Well, congratulations to Microsoft. After nine months of haranguing me in the bottom-right corner of the screen, I’ve finally upgraded to Windows 10. Not exactly by choice. It was so I could play Remedy’s new game Quantum Break, which you might’ve heard is a Windows 10 Exclusive™ or whatever.
DirectX 12, Xbox Live (and Xbox App) integration, the whole banana. And seeing as the last title to release through the Windows Store (Gears of War: Ultimate Edition) was a bit of a technical kerfuffle, I figured I’d best do some brief testing after a long day of reinstalling drivers and software.
Also, I love me some Alan Wake and Max Payne so I’m admittedly excited to play Quantum Break. Here are the display options:
The good news is the game runs preeeeeetty well for me thus far, though others have reported some performance issues. Options are slightly more sparse than your typical PC title but Microsoft has fixed some of the half-assed garbage from the Gears launch—you can turn the 30 frames per second cap off, for one thing.
Games still run in borderless fullscreen though, and I have no idea whether multi-GPU setups are supported because I’m only running a single GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Windows Store apps don’t play nice with SLI or CrossFire yet, but DirectX 12 games—like Quantum Break—can support mixed graphics card setups if developers take the time to code it in. Remedy hasn’t mentioned doing so for this game, though, so if you’re running SLI/CrossFire maybe think twice about buying. Or let me know if it works and we’ll update this.
Load screens are practically nonexistent on my machine—just a flash and they’re gone. There’s some stuttering when each act begins, as if the game is hurriedly streaming everything in at once. Also one weapon (the heavy pistol) causes stuttering literally every time I fire it. No idea why. It’s the only problem-gun.
The game looks good though! I wouldn’t say it’s the prettiest game I’ve ever run on my machine, and there’s some serious L.A. Noire style uncanny-valley face tech at points, but the time effects are glorious running at full 1080p and aside from some awkwardly-up-the-butt FOV at the beginning the game feels like it was built for PC—which, duh, it’s a shooter.
My major quibbles actually arise from outside the game.
The Windows Store is a pain. Since this was my first time installing a game from it on Windows 10 it took some Googling for me to find out how to swap what drive the Store installs to. (Hint: Go to Settings—not the Store settings but your system-wide settings, then System > Storage and change where apps are installed.) Also, there’s no support for any overlays so I have no idea what my actual frame rates are. Clever, Microsoft. Very clever.
Then there’s the fact you can’t actually install the video portion of the game to your computer. It streams. I sort-of understand the reasoning because the game is already a whopping 42GB install and the video portion clocks in at another 75GB in total, but it’s a bit of a pain if you have slower (or non-existent) Internet.
I’ve only played about an hour and a half so we’ll have a full review in the days ahead, but I think it’s a fine version of the game provided you’re willing to bow to Microsoft’s coercion here and buy it through the Windows Store. Some won’t, and that’s fine. I still don’t like the Windows Store and I’m definitely not converting all my game purchases to it.
But the game runs fine!
[Update, 9:30 PT: Again, worth reiterating that SLI/CrossFire should work provided Remedy coded for it. It’s not a limitation of the Windows Store. Gears of War was just a shoddy port. Still, I have no way of testing.
More of note: It looks like the game is potentially upscaling from 720p instead of running natively at higher resolutions, which is a much bigger issue. We’ll keep an eye on things.]
Hayden writes about games for PCWorld and doubles as the resident Zork enthusiast.