Looking Forward: More Ports!


February is where all the action will be, or so I predicted after a quiet January. XCOM2 was just released and no doubt that it will keep a bunch of Linux gamers very busy for a while, despite the performance problems (I have played the game longer now and I can confirm the performance is quite disappointing). Just a few days ago, we saw the release of Firewatch on Steam as well, a Day-1 release for Linux too. Apparently an interesting (albeit short) story-driven game.

But there’s more to come. Now there’s enough indicators to say that the Tomb Raider reboot from 2013 is coming very soon to Linux. The Linux repo is being filled as I write, along with a launch config. So it’s just a matter of time until we get this pretty good clone of Uncharted.

Let’s not forget to mention N++, the famous 2D Ninja game that started as a flash web game back in the days. Its first commercial incarnation was on Xbox360, then NDS, and now the new episode is coming to Steam with a Linux version too. I had met the N++ creators last year at the Bitsummit 2015 event in Japan and they were very nice folks - I remember asking them for a Linux port, but they were unsure at that time whether they would support the platform. Glad to see they changed their minds! PS4 trailer below.

Sunless Sea seems to show up on Steam for Linux for some users, while the executable is missing. This was one of the most popular indie games from 2015, and the Linux version has been pending for a while - and it might just be getting ready for release soon.

A few of the ex-Media Molecule developers (who were behind the Little Big Planet series) are now funding a new game via Kickstarter, called Knights and Bikes. It looks like they will make it to the seeding goal, and they are pretty forthcoming about a Linux port right from the start, as you can see:

Knights and Bikes is currently confirmed for PC, Mac, and Linux. It’s also coming to Playstation4, and all pledges at, or above, the Digital Game Plus tier are eligible for the PS4 version.

I’d be however very cautious about supporting anything Linux-related on Kickstarter, since we have been burned many times already (Divinity: Original Sin released ages later on Linux, Skullgirls pretty much the same story - even if these games finally made it, some others did not).

However, it’s not all good news as there are some cancellations. The fact that Batman: Arkham Knight is not coming to Linux anymore is not a very big surprise. The Windows release was simply awful even on super high, double-SLI hardware. The patch released later did not help much, and with such a bad Windows port in the first place, the worst could be expected for the Linux port. In the end they decided to can it, and this was probably for the best. I just hope that porters will take some interest in supporting the older  (yet still excellent!) Batman games available on Steam - those should run easily on modern systems even if we lose some performance out of it.

I forgot to mention it recently, but American Truck Simulator is now out. Our friend Xpander69 made a nice video of the Linux client, so you can see for yourself that it’s pretty similar to Euro Truck Simulator in its principle, while the landscape and everything around has been pretty much remade from scratch.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong was re-released as an extended edition just recently, and it comes as a free update for all folks who already purchased it. They claim to have added about 6 hours of gameplay to the existing base - I don’t really like DLC, but when they come for free, there’s nothing to complain about.

Another game was added some major content with a DLC as well, and i’m talking about Dying Light, with the extension called The Following. They took this chance to update the base game as well, and while the added content is great news, performance seems to be even worse now on the Linux side, if we are to believe this user on r/linux_gaming. I have not tried it again after the update myself, but the performance was certainly not spectacular to begin with even before.

We are still missing Rocket League, but it’s expected to finally hit our platform (after everyone else…) in Feb/March. Better late than never, as they say… at least let’s hope that Street Fighter V comes to Linux on Feb 17th together with the Windows version.