Frame Rate Stutters Make Racing My Least Favourite Part Of The New Need For Speed

Frame Rate Stutters Make Racing My Least Favourite Part Of The New Need For Speed

There are several aspects of EA and Ghost Games' dark and rainy Need for Speed reboot that I enjoy immensely. Due to regular gameplay hiccups, racing just doesn't happen to be one of them.

Releasing November 5 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and later on for the PC, the new Need for Speed is a bit of a throwback in terms of style and strategy, mixing modern ideas like large open worlds and online multiplayer free-roaming with a story told through charming full motion video cutscenes and the idea of transforming a single vehicle into a racing powerhouse rather than tossing it the moment you can afford something faster.

It's those two older ideas I admire the most about new Need for Speed. At first the FMV struck me as a bit corny, but then I embraced its corniness and started wishing there were more of it.

It's the friendliest illegal street racing gang ever, featuring a mechanic, a drift expert, a loveable goof and the man whose hairstyle I would steal if I still had hair to style.

I miss these guys when they aren't around. Sure, they will all ring me up on my phone incessantly while I am roaming about the streets of Ventura Bay, begging me to drive all the way across the massive map in order to lose a race to cheap AI, but I feel the same way about them as I do most real people — they're fun in person, but stop calling me.

My favourite character so far however, is my 2004 Acura RSX-S.

Frame Rate Stutters Make Racing My Least Favourite Part Of The New Need For Speed

It was a rocky relationship at first, what with the stock version of the car racing about as well as a rental car, but upgrade a few parts, drop the tire pressure in the rear wheels and loosen the hand brake and my ugly salmon-and-purple vehicle became a drifting machine.

Frame Rate Stutters Make Racing My Least Favourite Part Of The New Need For Speed

Well, more a drifting/crashing machine. The streets of Ventura Bay are always dark — we are racing illegally after all — and most of the time wet. These are not optimal racing conditions, and they cannot be changed.

The darkness coupled with a default camera angle that feels far too low make for a lot of crashes. I'd plow through obstacles I couldn't see a moment before. Ventura's open roads branch wildly at times, and without a clear view of racing guides I found myself veering wildly off-course during many races, missing an off-ramp and loosing any advantage over the wildly rubberbanding AI racers I might have had.

The most frustrating aspect of Need for Speed's racing (on the Xbox One version I played at least) is this:

Looks like the video stutters, doesn't it? It did not. That's the game.

At regular intervals the action will hiccup, stutter, call it what you will. It might seem like a small thing, but when you're setting up for a drift around a tight corner and that happens, you're hitting the wall. It completely throws off the rhythm of the race.

Here's an entire event. The first stutter kicks in around the :25 mark. Then again at around 1:25. Then 2:25. It even happens on the results screen at around 3:25.

I don't know why it's happening, but it's done it now on two different Xbox One consoles, both racing online in a group and in a solo game by myself. I've read a few other previews for the game that mention the jitters on Xbox One, while the PlayStation 4 version seems just fine, maintaining a steady 30 frames per second throughout.

Hopefully it's an easy fix for EA and Ghost, as it's ruining an otherwise compelling single-player experience.

I stress single-player because so far, despite raving on a map with several other online drivers, my interaction has been limited to passing or crashing into them and then moving on. I'll put in some more time with Need for Speed tomorrow when the game launches and the servers fill with eager racers to see how the game's multiplayer holds up.


Comments

    This is what I was worried about, if its running fine on PS4 I'll pick it up on that but its more of a "wait down the line" game until they fix bugs like that.

    Well…. That’s pretty game ruining.

    I’m not a framerate Nazi by any means, but it’s a racing game and it’s 2015, piss poor of EA to be shipping anything in that state.

    P.S. I fully expected this game to be boring as hell anyway. The NFS series is a dated relic in the “car pron” genre and a pale imitation of Burnout in the arcade category.

    Also is the hotted-up-rice-burner street racing craze still much of a thing? It seems to me like a market that peaked after the original Fast and the Furious and is now a bit lacking compared to games like Forza that offer street racing mixed in with cars for men.

      Nah man in a racing game you need a smooth, smooth framerate or it can seriously screw you up. So yeah it is definitely game ruining. One stutter in frames can be the difference between good and bad handling, a car taking you over etc.

    Well…. That’s pretty game ruining.

    I’m not a framerate Nazi by any means, but it’s a racing game and it’s 2015, piss poor of EA to be shipping anything in that state.

    P.S. I fully expected this game to be boring as hell anyway. The NFS series is a dated relic in the “car pron” genre and a pale imitation of Burnout in the arcade category.

    Also is the hotted-up-rice-burner street racing craze still much of a thing? It seems to me like a market that peaked after the original Fast and the Furious and is now a bit lacking compared to games like Forza that offer street racing mixed in with cars for men.

      Wow lol, cars for men ?

      the NFS series i wouldn't say has dated i would say it's been overused and frequently to no core values as the originals/better games (most wanted, carbon etc)

      The "hotted up rice burner" scene is beginning to take a climb again with kits for more ridiculous and more affordable and modifiable platforms being released with dealers actually building cars for the purpose of being the modified joys their predecessors were a la Nissan iDx, Toyota 86 etc.

        Oh…. Well that’s disappointing.

        I’m kinda old now so I don’t spend much time hanging out with young guys who spend all their money peacocking their cheap cars with embarrassing lights/ paint jobs/ body kits.

        I mean you still see (and hear) those cars around but I thought it peaked and then went the way of the metrosexual craze sometime in the mid-2000’s. Maybe I’m just getting old-as-f*ck though.

          Yeah but these are games. Noone wants to race as the middle aged guy with his modest looking tidy car. Over the top, crazy limitless customizing and the outlandish car scene is what I want to play, not only because I'd never do so in real life, but it sinply makes for a fun game :-)

          Last edited 03/11/15 11:31 am

            Yeah, it's a game. You don't have to "hang out with young guys" or interpret and value everything in terms of a "craze" to appreciate it.
            That being said, everything mentioned that is not the racing seems indeed very cool, but screwing up the core mechanic is still a deal breaker.

            Sure customisation is fun, I’m just thinking that it’s surprisingly limited in its focus.

            Even the original NFS games had plenty of top-level supercars like the McLaren.
            Those aren’t “street racer” cars, those ARE middle age man with a nice car cars.

            Honestly I don’t know enough about the game to say entirely what’s in and out, but it looks to be focused on doing up street cars and hanging out with your gang of too-cool-by-half stereotypes which to me makes it another NFS Underground (which came in the post Fast and Furious hip-street-racer craze) and not a genuine reboot of NFS which is what I was hoping for/ expecting.

            NFS was about sexy as f*ck (by mid-90’s standards) dream cars being thrashed through beautiful country sides and along idyllic beaches, not putting a tacky sticker and an oversized exhaust on a $20,000 hatch-back.

          can't say i've seen any neons lately because...illegal also there's nothing wrong with bodykits as long as they aren't super over the top.

          Just because someone doesn't have the same styling preferences as you does not make their car "not manly etc"

          I'm guessing you're one of the people that gets really mad when some "young guy" comes past in his turbo Japper and smashes your V8 Commy sick mobile lol

        Nissan are dead to me since they announced that the successor to the 370Z is going to be a f*cking SUV.

        45 years of sports car heritage flushed down the toilet. F*ck you, Nissan.

          Wait what? Are you seriously telling me that the new Z Car isn't going to be a rear wheel drive sports car but an SUV? Isn't RWD the reason you buy a Z Car.

            http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/nissan-shows-off-its-electric-driverless-future-at-the-tokyo-motor-show/story-fnjwucvh-1227585948773

            Also shown off was a concept for one of Australia’s most popular car markets, the crossover SUV. Called the Gripz, the concept was actually inspired by Nissan’s Z series of cars and will be the spiritual successor to the current 370z sports car.
            The Gripz aims to be something for everyone. It will have a powerful hybrid drivetrain and sporty dynamics while still having the practicality of a crossover

            This is the work of Satan himself.

              Surely with Toyota/Subaru bringing out an affordable RWD sports car like the 86 surely Nissian should throw out a new 180 or Silvia not get rid of it's last RWD car.

                a new silvia has been speculated for years now, they've even released concept drawings etc but unfortunately hasn't come to fruition, perhaps depending on how the iDx goes we'll see a new silvia!

                  Would love to see a new Silvia one day! I would probably consider buying one as long as it was FR, manual and petrol turbo; But then again probably not as I've already got my dream car (BNR32) which I'll never sell.

          Whaaaaat, you've ruined my week! Surely they'll bring it back in like 10 ears or something. We all thought the skyline was dead after 2002..

            10 years, who knows?

            I'm glad I got my 370Z when I did - maybe it'll be a collector's item in 10 years :P

    Need for Speed has no idea what it wants to be. If you're going to go for this street style urban racing I expect to be seeing races playing out like scenes from the early F&F movies.

    Like this! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M_87henn0TQ

    Crowds gather and you see the streets getting closed off and fellow racers pulling up in customized cars, a prerace lobby where you wander down the road in first person and look at your rivals cars. Some skimpy girls posing around the place. Sure it's corny but they need to stop trying to impress all the hipsters and naesayers and go for some corny, over the top street racing craziness. And I haven't even touched on how lifeless and dull the streets and races in these games feel.

    Last edited 03/11/15 11:33 am

    I'm looking forward to playing it myself, and hoping the framerate issues are quickly fixed. I struggled with the steering for some reason in the beta, just felt really clunky and was hard to get used to.

    I've read some forum chatter where people say they experience intermittent stutters on Xbox One games which go away when they turn off the "instant resume" or whatever it's called feature from the settings. I don't personally have the resume setting enabled on my machine and haven't played NFS, so take this info with the usual 6-pack of salt shakers.

    on PS4 beta i didnt notice one single patch of low FPS over about 8 hours of play. i was shocked after the fuss the internet kicked up about 30fps limit.

    I did however get constant network drops which kick you out of whatever you were doing back to main menu so you have to do it all again. Always online ftw...

    Last edited 04/11/15 10:24 am

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