Reader Submission #44 – Need for Speed Underground 3 Delayed for PC

Well, it seems as if PC owners will have to wait a little while longer for the next iteration of Need for Speed. Today’s Reader Submission comes from Plush Labs, and he offers his own insights as to what the delay means for fans of EA’s aging racing series.


11951462_10156061367945298_8933945872898451626_oGhost Games have decided to “listen to the community” and improve their game over the span of an entire season so they can upgrade the PC version of NFS 2015 by removing frame lock and making the game run smoother. I have no idea why they’d need to take more than a month or two just to disable a frame limit when it should have been done in the first place; Phantom Pain runs at a buttery smooth 60 fps with the FOX engine on consoles and PC, but for one reason or another the Frostbyte Engine is incredibly hard to make smooth while also looking nice.

There’s a double-edged sword here. On one edge, PC gamers like you and I will have to wait three fucking months after the console release before we get our share of the NFS fun on PC. On the other side, we can see console users really play the game so we can gauge for ourselves whether the game is worth waiting for or not.
There’s also another important tidbit here that I think you guys should be aware of.
In this FAQ, they answer the questions I had on my mind: “Will the game have manual transmission and wheel support?” They say they’re looking into it, and while I have my hopes up, I also have my doubts. If wheel support is implemented, it will likely feel like complete shit anyways if it handles anything like the brake-to-drift bullshit in previous NFS games.

image.imgI saw this coming from fucking miles away and I’m honestly not even mad about it just because I knew it would happen. EA is the second worst thing to happen to the gaming industry, runner up to perennial crybaby Anita Sarkeesian.

Apparently, it’s too hard for a well-established publisher and developer to implement unlocked FPS for a fucking PC game and takes three whole months to implement it, while nowadays it’s actually just a single line of code. Back during the days of PS2 and Xbox there had to be FPS locks because of the way the FPS were tied to game speed, and because those consoles didn’t have a properly working internal time system. This could lead to some funny situations depending on the game, such as with the Marines in Metal Gear Solid 2 during the tanker mission. However during this day and age an FPS lock, especially on the PC, just means the developer is an incompetent piece of shit that doesn’t know how to code properly.

Just as well as the FPS lock, the “wanting the game to run smoother” argument is just a shitty excuse for them sucking at their job.  This is literally what beta testing is for (next to finding bugs etc. of course). Code, content of the game and almost everything else should be well finished at this point and you should focus on making the game bug-free and run better until the game reaches gold status and gets sent off to the disc printers. But since there is this little thing called the internet nowadays, and almost everyone has access to it, developers simply call their beta versions “Release Candidate” and ship them anyway, knowing that they can hotfix or patch any game-breaking bugs quickly and have users beta-test their game while getting paid for it as well. Apparently, the new NFS Underground will undergo the same process, with every console user being a beta tester for the eventual PC version of the game. The only problem I see here is that console users in general are absolute fucking retards and are so delusional about the state of the game they are playing that they don’t even care how absolutely broken it is. This will lead to the console versions absolutely not receiving the improvements that the PC version will receive, and the few console players that actually do care about their game will suffer from it.

You are right about the fact that the only positive thing we can take away from this is the above-mentioned fact that this game will get intensively beta-tested for 3 whole months before we get to play it, meaning that we will get a (hopefully) well-polished game at release.

Concerning manual shifting and wheel support, I simply don’t see it happening. As mentioned in my previous article on the new Need For Speed, people who got beta versions of the game stated that there is neither manual shifting nor wheel support. I predicted that NFS Underground would be a casual fest and a shit show and Lo and behold with each passing day it looks more and more like I was correct. All I can hope for now is that it plays well with a controller.

Auf Wiedersehen.

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19 thoughts on “Reader Submission #44 – Need for Speed Underground 3 Delayed for PC

  1. If I had to guess, I’d probably blame post-processing effects that are tied to the framerate (cheapest way to get motion blur is framerate dependent and I know NFS loves that shit)

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  2. “The only problem I see here is that console users in general are absolute fucking retards and are so delusional about the state of the game they are playing that they don’t even care how absolutely broken it is. ”

    LoL, this is pretty much the sole reason modern gaming is the way it is, gaming is now a adult pleasure,Average gamer apprantly late 20’s) yet game devs are constantly pandering to pre teens, why? cause easier to off load shit and get them (parents) to spend 100+ on one title?

    Titles across all genres are now simple regurgitated past games with a shiny coating, in fact a lot of the cases, complex interesting past PC games have taken huge steps backwards, because devs when they do listen will listen to ludest most retarded voice out there (teens\adolescents) because if little timmy gotta press more than X to win hes gonna spaz out.

    I dont expect a sim from NFS,no wheel support is not that bigga deal, like was said would be shit anywho,but to have auto only and push button to drift is purely utter BS and says a lot about our young fellers when they cant even shift in a fucking virtual car in a arcade environment , I mean really, what the actual fuck,I taught my 9 yr old girl the principles of stick shift on drive way,and she shifts for me sometimes when racing on PC, we breeding a culture of man boys,and modern (console) gaming has had a part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well to accuse the “way of the games-console” to be the root of all evil is a little bit lacking in precision I think. Although I agree for the most part with many personal impressions regarding this subject — yours included —

      “Need for Speed” has never really been about simulation, now has it? Like: 3 or four independently-contracted gaming-studios taking turns in churning out another iteration of that franchise, “built to specification” (easy to grasp, easy to win! …and “more, loud fireworks, please!”) to be delivered on-time for each and every Christmas sale and summer-vacation period. Not really what I would call “evolutionary” or “serious about simulation”.
      By the way, this is coming from someone who’s love for racing games really began with a copy of “The Need for Speed Special Edition” which made me re-boot into DOS-mode from Win95 for less stuttery gameplay on a “pre-3d” (I think it was a cut-down “S3”-chip) graphics-equipped Pentium 100MHz. I played that using either keyboard or – indeed – joystick! Those were the days when hard-drive motors/bearings were louder than most over-revving PC-fans these days (no, I do not miss those annoying noises!).

      Other than that: it is not an exclusive console-phenomenon I reckon – although most AAA-titles and series – as indeed the NFS-series – have been originally designed and released as console-games. No: the true issue here is that: car-games that shift a good amount of copies are seldom real simulations! And yes, the fact that things have to be playable on a controler — and the design of most casueal car-games actually emphasises on that particular use-case – as to cater towards the majority of players – certainly has a big hand in how things stand today. BUT as I said: look at the top-selling PC-games of all time: “The sims” come to mind, bending the meaning of what racers like us would associate with the term “simulation”. You need a steering wheel or a tripele-screen setup for such a game? Think about who spends money on what in PC-gaming or indeed computer-gaming / video-gaming in general(…)

      And please do not forget: people who *think* they like racing-games and likewise get “sucked into” this genre arrive here through casual racers more often then not… …only to be confronted later with the fact that not much of which they have found to love does actually translate into realistic driving/racing-simulations or indeed real-life racing. Those are the types that ask in the steam-forums for e.g. Assetto Corsa: “Is this as good as Gran Turismo / Forza?”. Which of course will get answered by sim-drivers along the line of: “This is way better” – only to find these newbies to later return in disgust and shout out: “nothing like the quality of games such as GT or Forza!!” and “This drives like shidt!” “My own car does not drive like this POS!” (…)

      …Summing up: I think there is a place for casual driving games: that is the couch with it’s “attached” console-type, handheld controllers. People getting upset about: “no wheel support in a friggin’ driving-game!?” I don’t understand those, really: Who needs a wheel for games like NFS, anyway? My brain would force me to cry tears for wasting a perfectly good wheel on such a button-fest!

      Speaking of which: “Why is this even an article on this “pretend-racecars” site?”

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      1. I think you are slightly missing the point here: a) NFS is also pretend racecars. This site isn’t called pretend simracing. b) almost every iteration of NFS since Underground1 hat manual shifting (not 100% about the latest games since I haven’t touched those), and even NFSU2 for PC had fucking wheel support, it’s not that hard to put into the game, even for an arcade racer. Hell, GRID Autosport has wheel support and even though it’s not a sim it’s fun as fuck to play with a wheel.

        No one ever said that casual arcade racers are shit just because they are arcade racers, and in the case of the new NFS Underground it’s because it will a) lack content b) lack features and c) lack of variety (only allowed to own 5 cars in career mode) d) always online, “HEY GUYZ LYK MA PIC XDDD” bullshit

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      2. People expect wheel support from the series because practically every Need for Speed has come with some kind of wheel support – notably, EA Black Box’s games (NFS Underground through Undercover and The Run) had full support for wheel peripherals. (Criterion, on the other hand, had dismal support in theirs – but it was still there.) The fact that Rivals had no support for wheels – not just “rudimentary”, but *no* – was a pretty big deal, and a lot of people don’t want that trend to continue.

        Don’t get me started on lack of a manual mode.

        And you don’t *need* wheel support in Need for Speed, just like you can play most sims with a keyboard perfectly adequately – but the wheel is, in my opinion, undeniably more fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. An alternative translation: “The whole Batman shitstorm was a PR nightmare; we can’t get away with this shit anymore so need to launch damage control, but have to spin it as “listening to the community” or some other nonsense. Plz buy our game + season pass”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds accurate. Wouldn’t even be surprised if they had the PC port done by an external company just like it was the case with Batman and now they realised the port is absolute rubbish.

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    2. exactly. It will cost more and hurt revenue far worse then making gamers just eat it.

      Although sadly it only took steam 45years to implement the least amount of consumer protection.
      Maybe another 45 and we can get customer service and they just might be at origins level and that is some sad shit right there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. >Apparently, it’s too hard for a well-established publisher and developer to implement unlocked FPS for a fucking PC game and takes three whole months to implement it, while nowadays it’s actually just a single line of code.

    There is a dramatic misunderstanding of how and why frame rate caps are in games if you think it’s either easy to turn a game from locked to unlocked, or think it’s “just a single line of code.”

    While I’m not going to defend the decision, because no professionally produced AAA racing game should have a locked/limited framerate, it’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. There are a hell of a lot of things that a locked/limited framerate make easier, so it’s very easy to understand why somebody would limit FPS to a certain rate and not allow it to go any higher. Even worse, once the decision is made, if you want to change it late in development it’s in no way a trivial undertaking as you’ve now built whole systems that are assuming a limited FPS, and it’s very likely they will function unpredictably if you start unlocking it.

    Again, I’m not defending the decision, because it’s a super shitty thing to do for a racing game. I just want to correct you that it is neither a trivial thing to fix, nor a necessarily easy one. Yes, you can do “whatever * diffTime”, but that doesn’t guarantee that fluctuations in frame time or extremes in frame time won’t give weird or slightly off results that add up.

    Source: I work on real time simulations as a day job and make little games in my spare time.

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    1. I admit the “one line of code” bit is a bit of an understatement, but they know from day 1 that they will publish their game for PC as well, how no one could have anticipated that PC mustardrace would tell them that 30FPS lock is unacceptable, I don’t know. This only further establishes my belief that modern AAA studios/publishers are absolutely fucking retarded who only employ the cheapest and lousiest staff they can find.

      If I may ask, what kind of real time simulations do you do? I’ve done a bit of simulation (mainly vehicle dynamics and a bit of thermal conduction simulation) in C/C++/Java environments, but I wouldn’t dare to call myself a programmer/coder

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      1. I used to work on a military flight simulator. Nowadays, I work on a simulator for drilling oil wells at a different company.

        Like I said, I can imagine why the guys programming the game would want to design the game around a locked framerate, but they should know better that it’s not acceptable for a racing game that’s going to be on PC. I have to wonder if there’s some higher level management decision that causes these kinds of situations.

        They look at it from a “it takes X hours to finish this game with a fixed framerate, and 2X hours to do with a dynamic one” and then just base their entire decision on that. It’s a horrible over-simplification, but in big corporations it’s not an uncommon situation. I’m also admittedly biased as I’m one of those programmers at the bottom who is actually building the damn thing, and not a manager that thinks in schedules and spends all day writing emails and talking on the phone.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Also Frostbite engine is shit and I wish EA would stop using it for everything. Battlefield’s physics and “game feel” took a sharp nosedive into the shitter when they switched to Frostbite.

    Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (2010) was fucking great and run on Criterion’s own engine. Ran at a high resolution, felt great, had great netcode. The same company switches to Frostbite for Rivals, and everything is a shit show. The game looks worse, runs worse, has a locked framerate, and now uses Frostbite’s shitty netcode that looks and runs like shit. Literally nothing was gained in switching to Frostbite for NFS.

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    1. The engine was fine when it was only used for BF3, as it was purpose-built for the game. Then EA forced them to expand the engine into being an allround wonderkid, but given the time and budget constraints that Dice faced it was obvious it was never going to happen. Just look at Star Citizen and its use of the CryEngine. It’s an engine purpose-built for FPS/Shooters, and it took them fucking ages to get it working with a 3D, 6df space flight simulation. Time that on-demand studios don’t have most of the time.

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