As of Wednesday, Google Stadia is rolling out to iPhone and iPad via the Safari browser only. And we took advantage of the release of Cyberpunk 2077 to test the cloud gaming service on iOS in beta. First returns.
And Cyberpunk 2077 one thing was successful when it was launched, and that was to be everywhere. Not a platform has been forgotten, not even Google Stadia, often the poor relation of the game supports at the release of the game. This time the cloud gaming service was also entitled to its version of the title of CD Projekt Red. The opportunity for us to test the multi-support promises of the service and in particular on newcomers, the iPhone and the iPad.
Because if Stadia was already available on PC, TV with Chromecast Ultra 4K, Android smartphones and tablets as well as Mac, from this Wednesday, December 16, you can now play on iPhone and iPad in a beta version. However, through a small subterfuge: you have to go through the Safari browser to access the platform in the form of a web app.
The same experience as on Android
Once launched, Stadia on iOS differs very little from Stadia on Android, except that Android gamers can take advantage of the dedicated mobile app and not have to resort to a browser. There is always a Home section with the list of games in your possession, but not the list of your screenshots. You will need to go to the Stadia app to find them (without being able to play! You can’t do everything…).
The Safari version does not however have the “Discover” tab which includes YouTube videos, the latest news, the Forum. During our beta testing phase, we did not find a trace of this tab elsewhere.
Because if the options of your Profile (icon at the top right) are not exactly the same as in Android, we nevertheless find the same information, but grouped differently (the Name and avatar menus Stadia, Privacy, Purchases and subscriptions, Family, Performance, Notifications, Redeem a code… are in the Stadia Settings section).
How to play ?
If you downloaded the Google Stadia mobile app on iPhone or iPad, it does not allow you to play directly as it does on Android. No more than the Chrome browser yet accessible on Mac to directly launch the games. Apple has defended itself well against any use that would go out of its scope on its star products. Like Xbox and its xCloud offer via Game Pass Ultimate, Google’s cloud gaming service should have offered a listing for each game in the App Store if it had wanted to get into the good graces of the Apple brand. . Too tedious, so we had to find a subterfuge.
And for this, Google has obtained from Apple the right to use its Safari browser. By entering the address https://stadia.com, you will be able to access the universe and your account, or create one if you do not have one.
Consider adding a shortcut from the Stadia page to Home on your iPhone or iPad. To do this, once on the Safari Stadia page, tap on the share icon in the bottom navigation bar and choose “On the home screen”. Give the icon a name and it will be added to your apps. It will then be easier to access the service later.
Cyberpunk 2077, the winner of Stadia
Taking advantage of the parallel output of Cyberpunk 2077, we decided to use the Projekt Red CD set as a test medium. The dads blockbuster The Witcher could be the support of the service by offering the possibility for players to enjoy a title that was going to take up a lot of our time on any medium at hand and therefore at any time. Successful bet ? Rather.
As on Android, it is possible to play Cyberpunk 2077 on iOS whether you are using 4G, 5G or Wi-Fi, the connection is obviously recommended. If you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, you even get 4K resolution on compatible media. As much to tell you straight away that the iPhone as the iPad remain confined to 1080p maximum. It is specified that with this resolution, if you want to play in 4G, your package will take a serious hit (estimated consumption 12.6 GB / hour). But Safari is starting to support 4K HDR and Dolby Vision content, especially for Netflix and YouTube. Fingers crossed that Stadia will soon have the right to take full advantage of the performance offered on mobile devices and not just on Mac.
You can connect a wireless compatible controller (including DualShock4 or Xbox Controller). Operating the Stadia controller is more complex, as it is not recognized in Bluetooth. You will therefore not be able to play with a 4G connection in particular.
Otherwise you can opt for touch controls on iPhone. A fairly practical possibility until you have to test your reflexes in sequence of shots and it is never easy. It will take a lot of dexterity to use in particular the touch triggers.
On an iPhone 12 Pro Max, two borders appear to frame the gaming area, including the notch with the TrueDepth camera, and we do not take full advantage of the 6.7-inch screen. But it’s still comfortable enough to play. Obviously, it is even more so on iPad with a controller.
Time saving and multi-support
Among the advantages put forward by Stadia was the startup without loading time and it is indeed the case. We save 30 to 40 seconds to launch the game compared to the Xbox One X (probably a little less with new generation consoles). If the consoles have stuck their tongue out to make the futuro-apocalyptic world of Night City go round, the PCs are doing better and the game on Stadia, close to the latter in terms of performance, is doing with honors.
Cyberpunk 2077 It is fluid, graphically pleasant, and above all devoid of crashes. As for the bugs, we hardly encountered any, except those specific to all versions and which do not depend on the power of the platform (ah the famous bug of cars that have trouble crossing paths with each other). coherently …). The dystopian universe at the Blade Runner, sometimes a little brighter, we must admit, the neon lights galore in the 1980s style or the dilapidated state of this decadent vision of our society, everything comes out and creates an atmosphere that is at the same time intriguing, enticing and terribly distressing (who wants of such a future?).
For those who would not necessarily have followed the plot of Cyberpunk 2077, know that you will have to embody V (he or she, depending on your choice and the physique, the traits you want to give him or her). Pick him a group with his attributes (Nomad, Gosse de Rue, Corpo) and off to Night City plagued by gang wars while being dominated by a mega-conglomerate that has also taken power. You will witness the murder of Saburo Arasaka, the big boss and find yourself at the heart of a generalized confusion, between espionage, betrayal and trans humanism. With Keanu Reeves as a guest as your virtual sidekick Johnny Silverhand. Cyberpunk 2077 is inspired by a tabletop role-playing game transformed into an open-world action-RPG game. It will clearly draw its gameplay from the side of the Deus Ex franchise.
More efficient than on PS4, closer to the PC
Visually, the game is much more beautiful on Chromecast Ultra and TV than in the console version (certainly less so for the moment than we were entitled to hope but it will come). On iPhone and iPad, it defends itself very well and we have the possibility of playing a greedy game without waving our device. A significant advantage for releasing a bit of traditional mobile games. But above all, on a game as addictive as Cyberpunk 2077, the very principle of cloud gaming is of great interest: start the game on your TV, continue it on your smartphone or iPhone, to better resume it on a tablet or PC if you have it handy. It is a pleasure to be able to take advantage of each moment and each medium according to your desires, especially in continuity, to start again exactly at the point where it had been saved.
It should have been poor compared to other platforms, but the arrival of the most anticipated game of the year on Stadia is a good thing. Especially with all the concerns encountered by other non-PC versions. The first patch deployed by CD Projekt Red has already benefited Stadia without the player noticing. This is one of the attractions of cloud gaming: everything is transparent and the power is adjusted.
The portage of Cyberpunk 2077 is a great success, moreover, and the experience is exactly the same, less crashes and texture problems. Google is not even bragging, in the middle of the storm crossed by the game and its setbacks. A strange attitude when you know how much Stadia has been taunted since its release. Proof of the enthusiasm, however: the platform had to stop its promotional offer around the game in advance, for lack of sufficient stocks.