Call of Duty campaigns are a guilty pleasure of mine, so I was excited last week to fire up Black Ops 3 on PC. Ten minutes later, I'd shut it down, and a sad sense of déjà vu was washing over me.
It was a year ago that I was writing about how Advanced Warfare's PC launch wasn't great, the game plagued by weird stutters and slowdowns. This year, Black Ops 3's launch is not great either, the game once again plagued for many by weird stutters and slowdowns.
These are unrelated to how demanding the action is on screen; just like last year, a video cutscene will struggle while explosive action runs just fine, only for things to again get funky once you're in a quiet corridor.
Which is annoying! But it's at least something you can struggle through. There's another major problem with this year's launch that's affecting a ton of users, and that's a memory leak, which Treyarch says is primarily affecting folks "on some CPUs including Intel i5 processors". You can't struggle through this.
This means that while you can initially start a game and play it just fine, after around 2-3 minutes the framerate starts to chug. After 4-5 minutes the game becomes completely unplayable.
(this isn't me, it's Idiotech)
Treyarch is recommending users try the following:
We have noticed that some systems may get better input response with FPS Cap set just below refresh rate. If you have a 60hz monitor, you can try enabling Vsync and setting your FPS Cap to 58.
For those who didn't find success there — and that seems like a lot — Treyarch issued a patch over the weekend "to address issues with performance".
Which worked for some, but not others. Even after the patch I still can't play the game. For perspective, I've got an i5-4690, with a GTX980 and 16GB of RAM. Even after the patch, the game's intro videos and menu screen stutter, and I can maybe enjoy 2-3 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay before the memory leak kicks in.
I'm not panicking here, because Advanced Warfare had the same problems, and was soon patched up, playable and a lot of fun. But I am disappointed; people pay good money for video games with the hope/expectation that they actually work. Sometimes they don't for circumstances unseen, and shit happens. But for the same issues to hit the same game a year later? That's weak.