Playerkind Divided – How’s Deus Ex Running For You?


Just as night follows day, just as pudding follows main course, just as Westlife follows Boyzone, so too is Steam flooded with negative reviews following the release of a highly-anticipated new game. This time it’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site], which was released yesterday to a mostly good critical response, but a cooler reception from PC players. Those who pointed their mecha-thumbs downwards are divided between complaints about performance, and being very upset about the inclusion of singleplayer microtransactions.

I did a quick poll of Team RPS to see how well this sucker is running on our many and various systems and, yeah, it seems like it’s not exactly Captain Smooth From Smooth Town.

Steam reviews are deemed ‘mixed’ (not, tragically, ‘divided’), which breaks down into 1,591 positive and 878 negative at the time of writing – and, of course, many of the latter are absolutely bloody furious. FYI I am not going to do that vogeuish thing where one includes hyper-sweary quotes from extremely cross people here, because to do so would be to falsely pretend that the noisiest voices are representative of how the mass of PC gamers think and behave, but I just want to try and take the pulse of reception to DXMD generally.

One source of online argy-bargy is performance. Mankind Divided is a pretty game and we shouldn’t expect to max out settings on mid-range hardware, but it does seem more taxing than it perhaps should, which is particularly galling to those who are having to turn many settings off or down even on top-end GPUs.

Our own John had a very low frame rate at Ultra settings (“it staggered horrendously”) at 1440p on his honking great GTX 1080 and 4GHz i7 6700K, so decided to try and sort it out with the GeForce Experience auto-optimiser. Happily, it runs well subsequent to that, but Cloth Physics, Contact Hardening Shadows, Depth Of Field, MSAA, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Subsurface Scattering, and Volumetric Lighting were all turned off, while the likes of Level of Detail and Shadow Quality are on Very High rather than Ultra.

Granted, he might well end up with very similar performance if he manually raised a few settings, but that so much is turned off or down poses the question of just how much PC you need to max this thing out. Does its Ultra (and even Very High) setting have future-PCs or triple SLI silliness in mind, or is something going a bit wrong?

On my own PC, getting more than 30-40 frames on an R9 Nano at my silly 3440×1440 resolution was pretty much out the window unless I dove close to rock bottom, but if I dropped the res to 2560×1080 I could have most everything on Very High and get 60 – and in some scenes sitting at my monitor’s max 75 refresh. (Though screenshots reveal some small blackbars at either side of the screen, so it’s not running at true 21:9 either, dagnabbit.)

Now, I don’t expect max settings at that res on a Nano, but by and large it’s not far off in other games. I certainly don’t tend to require quite this degree of compromise. And I’m particularly curious about why it runs so much better at (effectively) 1080p – obviously higher res invariably means a significant hit, but in this case the frame rate damn near doubles when I drop the pixel count. This implies to me that some under-the-hood part has gone a teeny bit haywire, but I am no expert.

Adam, with a rather more everyman GTX 960 and a 1080p screen, reports “50 with occasional drops when there are lots of effects in play and 60 on very rare occasions” on High settings with volumetric lighting and cloth physics additionally turned off. This is far better than I can achieve on the far superior Nano at same settings at 3440×1440 (and the hatefully long intro splashes also claim this is an AMD-optimised game), which once again seems to point to fancy resolutions as a factor.

Graham, meanwhile, reports the following from his review: “GeForce GTX 780. Ran steady at around 45-50fps on mostly high settings. 1920×1080. I didn’t bother changing the defaults on anything and I was running an older driver at the time.”

Square Enix recently put up a forum post attempting to explain that even those with fairly high-end systems should not expect max settings. To be specific, we should expect “an average of 30 fps, at 1280*720 resolution at the low quality preset” from minimum spec systems (that being an HD 7870 2GB or GTX 660 2GB, paired with an Core i3-2100). “At recommended spec, which is a RX 480 4GB or GTX 970 4GB, paired with an i7-3770K, our target is to offer you 60fps average at 1080p, but at the High quality preset.” I.e. Very High and Ultra are for far beefier systems than that – but even so, John with his 1080 seems some way off Ultra. Squeenix claim that the highest settings are for those “well above recommended spec or those who wish to trade framerate for image quality.”

Many of the pertinent Steam reviews are particularly upset that MSAA anti-aliasing – yer best way of achieving clean, crisp edges – takes an enormous hit, but Squeenix argue that “these can have a very severe performance impact, so only use these when you have plenty of hardware power available relative to the resolution you are running at (for example with SLI)”. I.e., we may be looking at a situation whereby only multi-card folk can get anywhere near the top here, which is galling for folk with high end single cards such as 980 Tis and 1080s.

Many too report freezes and crashes. I’ve had a few of the latter myself, although frankly that is not uncommon on a PC that I have overclocked like billio in order to delay upgrading it, though its tendency to restart my PC shortly after loading is particularly infuriating. Reviews report that crashes are especially prevalent following cutscenes. And, sadly, said cutscenes tend to be on the long side and are unskippable. (I’ve personally found them quite boring too, but that’s just me speaking).

Add to that a few bugs such as clipping errors, textures going haywire and, in my case, having to restart the game after the UI for a storage drawer disappeared and I could not exit it, and there’s a simmering sense that the PC edition of the game may not be in tip-top shape.

Furthermore, even mild-mannered sorts like our Adam have noses out of joint about the mandatory and treacly mouse acceleration, a constant bugbear of modern PC gaming, and which cannot currently be disabled. What a shame.

Performance is one thing, but a quick browse of Steam reviews suggests that a majority are primarily distressed by the presence of microtransactions and an in-game store for the singleplayer campaign, as well as DLC bought via Steam. For instance, £3.99 for a pack of tranquilizer rifle items. The ammo and grenades are pretty readily found in-game, but this is the only way to get the rifle skin.

Then there are the Praxis kits, scattered through every piece of DLC and also available as in-game paid packs. These enable you to unlock or upgrade Aug powers, so they’re highly tempting and potentially game-changing, even if they don’t offer any extra content. Similar is true of in-game cash, or Credits, again available as part of DLC bundles or as real-money packs of their own. Ugly.

These purchases aren’t even remotely essential – the purchase option wasn’t even visible to our Graham in our review code, and he did not feel that anything was lacking or gated in the game in that respect. But one might argue that their very inclusion is against the spirit of a Deus Ex game – find your own path, painstakingly construct your character and all that.

Paying to shortcut directly to a Super Adam seems to render the whole exercise somewhat pointless, to my mind, but there are people who, for reasons of time or impatience, will cough up for speed-ups, and that’s why it’s here. I dearly wish it was not, but at least it can be ignored – in my couple of hours with the game so far, I haven’t seen it push any of this stuff on me, beyond the ‘Shop’ option always being visible in the pause menu. Though the nudging about unlocking yet more stuff via a pair of mobile apps has been more noticeable, and I bristle at that. Mostly because I barely have time to play the base game, let alone all this other cruft.

sleeping on the job, Jensen?

There was also some crossness that, at first, DLC was locked to one savegame, so if you started a new campaign you would not benefit from the goodies you’d spent extra cash on. As I understand it, this has now been resolved, so at least monied cheaters will continue to prosper.

Hopefully a patch – and new drivers from the green and red teams – will show up before too long and give DXMD’s performance a kick up its aluminium arse. Expect the microtransaction controversy to roll on for a while though, especially once we get to find out what the Season Pass expansions really contain.

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    I feel bad for the people who pay for stuff like in game currency and stuff like that because apparently they don’t know cheat engine exists and is wonderful.

    • Xzi says:

      Yeah I kinda don’t get the purpose of putting microtransactions in a single-player game. If it’s too challenging without them, any average player will go look for cheats.

      As for performance…it’s just okay. Could use another optimization pass, but it’s not No Man’s Sky bad at least. 40-45 FPS in 4K with a lot of settings turned down. GTX 1070. Keeping in mind I get a solid 60 FPS in 4K for other recent titles, such as DOOM and Overwatch. The only thing I have to turn off in those is AA.

      • mavrik says:

        Purpose is very simple – MONEYZ!

        As you said yourself – people will go look for cheats. So the publisher/developers got a genious idea – “Let’s SELL them cheats!” :)

        Of course, they’ll tell you that you can just ignore it. In this game. Incentive of course is to make the game hard enough to be annoying to play without paying for those cheats – see how gaming devolved into a pit of gamer hostile practices on mobile to get more money.

    • Deano2099 says:

      I normally hate them but there’s something kind of interesting about having a Deus Ex game where if you have enough money you can just buy loads of augments – I mean, that’s the plot of the game, isn’t it?

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        Exactly, it fits perfectly. The upper echelons of society and the illuminati have cash to spend on augmentations etc. while the 99%er Hanzers have to work hard to obtain the same. Seriously though who cares, there isn’t going to be a time where Deus Ex is ever pay to win. Anyone who thinks so needs to take a deep breath and cut back on the caffeine and lack of sleep.

    • Little_Crow says:

      I’m going to assume that the paid for cheats were left in from the console release.
      Enough people will be ignorant of the free alternatives or not want the ‘hassle’ of them that it’s basically free money – no matter how distasteful we find it.

      I guess the danger is Squenix firing out lawsuits against companies providing said free alternatives. Doesn’t matter if it’s warranted or not, that’s never stopped companies before, and I doubt cheatengine have the money to defend themselves

      • toastengineer says:

        Cheat engine isn’t a company, it’s a small free program some guy wrote years ago.

        It’s a tool that looks for numbers in a game’s memory and allows you to change it; so if you have 1200 gold coins you put in 1200, then spend 10, then put in 1190, repeat until there’s only one result, and then Cheat Engine knows where the game keeps the number of gold coins you have and lets you change it.

        There’s scores of other identical programs out there.

    • skip_intro says:

      Just a note to say that anybody that wishes to play anything that uses BattlEye protection, will not want to even install cheat engine.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Spoiled kids. They do their share to finance the game so yeah dirty money but there are worse things going on.

  2. mavrik says:

    Ohhh, I like the scummy trick of hiding all microtransaction crap from reviewers so they can’t criticize it :) I wonder if any reviewers will call them out for essentially delivering them a different game than other people get.

    • Czrly says:

      That was truly despicable!

      I hope the reviewers also point out that this is the the thin end of the wedge. If we just roll over and accept this nonsense, soon games will be balanced so that paying is the only way to finish them or to have a full experience, excepting the few who have over a hundred hours to spend on each game and don’t mind artificial grindiness.

      Micro-transactions in a full-priced game = not interested. If they’d released a free to play, I’d probably still not be interested but at least I wouldn’t care.

      • Christo4 says:

        And when you think that, you know, you actually pay 60 euros for it.

      • Czrly says:

        I’ve been reading reviews and it seems like there’s more to this farce. From what I can tell, “Jensen’s Stories” (at least the first of which is day 1 paid DLC (Season Pass) – a thing we never used to tolerate and still shouldn’t) are just chapters that fit into the main plot sequence… making me wonder why they were chopped out and are now being sold for extra?

        Oh wait. Money. Sorry. Forgot.

        Oh well. At least we get Breach mode – something that none of us want and nobody asked for in a Deus Ex game.

    • Snowy007 says:

      On the other hand, this also seems kinda smart.
      The biggest concern about microtransactions is that they would balance the game in such a way that it would be very difficult to finish or enjoy it without purchasing stuff. They have proven by doing this that the game is fun and perfectly playable without purchasing anything. (assuming they didn’t re-balance things in the final release compared to review version) And from what i understand there is nothing in there that you can’t find in the game itself. Except for skins perhaps, but i don’t care about those.

      And for the people that do like to cheat to make their game a bit easier, they will have the option to do so. If they are willing to pay for it. And even if they don’t want to pay, they can probably use some kind of cheat engine. :)

      • Czrly says:

        But what if I want a properly difficult game that is deeply designed and carefully crafted to be difficult, unforgiving and thus insanely rewarding to people who can manage the difficulty. With micro-transactions, difficulty will be there to sell extra stuff.

        Or perhaps I want an easy game. I paid full price, why shouldn’t I just have a difficulty slider to drag down to “Baby Mode”? Why should I have to pay more to lower the difficulty?

        The very existence of micro-transactions means that the game cannot possibly be balanced properly. It can be neither difficult nor easy.

        This is the same reason why I don’t believe Star Citizen’s promise that all ships will be achievable through play – properly balancing the game is at odds with the revenue stream, they can’t both exist and you can bet your keyboard that the revenue stream is of more interest to the suits than the gameplay.

        • Xigageshi says:

          “With micro-transactions, difficulty will be there to sell extra stuff.”

          If you specifically wanted a very challenging game, and a developer made a very challenging game for people like you, wouldn’t that mean the difficulty is there to sell stuff (the game) too?

      • Zenicetus says:

        The problem there is the slippery slope. Every time a balance pass is made on beta code, there could be marketing pressure to make the game just a wee bit harder, to encourage microtransaction boosts.

        As it is, some games are released with difficulty spikes that shouldn’t be there, because the in-house testers have done the boss battles over and over. This just makes it harder to do a final balancing of a game. “Oh don’t worry, they can always just buy a power-up.”

        If there are no micro transactions at all, this is never an issue. The game has to stand or fall on its own merits, as delivered.

    • Thurgret says:

      I’ve been playing for six hours and still haven’t seen anything about microtransactions.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        The microtransactions are only in the dumb Breach mode. They don’t affect the main game.

    • Karyogon says:

      Crappy as that is, and it really is, it’s also a non-issue as long as you don’t fall for it (ie; denying yourself the fun of exploring and finding praxis kits). I’m not far into the game but from what I gathered both by playing and reading what people are saying there’s probably more fun to be had with the game’s environments, side-missions and vignettes than the main plot, so exploring is likely a decent chunk of the fun.

      It’s a shame someone at SE/EM doesn’t really care that they might be somewhat ruining some people’s first experiences with a (sort of) DX-game by essentially selling cheats and denying them the fun of playing it more like it’s designed (hopefully).

      What I am somewhat annoyed with is the Triangle Codes and the locked content (whatever that content may be, I don’t know because the app doesn’t work on my Android version and even if it did I probably wouldn’t bother with it since I like to keep this tablet strictly for reading and occasional browsing).

  3. Syklis says:

    “…the frame rate damn near doubles when I drop the pixel count.”

    That’s because you almost halve the pixel count ;)

    • TonyB says:

      Yep. Maths is fun!

      • mukuste says:

        It’s not always that easy, though. The number of draw calls, for instance, can have a huge impact on performance, and it’s independent of the screen resolution.

        • TonyB says:

          True, but it depends a lot on how the engine works. The effect of halving the pixel count doubling the framerate suggests a pixel cost-heavy rendering approach, probably a deferred lighting system (something a lot of modern engines use).

      • Czrly says:

        Well… not exactly. Not any more. In today’s world, the shaders that actually assign a colour-value to individual pixels are only part of the rendering cycle. There are many other things going on, per frame, than pixel painting.

        One should still expect that the framerate will be higher when fewer pixels have to be painted but it’s not as simple as you suggest.

        • TonyB says:

          See my reply above, there are a lot of engines that work in multiple full-screen passes and so can be affected more severely by resolution changes. I don’t know if this engine is one of them, but it’s entirely plausible.

        • SteveHatesYou says:

          If he’s having that much of a performance difference from changing his resolution, then the game is fill rate bound.

          So if he wants to run it at the higher resolution, he should try disabling some post processing effects, and definitely disable MSAA.

    • aircool says:

      I don’t think the current PC gaming tech is up for the challenge of 4K. Most of us are still using 1080 and are quite happy with that.

      Biggest problems that I’ve read about regarding Deus Ex seem to be from people trying to run Ultra at stupid high resolutions with MSAA. The options in game tell you that you need over 4Gb VRAM to have textures set to very high or above, so I can imagine even 8Gb VRAM cards struggling with Ultra textures and anything over 1080p.

      • laiwm says:

        While the people who insist on running everything on ultra do bring this on themselves sometimes (this game in particular looks great on High), DXMD runs pretty poorly no matter what. I *average* 60fps in the benchmark on lowest settings, frequently below that. Running 1440p on an 8gb RX 480. Might wait until DX12 support gets patched in to play it in earnest.

        • urbanraccoon says:

          All the review arguments (and this article) seem silly to me, cause no one said how “High” even looks! Is it amazing, or look like TF2 when you cant run Ultra MSAA 4K?! Is it a slideshow when set to similar graphics to another game?

          Is it just a lot of people lashing out at the realization that their $400 GPUs will in fact become obsolescent, and cant justify their purchase if they cant run MAX everything?

          • laiwm says:

            I think that high settings look fantastic – I don’t feel that I’m missing anything, or noticing a lot of jagged edges or blocky shadows, and I don’t have that nagging feeling that things could look a lot prettier like when I turn off AO in Witcher 3. Ultra seems to be a future setting for those mythical 4K-capable cards.

          • TheRealHankHill says:

            High looks great, there is very minimal difference. Very High and Ultra are just for the ultra e-peens who have 3 Titans (when the SLI profile comes out for this). It has optimization issues, but anyone who has been a PC gamer for more than a year has experienced optimization issues on release of games that end up being fantastic. It will be fixed.

      • Rizlar says:

        Yeah, speaking as someone who knows nothing about graphics technology it seems like the over 4GB video memory warning upon activating MSAA suggests high memory demands, and upping the resolution directly effects the amount of memory you need, right? Perhaps it’s video RAM that’s the limit in some of these cases.

        • aircool says:

          More than likely if you’re suffering from stuttering. Running at 1440 is an increase of 75% from 1080, so the GPU is doing almost twice the work. Shove MSAA on top of that and it’s no surprise that a lot of people are struggling.

          I’m quite pleased at my framerate considering the hardware I have and having all but three graphic options toggled on, but I guess whoever did the PC port was looking at 1080p as the optimal resolution.

  4. lglethal says:

    I pre-ordered the game and downloaded yesterday, but I’m holding off until the weekend to play it. There’s always a day one patch which fixes these sorts of performance issues, so by just waiting a couple of days, then I avoid all the problems. Easy huh? ;)

    • reggiep says:

      Yeah but you, like others in a fit of “take my money”, told the publisher that you don’t care what state the game is in when they release it. So I’m afraid that you still don’t get it and there’s a damn good chance that when you do get to play it, it will not have received the proper patch. Hint: stop pre-ordering.

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        I know I didn’t preorder, I bought it the day it was released bc I know for a fact the game will be stable after some patches with mouse acceleration disabled etc. This is the first time I have bought a full price game in about 6 or 7 years, and I couldn’t be happier.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        And here I thought I was telling the publisher “thanks for letting a studio that made 2 others games I really liked make a 4th game in a series I really like”.

  5. frymaster says:

    MSAA in particular seems to be an fps-killer (which is why the temporal AA option exists, I assume)

    The in-app purchases for consumables is just… wow.

    • 13tales says:

      Singleplayer micro-transactions? I venture to suggest that the developers use those to cybernetically augment their own lower-intestinal tracts.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        They’re for the arcadey Breach mode so they thankfully do not affect the main game.

        Still scummy.

  6. ooshp says:

    Pay to win in a single player game? Honestly, can’t people turn the difficulty down if they’re that terrible? No idea why people would want to spend real money instead of clicking on a difficulty slider but *shrug* if they want to throw free money at the games industry that’s up to them.

    Running the game at 1440 on a creaky old 7950oc – left it all on default high settings except I turned tessellation on as well. It’s lovely and buttery. No crashes or freezes so far.

    Apart from some dreary dialogue I’m enjoying my time.

    • ooshp says:

      Also I initially had some mouse lag issues after turning vsync off (which I pretty much always do). Turning it back to double buffered fixed it.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Turning the difficulty down is $/£4.99 and you get a free bobble head to tape to your characters chest…

      /that’s the joke

  7. razgon says:

    Performance is awesome – Of course, this is on the PS4 but it runs and looks great!
    I ignored the “Shop” button, but hey – drama sells!

  8. aircool says:

    Lots of people complaining that it runs like a pig at 4K with everything on ultra which is kind of amusing.

    For me, i5-3570/GTX970 (basically a PC that is now over 4 years old, but with a modern graphics card), I’m getting well over 60fps (with occasional dips to 55, like in the train station) with everything on high, minus MSAA/Volumetric Lighting/Hardon Shadows.

    Bottom line for me is it runs a lttle better than Witcher 3.

    Oh, and it also runs better than No Man’s Sky ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…no.

    • Zanchito says:

      Similar machine, 3440×1440 (21:9), runs a bit poorly, around 30FPS. Playable, but by no means smooth.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Same here, I’m on a 970. Game actually gave me a headache last night. Think I’ll put this one on hold for a while till they optimise it, or I convince the wife that a 1080 is a worthwhile investment.

        Also the aiming feels weird. I can line up headshots in R6-Siege, but in this it just feels off.

        • laiwm says:

          It’s got mouse acceleration which can’t be disabled, which is why aiming feels really weird :( a community rep said they’re working on it.

          • aircool says:

            Mouse acceleration is a pretty basic option, should have been in from the start. At least they have a FoV option which, again, is bread and butter for PC graphics options.

            Oh, and we can turn off the crap filters… you hear me NMS? We can turn off the crap filters!!!

          • Steravel says:

            God, why is this “feature” even put into PC ports any more? It was developed for ancient PC mice (mouses?) that lack the resolution of modern mice. Has anyone ever appreciated what a game’s mouse acceleration or mouse smoothing does any time in the last decade or two? I feel like it’s always the first thing I have to disable in any triple A action game to make it playable.

            Cut it out, Devs.

          • Premium User Badge

            Qazinsky says:

            Yeah, this was the thing I noticed with the game and DXHR too, if I remember correctly. The view just suddendly making a small jump up or down when I just turn sideways, problems to fine aim at high speed in combat.

            Grr, why is mouse acceleration still a thing?

          • Zenicetus says:

            Ugh, so that’s why aiming the gun feels off when using a mouse. I’m not a great shooter in FPS games but I usually do much better than I did last night. Wasted a lot of ammo trying for headshots. They need to fix this ASAP.

          • Premium User Badge

            Marclev says:

            “It was developed for ancient PC mice (mouses?) that lack the resolution of modern mice.”

            Err … no. I can confidently assure you that it was never a thing before console ports came along. “Ancient” PC mice coped just fine without it, thank you very much.

    • Premium User Badge

      Addie says:

      FX-9370, GTX970; very high – MSAA = fairly constant 60fps at 1080p, occasional drops into the 40s when changing areas. My issue is more that ‘very high’ still doesn’t look that astonishing, eg. the tranquiliser rifle looks like something from a cartoon.

  9. kimded says:

    Disappointed that there are micro-transactions in a single player game, but as much I personally have a distaste for them I dont have to use them.

    Sucks that is another big game with performance issues for many, hopefully they are resolved soon. For myself performance wise I haven’t noticed any issues, as far as my crappy eyes can tell I’m getting a smooth 60 at 1080p on my rig (980ti, 32Gb RAM, i7-3930K) with no crashes or major issues…. if you ignore some physics objects, mainly cardboard boxes, bouncing around like they are rubber balls :)

  10. The Sombrero Kid says:

    The game runs exceptionally well for me and I have a really crappy GTX 750 Ti I’m using as a stop gap.
    The game plays like Human Revolution with some really really appreciated nods to the original (like the UI and bigger environments).
    My only real criticism is that the plot is exactly as bad as it looked like it was going to be, I don’t really mind because DXHR’s plot was abysmal too.
    I would be quite happy if Square Enix got a bloody nose from the microtransactions and fee to pay bullshit, as well as all the other social networking nonsense they’ve jammed in, that is tacky AND doesn’t work but overall my early impression is that this is a GOTY contender.

    • OGTroutt says:

      I got a fairly cheap but alright specced PC (minus a graphics card) after not having a PC for years and I picked up a 750ti to replace the GT210 that was in it.
      And I have to say I’ve been pleasently surprised on numerous ocassions at how well it handles stuff. No doubt it helps that I’m only running 720p but still, considering it cost less than 100 quid (I’d got it VAT free, but it did spend some time in a work PC) I have no complaints.

    • Chalky says:

      Yeah, I was surprised how well it ran for me. I got some weird freezing during some of the more complex areas but I dropped my graphics settings a bit and those issues went away.

      All in all, I can’t complain about its performance on a 3 year old pc.

  11. aircool says:

    RE: Ge Force Experience. I’ve been trying to push that point on the Steam Forums. Its a good place to set your initial graphics options before doing your own tweaking.

    Many people pooh-pooh it because ‘it’s for noobs’, but it takes in many factors of your PC, not just the GFX card. I’m pretty sure it makes some ‘under the hood’ changes as well, the sort of things that aren’t available in the Nvidia Control Panel, but probably accessible via Nvidia Inspector.

    It really is a useful bit of software as it will give you a good balance between performance and looks. It also allows you to adjust what it recommends for either more performance or better visuals.

    • OGTroutt says:

      I have to agree with this. GeForce Experience is pretty good, I wouldn’t have been able to launch NMS sky without changing the settings without it.

      • aircool says:

        Which is why I can’t understand why people dismiss it so easily. Probably because they don’t like the hard truth? heheh.

        • Premium User Badge

          Qazinsky says:

          I can only speak for myself, but the reason I uninstalled Experience from my computer is because I couldn’t open it. Googled my problem and reinstalled several times, the program would just refuse to load when I clicked it.

        • Sarracenae says:

          Not sure about desktops, but on my laptop Geforce experience is terrible where my 970M is concerned, it basically wants to knock every game down to low for no good reason.

          I’m getting 50-60fps on high in deus ex, with MSAA off obviously. But it runs fine, but geforce experience wants to turn it all down to low.

  12. Menthalion says:

    The crazy high mouse acceleration (can’t be disabled) and sensitivity (0% at 800 DPI is around 5cm/360) made this an instant refund.

  13. LapsedPacifist says:

    I’m getting fairly consistent 60 (with occasional dips to no less than 45fps) with 1080p (there is a good side to crappy monitors, it would seem) and everything else turned up to maximum except the MSAA which murders the frame rate. The hardware is a i7-6700k on 4.0Ghz and MSI’s 1070. I’ve done some poking around and it is not CPU-bound. Likely it’s all about the graphics card.

    Still, it looks absolutely wonderful at those settings and I’m having tons and tons of fun with it. So far, the pay-to-win nonsense seems entirely and comically useless. You get plenty of everything just by playing it properly.

    The gameplay is Deus Ex:HR, basically, with a few extra toys and some new fun bits in the level design.

  14. aircool says:

    Last one…

    I don’t like the way it installs all the DLC even though I haven’t paid for it and never will. Space on SSD’s is at a premium, so I’m not keen on games spreading their fat arse around my house when there’s no need.

  15. baseless_drivel says:

    I wonder if hardware emasculation is something that game designers take into account when making a game. On one hand, you could make games that push the limits of hardware, but then you inevitably get a bunch of flaccid players angry that their top-dollar rigs can’t run the game at maxed settings, even if modern hardware isn’t meant to run the maxed game flawlessly.

    On the other hand, you could make a game that looks just good enough to pass scrutiny, and label the best settings as “ultra” anyways as a kind of prostitute ego appeasement (lie): “Oh, you’re so big!” Sometime down the line you can release the actual “ultra” textures, and maybe gamers will even think your company is fantastic for doing so.

    It’s basically the same thing, but with one approach you’re artificially ego-stroking the player, with the goal of subtly improving public perception of the game.

    Of course, there’s no real substitute for actual optimization, but that’s a slightly different issue.

    • mavrik says:

      IMO that’s the main reason a lot of developers focus on console releases – there’s way less drama around technical crap and more about playing the game itself.

      Of course that means crappier PC ports, which breeds more drama, which causes developers to dismiss PC gamers even more….

      • razgon says:

        Confirmed – PC Gaming is dead(Again)!

        • mavrik says:

          Nah, just brace for more shitty PC ports :/

          • aircool says:

            I’m quite happy for devs/pubs to do it the GTA V way, as in develop the PC version separately, even if it takes two years to arrive.

  16. casshern09 says:

    Used the recommended settings on the Nvidia Experience. Having no issues at all.

    Loving it so far.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      That’s what I always do, custom build machine with Geforce and the recommended settings, worked in any single game so far be it GTA 5 or Fallout 4. Nothing overclocked or tweaked, no bs “tuning” software also clean install no vendor bloatware.
      I’m rather curious about the setup of the folks who always say they can’t run some game x.

  17. Yachmenev says:

    GPU seemingly being the bottleneck makes Denuvo innocent in this case?

  18. Kipex says:

    How’s Deus Ex running for me you ask? It’s not. Running GTX1080 and latest drivers and it won’t even reach the launcher.

    I know there are a few “solutions” out there that MIGHT work, like disabling all DLC or creating an alternate Windows account and using that to start the game. I don’t see them as solutions and considering how the PC version seems to be plagued by many problems currently even if you get the game started, I guess I’m better off waiting for a patch or two to drop.

    Obviously they have a mass of refunds coming in if they don’t fix these issues quickly. I expected this from NMS, but not Deus Ex.

  19. Politik says:

    I’m quite divided on the micro transaction debate. On the one hand, I don’t think that £3.99 for a weapon skin (and ancillaries) is reasonable at all. On the other re the Praxis kits it’s a single player game – if people want to pay to win then surely that is their choice?

    • Emeraude says:

      The problem with that line of thought is that it fails to acknowledge that aggregated individual choices have collective repercussions.

      Now, there may be a disagreement on whether those repercussions are significant enough to warrant weariness or not, but that’s another issue.

    • Czrly says:

      In the past, if you bought a AAA game at AAA prices and the game had skinnable weapons, the skins were accessible to the players. You didn’t have to pay to use the thing you bought. Now, they’re asking us to pay AAA prices and then pay more? No way in Hell.

      Also, the pressure and manipulation to pay more and more might not seem too obnoxious, now (debatable, I think it is rather obnoxious, but some people don’t seem to mind), in this game, but if we accept this behaviour, you can bet that it will be in the next or the one after that.

      • aircool says:

        Yeah, there’s micro transactions and then there paying for content which is available at release, but not actually in the game you paid for.

        I don’t like all this season pass nonsense either. Fucking seasons… who the fuck thought that bullshit up?

        • Chaoslord AJ says:

          Pay us now, get the goods later assuming we’re not broke by then.
          “Season pass” means you lend them money like a bank but without getting interest.
          It should be like that: you pay for the season pass and when the DLCs come out you’ll get the money back in addition to the DLC.

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          DLC was created in an attempt to curb the trend of completing a game in the first week of release and then trading it in.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Ok. So now we make lives a micro transaction. Don’t want to buy them… then don’t you have a choice!!!!! (/sarcasm)

      … Except now we make it mandatory. Oh, and we integrated it into the Microsoft Store and Steam VAC client, so no gameginie for extra lives else you get banned, ok. (this bit is NOT sarcasm, see iOS or Android app store)

      • Josh W says:

        Exactly, suppose I want to cheat my game, give myself maxed xp via some exploit and go through the game with loads of skills. Am I hurting anyone?

        But now companies could say that I am hurting them, they’ve decided that instead of people hacking and cheating the game for their own amusement, this is now something they should pay for instead.

        Extra xp? Level skips? God mode? Paying for mods? For different difficulty modes?

        They “have” to protect the software to protect their earnings, and they can add extra forms of earnings to the software because of that protection, and if that turns out to be insufficient, they can add more protection.

  20. Solidstate89 says:

    Yeah, GeForce experience – which is usually pretty good at deciding what the max settings you can use are – is downright just dumb as a box of bricks for DXMD. It wanted me to either turn off, or set to the lowest setting for about 3/4 of the graphics options available. I’m running at 3440×1440 like you, but I also have two 1070s in SLI. There’s no way I need to turn off that much.

    I did some fiddling and turn on almost everything that was turned off, as well as upped the settings to Ultra or near that for the rest and I averaged about 55FPS in the benchmark tool, so that’s what I”m sticking with. Even with some of the settings not set to their max, it’s a damn good looking game.

    Hopefully when the DX12 render path drops next month (unless it’s delayed…) we can see some improved performance. I don’t know if it’ll be drastically improved, but I do expect everyone’s frame rates to go up if they have a DX12 compatible card.

    • Thurgret says:

      SLI typically only represents a 15% or so performance increase, and it’s a rare enough set-up that it’s not really in developers’ interests to support it, often – some explicitly don’t.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        SLI typically only represents a 15% or so performance increase

        That’s actually not true at all. I don’t know where you pulled that stat from, but the average performance scaling is anywhere from 75-90 percent – depending on how well optimized the game and the drivers are for SLI. nVidia released a driver last week to support SLI for DXMD and I expect more optimizations to come from both the dev and from nVidia; to say nothing of the eventual DX12 render path update.

        3-way multi-GPU or higher configurations tend to have a scaling effect of around 20% or less and is much closer to the number you’re quoting.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Using the GTX 960: experience turns all options off and all quality to low, game defaults are high, lol.

  21. mnemos says:

    I haven’t had enough time to make much progress (just the tutorial and some bits around Adam’s apartment building), but so far I’ve been getting mostly 60fps, with the occasional dip down to 55, with the default ‘High’ settings on 1080p running on an i5-6500/GTX 970. So I can’t really complain. The mouse acceleration was annoying, but was easy enough to fix.

  22. Sinomatic says:

    After 15 minutes of messing with the options, I was getting a solid 60 fps (I was getting 15 fps on medium at first which was a bit of a shock since I upgraded my graphics card at the weekend). It’s running without any more problems for me so far, running a 1060 GTX, i5 4670K, 16GB at 1920 x 1080, MSAA off with everything else at on/very high or ultra.

    I find micro-transactions in a lot of games quite galling (unless it’s optional cosmetic fluff, like Rocket League) and while I’d really rather it weren’t there it’s not particularly noticeable in gameplay. I’ve certainly not felt any pressure within the game design to feel that I need to run off to the shop to buy extra stuff, and I’m playing on ‘give me deus ex’ difficulty. That’s not a brag: I’m really not that brilliant of a player but I’m managing just fine, which should highlight that the shop stuff isn’t necessary or forced upon you.

  23. haldolium says:

    After turning down some options (mainly MSAA, Textures to “High” and some other options), it does look still quite nice (good temporal AA as well here) and runs between 40 and 60 without too much tearing thankfully.

    The parts that look meh (characters…) aren’t really changed by “Ultra” settings/maxed out options anyways.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s good to see I’m not the only one noticing the shabby character animations. Spoiled by Witcher 3, I guess.

  24. Janichsan says:

    I wouldn’t really give a damn about what the GeForce Experience suggests: I have seen so often that it suggests the absolute lowest settings on my Nvidia GTX 960 (e.g. Overwatch, Elite Dangerous, DOOM), despite the GPU being more than capable of running these games on at least high-ish settings and 1080p at ca. 50+ fps without much problems.

    • aircool says:

      As I’ve said, it give you a good ballpark area in which to tweak further. When I ran it for this game, it turned off lots of options which, after some fiddling with the settings, turned most of them back on.

      You can change the slider from optimal to either increase performance or increase quality, so, y’know it’s not actually dictating the settings, but just attempting to give you the optimal settings.

  25. TheAngriestHobo says:

    …those who wish to trade framerate for image quality.

    In other words, publishers showing screenshots to the public.

  26. DarkFenix says:

    Running the game on high settings (though with AA turned off, performance drain that it usually is) at 1920×1200, getting a stable and silky smooth framerate. My gpu is only an AMD 7970, though the rest of my hardware is considerably newer (i5 6600K, 16gb DDR4 RAM).

    If anything I find it runs surprisingly well.

  27. Seboss says:

    I had pretty poor framerate on my GTX 1060 in 1080p on Very High settings (~30 fps). Turned the shadow details down one notch (“high” I think), and now I get steady 60fps in the first level.

  28. bilbee says:

    GTX680 on a ’09-era i5. Running on default High with only shadows turned to medium. Runs in the 30-60 range. With shadows, it can dip to the teens.

    Biggest problem is video memory. 4GB is just barely enough on High… so close that I sometimes get a CTD due to lack of GPU mem.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      This is pretty close to my spec, so thanks for the prediction of future performance

    • aircool says:

      I had a GTX680 for almost four years. It’s a good card.

  29. Don Reba says:

    On my own PC, getting more than 30-40 frames on an R9 Nano at my silly 3440×1440 resolution was pretty much out the window unless I dove close to rock bottom, but if I dropped the res to 2560×1080 I could have most everything on Very High and get 60 – and in some scenes sitting at my monitor’s max 75 refresh.

    You dropped the number of pixels by 1.8x, and you say that you got twice the frame rate at higher settings. This shouldn’t be possible.

  30. clippa says:

    Performance has been grand for me. I had read beforehand that ultra MEANT ultra, it’s not the kind of game where you just whack everything up so I just went with high and it’s mostly 60-100fps which is totally fine for me.

    The Y axis sensitivity is ridiculously low, it’s the only thing stopping me from playing at the minute.

    As soon as they fix the mouse controls, I’ll be back in.

  31. EKSelenc says:

    Pretty decent on GTX950 at 1920×1080. Obviously no proper antialiasing for this card, but still doesn’t drop below 40 FPS even with SSAO and high LOD.

  32. SanguineAngel says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever paid real money in-game for anything, single player or multiplayer. But I do think that, particularly in a single player experience, the presence of in-game transaction does nothing but cue the player that this is not a game for their benefit but a cynical money making exercise. It brings the real world crashing into your fantasy world with a jarring crunch which dislocates the player and sours the experience.

  33. BreadBitten says:

    Any PC gamer worth their salt knows that this is a fact of life.

    • BreadBitten says:

      Whoops! Sorry, stupid commenting system. Anyway…

      “Many of the pertinent Steam reviews are particularly upset that MSAA anti-aliasing – yer best way of achieving clean, crisp edges – takes an enormous hit.”

      Any PC gamer worth their salt knows that this is a fact of life.

      SO much better now. :)

      • aircool says:

        It’s a luxury option, like when playing Skyrim now that it’s been what, four or five years since release? My current hardware can run Skyrim full tilt at max with stupid amounts of AA.

        • Geebs says:

          Since you’re already drawing at least 4 times the number of pixels for MSAA, in his day and age you might as well just get a 4K monitor and turn the AA off :)

  34. Zenicetus says:

    I played a few hours last night and performance-wise, it’s running very smoothly at 1920×1200 res, using the Nvidia Geforce Experience optimizer settings. System specs are i7 6700 4.0 GHz 16GB RAM, with a GTX 970.

    The graphics look pretty good, but I’m not sure I’m seeing the “money on the screen” in terms of textures and visual flash for these settings and this computer. It’s okay, but other games like Witcher 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider look better to me in terms of textures, lighting, and atmospherics.

    The facial modeling and animations don’t look so great by comparison either. Looks a bit like a last-gen product with these faces, and the mouth movement is frequently a little out of sync with the speech. It’s not game-breaking, but a little disappointing in a game with so many cut scenes and interactions where you’re seeing close-ups of faces. Otherwise no major complaints, so far.

  35. Danarchist says:

    Interesting, I have a 980 and the same processor as John and I am running it on Ultra without any issues. I had one freeze last night, but it occurred right as a video prettier-upper program finished processing a very short video I did for work. Figured I had just overtaxed things.
    I am by no means a master of overclocking or anything, I even bought a pre-built rig this time like a pleeb with more money than time.

    I have seen a couple weird video artifacts, like the guy in the mech suite who’s gun is both pointed down and up in the air at the same time, but that’s it. Wonder what the differentiating factor is?

    If you buy stuff from a cash shop for a single player game you deserve to lose your money.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    It runs well on my gaming laptop at 1080p, high settings.

    I had the same bug mentioned in the post were I got stuck in my storage unit, I didn’t need to restart the game though, escape and load a save worked for me.

  37. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Holy shit! This mole hill is absolutely massive! Somebody get me a couple Sherpas before I attempt to scale this bad-boy!

  38. mcwizardry says:

    Had 5 crashes in 8 hours where the display driver seems to hang, hopefully they can get that fixed or AMD can issue a new driver.

  39. parallax1 says:

    4K gamers will – for the foreseeable future at least – have a hard time running any shiny new AAA games at high settings with a good framerate. Some compromise has to be made.

    It should be said that I run the game at 1080p – smoothly (60-90 fps) at very high settings (only turned off MSAA + DOF and Chromatic Abberation because I don’t like those effects).

    i5-4670 (3,4ghz – somewhat old but still great), 16GB RAM, SSD, and GTX 1060 6g VRAM.

    IMO it’s very optimized. Nixxess did a good job, but they did forget a basic thing: mouse acceleration.

    I thought the tutorial/intro level (Dubai) looked graphically like shit. The in-game cutscene in the train station was a big step up, so now I’m looking forward to seeing more of Prague.

    • parallax1 says:

      And Motion Blur, because I can never stand that effect :P

  40. MultiVaC says:

    I guess I am one of the lucky ones this time around. 970 is doing great with everything on high, but no MSAA or contact hardening whatever shadows at 1080p. I even nudged a couple settings up a bit to very high (The “Detail” one and ambient occlusion) just to test out and it seems to be workable. So I am pretty happy performance wise. There might be some “Crysis effect” going on where some of the “Ultra” settings would have been better off hidden for the time being, some of those along with MSAA don’t really seem like they are meant for anyone to be able to run at this point. The mouse acceleration, on the other hand, is just awful and there is no excuse for that. I have no idea how AAA developers do this over and over again still, but it drags the game down a lot to have the basic looking around controls all imprecise and gross like this.

  41. Axel Aodh says:

    I have a 3+ year old rig and the game runs pretty well. I have a few hitches here or there, but overall it runs very smoothly. It did crash once or twice, but this being PC gaming I’m not entirely surprised.
    The game did warn me whenever I tried to increase the graphical settings. I tried to keep it under the settings that it said my system can handle. Still looks amazing. I’ve almost forgotten how great AAA games can look.
    The micotransactions are kind of shit, but I didn’t even know they were in there after playing for six hours, and would never have found out if it wasn’t for the complaining.

  42. Premium User Badge

    liquidsoap89 says:

    I’m getting about 40 fps average at 1440p with most of the settings maxed out (no MSAA or tesselation) on my 970. Having G-Sync seems to be working wonders here because it’s perfectly smooth for me.

  43. geldonyetich says:

    My desktop is having a miserable time with Mankind Divided, its motherboard-run RAID5 with four 7200 RPM drives is not sufficiently fast enough to stream the cinematics. Its 8 GB of ram leads to heavy stuttering despite the two GTX 970s running it in SLI.

    My new laptop, with a M970 going to a G-sync display, i6 intel processor, 16 GB of ram, and a RAID 0 NVME drive, runs it fairly great. Pity the mobile graphics aren’t as good looking as the desktop, and I never was able to permanently nail a crackling audio issue it has.

  44. soopytwist says:

    This why I buy games two years after every other muppet has already played them.

    BTW you can disable mouse acceleration by editing the game_options.bin file using a hex editor. Though I believe Rick @gibbed) is working on a UI tool for editing this file to do all manner of tweaks.

  45. spron says:

    I’m not a fan of the unskippable cutscenes. There seems to be a way to replace the six(!) logos that appear on startup with a very short BINK video of a blank orange screen. At least that’d get me in the game without continually marvelling at AMD and how it evolves gaming.

    In-game cutscenes so far (up through the beginning of Prague, so I’m not far in) are poorly paced, too long by half, and genuinely over-expository. Why they’d have gone with the verbal word dump approach when (1) there are loads of in-game texts to flesh out the back story and (2) there’s a bloody 13-minute video introduction that re-iterates the entire previous game in the series is beyond me. It’s a video game, emphasis on “video”: show, don’t tell.

    As far as micro-transactions, I just don’t get the business model that supports it. I paid for your game. I paid a reasonable price for it. Why do I not gain access to the entire game and all its little parts? If the game itself cost $5, like on my friggin’ iPad, then, sure, charge me $5 for each new mission or “I win” button. But straight up: your game is $60 list and the story DLC is another $30. Doesn’t it seem reasonable that I get everything at that price, or even at the 25% launch discount found at reputable dealers online?

    The game itself, once I stop ignoring the endless cutscenes, is quite nice.

    • geldonyetich says:

      I theorize they went way over budget on this game, hence the attempt to bring tablet microtransactions to a game the consumer already paid $60 for.

      As far as I can tell, what’s being sold is useless to a serious gamer. Nobody wants to buy an “I win” button. They’d be better off selling skins.

    • poliovaccine says:

      While I actually agree with your sentiments, the professional devils advocate in me thinks about arcade machines charging a quarter or two per play, no matter how much you paid you would *never* own it. Not to mention, while I feel like $60+$30 in story DLC is “too much money,” that is, ultimately, an emotional reaction. Really, these things take a long time and many gallons of blood sweat and elbow grease to produce for our enjoyment. While that doesnt mean we should never cite flaws or expect things we dont like to get better, it does mean that I can admit, if they can charge a premium price for the game and people will pay it, it is because they want the game enough. A game that’s no good wont get played even if it’s free. This isnt even touching on the ratio of production time/costs to unit price of the end product, cus I know just enough about that stuff to know that I really know nothing about that stuff. This piece of entertainment took a lot of resources and passionate human beings to make, and all those folks deserve to get paid. But to speak of a different ratio, if the amount of enjoyment I get out of this game evens out to about 1 hour of fun for every $1 spent, that is a totally acceptable deal to me. It is a better value of fun for the money than I would get playing Pac-man..

  46. BooleanBob says:

    Wait… they concealed the presence of micro-transactions in the review build to shield themselves from negative press?

    Isn’t that the real story here? Have we, as an industry, already passed that being headline news? When did I miss this?

    • Premium User Badge

      Marclev says:

      I somewhat cynically suspect something to do with advertising revenue…

      Ars Technical has a very prominent article complaining about it – that’s a general technology site though, not gaming specific.

      Hiding the micro transactions stuff in an article ostensibly about performance does seem poor form though by any standard.

    • poliovaccine says:

      I could be wrong, but I didnt get the impression the fact of the microtransactions was completely concealed in the review copy, only that it wasn’t activated yet, which would make plenty of sense.

  47. mercyRPG says:

    Deus Ex 1 is the King. Everything went downhill after that. I avoided this Ubi-qutious crap called mankind beehived or whatever.

  48. morrolan says:

    The praxis kits being sold is straight up p2w no if or buts.

    • geldonyetich says:

      If it was a multiplayer competition, P2W is relevant and problematic.

      But it’s not, so you’re only cheating yourself.

  49. fish99 says:

    Wouldn’t be the only game where a 970 would struggle at 1440p. It’s a lot more pixels than 1080p.

  50. alex8642 says:

    Well this article does not match my experience in performance. I’m getting AROUND 30 fps in 4k on maximum settings (MSAA is off, practically unnecessary) in most areas with very little to no hitching of any kind on a sabertooth X58 with a core i7 950, 12 gigs of ram and an Asus STRIX GTX 1070. Nothing overclocked. No crashes, no issues to speak of. I get 60 fps with MSAA 2x in 1440p (milky smooth). I imagine the addition of DirectX12 or Vulkan support would help out all these massive differences. I must say though, perhaps something is wrong. I thought it was just me but the games pixel shading just seems off. The color depth is just not there. But I have double checked, and I am at maximum settings minus MSAA. Anyone else think the shaders are a bit off? Kind of reminds me of the source engine.

    • Simplex says:

      “I get 60 fps with MSAA 2x in 1440p”

      On maximum settings on a 1070? This physically not possible. Even a 1080 drops below 60 on 1440p at max setting.