Games that are exclusive to a certain platform are generally a pain – no matter which platform or game it is, there will always be people to complain about it. The most common combination at the moment is definitely PC/PS4/Xbox One. Most gamers have at least one of those three…but even then there’s the Switch owners that might complain, or even the four or so people that still have a Wii.
Every now and again the game gods listen to their fans though, and we end up with a port. This can be from an older generation to a newer one or from one console to another…unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that well. Here are some examples of games that didn’t really make the jump.
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1. Batman: Arkham Knight
It started out on the PS4 and Xbox One, where it was a pretty solid game. Launched in 2013, the game got great reviews, it was super fun and people asked for a port to PC. Rocksteady listened…but they really shouldn’t have.
The port was outsourced to a technical consulting firm – not a game dev company – the same one that ported Borderlands 2 to the Vita. Almost immediately after its rocky launch, Rocksteady posted a list of recommended settings for the game to run properly.
That’s never a good sign, and in this case it was worse than usual. Not only did they include a more powerful minimum system than they announced, they also recommended most settings to be ‘Low’ or ‘Off’. In other words: the port went very, very wrong and turned a beautiful game into all but a joke – not cool Rocksteady!
2. GTA IV
GTA V did the whole ‘PC-thing’ pretty well – an active modding community and a great game overall. Its predecessor did not do as well. GTA IV was a big no-no on the PC – that is, when it finally even managed to make the jump.
First of all, the port took 8 months, which is an outrageously long time for this sort of thing. It took even longer for GTA V but that time was at least used wisely. That isn’t the worst of it though, because after its release in 2008, the game managed to achieve single digit frame-rates on even the best of gaming rigs. It was badly optimised – in fact it was not optimised at all, and without several mods just to have it up and running, it is still pretty much unplayable a decade later.
3. Watch Dogs
All criticism of the actual game aside – and there is quite a lot of it – when Watch Dogs was ported to the PC, it was all a bit of a mess. Way back when, the game’s graphical abilities were what made it appealing – at least in part – so it’s doubly sad that the PC version didn’t match up.
Not only where there cut-backs on the visual quality altogether, Ubisoft did a similar thing to what Rocksteady did – a recommended list of settings that are somewhere between terrible and prehistoric. The game wasn’t good enough to still be playable without the shiny appearance. Altogether, the PC version looked much older and dated than the console ones. The only solace is that the game really isn’t worth playing to begin with.
4. Princess Maker 2
When it comes to stat-raiser games, the Princess Maker series is the be-all and end-all. Despite being absolutely ancient, it got just about everything right, including a variety of paths and endings that put most current games to shame.
The original game was available on DOS, then ported to the PS2 and even later to the PC. The original version came out in 1988, the Steam version in 2016. 1988 actually predates several of our writers, so this game might deserve an award for the slowest port ever.
The game itself is playable but has surprisingly high minimum requirements. Then there’s the fact that it’s a port of a port – not good. With decades in between, you’d think the game would have deserved graphics or sound updates of some sort, but the game has neither. Similarly, the options for resolution and graphics are appallingly simple, giving the player almost no way to improve it all. All of that for about £20 – asking that much after 30 years is bold at least.