The Console Versions of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Seem Unfinished
I like the upstart action RPG Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem — at least on its home PC platform. I blasted through the campaign a couple of years back and had a mostly enjoyable time with its graphically intensive CryEngine powered take on Diablo III’s design and its very Warhammer-inspired storyline.
It’s an enjoyable romp that I wrote excitedly about and then moved on from. At launch, it had some bug problems and server issues (that should have perhaps served as an ominous portent), but it was a game from a thirteen-person indie studio that started out with crowdfunding, so I cut it a little slack.
In the years since, the team has expanded on the back of the game’s success to over ninety people, split between an office in France and remote workers. They’ve been quietly plugging away at updating the game but I haven’t really checked back in after that enjoyable launch period.
This week, it got a free expansion that added a brand-new endgame as well as a console release. So, I thought it would be the perfect time to jump back in. I eagerly bought both console versions to check them out and reinstalled it on PC as well. Over on the home computer platform, things are mostly fine — though there’s still a layer of janky non-polish hiding just below the surface.
On consoles, that jank busts through right to the front of your face. And then sits there taunting you.
The first big red flag here is that the game is only out for the previous generation of consoles. There’s a PS4 build and an Xbox One build, and that’s it. So, if you’re running this on a PS5 or a Series console, you’re using older code in backwards compatibility mode. This means that PS5 owners run the PS4 Pro version, and Series X owners run the One X code path. Series S owners are stuck with the One S code, which is a bummer considering the gap in power between those systems.
UPDATE 3/19/23: The Xbox version got a patch that makes it “Gen 9 Aware,” meaning it now has…