The First Google Stadia Reviews Are Less Than Fantastic

The first Google Stadia reviews have dropped from American outlets and they’re less than stellar.

It’s been revealed over the last few weeks that Google Stadia would have less features than originally expected. The launch lineup of 12 games was just expanded to 22 games, with there being only one game that hadn’t been previously released on other consoles.

Most reviews said that the tech was pretty fantastic when it worked, but a lack of games, and missing features such as the inability to share games with other games on a family account, or even purchase games on a main TV unit being a major problem heading into launch. A

As far as the actual game streaming goes, most reviewers said it worked well, but the library lacked that of PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Pass (or even Project xCloud) but did require a high download speed to function, which is why it definitely won’t be launching in Australia anytime soon.

The Verge criticised the controller in their review and said: Everywhere, there are signs that Stadia is unfinished, half-baked, and not fully thought-out, but that’s clear nowhere more than the Stadia Controller. Physically, it’s a pleasingly familiar, comfortable blend of Sony’s DualShock 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One gamepads. It borrows Sony’s stippled texture and oblong grips, but its analog sticks look and feel far more like Microsoft’s superior ones. Plus, there are Switch Pro-like face buttons for good measure. It has smoother triggers than Sony, too.

Functionally, it arrives with two practically useless buttons (Google Assistant and screen capture, both of which are barely functional at launch), a currently disabled Bluetooth radio, and it can’t control PC or phone sessions using its Wi-Fi-based direct-to-server connection, even though its internal Wi-Fi radio was pitched as the way you could seamlessly switch from one Stadia platform to another.

Polygon said that they ran into issues with streaming and saId: The biggest problem is that Stadia, at launch, hasn’t provided a smooth, seamless experience when playing games.

The visual stutter and slowdown can be brutal, and isn’t limited to any one device or game. In Destiny 2 on the Chromecast Ultra, scrimmages with lots of enemies and explosions saw occasional slowdown, as did opening moments in new areas and cutscenes. Mortal Kombat 11 on the Pixel 3a eventually became unplayable due to odd connection issues. In one match, my character froze in a crouching position. The controller stopped responding, so I unplugged it from the Pixel 3a, then reconnected the cable. For whatever reason, this caused the entire game to reboot, costing me all of my progress.

Gamespot spoke fairly positive about the streaming experience and said: I can play games for long periods of time under generally acceptable conditions, but it’s all too easy to focus on the little annoyances that make Stadia feel like a less-than alternative to traditional console or PC gaming.

Endgadget spoke about how it provided more gaming time and said: The other night, my partner was playing Overwatch on our PS4, so I picked up my phone and jumped into a public event in Destiny 2. I’ve loaded up Mortal Kombat 11 and Gylt in seconds on my laptop, and I’ve played Just Dance 2020 on a Chromecast Ultra. Stadia makes all of this possible without a gaming console

Digital Foundry said that Tomb Raider provided one of the better experiences and said: Google promises us a 4K experience, and in Tomb Raider’s quality mode, that’s what you get – viewed through the lens of a compressed feed, of course. A performance mode is also available which is the preferable way to play, and does seem to deliver a locked 60 frames per second – based on the admittedly small sample we’ve experienced so far.

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