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Damn & Blazkowicz: Wolfenstein New Order PC Tech Issues

Update – I’ve borrowed on oldish GeForce and the game’s now running fine. Definitely primarily an AMD incompatibility, presumably at driver level.

What time is it? It’s WHINY MOANY GRIPEY O’CLOCK, that’s what goddamn time it is. I’d hoped to have made decent inroads into Wolfenstein: The New Sequel* by now, but no PC code was available before release, and post-release the thing’s all but unplayable on my system, even on its lowest settings. I’m not alone in this, but while troubles are reported on a myriad of systems, AMD-ATI graphics card users have been hit particularly hard. I even bought a Radeon R290 yesterday for the express purposes of this and Watch Dogs, but I’m looking at 10-20 FPS most of the time. It does spike to 40 on occasion, but not often or consistently enough to enjoy the experience. Even the Bethesda and Machine Games logos at the start play like a cellphone video from 2004. At least I’m not suffering from the crashes to desktop that many others have reported.

A few possible performance aids are below, but they haven’t helped me.

By and large NVIDIA owners are doing a little better, and patches and driver updates are no doubt being feverishly worked on (following a 10GB day-one patch already). Buzz about the game itself from consoleland’s reviews falls mostly into the ‘quite good’ camp (though there are a significant number of dissenting opinions), so this is a bit of a shame. I’ll do my best to verify/frown at that as soon as possible, but right now this is an unhappy mirror of fellow id Tech 5-powered shooter Rage’s PC launch issues. For now I strongly recommend that you hold fire on buying the game until its issues are definitively resolved.

If you have already bought the game and are having frame rate or crash issues, there are mixed reports of the following having positive effects:

  • Update graphics drivers to the very latest available. Duh.
  • Turn off Screen Space Reflections in the game’s Advanced Video Settings
  • Set Shadow Resolution to lowest
  • Run as Administrator and in Windows 7 compatibility mode
  • Turn off triple buffering in driver settings

Sadly, none of these things helped me in the slightest. I’m going to see if I can borrow an NVIDIA card from somewhere, but unless it turns out my neighbour’s rocking a Kepler or three hundred quid mysteriously lands in my back garden, I suspect I’m a few days away from being able to tell you wot I think.

I blame the Nazis, of course.

* The name of the new game is so forgettable that both Graham and I initially installed 2009’s ‘Wolfenstein’ instead of it.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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