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User Submitted Editorial: Current Linux gaming situation

By Wojtek88 - | Views: 15,997
Note: This is all the personal thoughts from the user who wrote it. A lot of it is taken from our own Release Calendar which may be missing games, please consider submitting games that are missing.

Every year, when we're near the end, we start to create some summaries.
I've just decided to do small summary of what happened for me (a Linux gamer) this year. I am going to focus on AAA titles (and those that are close to being AAA), so if you're interested in Indie games, it's possible that this article is not for you.

First of all it was a great year. The number of Linux titles that we received is good, but shouldn't it be better? Personally I think it should. And I hope it still can be.

I've just decided to go through the great release calendar, that TheBoss did for us and to list the titles that I see there. And to give you some thoughts.

Anyway, let's do a quick trip through all the months of this year, and take a brief look on AAA titles.

- Dying Light. Well received game created by the Polish studio Techland. Many people on this site played it a lot, some of you said it was great, some had huge performance issues. And what's worst - while there were huge teams working on PS4 and XBox One versions (> 100 people), Linux version was created by... 2 students. I really appreciate their work, but that's still not kind of port quality that I look for.

- Apotheon? Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty? These titles, for me, are not big enough.

- Torchlight 2 - good RPG with good (but not great) performance of the port, with minor issues. However, it's important to note that this game is 3 years old.

- Cities: Skylines - great Sim City alternative, one of the best games released for Linux in general, but not without performance issues.

- BioShock Infinite - The port of the game was done by Virtual Programming. This brings another good game to our beloved platform, but like always it caused a small "native vs wrapped game" shitstorm.

- Pillars of Eternity - well received RPG, with an old fashioned approach to the genre.

- Shadow Warrior - FPS for all the fans of swords and weird creatures. Not really my type of game, but definitely something that makes Linux world better.

- Nothing I would be interested in.

- Spec Ops: The Line - I may sound little bit weird - but this is the best surprise game that I played this year. Of course, you can play it once and you will never go back to it, but for 3.99 Euros I bought a game that I have never heard of, and had a really great time while playing it. Of course, it's wrapped (VP port), it has its issues, but I recommend it.

- Nothing I would be interested in.

- Star Wars: KOTOR 2 - this is the most sad moment of the year. I was terrified that a 10-year-old game would be the type of game that we are going to be happy for. Of course it is still good game, but it shouldn't be one of the best games in our libraries. It just should be there, as one of many games.

- Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - The first AAA game on our platform this year. My hardware did not manage to even run it... But that's my problem. Most of you were able to enjoy the title, I watched 13 fps result in benchmark. But definitely the type of games that we are looking for.

- DIRT Showdown - First good racing game on our platform. Ported by VP, so it's another wrapped title. I have nothing against wrapped titles, as long as they bring good titles to our platform. Let me start with the sentence - I have finished this game and maxed-out the score on all the races. So the game was better then I assumed. But I had multiple issues with this one that I cannot forget - I had invisible tyres on almost each car I was steering and on multiple cars that were next to my car. This just cannot happen for people who are not interested in Linux success like we are, but just want to play some games.

- Company of Heroes 2 - Feral Interactive's port of the well-received RTS game. Also my hardware didn't manage to run it. Still a title that I am happy that is in my library and waits for better times.

- Nothing I would be interested in.

- Alien: Isolation - Yet another port from Feral Interactive. Never played it, but many of you were happy with it. And you had some spare pants, I haven't had any of them :).

- Magicka 2 - Nice RPG game, really good that it is on our platform!

December (so far):
- Nothing I would be interested in.

I've listed 13 games. That's not a result that would impress me. What's more, most of the games are not new and shiny. All the games that I've listed (except Cities: Skylines and Pillars of Eternity, which are not really AAA games) were ported after some time of release date. But even the two newest games - Shadow of Mordor and Alien: Isolation - were already one year old when they were ported.

Let's see what seems likely to happen before Christmas. In the last few days there were activities in these titles:
- GRID Autosport
- Saints Row series games (which ones is uncertain)
- Divinity: Original Sin
- Total War: ATTILA
- Rocket League

I guess most of us don't believe in a Divinity: Original Sin port, because of what Larian Studios did to us. I'm not waiting for that title, but that's just my attitude, I hope it will be a great port and all the sins will be forgiven.

Anyway those titles look really promising. If they get released, I guess most of us will have at least one game to play over Christmas.

To sum up. Was it an exciting year? Hmmm... maybe. But still, without more AAA titles, Linux gaming won't make steps forward. Why did I even write this down? Because I remember what was promised. Do you? I know you all do! Let's refresh our memories (I refer to this article):

- Shadow of Mordor (checked)
- Payday 2
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Saints Row IV
- Company of Heroes 2 (checked)
- Magicka 2 (checked)
- Total War: Rome II
- The Witcher III
- GRID Autosport
- Total War: Attila
- Evolve

It looks like a few games may come at the end of the year (GRID Autosport, Saints Row IV, Total War: Attila, maybe Total War: Rome II), 2 are officially delayed (Payday 2 and Batman: Arkham Knight), but 2 games are in a really weird situation.

While Evolve was announced in a weird way (it was not listed in a banner, but it was included in one description of the games that are coming). The situation with The Witcher 3 is just as weird, because CD Project Red has never officially confirmed the game (I don't consider emails to random users as an official statement).

I really hope The Witcher 3 will be ported, as well as other confirmed titles and tons of other, not even planned yet games.

As Christmas time is coming, I wish you all great ports in the near future, and then a few months later, tons of great games based on Vulkan API that natively run on Linux. If you have any remarks or comments, just write it under the article, I would love to share my findings with you. Article taken from
Tags: Editorial
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neowiz73 9 Dec, 2015
I say all ports are welcome ports new and old alike. I bought KOTOR II (again), because my really old CD bundle code didn't work on steam. Plus I felt I didn't really give this game it's just due back when it came out, I think I was a bit burnt out on RPGs at the time.
I do like the fact indie game devs are making niche titles that most big companies wouldn't bother with because the sales wouldn't be supposedly as grand. Some of the most innovative games are indie games though and are quickly becoming trend setters. Some of these titles like Lords of Xulima, Starbound and Planet Explorers are the niche games I've been wanting for awhile.

To each is their own, but I for one am very pleased what has come out for Linux and also what is planned in the near future. I expect things to get a lot better once Vulkan is the standard.
wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: cheerockieUnfortunately but is very probable, that Witcher 3 will not be released on Linux in native.
I know it from a reliable source...
But is very possible for "wrapper" port (with some CD Projekt RED support) in 2016.
@cheerockie what you are saying is interesting, the question is do you want to have fun or do you really have some reliable source. If so - would you like to share it with us?

Quoting: burnallPersonally, I don't care about KOTOR, but some people like it as many other older games. The problem is, that this kind of games won't attract masses to Linux, they will attract only a tiny amount of fans. Not something to bring average gamer when he is making a decision on a gaming platform for a clear reasons. Big AAA games build a huge hype and if they are day 1 released with icon for SteamOS/Linux as a release platform, it's already doing a lot in favor for SteamOS/Linux. Because way more people will notice it, likely even bigger than actuall user base for linux is, and maybe think about it. So, yes, for a healthy growth we need more AAA titles with a day 1 release. Something what Fallout 4 should already been.
@burnall +1. Couldn't agree more.

Last edited by wojtek88 on 9 December 2015 at 10:29 am UTC
cheerockie 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: wojtek88
Quoting: cheerockieUnfortunately but is very probable, that Witcher 3 will not be released on Linux in native.
I know it from a reliable source...
But is very possible for "wrapper" port (with some CD Projekt RED support) in 2016.
@cheerockie what you are saying is interesting, the question is do you want to have fun or do you really have some reliable source. If so - would you like to share it with us?

Wojtek, z pewnością nie mam nic innego do roboty poza zdobywaniem poklasów za udostępnianie "nieoficjalnych" informacji.
Jestem użytkownikiem Linuxa jak pozostali tutaj i cholernie mi zależy na portach gier AAA, przede wszystkim z rodzimego podwórka. Ujawnienie źródła mogłoby się źle dla niego skończyć.

As I said, my informations are from a very reliable source.
Blurps 9 Dec, 2015
Indie game is a great thing but AAA titles are important. You can find very good indie games and have a lot of fun (less buggy than most of AAA titles) but you have to pick the best of them.
If you don't play often, you better choose AAA games, but there's no choice (no racing game, no GTA like,...) and that's the pb.
If we have Saints Row, Grid Autosport, Rocket League, and Witcher 3 it will be a great improvement. You can find different genre for all players, I don't care to have 100 games but I want 5-10 games I really want to play.

I hope we'll see more AAA native games on linux but I discovered games I'd never buy (Thomas was alone, Tales from space, Race the sun, ...) because of the limited choice.
ziabice 9 Dec, 2015
I suggest to go to SteamDB, take a look at the "most played games" and see how many games have been ported to Linux in the 15 first positions: the situation seems rather good to me.

That said: Broforce game of the year into the "Arcade" category, and you forgot the newly released "Bound by flame" action-RPG and "Victor Vran" (if you put Torchlight 2 in the list, this deserves to be in too).
wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
@cheerockie You assumed my native is polish, which is... correct :). But anyway, please stick to english language in this conversation.
I believe you and it makes sense, because Witcher 2 today works well and wrapped version will be cheaper for sure.

Quoting: ziabiceyou forgot the newly released "Bound by flame" action-RPG and "Victor Vran" (if you put Torchlight 2 in the list, this deserves to be in too).
As beginning of the article says, this is my personal list/opinion. "Bound by flame" looks nice, but It's just not the title I would hear of before the release and it by purpose is not listed. Victor Vran was overseen, that's true. Victor Vran, eh. I know @Liam loves it, but I for some reason couldn't start to love it. I don't know why...
hardpenguin 9 Dec, 2015
This article needs a downvote option.
wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: hardpenguinThis article needs a downvote option.
@hardpenguin, sad to read that. Any feedback I can use in future? Are you not interested in this type of article or the language is problematic?
ungutknut 9 Dec, 2015
Games of the year for me:
)Cities Skylines - was really fun for a while but performance is still horrible on a GTX970
)Ark Survival - spent many many hours on it. Performance is ok but there are still many opengl4.x fx missing which keeps going unnoticed by most players though. Stopped playing because there's too much change after each update. And the dev's update quite rigorously.
)Dying light - just bought it a month ago and I'm still into it. Also performs really nice and I just had one crash so far.
)Broforce - surprisingly good.

Disappointments of the year:
)Carmageddon Reincarnation - because the devs still didn't deliver.
)Project cars - ditto
)Dirt showdown - First ever native linux car racing AAA-Title (which I've been waiting for a long time)... but totally arcade style with ridiculous physics. Even Flatout 2 is more realistic (and runs perfect in wine).
)Obey - was quiet fun in the trailers but in reallife people don't play it as advertised. It relies heavily on communication... usually there's just 1 or 2 players with a microphone in game and the other players play muted which is really boring then.
OZSeaford 9 Dec, 2015
Well, it's an interesting personal insight, I notice that you are leaning heavily onto the AAA production, which is fair enough if that is what rocks your boat.

One question I would have though, oblivious of platform, what games would you have waited for in general, windows games that is? Are there hundreds?

Personally, I find that the output of games coming out is too big for me to follow, and I have plenty on my plate.

Whether that is enough to convert someone coming from Windows? I don't know...but I am really happy that I actually only need to boot into windows to play a very small selection of multiplayer games...All my solo needs and most of my multiplayer needs are on Linux.

Come on Divinity & Rocket League ports, I am waiting eagerly...
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