Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty came out today, but it could probably have used a little extra time in the oven. Players across the internet are complaining about all sorts of technical problems with the game’s PC version: dropped frames, stuttering, issues with shaders, and other performance issues that have become disturbingly common in PC ports over the past couple of years. But that might not even be the worst of it, players using a keyboard and mouse to play the game are reporting some truly baffling design choices with Wo Long’s controls.
You don’t have to go far to find players complaining about technical problems. Only 31% of Wo Long’s 2,331 Steam user reviews (opens in new tab) are positive at time of writing, and many of the negative ones mention the game’s performance. One review from a user named AloneInSilence (opens in new tab) sums it up, calling the game “Unplayable” due to “Constant stuttering, regular freezes, occasional crashes,” which happen “in gameplay, in cutscenes, and even navigating menus”. Issues like these were also present in the game’s demo (video below), and it seems the full game is no different.
Here’s examples of frames dropping while playing Wo Long demo…this is on performance mode. I know people prob gonna say it’s my pc.. listen I was just playing Returnal flawlessly! no other games doing this lol my 1080ti can still hang!! Likely will play full game on console. pic.twitter.com/LUl64FcaduFebruary 26, 2023
Over on Reddit, a user called Individual-Error5651 (opens in new tab) complains that their Game Pass version of Wo Long is inexplicably locked at 720p on their RTX 3060, but somehow still only manages to run at 10-15 frames per second.
But for every lament about Wo Long’s technical issues, there’s one from a frustrated keyboard and mouse user driven to distraction by the game’s keyboard and mouse controls. A user named cashews (opens in new tab) calls Wo Long “A good game buried deep beneath the biggest catastrophe of a PC port that I have ever seen,” noting the game’s technical issues but declaring that “the biggest issue are the controls”.
“If you don’t move your mouse fast enough, the camera will not react, regardless of your mouse sensitivity,” said cashews, who reckons Wo Long’s devs have imported the deadzones of a gamepad’s analogue sticks over to the game’s mouse-based controls. “The key layout is also an absolute joke,” they add, “Deflect/Dodge bound to Tab by default? Ok then”.
“Played slightly under an hour on Mouse and Keyboard,” said a reviewer called T.E.S (opens in new tab), but the sluggish mouse-controlled camera made them “feel unwell,” forcing them to put the game down.
To be fair to Wo Long, gamepads have always had an edge over a trusty old keyboard and mouse setup when it comes to action-heavy, Souls-like games such as these, but it sounds like Wo Long’s keyboard controls are bad even by that standard. Some players report a measure of success reconfiguring the layout, but it can only do so much in the face of the issues with the game’s camera mentioned above.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that we complained that PC players were fed up with one shitty PC port after another (opens in new tab), and it looks like Wo Long is yet another example to add to the pile. It’s a shame, since the game itself is pretty great beyond the performance and control issues (a fact noted by a lot of the negative reviews). Sam Greer was very positive about the game in our Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty review (opens in new tab), praising it as “exceptionally accomplished” aside from its “technical blemishes”.
Hopefully, the game will get some prompt patches to bring it up to snuff, but it’d be much, much better if companies just stopped releasing games in this state in the first place.