• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

News Analysis DF: Nier: Automata and The Evil Within on Game Pass aren't actually better PC ports

Revolutionary

Member
Sep 13, 2007
20,642
3,738
1,425
Brooklyn, NY
In fact, they actually introduce new problems

When Nier: Automata and The Evil Within were added to Xbox Game Pass PC on March 17th, fans suddenly got excited. Nier: Automata, in particular, had a problematic PC port, which was mostly fine but disappointingly didn't get updates from Square Enix to resolve its obvious issues. Modders fixed it, instead. This Game Pass release, made by port studio QLOC, promised some added features like borderless windowed mode and HDR. Four years later, Nier: Automata finally got the port it deserved… or so it seemed at first glance.

The verdict from the eagle-eyed testers at Digital Foundry and modder Kaldaien, who patched up Nier: Automata back in 2017, is unfortunately the opposite. The new Game Pass versions of Nier: Automata and The Evil Within still have many of the old problems, and in some ways are actually worse than their original PC ports.

In the video above, Digital Foundry first looks at The Evil Within, which strangely ran at about 57-59 frames per second even though it was supposedly locked to 60. It's a common issue with the game engine id Tech 5, and was easily fixable in the initial port. But Digital Foundry ran into a significantly stranger performance issue in the Game Pass port, which reported it was running at 60 fps despite actually running at a ragged, bouncy 40-something fps. Reinstalling the game, and even reinstalling Windows, didn't solve the problem—and somehow its busted performance carried over to the Steam version of the game, too, if it was installed. Utterly bizarre.

At least the old version of The Evil Within runs just fine with a simple settings tweak (assuming you don't infect it with the Game Pass version, anyway). With Nier: Automata, fans hoped this port would be a significant improvement. Modder Kaldaien did significantly improve Nier: Automata with mod FAR, but a new PC port would have served as acknowledgement that Nier should have been patched rather than left as it was.

"The news isn't great," Kaldaien posted in a thread on ResetEra. "Most of what needed to be fixed in the Steam version still needs to be fixed in the Microsoft Store version. Some of it's gotten more difficult to fix. You'd think a bump from 900p hardcoded post-processing resolution to 1080p would be a marginal improvement, but they managed to increase resolution while simultaneously decreasing quality (ugh)."

The new port of Nier: Automata does have a built-in borderless mode now, which is a positive. But almost all of the graphical issues in Automata fixed by the FAR mod are still present in the Game Pass version. Digital Foundry shows off a few of them. Kaldaien also calls out "an even worse implementation of AO," or ambient occlusion, in the Game Pass version.

The original Steam versions of Nier and The Evil Within are ultimately the better way to play. Those versions can be modded, something that's still not possible with Game Pass. It may be four years old now, but I think Square Enix should still patch the Steam version, correcting the issues that Kaldaien fixed with FAR. It may not sell new copies, but it would show they actually care about what their PC players have to say.

Shout out to Square Enix and Platinum Games for not patching the game in 4+ years. Also, make sure to buy the prequel next month! :|

Edit: I searched for "Nier port" and the other thread didn't pop up. If a mod could merge this thread to that one, that would be great. Or just close this one, whatever.
 
Last edited:

Revolutionary

Member
Sep 13, 2007
20,642
3,738
1,425
Brooklyn, NY
Square Enix can get fucked. Not buying any of their shit on PC. Garbage ass company.
I've got a serious love/hate relationship with SE. They have some of my favorite IPs (Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest, etc.), but my god the management is so bad. But as much as I complain, I still buy their shit (and subscribe to their MMO) so... I guess I'm part of the problem. :messenger_weary:
 

kiphalfton

Member
Dec 27, 2018
1,130
1,480
470
Wasn't the narrative on here that it was better? That's the only reason I downloaded The Evil Within to Gamepass PC and NOT steam (as I already have the game on steam). If that's not the case, I will just go back to the steam version as I try to avoid using the Gamepass PC app whenever possible.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kuranghi

Revolutionary

Member
Sep 13, 2007
20,642
3,738
1,425
Brooklyn, NY
Wasn't the narrative on here that it was better? That's the only reason I downloaded The Evil Within to Gamepass PC and NOT steam (as I already have the game on steam). If that's not the case, I will just go back to the steam version as I try to avoid using the Gamepass PC app whenever possible.
According to the video, TEW's new features (first-person) are locked behind a Bethesda.Net login as well. As for performance, there's a paragraph in the article (quoted in the OP) that explains the issues.
 
Last edited:

kiphalfton

Member
Dec 27, 2018
1,130
1,480
470
According to the video, TEW's new features (first-person) are locked behind a Bethesda.Net login as well. As for performance, there's a paragraph in the article (quoted in the OP) that explains the issues.
Yeah just read it. So I have to uninstall The Evil Within Gamepass PC version or it will have issues in the Steam version? That's weird. But a small inconvenience if I can play at 60 fps and not have it bouncing around at 40 fps or so.
 
Sep 29, 2011
4,334
3,023
850
"Those versions [Steam] can be modded, something that's still not possible with Game Pass."

One of the big downsides of GP (and the Windows games store, if that's still thing?), imo.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Revolutionary

johntown

Banned
Dec 27, 2010
3,763
2,374
945
East Coast
I had no idea you could not mod gamepass games on PC.

 

Faithless83

Member
Mar 9, 2020
1,029
2,555
480
I feel sorry for the PCMR guys, to this day having to deal with poorly optimized ports. But hey, you have unlimited power, so it shouldn't be an issue, right?
Laughing in peasant. :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
  • Fire
  • LOL
Reactions: Nyxir and Skifi28

ACESHIGH

Member
May 16, 2020
806
1,318
365
Bullshit. The Nier automata gamepass version is way better than the steam one. I'd gladly take a stable version of game vs a version that may be better after modding.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LordBlodgett

ClosBSAS

Member
Dec 2, 2018
307
404
305
Bullshit. The Nier automata gamepass version is way better than the steam one. I'd gladly take a stable version of game vs a version that may be better after modding.
And i agree too...kailedan is known for being douchy and does not take well when he is contradicted. In my experience game is better on gamepass.
 

ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
39,653
39,426
1,310
38
Brazil
The GP version is way better than Steam version even with the issues pointed.

Plus the GP will probably receive patches.

It is not even comparables.
 
Last edited:

Faithless83

Member
Mar 9, 2020
1,029
2,555
480
Most games...
Better exclusives. :messenger_sunglasses:
You had us there in the late 90's and early 2000's, but now all I see is ports, some not so great after all these years. I was an Arcade/PC gamer myself back then, good times.
We just cant compare with the sublime power and "optimization" that you find in consoles

We have 2 examples in the thread title of "brute force doesn't always work". :messenger_sunglasses:
Call me crazy now, but once this gen finally kicks in, I think you guys will spend a lot of money to keep it up with the brute force approach.