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User Submitted Editorial: Current Linux gaming situation

By Wojtek88 - | Views: 15,986
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.

January:
- 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.

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

March:
- 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.

April:
- Nothing I would be interested in.

May:
- 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.

June:
- Nothing I would be interested in.

July:
- 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.

August:
- 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.

September:
- Nothing I would be interested in.

October:
- 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 :).

November:
- 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 GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
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43 comments
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wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: OZSeafordOne question I would have though, oblivious of platform, what games would you have waited for in general, windows games that is? Are there hundreds?
First of all I miss Witcher 3. It's great, it is 2015 GOTY, and it's developed in my country :). This is the game of the year and we just have to be able to play it on our platform.
I cannot wait Batman AK (But I know the Windows port story, which makes me think that Feral will have huge troubles while trying to port the game to Linux).
And I dream about Rockstar games - Max Payne 3 and GTA 5. Saints Row will be reasonable alternative, but still, it's different, especially Saints Row 4.
Of course, titles like Fallout 4 should be delivered to Linux as well, but I can live without this game.

Honestly, in general I also miss porting of the series of good games. We already have Witcher 2, Witcher 3 was anounced, why not to port Witcher 1? Saints row series may be the first try to do that, hope all the games will be ported, let's see.
We have Batman Arkham Knight announced - why not to port 3 previous titles? They are great, consoles do not offer you game experience from first game of the series to last game very often (I can think of Nathan Drake collection + Uncharted 4 on PS4).
And porting the Rockstar series (Max Payne and GTA) would be the icing on the cake.
cheerockie 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: wojtek88
Quoting: OZSeafordOne question I would have though, oblivious of platform, what games would you have waited for in general, windows games that is? Are there hundreds?
First of all I miss Witcher 3. It's great, it is 2015 GOTY, and it's developed in my country :). This is the game of the year and we just have to be able to play it on our platform.
I cannot wait Batman AK (But I know the Windows port story, which makes me think that Feral will have huge troubles while trying to port the game to Linux).
And I dream about Rockstar games - Max Payne 3 and GTA 5. Saints Row will be reasonable alternative, but still, it's different, especially Saints Row 4.
Of course, titles like Fallout 4 should be delivered to Linux as well, but I can live without this game.

Honestly, in general I also miss porting of the series of good games. We already have Witcher 2, Witcher 3 was anounced, why not to port Witcher 1? Saints row series may be the first try to do that, hope all the games will be ported, let's see.
We have Batman Arkham Knight announced - why not to port 3 previous titles? They are great, consoles do not offer you game experience from first game of the series to last game very often (I can think of Nathan Drake collection + Uncharted 4 on PS4).
And porting the Rockstar series (Max Payne and GTA) would be the icing on the cake.

Witcher 3 was anounced? CD Projekt RED never agreed it.
wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: cheerockieWitcher 3 was anounced? CD Projekt RED never agreed it.
Was anounced twice by Valve, once with the banner that was visible for half of a day and never commented, and second time in March (more details in referenced article here).

But you are right, CD Projekt RED never officially confirmed that they work on the port.
Xzyl 9 Dec, 2015
Just a few criticisms, if you're interested, firstly maybe my memory is wrong but I don't remember the release of BS:I the way you do. Most people including myself (even on AMD hardware) praised the game for it's playability especially after Witcher2 had such a rocky release (that situation improved greatly too). Sure the AMD FPS cap was bad but more than playable. I don't remember many posts bitching about it being a wrapper but more impressed it was.

Second your list seems... Focused on more of a "what I like or bust" type of feel without the positives such as Dota2(reborn) launched this year and is one of the top played games on steam and plays amazing since it's engine upgrade. Yes technically not a new game but it really is with an engine upgrade and the switch to more modes than just the DOTA2 map.

One last thing about TL2, it maybe older (should be noted we got it just shortly after the MacOS port) but since it's creators were the original blizzard north team (after they were bought) and did D1 and D2, this is a top tier game that was smooth AF. I sent Runic E-Mails and pleaded on their forum to bring TL and TL2 (after it was announced) to Linux having these games made me VERY happy regardless of the initial lag. So while it may not be your cup of tea this was a milestone for my collection.

Last note I am one of those sad people waiting for D : OS as a kickstarter backer Larian really cut me but it would be nice to play it sometime.

Other than that I think your article touches on the elephant in the room. No MKX No SF4/5/anything No GTA5 No Fallout 4 we're really lacking flavor of the month top tier AA games which really hurts the platform in my opinion and sadly I don't see that problem changing anytime soon. Good work nice submission!


Last edited by Xzyl on 9 December 2015 at 1:20 pm UTC
Feist 9 Dec, 2015
Nice recap of 2015.

The one title I miss from the list is "SOMA", not really an aaa-title but still produced by a medium-sized studio and quite successfull.
wojtek88 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: XzylJust a few criticisms, if you're interested
Always :)
Quoting: Xzylfirstly maybe my memory is wrong but I don't remember the release of BS:I the way you do. Most people including myself (even on AMD hardware) praised the game for it's playability especially after Witcher2 had such a rocky release (that situation improved greatly too). Sure the AMD FPS cap was bad but more than playable. I don't remember many posts bitching about it being a wrapper but more impressed it was.
I was going frequently through VP github issue tracker (here) and for me there were more people affected with the freeze issues than for example on Spec Ops: the Line. But you may be on some level right - this game is for sure more popular, so that's why more people reported the issue.
Anyway, all the sentences here are my personal opinion, and I wrote them few days ago so I may be wrong at some topics.
This page is just a great way to share opinion with many people that are interested in Linux gaming.

Quoting: XzylSecond your list seems... Focused on more of a "what I like or bust" type of feel without the positives.
Never said it's the right way to look back for me glass is always half empty (either I know it is always full, even if half of it is just an air ;) ).

Quoting: Xzylpositives such as Dota2(reborn) launched this year and is one of the top played games on steam and plays amazing since it's engine upgrade. Yes technically not a new game but it really is with an engine upgrade and the switch to more modes than just the DOTA2 map.
The problem is I don't play DOTA2. That's why I am not interested in this title. I totally agree that this was very important moment of the year, but it was not a release. But still, I'm with you, it's great that Valve did that update.

Quoting: XzylOne last thing about TL2, it maybe older (should be noted we got it just shortly after the MacOS port) but since it's creators were the original blizzard north team (after they were bought) and did D1 and D2, this is a top tier game that was smooth AF. I sent Runic E-Mails and pleaded on their forum to bring TL and TL2 (after it was announced) to Linux having these games made me VERY happy regardless of the initial lag. So while it may not be your cup of tea this was a milestone for my collection.
I have played a lot of Torchlight 2 back in the days when I was still dual-booting. My first issue with the port was that my game was missing shadows even if they were maxed up in settings. It looked really bad, but was fixed after few days. On Linux version I've spent only few hours, for some reason I just stopped to play it.

Regarding Torchlight in general there is a weird story of their ports, because Torchlight 1 was ported to Linux in one of the Humble Bundles AFAIR, but it was delivered as .deb package which is not compatible with newest distributions anymore (Correct me guys if I'm wrong). Would be great to play Torchlight 1 on Linux through Steam.

Quoting: XzylLast note I am one of those sad people waiting for D : OS as a kickstarter backer Larian really cut me but it would be nice to play it sometime.
I totally get your attitude. I was waiting for this game, but I'm not anymore. I just have an impression that promise of Linux port was a Larian way to get free credit. I have nothing against people who will invest their money on Larian product, just I am not going to, unless there is a 95% discount on their product.

Quoting: XzylOther than that I think your article touches on the elephant in the room.
Great that someone interprets it in this (meant) way :). We have this conversation very often in some articles comments, but it's not very common that we have an article that tries to look

Quoting: XzylNo MKX No SF4/5/anything No GTA5 No Fallout 4 we're really lacking flavor of the month top tier AA games which really hurts the platform in my opinion and sadly I don't see that problem changing anytime soon.
That exactly what I think as well.

Quoting: XzylGood work nice submission!
Thanks :)

Quoting: FeistNice recap of 2015.
Thanks :)

Quoting: XzylThe one title I miss from the list is "SOMA", not really an aaa-title but still produced by a medium-sized studio and quite successfull.
I agree that SOMA was well received, I just didn't play it and won't play it I guess. Just not my cup of tea.
seguleh 9 Dec, 2015
I agree with Wojtek. Present state of Linux gaming disappoints me a little. Especially performance issues when compared to Windows versions of games we already have. I know - drivers, OpenGL, etc.
I don’t have modern gaming rig, but I know that some games I have (especially wrapped „Witcher 2”, „BS:I” - I simply hate all that Eon/Wine idea) will run far better with Win installed on my machine, than with Linux. Most wanted by me Linux port is Elite: Dangerous, but I’m afraid that I won’t be able to play it on my computer, when WIndows version runs smoothly with middle settings.

Lets imagine we have „Star Citizen” native client now, which is very resource hungry game: how many of U buy overpowered rig only to play it on Linux with awareness U are using about 60% of Your machines potential power?

I love Linux, and I love gaming on it, but it needs more time and work to be recognized as real gaming platform. I hope it will happen in not so distant future. And I wish it to all of us with upcoming New Year :)
Eike 9 Dec, 2015
Quoting: OZSeafordOne question I would have though, oblivious of platform, what games would you have waited for in general, windows games that is? Are there hundreds?

For me, I really miss Fallout 4 and the next Elder Scrolls (and today a colleague told me again that I should play "Brothers - a Tale od two Sons").

Quoting: OZSeafordPersonally, 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've got more than enouhg to play as well, but for the other question... Why would he? Even if we would have all games from Windows, which will never happen because noone will port all those old games, there still needs to be some other reason to change.


Last edited by Eike on 9 December 2015 at 2:53 pm UTC
Crazy Penguin 9 Dec, 2015
I don't care about this so called "AAA" games, as they are mostly overpriced cr-AAA-p. Indies and smaller developer studios making way better games. They don't annoy me with bullshit DRM or stupid Pre-Order stuff. No Day-1-Contentpatches for which I have to download several GBs before I can play. No AlwaysOn sh**, and so on. Sorry, but I still don't see the point of cr-AAA-p games.

Companies like EA, Ubisoft & Activision will not support Linux in the near future. They have their own stores, which are in competition to Valve.

And for the wanted racing game. Here is another one.
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/grid-autosport-releasing-for-steamos-linux-on-december-10th.6315


Last edited by Crazy Penguin on 9 December 2015 at 3:08 pm UTC
Seegras 9 Dec, 2015
I miss a lot of older first person action games, such as Far Cry, and RPGs such as Fallout 3, 4, all the Elder Scrolls, and so on.

But speaking of games that should be available for Linux in Steam, I've got a list:
- Aerena
- Ankh 2
- Ankh 3
- Arx Fatalis
- The Basement Collection
- The Binding of Isaac
- BIT TRIP RUNNER
- BIT TRIP BEAT
- Blade Symphony
- Crayon Physics Deluxe
- Doom II: Hell on Earth
- Doom 3
- Doom 3: BFG
- Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil
- Eufloria
- Fieldrunners
- Final Doom:
- Fractal: Make Blooms not War
- Gorky 17
- Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
- Hexen: Beyond Heretic
- Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel
- Hexen II
- Jack Keane
- Jamestown
- Kingpin
- Lone Survivor: The Directors Cut
- Machinarium
- Master Levels for Doom II
- Mind: Path to Thalamus
- Offspring Fling
- On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One
- Papo & Yo
- Quake
- Quake II
- Quake II: Ground Zero
- Quake II: the Reckoning
- Quake III: Arena
- Quake III: Team Arena
- Quake 4
- Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon
- Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Serious Sam 2
- Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter
- Serious Sam Classic: The Second Encounter
- Shadowgrounds
- Shadowgrounds: Survivor
- SiN
- SiN Multiplayer
- Swords and Soldiers HD
- Time Ramesside
- Torchlight
- The Ultimate Doom
- Unreal Gold
- Vessel
- Wolfenstein 3D
- Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny

All of these are available on Steam; all of these have been ported to Linux, but are not available for Linux on Steam.
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