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Worrying Oblivion preview
Worrying Oblivion preview [ Game -> Preview ]
Posted by Mr. Teatime Tue 28 Feb 2006, 12:14 AM
More info on Game: Fallout 3 | More info on Company: Bethesda Softworks

Ok so there's nothing here to do with FO3 aside from the fact that the same engine is being used. But I felt this deserved a newspost because it appears the one thing that I truly hated in Morrowind is back with a vengeance in Oblivion - at least according to one preview (link below) - and that doesn't bode well for it not appearing in Fallout 3 (apologies for the double negative). The 'loading pause' every 10 seconds, where the game freezes as it loads the next bit of land. Anyway, here's the preview, and a quote:

You don't see the problems for the first hour, because you're exploring a massive underground pathway that takes you through dank sewers and pitch-black caverns. You can't see more than a few feet in front of your face, sometimes, so everything looks decent -- not incredibly impressive, but fair enough.

When I got outside, things got hairy. I could see across to the other side of a lake, but it was completely undetailed. Just big, formless blobs of blues and greens. I turned around and looked at my more immediate surroundings and realized that the draw distance was awful. As you walk around, the ground teems with individually rendered blades of grass, bushes, mushrooms, all sorts of stuff. But only a small radius around your character is fully realized -- the rest of it is drawn in, quite visibly, as you move around.

This is the HD Era? Watching bushes and trees pop up out of thin air as I walk around? At one point I was heading towards what I thought was an empty forest clearing, when big-ass chunks of building started magically appearing. Come on. (Or maybe I was doing so well in the game that its denizens had started building shrines to my glory.)

Things get even worse when I jump on a horse. Now, I'm actually trotting at a steady clip, and Oblivion starts not just to have draw-in issues but framerate problems as well. It's chugging. It can't keep up with my speed, and quite frankly the horse isn't even going that fast. At some points, I keep seeing the "Loading Area..." message pop up every couple of seconds, which brings with it another framerate stutter. It's herky-jerky-all-over-the-place as I climb up the hill to the gate of Oblivion. My reation to the graphics has, over this sequence, gone from "unimpressed" to "nonplussed" to "annoyed."

I hated this in Morrowind. You know why I can't comment on whether Morrowind was good or not? Because the game insisted on pausing every 10 seconds to load the next block of trees. I don't know why this happened, I don't know the technical reasons, but it utterly killed the game's immersion for me and I couldn't muster the energy to continue, and it was uninstalled. I tried several times over the next few months to play again, and the same stupid loading stutter prevented me from moving much further than the first village.

To Bethesda: I really don't care if the graphics aren't state of the art. I think Gothic 2 looks pretty neat and it doesn't have the 'loading pause' that your games appear to. World of Warcraft looks great, but has low system requirements because it's got fantastic art direction but not a high polygon count. Please do something to get rid of the loading stuff. Thanks.

Meh, it's something that really bugged me. Anyone else experience the same thing, or was it just me?

Spotted @ RPG Codex
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