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User Submitted Editorial: Current Linux gaming situation

Posted by Wojtek88, | Views: 11,329
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.
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43 comments
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Liam Dawe 9 December 2015 at 9:37 am UTC
I disagree about KOTOR II, we need older titles as much as we need the newer titles. If we don't, we will never win over the "but x game doesn't work on Linux from my library" people. It was also an updated version, not just a basic port of an old game.

I think people also need to not repeatedly hark on about "wrapped" games. It's a cheap and reasonably effective way to port games to Linux, their ports all perform pretty well, and what ports don't have issues? Every single game I've tested on Linux has an issue somewhere.
Kam 9 December 2015 at 9:38 am UTC
Soo, you're only interested in AAA games, yet do not have the hardware to run AAA games ?
wojtek88 9 December 2015 at 9:46 am UTC
TheBossI disagree about KOTOR II, we need older titles as much as we need the newer titles. If we don't, we will never win over the "but x game doesn't work on Linux from my library" people. It was also an updated version, not just a basic port of an old game.
Like I said:
Wojtek88Of 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
When the game was released, most of users on this page was waiting for Shadow of Mordor which was meant to be released on Spring and we were already after half of Summer. What we received was a 10 years old game and no real information from Feral side regarding Shadow of Mordor.

TheBossI think people also need to not repeatedly hark on about "wrapped" games. It's a cheap and reasonably effective way to port games to Linux, their ports all perform pretty well, and what ports don't have issues? Every single game I've tested on Linux has an issue somewhere.
I am with you Liam here. I totally agree. That's why I wrote:
Wojtek88I have nothing against wrapped titles, as long as they bring good titles to our platform
But why going through calendar I saw Bioshock Inifinite and it just reminded me the shitstorm it started, because everyone had in their mind poor performance of Witcher 2. And many people had freezes in Bioshock Inifinite and Spec Ops: the Line (including me) without tweaking EON configuration file.
wojtek88 9 December 2015 at 9:49 am UTC
KamSoo, you're only interested in AAA games, yet do not have the hardware to run AAA games ?
Long story, sad answer is - yes, unfortunately this is true. Currently I play Witcher 3 on PS4 and I am collecting money to finish the flat in the beginning of the next year

Anyway, I extend my library, invest money in all the ports I can support and when my flat is finished I am going to enjoy my whole library on the new Steam Machine (I guess made by my own) in my new Living room .
Liam Dawe 9 December 2015 at 9:49 am UTC
Well, Mordor has nothing to do with what Aspyr port, so I don't see it as an issue. Yes people were waiting for Mordor, and it did arrive. So, I don't see the argument there personally.

Again, why shouldn't it be one of our best games? It's a great RPG.

As for Bioshock, it's nothing to do with EON, the config file being edited by people is an engine file Bioshock uses. It also has the same issues on Windows FYI.
wojtek88 9 December 2015 at 10:01 am UTC
TheBossWell, Mordor has nothing to do with what Aspyr port, so I don't see it as an issue.
True, what I meant is while waiting for one year old game with shiny graphic, Linux gamers received 10 years old game. Still great, but 10 years old. It was sad moment for me, because I stared to think that this is how it's going to be - we, as a community will be very happy for games that are very old.

TheBossYes people were waiting for Mordor, and it did arrive.
True once again. In the end of July everything was great - we had great RPG and great AAA game with nice graphics.
I just wrote what I felt during the year. Like in diary .

TheBossAgain, why shouldn't it be one of our best games? It's a great RPG.
Sure, KOTOR2 can be one of our best games. I just hope it will be one of many.

TheBossAs for Bioshock, it's nothing to do with EON, the config file being edited by people is an engine file Bioshock uses. It also has the same issues on Windows FYI.

My bad. Maybe I wrote it in a wrong way:
Wojtek88And many people had freezes in Bioshock Inifinite and Spec Ops: the Line (including me) without tweaking EON configuration file.
Including me refers only to Spec Ops: the Line. To make it freeze less I had to modify EON config file.
Bioshock Infinite has it's issues but I wasn't tweaking it on my machine.
gojul 9 December 2015 at 10:03 am UTC
Bioshock Infinite had issues for me, including memory leaks (my 32 GB computer started running out of memory because of it). But anyway the game works well. Had no issue with Dirt Showdown once they fixed the Xbox 360 pad issue. Played a bit Arma 3 which works extremely well and SpecOps the Line too.

Mordor has some crashes but works well. Alien Isolation works extremely well. CoH2 too.

So although there are not as many games as promised we still have much room to play. Currently I'm playing FarCry 3 on my Xbox but for sure I'll be back to my Linux box afterwards.
Eike 9 December 2015 at 10:08 am UTC
TheBossAs for Bioshock, it's nothing to do with EON, the config file being edited by people is an engine file Bioshock uses. It also has the same issues on Windows FYI.

Bioshock Infinite had stutters on my system even after modifying the ini with Linux on my box which it did not have on the very same box (even with less memory back then) with Windows when I still used it. I so much wanted to buy the extension but refrained from doing so.
cheerockie 9 December 2015 at 10:12 am UTC
Unfortunately 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.
burnall 9 December 2015 at 10:12 am UTC
Personally, 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.
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