Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launched on PC yesterday and at this point, it’s a technical failure on almost every level. It’s a little hard to believe because all of Fallen Order’s issues came back for the sequel despite its surprisingly candid nature. The shader compilation stutter and traversal stutter have returned, while the in-game options offer no recourse in addressing the game’s major issues. In terms of polish, performance, and accessibility, it’s actually worse than Fallen Order, perhaps taking the cake as worst triple-A PC port of 2023 despite some remarkably strong competition.
The game’s opening handshake with the player completely fails to improve on its predecessor. The options are bare-bones UE4 standard, right down to their nomenclature. The user is given zero context as to what the performance and visual effects are for each setting, giving the player no clue how to improve the experience for their specific hardware. There are also a number of issues that get in the way of you figuring out whether options improve performance: for example, toggling ray tracing off and on again can make the game initially worse with RT . The only way to fix this is a full game restart after which the performance returns to the level it was before.
There are problems with other options as well. For example, you only have access to TAA and FSR2 – and FSR2 isn’t a good choice for acceptable image quality. Essentially, whenever an object or camera moves, FSR2 produces a blurry pixelation effect at all quality levels. This applies to the entire image and all aspects of it, giving the game a motion blur, ghostlike look – even if you turn off motion blur. Unreal Engine 4 has excellent DLSS and XeSS plug-in support. Developers have chosen to ignore them in a world where each offers better quality for Nvidia and Intel GPU owners respectively – and that’s unacceptable.
However, all of this is insignificant compared to the PC port’s other issues. Shader compilation stutter is back – regardless of game kicking in with precompilation pass. The infamous traversal stutter in Fallen Order that everyone noticed and complained about? It’s back again in Survivor. We’ve raised enough awareness of #StutterStruggle to the point that it’s borderline unimaginable that a major triple-A title should still be releasing with this problem, but it is. Traversal stutter continues to affect the Star Wars experience: Everywhere you go in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor sees frame-time spikes over several frames or even seconds as you navigate the game world. I cross invisible boundaries.
This happens everywhere, no matter what area of the game you’re in and what CPU or GPU combination you have. Even fields that look innocuous and seem like they should be easy to load and traversal induce load stutter. The frame-time spikes of these stutters can be small, but they can also be large and they compound with any shader compilation stutters that could potentially be occurring at the same time. It doesn’t matter how many times you play a sport or run in a field, you’ll always notice the same stutter – and nothing can stop it.
This is not an exaggeration. Even when playing the game at the lowest possible settings you will notice traversal and shader compilation stutter, even on the most powerful CPUs and GPUs on the market. AMD’s latest 3D cache processors provide the ‘best’ experience, but they are also subject to noticeable stuttering.
So far, so much fell order, but even the survivor is horrified by the surprisingly low CPU core usage. A Core i9 12900K paired with speedy 6400MT/s DDR5 and an RTX 4090 won’t be able to sustain 60 frames per second. This in itself is really nothing to cry about, though from a rational point of view – the hardware never guarantees that you should be able to run the game at X setting and X frame-rate. But here, the performance at the lowest settings is completely unforgivable and downright bad. Barely any of the processors are touched, with performance stalled by about two threads, which are always pegged at 70 percent or more utilization.
In short, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is essentially ignoring the fact that CPUs have entered the multiple-core era. With higher settings it’s even more devastating – with ray tracing activated, more of the smaller cores are tasked with maintaining the RT’s BVH structures, but eventually, performance drops even further to the point where I’ve seen the 12900K Have seen CPU-limited scenes that exceed around 30fps. On mid-range CPUs like the Ryzen 5 3600, for example, it’s even more devastating.
In fact, settings recommendations are impossible, although you can disable ray tracing to reduce some performance. Basically, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor isn’t using the hardware it’s presented with in a meaningful way. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that one of the best games of 2019 launched on PC with profound issues that were never fixed — and then we see them in the 2023 sequel with other issues. Let’s look again at the top.
Yes, there are patches on the way, while EA has also introduced a hollow façade that is actually trying to shift the blame to the user’s hardware, but none of this addresses the fact that a very The PC version of the beautiful game has been launched in a completely unacceptable situation.
We were at the back of the line to get Jedi Survivor codes. The PC version arrived on Thursday with consoles on Friday, so further coverage is still in development – but we must stress that while the PC version is terrible, it’s definitely a game with strong current-gen credentials – And from a visual perspective, there’s a lot to appreciate about it (and we have a full technical review of the works covering this and more). It’s early days but the console versions have far fewer technical problems, even though performance still needs a lot of work. We’ll report back on that front as soon as possible.
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