SEATTLE—Square Enix got into PC gamers’ good graces after a vital Aug proclamation about Final Fantasy XV. The RPG will land on Windows someday in “early 2018,” and while that’s a flattering prolonged wait after its late-2016 console launch, PC gamers were during slightest positive they’d see PC-specific improvements such as full 4K resolution.
The studio followed that proclamation dual weeks after by mouth-watering Ars Technica to one of a world’s initial looks during this PC version’s in-development build. After my behind-closed-doors, hands-on demo during this weekend’s PAX West 2017, however, we have zero though bad news to report.
This clearly unprepared build of FFXV: Windows Edition could have many or all of a vivid issues resolved by a time “early 2018” rolls around, though we couldn’t let such a catastrophic demo go by though promulgation a wishlist to Square Enix. You guys have work to do, commencement with a following big-deal problems:
Ghastly keyboard and rodent performance
The kiosk for FFXV: Windows Edition had a available keyboard and rodent control beam subsequent to a keyboard, that contained a multiple of essential and WTF-worthy pivotal assignments. (Weirdest of them all was a studio’s choice to allot a “sprint” symbol to the tab key, while withdrawal a some-more common PC-sprint pivotal of left-shift wholly unmapped.)
Bigger problems arose when we got into conflict and realized none of these mapped keys let me lift off a game’s critical warp-strike attack. FFXV‘s categorical favourite Noctis must warp-strike in sequence to possibly conflict enemies on a other side of a push or fasten onto a high-up unresolved indicate for a consequence of reserve and recovery. we died regularly in a dual battles got into as a result. (And given you’re certainly going to ask: No, a “F” symbol as noted on a keyboard map above didn’t do a trick.)
None of a Square Enix member during a eventuality was means to trigger a warp-strike conflict regulating a keyboard, as well, and one admitted that we was a initial chairman to play a PC demo regulating anything other than a circuitously Xbox One gamepad. Perhaps that was since a in-game UI never reflected my control choice. Instead, each on-screen prompt included gamepad symbol and instruction icons. The in-game menus did not concede me to remap any of a keys, either.
I suppose this is a “takes usually 5 mins to implement” fix… though how in a heck did Square Enix let a PC chronicle out of a offices though any keyboard-specific tweaks enabled?
No video menu of any kind
The menus also lacked toggles for any visible settings. This might have simply due to a game’s deficient growth state, as a developers might only use a debug menu or INI files during this point. But we found it curious that a diversion had a complete, console-grade array of menus for several gameplay options and nonetheless had zero visual selectors built into a UI during this point. No approach to play with anti-aliasing options; no fortitude or ratio selectors; nothing.
Japanese diversion developers have left a prolonged approach in new years to opening adult some-more visible options in their console-to-PC ports. Square Enix needs to know that anything reduction than sum entrance to PC settings is already unsuitable in 2017, let alone subsequent year. Fans will convene behind a scenes to exercise workarounds, anyway. Please save them a trouble.
A miss of full 4K resolution
Without that visible menu, we couldn’t explain one of a some-more confusing things about my demo: Its transparent inability to scale during full 4K resolution. Square Enix inaugurated to use a reference-grade Dell guard for this demo. I’m really informed with it, carrying tested one of a accurate same indication for a few months. After drumming by a monitor’s earthy menu buttons, we reliable that a diversion was technically using in 3840×2160 resolution.
However, a volume of hairy pixel digest we saw was nowhere nearby a ideal pixel mapping. Again, we tested this accurate guard a ton while initial educating myself about a 4K difference. There’s no approach we can ideally guess pixel depends by glancing during a screen, though we could simply tell: this wasn’t adult to 4K snuff.
In good news, that means FFXV: Windows Edition could boat with a local fortitude scaler, that would go a prolonged approach towards opening potency for, say, GTX 1060 or 1070 owners who wish to corner towards 4K fortitude and still suffer well-spoken support rate performance. However, if this hairy opening was a outcome of a default, imperative “checkerboarding” outcome to copy 4K resolution, afterwards we’re going to have a problem.
(If you’re wondering: The guard in doubt is rated for 10-bit color, though not for HDR’s luminance-differential requirement, so we could not exam a PC version’s advertised HDR capabilities.)
Performance bashful of 30 frames a second
The demo’s sub-4K fortitude didn’t assistance FFXV: Windows Edition. My demo ran at a modernise rate good next 30 frames per second. This was quite violent to me, since I’d played an in-development chronicle of FFXV all a approach behind in 2015 running on a PC. That one sealed into a 30 FPS rate on a unchanging basis, even in a unfinished, wonky state.
But FFXV: Windows Edition couldn’t get there. Cut scenes, alfresco outside runs, drives along a highway, and even moments perusing shops and other interior areas all chugged in that regular, “needs some-more power” way, as against to a kinds of breaks, stutters, or pauses that we ordinarily see while giving preview builds of games a advantage of a doubt.
The PC we tested this demo on enclosed a poster that review something like “Final Fantasy XV, powered by Alienware.” If we were on a Alienware PR team, I’d direct a retraction, a cookie bouquet, or something.
Assets that aren’t 4K quality
Speaking of interior scenes, many textures in FFXV: Windows Edition still describe during a same 1080p-friendly fortitude found on a console versions. Will FFXV: Windows Edition embody any rescaled resources or textures for a consequence of PC energy users whose systems’ bandwidth can means higher-res textures? Square Enix member couldn’t answer that doubt during a event.
The one thing we can contend is that some visible effects were incited adult compared to a console versions. In particular, FFXV: Windows Edition appears to have a most stronger depth-of-field outcome incited on, and while some of a ensuing blurring looked a small unnatural, a display altogether looks improved as a result. But as a above outline creates clear, it was tough to suffer those small tweaks.
I don’t routinely appeal comments from Ars readers—y’all frequency need a prompting—but we have a feeling Square Enix member will balance into this article, and a comments thread, with an eye toward what accurately PC gamers wish in their chronicle of FFXV. The building is yours.