While the official launch of the next-generation - wait, can we call it current-generation now? - has been hit and miss for both Microsoft and Sony in terms of hardware teething problems, as far as the actual games go, well it's been a pretty steady start. Until now.
After begrudingly handing over £45 (a whole other topic for debate) to my local supermarket this week, I was very excited to start playing Electronic Art's stunning-looking Need For Speed: Rivals. And for the first hour or so things looked very promising: with its fantastic car models, beautifully-realised open-world and well-tuned Hot Pursuit-esque gameplay it was just the game to justify the stupid amount of money I had spunked earlier this week.
But then every now and then I encountered a weird issue with the game's camera where it seemed to randomly pan around 360 degrees. Initially, this seemed to only happen when I went through a speed trap or passed a fellow cop or racer so I assumed it to be part of the game's cinematic presentation. But then the camera also strated randomly switching to the front of my car looking, behind me at the most inopportune of moments. Then, after initially only doing it once or twice every few minutes started doing it more frequently and increasingly often, to the point where I've turned my console off in disgust as I ccouldn't even omplete an event without being affected by what is clearly a game-breaking bug.
As you can see from the video below - captured from a session earlier thanks to the Xbox One's ability to record the last 30 seconds of gameplay at any time (at least that is when it recognises you saying "Xbox - Record That!" which when you're from Yorkshire, doesn't seem to be that all often) - this particular bug always seems to happen at the worst possible moment. Usually when I'm in the heat of a battle against an enemy racer or trying to delicately control a handbrake skid around a corner. There's also a horrible bit of texture pop-in at the start of the video. Sorry EA!
At first I wondered if this was a problem with my joypad's right analogue stick, as holding down fixes the camera to the front of your bonnet. However, the 360 degree pan which you can see in the clip below, is not possible to re-create even deliberately and appears to be some sort of automated cinematic swoop for dramatic effect, that, for whatever reason, keeps getting triggered at innapropriate moments. I've also used the same joypad with no issues on Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4.
I spoke to a friend who also has the Xbox One version of Need For Speed: Rivals. He said the issue had happened a couple of times to him this week but hadn't been on the scale to which it's affecting my experience.
I've contacted EA for an official response to this as unfortunately, at the moment, Need For Speed: Rivals is pretty much unplayable for me. We will keep you updated if we hear a response back from them. In the meantime, consider yourselves warned!
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I managed a full hour the other day without this happening once which was pleasing.
However, the game just feels a bit empty. It's hard to put my finger on why exactly, but it could be the reduced number of cars, the structure - which seems a bit all over the place, and the lack or Burnout-esque crashes and write-offs.
I bought this on the strength of EG's 9/10 review. Unfortunately it's at best a 7/10.
I've worked out what is causing this, HA. It's a Kinect issue. A voice command that tells you to pan 360 around your car. I think it's been badly programmed and is picking up noise from the speakers and thinking it's the command which it then executes.
I'm getting the issue too. It's very frustrating and that coupled with the fact that I can't pause the single player means I'm going to have to get rid of this I think. Just can't afford to play a game where I can't pause it, what with a 4 week old baby in the house. Makes progression needlessly impossible.