Posted: October 21
I want to be very, very clear. The game *itself* is absolutely wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough, however this review is for this PC port itself.
Do not get this game on PC. It is horrifically broken, to the point where literally 98% of players struggle to even experience the story, let alone play the first level. I got the game on sale, because of a wave of nostalgia and I figured it would be perfect to play (and mod) for Halloween.
That said, my entire experience with this port (not the game itself, I’ve played the xbox 360 version and it’s beautiful) has been nothing short of pure frustration. The laziness of this port is to the point of sheer laziness and EA-approved stupidity. WHen they say Madness Returns, they absolutely mean it with the PC port and not in the good way.
First, I couldn’t even get the game to start without tweaking the .ini files (which you should never be required to do) as since the game’s PC port release this has been a KNOWN ISSUE FOR YEARS. Full price, they’re asking you to pay $30 (AUD) for this game. I got it for $7 on sale and even then it’s not worth it with how frustrating it is to run.
After several file tweaks later, I finally got the game to run. I was excited, thrilling to play again and re-experience the entire game before learning to mod it. I thought, ‘Right, I’ll play the first few levels, then figure out how to extract the files so I can make a new dress for Alice.’ and I notice the game would constantly freeze and chug like the Ruins trying to function.
I want to be very, very clear. I have a very beefy PC. I know it’s not the issue and I’ve already followed *several* guides to make the game as optimized as I can, short of opening it in the editor and recreating it from scratch. But this? This is a game that does not want to be played on the computer. This game’s PC counterpart is that internet meme of ‘kill me’ as it lays on the ground, wheezing and gasping for breath. It wants to shine but it can’t with how horrifically EA handled this port.
I’m incredibly tempted to try modding the files to make a fix and get it running again, but finding a copy of Unreal Engine 3 has been just as challenging as getting this game to run. It’s been a literal nightmare from the get-go and that’s not even counting the stupid game-breaking DRM that EA included, since no one can own their copies of their games anymore.
I understand not wanting a game to be pirated, that’s 1000% valid and fine, but when it gets to the point where it *actively breaks the game* then you really need to re-evaluate your methods, because a game’s purpose is to be played and a huge majority of people *want* to support the game. I already have an old xbox 360 copy and I bought another because I want to support the devs (but also modding, because that’s way too much fun)
As much as I love the game and highly recommend it, please for the love of god stay away from this PC Port. If I find a copy of Unreal Engine 3, I’d be tempted to tackle this again but for now, go buy a console version or reach out on social media to EA asking them to fix this. This is a beautiful game, but what EA did to it is downright inexcusable.
If this is ever fixed (which I’m not too hopeful about, I mean it’s 2022 and still no fixes) then I’d happily change this review but for now, here’s the summary:
Game is amazing, EA f*cked up the PC Port to the point where it requires insane hoop-jumping to play.