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PC Report: Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a game developed by Cornfox & Bros. and originally released for iOS devices in 2013. This is the developer's first solo PC release (following collaboration on the 2012 Death Rally remake). The PC version includes the features and content added in the iOS Game of the Year Edition update along with various PC-specific improvements.
Has a quality release landed on the shores of PC gaming, or is the developer lost at sea? Read on to find out.
OS: Windows 7
Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual Core or faster
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible, 256 MB VRAM
DirectX: Version 10
Hard Drive: 700 MB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 10 compatible
Additional Notes: Even slower systems may run the game.
OS: Windows 8
Processor: 2.2 GHz Dual Core or faster
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible, 512 MB VRAM
DirectX: Version 10
Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 10 compatible
Additional Notes: Even slower systems run the game.
Test machine specifications
OS: Windows 10 Technical Preview (64-bit)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6450, 1 GB VRAM
Drivers: AMD Catalyst Omega
A review code for Steam was supplied by the developer. The tested version was v220.127.116.115.
Oceanhorn provides quite a few video settings. There are presets for Low, Medium, High and Ultra as well as selective control over each feature. Note that Ultra sets a frame rate target which might make the game run in slow motion (see FPS max below for details).
Game performance has not been assessed in detail for this report because the game currently has major performance issues on AMD video cards which affect the test system (the test system had frame rates in the low 30s with everything on Low). Nvidia users are reporting that they are not affected by this. The developer is aware of this issue and is looking into it. Refer to the Steam discussion topic for further updates.
There is a lens-like blurring effect at the corners of the screen. There is no setting for disabling this.
The display's native resolution is used by default. 4K is natively supported according to the developer but has not been tested for this report. Refer to the WSGF entry for further widescreen behaviour details.
A native borderless fullscreen mode is included in the settings. There is no regular windowed mode available.
If you have multiple displays note that the mouse cursor is not locked to the game window.
The frame rate can be set to 30, 30 (locked), 60, or 60 (locked).
Note that the "locked" options are not simple caps; these settings make the game always run at the specified value, so if performance dips the game will be slowed down in order to maintain that frame rate. Gamers with less powerful systems will want to use one of the non-locked choices.
This setting eliminates the noticeably aliased edges of shadows.
Ambient occlusion (listed as AO in-game) is present with a choice of off, AO, or Realtime AO. The Realtime AO setting has the highest visual quality.
This setting determines whether clouds cast shadows on the world below. The clouds themselves will still be visible with this setting disabled (such as in water reflections and when sailing).
This setting hides non-destructible decoration such as these loose stones and small bushes. This setting doesn't affect destructible bushes and other interactive objects.
This determines the draw distance for decoration objects (if the decoration objects setting is enabled), object shadows, and some other minor details. The "close" setting has very noticeable pop-in, while "far" puts the pop-in nearer to the edges of the screen. At the "full" setting there is no visible pop-in (everything is loaded with full detail even if only part of an object is visible on the screen).
This setting is on/off only and deals with most visible aliasing.
This setting determines the visibility of reflections on water and other surfaces. Low reflects only clouds, medium adds reflections for terrain and characters while high adds reflections for all other objects (such as the barrel, boats, and dock in this comparison).
The mouse and keyboard controls work well but note that it is not possible to play this game with just the keyboard or just the mouse. The mouse is used to control the attack direction and targeted attacks while the keyboard is used for movement and other actions. Remapping is limited to buttons of the same type (shown in blue and green in the settings). Extra mouse buttons are not supported.
This game has full controller support. Controller support is totally seamless (it does not need to be enabled or toggled). The controller is automatically detected even when connected while the game is already in progress. The HUD and on-screen prompts automatically change to whichever control type is being pressed or moved.
Only XInput controllers are supported. There is no vibration support and no analog sensitivity. Start, Back, D-pad and the analog sticks cannot be remapped. Remapping is limited to buttons of the same type (shown in blue and green in the settings).
There are sliders for effects, speech, and music. Subtitles are always enabled.
There is currently a bug where pausing the game during cutscenes mutes some sound effects for the rest of that scene and the voice for the rest of that spoken line. All cutscenes can be replayed from the menu at any time to get around this issue.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a solid port, although the experience is currently marred for gamers with AMD video cards. The game provides a wide variety of settings for adjusting to both low- and high-end systems. The quality settings do not affect models and texture resolution, so the visuals are quite detailed even with everything on low.
Stability is very good. The tested version crashed on launch very occasionally but never crashed during gameplay (the main storyline was played to completion).
There is no way of changing the camera zoom distance, so gamers with very large displays may feel that the action is too close. The camera can be moved slightly when holding the middle mouse button (or with the right analog stick when using a controller) but otherwise uses pre-determined angles.
There are some minor clipping issues where it is possible to partially squeeze past destructible scenery objects. This did not lead to getting stuck during testing. The position in the world can be reset by exiting to the title screen and loading the save again.
Music lovers will be happy to know that the game's entire soundtrack is accessible from the installation folder in Ogg Vorbis format, but note that this is not compatible with Steam Music (which currently only supports MP3).
The performance issues on AMD video cards currently make this game a disappointing experience for AMD users. Nvidia users are reporting that they not affected by this. If the developer can resolve this and some of the other minor issues this will be an excellent port.
PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Garrett. For an up to date account of fixes and improvements for Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
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