Quality Control is Overrated
I’ve been purchasing and playing games for almost four decades now so I’ve seen a few things. Buggy games, absolutely horrid games that should have never been released, polished and wonderful games, buggy games patched to near perfection on day one and everything in between. Last week marked the launch of Just Cause 4 which as a fan of the insane, over the top series, I was quite stoked. The few videos I checked out looked insanely gorgeous and while not perfect Just Cause 3 was a ton of fun set in an immense and gorgeous world. Just Cause 4 is rough. So rough in fact, I refunded my copy on Steam along with thousands of others that have filled the Steam forum with disgust.
What’s the Big Deal?
So buggy and sometime ugly games get released all the time, what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is this quite large, $60 full retail released, looks, feels and plays like an early beta of the game. Check out the screenshots in this article. Those are 4K settings completely maxed out! Textures including trees, plants, water, and random materials are so muddy, people are comparing them to a PS2 title. Ouch. The cutscenes? Extremely low res and the animation is jarring. Also, the UI and a lot of physics in the game are absolutely broken. The Just Cause Reddit is chock full of video and screenshot examples of how broken this game truly is. I have seen a few moments where the main character, Rico, is beautifully rendered in full 4k glory with sharp textures and then the water right next to him is so low res, it’s unbelievably jarring.
It’s not just the graphics.The in-game map, the lack of key mapping and control customization, and so much more are in an unfinished and mostly broken state. Personally, I am absolutely stunned this was released to the public in it’s current form. A spokesman from Square Enix finally spoke up in the Steam forums as follows:
Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Just Cause 4 to date. We’re a small but very passionate team here at Avalanche Studios New York, and each and every one of us has put our hearts into this project for the past three years.
Due to the complexity of Just Cause 4’s vast open world and advanced physics systems we understand that a number of you are experiencing various technical issues. Even though the game has now launched, this is just the start of our continued support on Just Cause 4. We are actively monitoring your feedback very closely and have a team of engineers at Avalanche Studios working hard on updating and improving the game. Once these fixes have been through internal and first party tests then we’ll be rolling them out ASAP.
In good news, we are already planning to release the first wave of improvements and aiming to have these available to everyone in the next couple of weeks. Here is an overview of some of the updates we are working on:
Wait a second… so due to the complexity of the game, that’s why we are experience various technical issues?! This whole response reeks of poor damage control and for the poor gamers who spent $60 on the game outside of Steam, I hope you can get a refund. For me, luckily, I got a Steam refund in less than an hour. Others even reported getting a refund after 4-6 hours of gameplay.
So, in 2018, is there any excuse for a game to be released at full retail priced that is clearly riddled with bugs and unfinished features? I invite you to be the judge (with your wallet). I for one, do not regret getting a refund and will forever be hesitant to buy any other title in the series.