The more games Bethesda releases in 2016, the more you want to pull the developer aside and say, “Oh, honey.” This is a great company. They’ve given us some fantastic games. The Dishonored, DOOM, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein series are all great. You can grab any of these and know you have a quality experience. But, as good as they can all be, they also have a history of issues at launch that range from annoying to debilitating. It can’t get things right, and 2016 shows that it’s still an issue. Which is pretty ridiculous, because every Bethesda game released in 2016 has had some pretty major problems.
Let’s start with DOOM , which came out in May. When it came out on PC, it was plagued by major problems. There were issues with massive framerate drops and tearing. The game would freeze. Loading times were incredibly long. Multiplayer lag was unbearable. It would crash. Of course, that all happened only if people managed to get it running, which some people couldn’t. The game wouldn’t even start on some PCs. Those all certainly seem like problems that a AAA game from a company like Bethesda shouldn’t have at launch.
These sorts of issues have continued with the Skyrim: Special Edition . You know, the remaster of a five year old game that should, at the very least, be working pretty damn near perfectly on PCs. But no! Across the board, Skyrim: Special Edition has had debilitating problems too. The frame rates were bad, characters would vanish. NPCs and other characters would get stuck. The game would freeze. The game would crash. It didn’t look as good as people expected. Oh, and it was crashing everywhere. Not just on PCs. Consoles too. Everywhere. So much so that fans needed to make a patch mod to try and fix things. Which was probably for the best, because the 1.1 update Bethesda released broke the game .
Yes, Bethesda managed to break their own game. A game that’d released five years earlier and had troubles too. The Skyrim: Special Edition 1.1 patch caused the game to crash shortly after a PS4, Xbox One, or PC player loaded a save. Sometimes making a new save helped and let you keep playing, but only sometimes. Which means we had to wait for a 1.2 patch to play the five year old game that should have been working perfectly from the outset. Bravo.
Early reports indicate Bethesda’s third game of the year, Dishonored 2 , is going to continue this time-honored tradition. While comprehensive PC reviews are scant, due to Bethesda’s whole “let’s not give out early review copies, because we want everyone to play the game at the same time” party line, day-one players are reporting that once again, the computer version is a mess. The framerate drops significantly when looking toward open areas, even if someone has a rig capable of playing it. It’s dropping to 20fps in open or busy areas. There are refresh rate issues. It’s supposed to be a great game, but these kinds of launch issues are inexcusable.
Bethesda feels like a company that’s able to just… get away with things. People know their games are largely good and tend to become classics. Which means that the horrible, unfortunate, and unforgivable launch issues get tossed aside. It’s wrong, and we need to start calling more attention to the buggy messes these games are at launch.