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Deathloop receives backlash over bad PC optimization and Denuvo issues

While praised for its story and gameplay, Deathloop has launched in a less than ideal state when it comes to performance and optimization.
Deathloop receives backlash over bad PC optimization and Denuvo issues

Deathloop has finally released today, 14th September, on consoles it is an exclusive for the PlayStation 5, but it is also available on PC.

And while the critics almost unanimously agree that the game is another hit from developers Arkane Studios, with an average score of 88 on Metacritic for both PS5 and PC versions, the game nevertheless has "mixed" reviews on Steam, with only a 60% approval rate at the time of writing.

And that is not because players think that the game is bad per se, rather they are left disappointed over the game's abysmal performance on launch.

Asides from a myriad of bugs and poor enemy AI, the game's main problem is that it simply doesn't run well on PC, and many believe that the main perpetrator behind this is the game's DRM protection, Denuvo.

Players report stuttering and other performance issues with Deathloop

Deathloop receives backlash over bad PC optimization and performance issues
Players report that micro stuttering makes the game "unplayable". (Picture: Bethesda)

A number of players are currently writing negative reviews over at Deathloop's Steam page, citing poor performances and the "unplayable" state of the game on launch.

"Holy hell, this frame stuttering is unacceptable. In this state, the game is not enjoyable and I would not recommend buying it until it is fixed," says Steam user Utopia_.

Many users blame Denuvo directly for stuttering issues, saying that the publisher is punishing people who buy the game in order to fight piracy.

"Unfortunately even with a high-end configuration, there are micro stutters that make the game unplayable. The same problem with Dishonored 2, same problem with Denuvo...," says John China.

The issue appears to be plaguing players with a wide range of configurations, as even players with high-end GPUs like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 are saying that micro stuttering makes the game currently unplayable.

Deathloop receives backlash over bad PC optimization and performance issues
Asides from stuttering, players report severe frame drops and other performance issues. (Picture: Bethesda)

While stuttering seems to be the key argument in the majority of negative reviews, some players state that the game is generally poorly optimized, and is suffering from FPS drops and lag on top of the stuttering issue.

Denuvo has long been at the centre of controversy amongst PC gamers as there is a widespread belief that this popular anti-tamper technology negatively affects the performance of video games and there are even reports of it causing irreversible damage to components.

That hasn't stopped a number of big publishers from continuing to use their services to protect their games from piracy especially when first launched. A successful launch period is critical for a game to return a profit and stopping piracy at this juncture is all the more important to publishers. 

At the time of writing, neither Bethesda nor Arkane Studios have commented on the performance issues.


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