Alright, so having played Koei Tecmo PC releases on launch for the past several years – I’ve come to expect bad ports. That said, this Fatal Frame port probably takes the cake. Because of all the bad ports I have played – Ninja Gaiden earlier this year, for example – they all at least functioned without me needing to jump through hoops.

Koei Tecmo sent me a review copy of this new Fatal Frame PC port – thanks to them for that by the way – and I was excited to jump into it and write up a review for the game.

So I booted up Maiden of Black Water a couple days ago and was immediately presented with all sorts of problems. For one, despite running it on an RTX 3080 TI, I could not get it above like 45 fps. It frequently stuttered and the fps fluctuated a lot. For some dumb reason, this can be fixed simply by plugging in a controller. I figured – okay, I want to play this with mouse and keyboard given that a lot of it is in first-person, so I’ll just keep that controller plugged in on the side – but no, then I ran into a SECOND major issue.

As soon as the controller is plugged in, the game immediately jumped to my monitor’s refresh rate cap of 155 fps and – despite being released in 2021 – this is a game with its internal speed tied to its framerate, effectively more than doubling its normal speed on my system. This causes the audio to drift out of sync, the controls to be hypersensitive, and just nothing really working properly. There’s no setting to fix this in-game, so I had to add a rule for the game in my NVIDIA control panel to limit it to just 60 fps.

Restarting the game and now all seems fine – except that the keyboard and mouse support is garbage, or rather, the keyboard support. There is no mouse control at all, you have to use the keyboard to move both your character and camera, which is simply not worth it. I had wanted to play with mouse and keyboard since the game has a lot of fast first-person aiming, but I ended up sucking it up and just using a controller.

I then ran into an issue where cutscenes would fade to black and not do anything, so I ended up just ALT+F4ing out of the game and not touching it until the next day – where for some reason that issue was magically fixed and I was actually able to play the game, albeit, after jumping through all of those hoops.

The devs have stated that the refresh rate bug is a known issue and will be fixed, but it makes me wonder – why was the game even allowed to release with such a major problem in the first place? They also stated that mouse support will be added, but said it could take upwards of a month. So given that, I am just going to put this game to rest until it is patched up and recommend that you all simply don’t bother with it at all until that time. The gameplay is good from what I have played, but I am going to be putting this one on the backburner until the point I can actually give it a proper review.

I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this article. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.