Dishonored and Prey devs Arkane have released their latest superpowered sneak-o-shooter, the time-looping Deathloop. It's good, everyone tells me. However, one word of warning: a fair number of PC players are complaining about stuttering framerates, enough to bring it down to a 'Mixed' review rating on Steam. That's the sort of wonky time you don't want. If you want your initial loop o' death to be as slick as blood, maybe wait a bit in the hope of a fix?
Hit Deathloop's Steam review page and you'll find a fair proportion of reviewers griping about stuttering. Quite a few of these folks say they have big beefy PCs too, real Pinchokers, Threadchuggers, and Proghuffers that far exceed the game's system requirements. Same story on Twitter and Reddit and other Internet outposts.
It's hard to get a firm sense of how widespread the issue is because people who suffer it are likely to pipe up at this point, while those who don't, likely won't. I've had an ask around the RPS treehouse and none of our Deathloopers suffer stuttering. But that's just other anecdotes.
Fixes? Some suggest forcing vsync on from graphics cards tools. Some suggest using tools to cap the framerate to 60fps. Some suggest they have less stuttering using a controller than with mouse. Some assume that it's down to the game using Denuvo to bolster DRM, an issue that would require publishers Bethesda to remove it (which they do tend to, after crackers inevitably kick in Denuvo's door). The game could have several problems which manifest with the same symptom, making workarounds hard to pin down.
Seeing as the game launched in the middle of the night, it's no surprise that Arkane and Bethesda haven't yet formally addressed the reports of problems. In short, yeah, we're still at the stage of trying different things and hoping one will work for you while we wait for patches to actually fix problems. A bad stage to be at.
A game running poorly on your PC might be less of a financial hole in these days of Steam refunds but it still sucks to have your first experience of a game be bum, and to scrabble around hoping one suggested solution will work, and to be left wondering if it'll get fixed. It's such a shame when a good game's launch is marred by issues like this. And Deathloop is one.
Our boy Brendy's Deathloop review called it "a time-looping shooter with funny dialogue and a very powerful boot, where stealth is just the thing that goes wrong before a good fight." I'm a sucker for a good kick.
If you aren't suffering stuttering, hey, consult our Deathloop PC performance guide to maybe eke out a few more frames.