The truth is, it’s easy to bag a few thousand hits if you simply play the Console War card – claiming one game looks better on one format over another and pinging that comment off to aggregators like N4G is a sure-fire way to get some easy traffic. And sometimes it’s justified, or, at least, reasonably true – there’s a few games that look superior on (say) the Xbox 360 than the PS3 and, of course, the same is often the case in reverse.
At the beginning of the month, though, IGN posted an article stating that the PS3 version is “not so great, unfortunately,” adding that the “performance is pretty underwhelming.”
“The framerate is frequently low and choppy. There are jagged lines everywhere, and shadows are especially messy. There’s a muddiness to the graphics that’s hard to stomach in the wake of the PS3’s other flagship showpieces, and worse, the variable framerate really hurts controller response.” Sounds like it’s definitely the Xbox 360 version for us, then. Right? Well, not according to Crytek.
Speaking on the PlayStation Blog, Crytek’s Executive Producer Nathan Camarillo replied to these statements, saying “if you stick PS3 and 360 side by side [he] would challenge anyone to find any meaningful difference.” Of course, he’s on the Crytek team, so it’s in his interest to be more balanced.
But he’s supported by PSM3 magazine who followed up IGN’s original article with a story disputing what the American site had claimed. “I’ve played multi-player with the maximum number of players,” said the magazine, “and noticed no slow-down, jaggies or screen tearing. The frame-rate held solid too. It sounds like the version others have been playing is a build that hasn’t been optimized and (possibly) several months out of date.”
But what’s everyone seemingly forgetting, including the rack of follow-ups hitting the web after the PlayStation Blog article? That the build IGN played was potentially, and admittedly, quite old. “This build could be a few weeks to a few months old,” it said at the end of the report, “and optimisation is often rapid and pronounced toward the end of a game’s development period.”
It is a curse then to get early access to a game that’s so anticipated? Why wasn’t IGN informed about the state of the preview version, and why would one day have made such a difference to the version tested? Is it really that big of a difference between console versions or should we all just buy the PC version and be done with it?
Whatever the truth is, the game’s out next week and we’ll be all over it.