Private Division’s pledge that the prettied-up Spacer’s Choice Edition of The Outer Worlds would run at a smooth 4K 60fps may have been premature. The next-gen version of the studio’s satirical 2019 RPG released yesterday and it’s already accrued a “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam, with numerous players complaining of performance issues in the newly-remastered game.
“It runs far worse than the original version of the game,” reads a review from Tyler McVicker (opens in new tab) (formerly Valve News Network), who says that “The ‘improved’ look of the game is not worth massive perf drops and stutters that weren’t there before”. Another review, from Dangerz Close OG (opens in new tab), is slightly less measured: “As someone who was playing the OG version right up to this version downloading I can safely say they made a right pig’s ear of this remake”.
But the review that perhaps sums up the reaction best is this one from Akerwood (opens in new tab): “You’ve tried the best, now choose the rest. Spacer’s Choice Edition. Now with 200% more performance issues!”
Those kinds of reviews are echoed elsewhere. Over on Reddit, a user named JBamby01 (opens in new tab) complained of persistent stuttering on their RTX 3070, venting that they “truly just don’t understand how all these companies can keep getting away with shit like this”. Meanwhile, other players whose machines can chew through Cyberpunk are begging for a fix (opens in new tab). Some players say they can attain a playable framerate by dialling down the settings to the point that the game resembles the original version, but at that point, there’s not much reason to play the new one besides its higher level cap.
Perplexingly, these issues are even afflicting next-gen consoles, where I would generally expect devs making a ‘next-gen’ version of a game to focus their attention. Both PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox (opens in new tab) players report the same dreadful stuttering in their own comments on the game.
These problems are all the more egregious since pretty much everyone experiencing them will have paid for the upgrade. In a move that betrayed either a complete misunderstanding or total comprehension of the game’s anti-corporate satire, The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition wasn’t offered for free (opens in new tab) to any players of the original version. The best you could hope for was a (to be fair, quite hefty) discount if you owned the base game and all its DLC, but even then you’d still be forking over ten bucks for what is, apparently, a worse version of the game.
It’s not quite the same thing as the recent spate of shoddy PC ports (opens in new tab) we’ve complained about before, but dodgy remasters like this are still a worrying trend. The recent “Definitive editions” of GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas were infamous dumpster fires (opens in new tab), and remain inferior to those games’ original versions even today. The Witcher 3’s recent next-gen patch managed to introduce a raft of issues (opens in new tab) for some players when it first released (and also, stupefyingly, managed to accidentally add vaginas (opens in new tab) to some of the game’s female monsters). And now here we are again with The Outer Worlds. It’d be nice if remasters started offering players the best choice, not spacer’s choice.