The Vanquish PC Port has been a very big success. Early reports have found that Little Stone Studios, the studio behind the port alongside Platinum Games did an amazing job. Digital Foundry sung the praises of the port job yet a big bug has become apparent. Those looking to play on higher frame rates should get ready for a much harder game.
A NeoGAF user named Wesker pointed out their discovery in the official thread for the game. Wesker tested the damage output between 30 fps and 60 fps and found that players die much faster in the latter. Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson did his own test and found similar results. Wesker noted how main character Sam staggers more in 30 fps than he does in 60 fps despite the damage being the same in both.
Wesker was able to provide further evidence with the game’s AR mode. When the player’s health gets low, an AR mode will trigger. Similar to a bullet time mechanic, it slows down time when players are close to death. Wesker noticed that in 30 fps AR mode kicks in after about six to seven seconds. On 60 fps, AR mode triggers in just two seconds.
What has been noted is that 60 fps seems to be the cap of the damage increase. This means that daring to go above the 60 fps will not increase the damage any higher. This is according to more reports as since Wesker broke the news with his post.
It is a real shame that this bug is present. Vanquish is a game that is very deserving of a flawless 60 fps playthrough. What doesn’t help was that Vanquish was already a notoriously hard game. Players looking for the optimal experience thus find themselves stuck deciding between unbalanced difficulty or a smooth gameplay experience.
This is not the first time frame rate has unexpectedly increased a games difficulty unintentionally. Dark Souls 2 had a similar issue where weapons degraded faster with a higher frame rate. This bug was patched as most likely Vanquish will too, but it is still such an odd bug. In Eurogamer’s article of the story, they spoke to Digital Foundry’s John Linnerman. He gave a possible explanation noting how Vanquish was likely never intended for higher frame rates.
Hopefully a patch is coming soon. Vanquish has been a gem on the PC with a near perfect port. While this bug is unfortunate, it might mean players struggling might just have to knock down the frame rate in the meantime. Although if some players might take up the challenge while they have the chance for punishment. With Bayonetta doing very well on the platform, hopes are high Vanquish can prove there is still life in the franchise.