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Guest Shadowstealer7

Port Report: Deus Ex The Fall

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Guest Shadowstealer7

Released halfway through 2013 on iOS, and later on Android, Deus Ex: The Fall is the fourth game in the franchise and is set during the events of Human Revolution. A few weeks ago, Square Enix released the PC port, promising a superior experience to the tablet versions. This report is going to involve diving into it and seeing how it holds up to Square Enix's promises.

System Requirements



Minimum

  • OS: Windows XP SP2
  • Processor: 2GHz dual core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated audio interface

Recommended

  • OS: Windows 7 SP 1
  • Processor: Quad Core 2.66GHz CPU Intel or AMD
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 500 Series or Radeon 7000 Series, 1 GB Graphics memory
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated audio interface

Specs used for testing: Intel Core i7-3630QM @ 2.4GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M 2GB, 16GB DDR3 RAM, Windows 8.1

Nothing groundbreaking in the specs department, which is a given because this game was made for iOS 6 devices. But it does show that not much effort was put into improving the technical aspects upon the iOS version.


Graphics

As the image below shows, the only options you get for graphics is your choice of resolution, what form of MSAA you want to use, whether it is windowed or not and if you want VSync on (which is highly recommended to prevent stuttering). No texture quality settings or fancier features like ambient occlusion or anisotropic filtering.











It is also to be noted that this game runs on Unity instead of the modified Crystal Engine found in Human Revolution, of course due to the cross-platform nature of the Unity engine.

Below is an in-game image taken in the level 'Drug Den' with maxed out settings

 

Antialiasing

As stated before, The Fall only supports MSAA to a value of 8. Because of the lack of proper graphics settings, performance can only be gauged via this setting, this will be further discussed in the Performance section.











The antialiasing does improve image quality a bit, as the comparison image shows, but during gameplay at a 1920x1080 resolution, I did not really notice a difference. Better forms could be forced with your graphics driver's control panel, but I have not tested whether this will work.


Performance

Obviously the framerate should be low on a laptop on a maxed out game from 2014? Wrong.

 

Yes, this is correct. A laptop (one made for gaming though) can run this game at a minimum of approximately 160 FPS. Although, you wouldn't really expect anything different from a bare-minimum port like this.

This data was gathered by running a 60 second benchmark in Fraps and walking a roughly planned route in the level 'Drug Den' until the benchmarking process had competed.

Gameplay and Controls

The graphics may not be up to par, but at least it plays like Human Revolution, right?

Wrong again. This game has very clunky controls that try to imitate Human Revolution, but fall flat. Yes, your hotbar is still there and augmentations are still mapped to the function keys, but the game does not teach you this.

Instead, the terribly boring tutorial introduces you to the way tablets play it. To choose a grenade, hold down G and use the scroll wheel to choose what you want. That's right, not on your hotbar (which is only for weapons), but you have to open a sub-menu to choose your grenade.

The cover system is probably the most accurate control (besides hacking) to Human Revolution. It works, let's just leave it at that.

Combat, on the other hand, is utterly broken. Enemies (which have very dumb AI) can soak up shotgun blasts at point blank range, the takedown animations are clunky, and the game has a recoil system that zooms your FOV in and then out, which just messes with your head.

Also, controls cannot be rebound. The game does support Xinput based controllers as an alternate control scheme if you happen to have one handy.


Interface

The interface in game looks very similar to Human Revolution, only scaled bigger than HR had at a 1080p resolution. The menus, however, are a clunky mess and buttons can take multiple clicks to register. This is big tablet size buttons we are talking about, not some tiny little hyperlink.

Issues and Other Information

This game does have its fair share of bugs. The cover system does not work properly all the time and the sound frequently drops, leaving you to miss out on vital story dialogue or even NPC dialogue, which cannot even be seen with subtitles enabled as it is shown for a split second.

Deus Ex: Invisible War was criticised for having small levels with loading in between. It should be noted that it is the same with this game, only the levels are much smaller scale than Invisible War's. Another technical criticism that stands out it the lip sync and animations. I do not know what quality this is for an iOS game, but for a PC game in 2014, it is unacceptable. The quality of animations look comparable to Invisible War, only with slight improvement.

Another note is that you can buy items whenever you like in the pause menu, provided you have the credits. Square Enix should be commended for removing the microtransactions from this menu, however.

And on a final note, I would recommend that if you do play this game, read the novel Icarus Effect by James Swallow beforehand, as this game is a direct sequel. The game is also meant to be episodic, but only the first episode has been released with no information on a second episode.


Conclusion

As an overall experience, due to the nature of this port, it would be wise to avoid this game until it goes on sale, and even then only if you are a massive fan of the Deus Ex franchise. Yes, it is a tablet port, yes, Square Enix did deliver what they promised, but good enough is just simply not good enough for this game. A poor effort was put into this port, and for an extra $10, I would recommend you get the Director's Cut of Human Revolution instead of this until it goes on sale and is fixed up.

This is a shame, especially since Assassin's Creed Liberation HD lived up to its potential and the recently released port of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate seems to be slightly above average, and this game does come from a well praised franchise of games. We have seen some decent ports from handheld and mobile devices before, but this would have to be in the lazily and/or poorly ported pile, and it shows that adding a name to something does not make it any good.

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      Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to
      PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:

       




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      Overall performance and image quality
      Fallout 4 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. There is only a 3% difference in performance between Low and Medium. High preset has a more significant performance drop of 33% and Ultra costs almost 40% of Low's framerate.
       
      The framerate is limited to 60 FPS by default, unlocking it via editing .ini files will unfortunately cause problems, as the game logic and physics are tied to the framerate. I've experienced severe framerate drops in major cities where the game's framerate seemingly randomly falls from 100+ FPS to sub 30 FPS.
       
      The game also loads very slowly on mechanical hard-drives. The loading times were around 30-40 seconds, after moving the game on SSD loading times dropped significantly to only few seconds.
       
      During my testing I've found only one effect (Shadow Distance) to have significant performance impact on the game. Even the dreaded over-tessellated god-rays effect led only to a 4% drop in FPS. The rest of the effects have negligible or non-existent performance cost so I'm not going to include all the graphs here. Feel free to browse through the measurements though.
       


       
      Visual quality on the Low preset is nothing special, shadows are visibly low resolution and cut not far from camera, vegetation is shown only very close to the player and textures are not very sharp. Medium preset improves shadow resolution and cutoff distance of vegetation. High preset further improves vegetation cutoff distance and increases cutoff for shadows and the scene seems to be less flat. Ultra preset further increases render distance. Overall the game doesn't look particularly impressive visually and the renamed Gamebryo engine very clearly shows its age. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_185184.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_250146.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       

      Texture Quality
      Texture quality controls the texture resolution and can be set in three steps - Medium, High and Ultra. Visual difference between High and Ultra is very small and performance impact wasn't clearly measurable. The textures are not very sharp to begin with so there is definitely room for improvement. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_19291.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_225899.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       

      Shadow Distance
      Shadow Distance setting controls cutoff distance of the shadows and is the most demanding effect in the game. High setting causes almost 30% framerate drop, Ultra costs another 2% on top of that. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_58376.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_3546.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       



      Anti-aliasing
      The game offers only two anti-aliasing methods and these are only post process filters FXAA and TXAA. Both have major visual impact and horribly blurs the whole scene, vegetation lose its definition, broken lines are kept broken, textures are slightly blurred as well. At least these effects has only 3% performance impact. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, TXAA.
       



      Controls
      The game doesn't offer very large controls options. Mouse sensitivity can be set and the keys can be remapped but there are major problems with controls in Fallout 4. First of all there are multiple actions on one key that doesn't make sense and will cause trouble. Melee attack shares button with a Throw grenade function for example. There is also a system of favorites weapons and items, but slots are locked to the number keys and cannot be remapped. Scroll wheel also cannot be remapped (to navigating favorites for example) and controls camera distance which I find fairly useless.
       
      There is a mouse acceleration turned on by default and can be turned off only by editing an .ini files.
       
      Pip-Boy and GUI navigation is nothing short of a disaster. I was expecting it to be bad as horrible controls are Bethesda's trademark but this is a whole new level of awful. Nothing is consistent after more that 20 hours of playing I still have to think really hard about what key is doing what in the menus. For example, exiting or going back a menu is sometimes Tab, sometimes it's E and sometimes it is Esc. Worst is the settlement building option which suddenly has you using the arrow keys and the game doesn't even hint that Shift+WSAD can be also used. Alternative GUI mod cannot arrive soon enough.
       
      On top of that tutorial is almost non-existent and fairly important game mechanics are never explained like VATS or how to assign settlers to jobs.
       

      Audio
      Fallout 4 offers fairly standard audio options with many volume sliders. The game supports surround sound setups up to 7.1 and audio sound fairly good with one exception though. Voices have very low volume outside of cutscenes and very often are inaudible when speaking character is more than few meters away.
       

      Conclusion
      Fallout 4 suffers from heavy consolitidis. The underlying game is fun and the world is rich but visually the game looks unimpressive and old, almost like modded Fallout 3. Performance is not terrible overall but there are framerate drops suggesting optimization issues, almost none of the graphics settings has any meaningful performance impact on the game.
       
      Keyboard and mouse controls are awful and should be redesigned from the ground up. Many of core PC features like FoV, widescreen support or unlocked framerate are absent and has to be edited in via configuration files. Another six month of polishing would greatly benefited the game, but obviously Bethesda is counting on modders to fix the game for free and that is not a good sign.
       
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       

      Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to
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