Sunday, June 29, 2014

Clive Barker's Undying on Ubuntu

Clive Barker's Undying is a nice old game. Thanks to GOG I got a hold on this for a 75% discount. Let's see how it runs on Linux, shall we?

The installer
Right off the bat, things are looking promising. Wine didn't give any visible errors about the installer. The entire installation process went fine.

For reference, I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit with Wine 1.6.2. On the hardware side, I have a AMD Athlon II X4 620 processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, a 128GB SanDisk SSD and a AMD Radeon HD 7750 GPU. I'm using the open source GPU drivers rather than Catalyst so the HD7750 is very much under utilised.

Undying running in windowed mode
Unfortunately, the game doesn't run quite as expected. To play the game you'll have to set Wine to run in windowed mode as the game doesn't render properly in full screen. The mouse pointer is also stuck to the upper left corner in the game. In windowed mode, everything seems to run fine.

Or... as fine as the open source driver can make it. The game experiences frame stutter from time to time. Scenes with a lot of things happening at once will be a challenge to play. That means battles will be quite frustrating. I've played the early parts of the game with no issues except for the occasional lag.

Since Undying isn't a frag fest, it should be mostly playable. If you use Catalyst, the lag will probably disappear altogether. An old game like this can't possibly stress a modern GPU.