Digital Extremes is working on a patch for The Darkness II’s nauseating field of view setting.
One of the marks of a sloppy console port is a narrow, unchangeable FOV. The term, for those of you who don’t spend their time on deliciously frothy PC gaming forums, essentially refers to how much of the game world you can see at once. The human eye doesn’t just see what’s directly in front of it, including peripheral vision, the visual field of the average non-pirate is approximately 120 degrees.
Most good first person shooters offer a field of view of between 90-100 degrees – and including an option to change that is a sign of conscientious game development. Digital Extremes’ The Darkness II offers around 60 degrees, perhaps less, which kind of gives the impression that protagonist, Jackie Estacado, spends the entire game with a set of binoculars glued to his face.
While console players using televisions generally won’t notice the issue, low FOVs become increasingly nauseating (to some) the closer you are to the screen. For PC gamers who generally use monitors, low FOVs can make games physically uncomfortable to play.
The Darkness II’s low FOV was noticed by Steam Forum users – who reacted to it the same way they react to everything else, by screaming about it in broken English – but it wasn’t until prominent critic, Total Biscuit, created the above video that the developers sat up and took notice. Following Biscuit’s simple breakdown of the issue, and his erudite arguments against developers who don’t include FOV options, developer Sheldon Carter tweeted that Digital Extremes is working on a fix.
Now if only they would patch that awful cliffhanger ending.