As you know, despite its flaws, we actually really enjoyed 2014's The Crew and found even more fun when the game's major graphical and content update hit last year with The Crew: Wild Run. While the visual overhaul was quite nice, it was still overshadowed by various stuttering and hitching issues. It's an issue where we noticed small skips in performance that even a frame-rate counter wasn't picking up. Thankfully, BlimBlim's venerable plug-in is here to save the day with a more accurate read-out of just what was happening. Want to see more? Follow us inside.
Rig used for the captures
i7 6700K @ 4.5 GHz, 16 Go RAM (DDR4), Windows 10, Nvidia GTX 1080 Founder's Edition MSI
After spending time testing the game and examining individual frames, we've determined that we're basically seeing duplicate frames when stuttering occurs. Basically, while each frame should be unique for 60 frames per second, we were seeing singular duplicate frames that were causing the stuttering. It's basically microstutter and most frame-rate read-outs miss it completely. The cause of such problems can vary from game to game but, in the case of the The Crew, we were unable to correct the frame pacing issue. It's possible to correct disturbances in frame persistence using third party tools in some cases, but that wasn't doing it here. Over on the official forums, some users have been complaining about these issues for a while now while others claim to never have experienced it. These inconsistent reports make it even more difficult to get to the bottom of the problem. During our testing, we continuously drove through one area leading us to believe that data streaming was to blame. It's one theory among many but, unfortunately, we cannot say with any real certainty as it can occur anywhere in the world. It should be mentioned that we tested multiple resolutions (including 1080p, 1440p and 4k thanks to Nvidia DSR) in addition to dropping settings. With the game having been on the market for more than 18 months now, it seems unlikely that it will ever be corrected. It's always possible that Ivory Tower will make but it's tough to say. In the meantime, PC gamers will no doubt continue to complain about these issues but at least it doesn't have a huge impact on playability – just presentation.