just-cause-3-screenshot

Just Cause 3 Load Times and Frame Rate on PS4 Are Bloody Awful

This isn’t the good news we wanted to write about Just Cause 3, but it’s what we feel compelled to share: Just Cause 3’s loading times are awful, and the game’s frame rate is no better.

Street dates don’t seem to mean much to some retailers (we’ve got an interesting insight article into that coming up) and as such we’ve been able to – legally, mind – procure a copy of Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause 3 for PS4 before the game’s official release on December 1st.

After around 10 hours of play we can safely say that the loading screens, while pretty, are the annoyance we all thought died with the last-gen consoles. It’s a shame, then, that Just Cause 3 seems stuck in the past in that regard. Each time you die (and you will – lots) you’re presented with a loading screen. The time between death and reanimation is erratic at best. In our ten or so hours with the game we’ve seen the loading screen hover in front of us for around 30 seconds, which isn’t too bad, but we’ve also had to stare in disbelief for the better half of two minutes. And you thought Bloodborne’s loading screens were a drag…

And yes, before you head to the comments to say: “well duh, you need the day one patch”, we’ve tested it with and without the patch; there’s no discernible difference. For a game that is made to appeal to the ADHD crowd who thrive off bright colours and explosions, it’s odd that Avalanche wasn’t able to better optimise the game’s loading times as half the game’s player base will probably get distracted by some shiny object in their peripheral vision before Rico springs back to life.

It’s not just the load times that induce buyers remorse with this entry. The game is supposed to run at 30fps, but it rarely manages to maintain a steady refresh rate. Dips come in whenever any explosion is introduced to the proceedings and it gets even worse in the game’s outposts where you’ll often be causing the most carnage. It isn’t just the occasional couple of frames being dropped – it’s a constant battle for the game to run smoothly at all. Even driving around in one of the many vehicles causes stutter which affects car handling, but perhaps the most annoying thing is that even running around and rotating the game’s camera causes the game to go “whoa, mate, calm down – you’re doing too much.”

Again, this is all based of pre-patch and post-patch gameplay. Whether Avalanche can sort things out with another big update is something we’ll have to wait and see about.

Unfortunately we’ve not been able to lay hands on the Xbox One version of Just Cause 3, but it’s likely the same issues are prevalent on Microsoft’s console, too.

We’ll have more Just Cause 3 coverage over the weekend that includes plenty of gameplay footage, screenshots, and our full review this Saturday evening.

[Update: Review is here. It’s good, too, despite the annoyances.]

[Another update: Video of the long load times here.]

Buy Just Cause 3 on Amazon.com


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84 comments

  1. I’ve watched gameplay videos at various points throughout the game and the framerate looked fine, Mad max had specific areas where the framerate would drop for no reason and they patched it fairly quickly. I suspect this could be similar

    1. Chances are you saw PC footage. I remember watching the gameplay from the Australian game show and it looked great, but I’m 99% sure they had it running on PC. Plus, it’s easier to get a feel of when it’s a bit stuttery when you play it rather than watching, at least for me it is.

          1. Why have none of the videos shown this ‘horrible’ framerate? If it was THAT bad it’d be impossible to fly from one end of the map to the other, in bad weather whilst blowing things up(which a 20 minute video does with no obvious drops whatsoever)

          2. You won’t be able to tell frame rate very well from captured video. Unless it drops to the lower 20s it’ll look the same.

          3. Well describing it as ‘horrible’ and ‘awful’ you’d expect it to drop well below 20fps and be easy to see. It’s easy to see in the Fallout 4 videos for example

          4. Expect random screen names to pop up saying negative comments. Yet, as a whole the vast majority will say how good the game is. I’ve seen the engine video, IGN run throught, early owners videos on PS4 and it looks fantastic.

      1. I saw some PS4 footage just this week-end (Playstation Access’ YouTube channel i think) and it was running just fine. Load times don’t really bother me much as i’m usually watching or listening to something as i play, but some of the frame rate issues i’ve seen (especially on Eurogamers livestream) would make the game unbearable for me. And i’m a guy who’s just fine with 30 fps.

  2. The whole 30fps stuttering thing must be because the PS4 isn’t a powerful beast of a machine as that conceived by Microshaft. Hmm… yes that was a trolling comment I suppose. :-)

    1. I would rather a game be so ambitious that the hardware struggles a little and the game needs patching than keep getting games that run fine because they don’t push the hardware in any way.

  3. well it seams i gotta cancel my copy and buy this one on steam .
    They will just have to downgrade the graphics and explosion physics on consoles or reduce the resolution to 720p to keep the current graphics intact…..

    Btw did you try force setting the resolution to 720 p through console settings and see if there is any improvement?

  4. I am better off buying a Wii U, at least I can play some damn fine exclusive games. PS4 and Xbone are useless if you can get your hands on a decent PC. PC + Nintendo is the way to go this gen and beyond.

        1. Aw come on, why can’t you be pleased for Wildbreed? Why does the internet always have to breed hatred?

          You go Wildbreed! That was an excellent birthday surprise :) Am happy for you. Now you can play Bloodborne and Driveclub, two excellent PS4 exclusives.

    1. My PS4 has been colecting dust for a month, and it’s not gonna get better with the Steam sale.
      Wii U barely has any games, but I’m enjoying most of their exclusives.

      1. And Bayonetta 2, Smash, Pikmin3, Xenoblade Chronicles X, MK8, WWHD, SM3DW, ZELDA U, Captain Toad, Splatoon, DKC: TF, Yoshi, NSMBU, FAST Racin N all run at flawless 60FPS with no glitches & bugs.

        I have transitioned to PC for all the usual multiplats @ 60fps and I am really contemplating selling my PS4/Xbone.

        PC + Nintendo is the the best combination tbh, Unless you have financial issues, or a fanboy.

        1. Exactly 2 games on that list interest Bayonetta2 and Xenoblade Chronicles X the rest are not worthy of my attention. The rest are kiddy games which is why Nintendo will remain the Fisher Price of gaming this console generation. I came so close to getting one several times but i couldnt justify the cost with virtually no multiplat support and the number of games i find appealing i can count on one hand. I grew up with Nintendo im srry to see it hasnt grown with me.

          1. If they were on PS4 you’d have said otherwise, look it’s one thing to be a fan a console to the point of fanyboyism, and it’s mightily diferrent to be an involved gamer who seeks good games depite not being on his platform of choice. Ninty games are always of high quality technically and gameply wise, Splatoon for example is a very innovative multiplayer shooter that helped invigorate a tired online shooter market, it’s also highly polished and very tightly designed. Hiding behind “kiddie” isn’t the best excuse for concealing hate toward Nintendo, espicially from a “mature” gamer. Just imagine if these games were Sony exclusives, your statements won’t be the same, and that, my friend, is the very definition of hypocrisy.

  5. The powerhouse PS4 is once again, disappointing. Watched it on Xbox, and low and behold, it runs great. The hype train is slowing down for PS4, while Xbox one has improved on a monthly basis.

      1. Ahem, it does in some cases. Usually coz res is lower, but that matters less than framerate in my most humble of opinions.
        Though why I’m here defending a post by Aaron after he was such an Aarse in other posts, is a wonder.

  6. Why would load times die just because new hardware is more powerful? The games get a lot bigger so of course they’ll still have load problems. If the developers stick with last generation graphics and gameplay but put it on the new consoles then there won’t be any load time at all.

    1. Loading times on the whole have been massively reduced this gen because of all the extra RAM. Long loading screens after dying are now the exception, not the rule.

  7. Have seen plenty of ps4 footage that runs fine. I suppose I wouldn’t notice if it dipped a few frames below 30, but I’d most definitely notice “bloody awful” frame rate. The complaints seem to be isolated to this website as well, will wait for a second opinion from a more reputable site.

    1. I’ve played the PS4 version since Friday and unfortunately the frame rate is not good at all. Driving fast, shooting stuff, etc. -> all will result in a frame rate around 20 fps or lower. I sincerely hope a patch will fix this in the next couple of days.

  8. It isn’t Just Cause that’s stuck in the past it’s extremely outdated consoles such as the PS4 which come with hardware several generations out of date in PC terms, this problem is going to get worse and worse as games push the boundary on essentially static hardware that never gets upgraded.

  9. playing today plays and looks fine. Takes a bit longer than normal to load as try’s to log into a server which isn’t up yet as game is not released until Tuesday. It certainly doesn’t take ages 1:30 seconds or so. Stop being so impatient.

  10. Assuming that new hardware means quicker load times is completely ridiculous and shows how little some people know about gaming. Devs try and use the full potential of each console meaning load times are going to be basically the same. Sure new gen hardware would load last gen software quicker, but games move forward and so there is more to load on next gen games but extra power to offset that making load times the same every gen depending on the game. Saying you thought long load times were going to be a thing of the past due to having new consoles is such a stupid thing to say, how are you working in this industry?

  11. There is nothing wrong with the frame rate on my PS4. The loading screens take a while but honestly you don’t die that often anyway. It’ll get patched soon enough. This review is horse sh@t

  12. Have you guys gotten any day 1 updates with it? I know the copy is legit (street date broken games) but usually game companies give out day one updates (stability/optimization, DRM etc)

  13. I been getting most AAA titles for my ps4 but after reading this I’m getting JC3 for my pc. Core i7 4770 , gtx 780 sc. I think I will have a much better experience on pc then my console

      1. “Unfortunately we’ve not been able to lay hands on the Xbox One version of Just Cause 3, but it’s likely the same issues are prevalent on Microsoft’s console, too.” :/

  14. This generation of consoles is going to be the shortest. Games are already coming out brand new and broken with terrible framerates. How is 19 frames per second acceptable to anyone is beyond me.

    XBox One has terrible performance on all games.
    PS4 has slightly better performance on all games.

    But in reality they both suck so much. Fallout takes so long to load it makes you want to just turn off the console if you have to travel a lot.

  15. I have it On PC Xbox one and ps 4. The PC is the best in frame rate (ofc.) and the load times is fine. On the ps 4 the frame rate is not that bad actually , the game is still playable and enjoyable and not awful. The game is still pretty , but hell the loading times is so crazy. its like loading for 15 mins just to respawn -.- and that ruined the game experience for me. So its really scary to die in a game like this not because any weird side effects on the character or anything , just because the hideous loading time. As for the Xbox One its the worst. The frame rate sometimes unplayable because sometimes it drop till 13 or 16 especially the part where u blew things up which is the main feature of the game. And The loading time is also hideous as hell . so my reccomendation for u guys , grab the pc version and if u dont have any high end pc , at least grab the ps4 version unless ur stuck with the xbox one version. Hope u enjoy the game.
    P.S.
    -currently im still waiting for my ps 4 version to load.

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