 experience in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Bethesda]