What is happening to PC games?

For years, people have been complaining that PC games are nothing but console ports these days. I wasn’t really bothered by that, as most PC games still had some extras over their console counterparts. For example, PC games could run in higher resolutions and better image quality, some of them even offered extra features (e.g. special DX10/11 shading or enhanced physics), and the PC versions were generally faster to load, because of the fast HDDs and extra memory you can put in your PC.

Now, I’m only a casual gamer myself, I don’t buy that many games, and I don’t play too often… but the last two games I’ve bought, were a major disappointment for me. They no longer offer anything over a console game… and in fact, it would appear that they are worse than the console version in some ways.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

The first game I’d like to discuss here is Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. I’ve been a big fan of first-person perspective racing games, ever since I got Test Drive on my C64 in the late 80s. I’ve bought every Need For Speed that ever came out for the PC, and I even play some of the older ones sometimes (I still love the original NFS: SE, which I can play again, thanks to DOSBOX, and Porsche 2000 is also a still favourite of mine). I also have the original NFS:HP and NFS:HP2. After all, this version of NFS:HP is more or less a remake of the one released back in 1998 (and its sequel in 2002). The NFS series had strayed from the original path in recent years, and this was supposed to be a return to the older form. I was excited about that, since I mainly care about racing exotic cars, not all this “pimp my ride” stuff that they added to the recent versions.

But it turned out to be quite a disappointment. One thing that really annoys me in the game is that you cannot skip all the loading screens and such. This makes it very annoying to even restart a race… The result is that it has the same sluggish feel as a console game loading from DVD. I have a very high-end PC, where I could just restart the game in an instant, if it would let me. I don’t want to wait for no apparent reason, I just want to play.

Another thing that really bothers me is that there are virtually no graphics settings. The biggest problem here is that you cannot disable vsync from within the game. This is annoying because the game sometimes uses some rather extreme blur effects when drifting or using nitro, which causes the framerate to suddenly drop to half the speed, making it hard to keep control of your car. Ofcourse, I could force vsync off with a driver override… but why isn’t it in the game in the first place? Why aren’t there more settings to tweak anyway? Then perhaps I can just tone down the blur a little.

What’s more, there’s no AA setting in the game either! And that’s pretty annoying, since the aliasing sometimes makes it quite hard to see whether traffic is oncoming or not. A white or silver car in the distance may look a lot like the headlights of an oncoming car. With AA I’m sure that would be easier to see. In this case, forcing it in the driver doesn’t even work. The game is a DX9-only game, and probably uses deferred rendering. This means that forcing AA will not produce the required effect. DX9 has automatic multisample resolution, which means the extra samples will be lost directly after rendering a pass. So the final deferred shading pass will not have any AA data. You need DX10.1’s multisample readback feature for this. Some DX9 titles have a custom solution for that, but this game doesn’t. Hence no AA at all.

But the biggest disappointment of all is that there is no manual shifting! I can’t believe this! Why did they only have automatic shifting? This is a racing game! I *always* play NFS with manual shifting, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Manual shifting is an extra means of controlling your car and driving faster lap times. Or at least, it was in the old NFS games.

And last but not least, they’ve made some parts of the game just too hard. Some of the time trials require almost superhuman abilities to get a gold medal. Especially the gauntlet events are really annoying, because you need to drive a superhuman time on the track AND shake off the annoying cops at the same time. The AI in this game is really annoying. You can never really shake cops because there’s ‘rubberbanding’, they can always catch up, no matter what happens. And they can always turn up EXACTLY in the right place, so they can give you just a little nudge right before you wanted to enter a shortcut… a shortcut you *NEED* in order to drive the superhuman times required for gold medals. The result is that the game isn’t really a fun experience anymore. It is extremely stressful. It also isn’t so much a matter of skill anymore, but more about luck. You just have to get lucky enough that the traffic allows you to drive a fast time, while at the same time the cops make mistakes in the right places so they don’t slow you down too much. I simply don’t enjoy playing the game. The reason why I kept playing it is more because I wanted to prove that I can beat the game. But I won’t be replaying a lot of the events once I get a gold medal, because they simply weren’t any fun. Much unlike earlier NFS games, which I would play over and over again.

Crysis 2

On to the next game then: Crysis 2. I really enjoyed the original Crysis and Crysis: Warhead. They had groundbreaking visuals and very nice physics, and the nanosuit also made the game fun to play. You could finish a level in various different ways. You could use stealth, or just bust into there and hit-and-run… you could use vehicles, mounted guns, grenades etc… Just nice to play it over and over again.

So I was excited about Crysis 2. Some people were afraid that it would be a console port, now that CryTek was going to support Xbox 360 and PS3 as well. I was convinced that this was not the case, since CryEngine 3 was an evolutionary step from CryEngine 2. CryEngine 2 was already very scalable, and could scale down to console-like hardware. CryEngine 3 would just add the actual support for this hardware, but there would be no reason to remove the extra features from CryEngine 2 in the PC version of CryEngine 3. Since both CryTek and nVidia also repeatedly stated that it would support DirectX 11, this appeared to be confirmation of this.

Well, it was, but it wasn’t. When I downloaded and installed the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo, it was only 32-bit, and only DX9. And again, the release of Crysis 2 was only 32-bit and only DX9. DirectX 11 is supposed to be added later in a patch. But the game I got on release day was little more than a console port. The graphics settings are also very minimal, where the original Crysis had very nicely tweakable quality settings, making the game one of the most scalable of all time (DX11 and advanced graphics settings will be patched today…).

While it’s a huge disappointment that the game is only 32-bit and DX9, where the original was 64-bit and DX10 more than 3 years ago, this in itself was something I could live with. After all, the game looks great, even in DX9 mode. And it runs smoothly at maximum detail in 1080p, even in 32-bit. So I wouldn’t be too bothered by that, I could enjoy the game until the DX11 came out.

But there are other issues here. The game doesn’t feel like the original Crysis in various ways. Where the original had lots of destructible objects in the game (trees, huts etc), and a lot of beautifully animated scenery (the jungle scenes were nothing short of amazing), this game feels a lot more ‘static’ than the original. Much more like Source-based games or Unreal Engine 3-based games. This makes Crysis 2 lose one of the biggest charms in the game, in my opinion. This was probably done to make the game perform better on consoles, but it’s a shame that the PC version has to suffer from this. Originally I thought this would not be the case, but now that I’ve seen the DX9 version of the game, I doubt that the DX11 patch will add more physics, destructible objects and generally more dynamic scenery. Right now I think it will mainly be a tickbox feature. It may improve graphics and performance a bit as well, but probably not even as much as the DX10 mode in the original version.

Another thing that’s very annoying is that you cannot save the game at any point anymore, like you could in the original. You only have simple checkpoints now. Probably another choice made in favour of the console versions. And probably another thing that will not be fixed with a patch for the PC version. In the past there were games that had checkpoints on the console, but arbitrary load/save in the PC version. One of the reasons why I enjoyed playing on the PC more: I don’t like having to replay an entire level time and time again, just to get to the difficult part at the end. I just want to save it right before the difficult part, so I don’t have to replay the more trivial parts all the time, because that just bores me.

Lots of bugs

And then there’s the overall quality of the code of these two games. Both NFS:HP and Crysis 2 have crashed to the desktop quite often. Crysis 2 even gave me a BSOD on a few occasions. I know my system is not unstable, because I’ve played many other games for hours on end, without any problem, including the original Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, which probably stress my PC harder than Crysis 2. I’ve also tried Crysis 2 under Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Vista Home Premium x64, and XP professional. All with the same result: crashing to desktop after a while. So I doubt that it is a problem with my installation, when it happens in three different OS installations on the same machine, and only with this game, where lots of other games have no problems in any of them.

When I looked around a bit, it seems that there are a lot of people having tons of problems with Crysis 2. The multiplayer is also quite bug-ridden. I haven’t even played it myself yet, because I never managed to actually join a game, the few times I tried. After seeing these forum threads, I’m not surprised anymore.

To conclude

Well, I hope these games are just an exception to the rule, and that PC games will get back to the way things were… Being allowed to skip any nonsense loading screens (including the annoying ads at the start… yes I already have an Intel CPU and I have an nVidia videocard, do I really need to see the ads?), being able to save the game at any point, being able to tweak the graphics settings so that the game will run as best as possible on your configuration, and generally having better visuals and effects than those outdated consoles. But if not, I don’t think I would ever buy a console. I’m not of the ‘console generation’. Well, technically I am, because my first computer gaming experience was on an Atari 2600… But then came the big console bust, and we moved to home computers. I consider myself of the ‘home computer generation’, and as PCs have replaced home computers in the early 90s, I use a PC for gaming these days. I don’t think a separate device for gaming is very practical. I’m used to the type of games you get on PC now. I’ll probably just give up gaming if they turn into nothing but console ports. Poor, unstable, console ports.

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20 Responses to What is happening to PC games?

  1. Bonzai says:

    Crysis 2 is probably the biggest back-step in gaming history. For a developer who made the absolute game benchmark has now come off with a game that is shallow, single pathway, linear, and sub-par graphics/textures as the new predecessor. I’m actually kinda pissed but I realized that when this game went console as well, everything they said was a bunch of smoke and lights.

    I think Crytek has issues with the PC standard as they seem to blame piracy alot back when Crysis 1 came out. Due to piracy, they snubbed PC gamers for something that, in my humble opinion, was not intentionally their fault. Piracy is everywhere including Xbox 360 and PS3 yet they seem to carry a stick agains’t the PC. Very odd. At least in my opinion.

    But after playing it, beating it, I was still pissed. It had very little connections to the original. I wanted Psycho and Nomad there. At least Psycho, holy crap was there a lack of interesting characters. And I ran into alot of bugs (This is typical but some of this was stupid: AI being retarded, Shadow Mapping bugs, clipping, etc) but it is probably the prettiest looking DX9 game I’ve seen in quite sometime. Too bad the freedom is out the fucking door. And lets talk about the vehicle control, yeah….. what the fuck.

    Anyhow, I visit here at times, I dig your blogs so I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents. Crysis 2 gets the sold-out award 😐 . And I don’t see a DX11 patch coming. Ever. To be perfectly honest, why would they even release it. I don’t see how it would improve (But I wouldn’t mind being pleasently surprised). Doesn’t matter though, gameplay is abysmal. That’s whats really disappointing.

    • Scali says:

      Yea, Bonzai, you’re right. I didn’t even mention the lack of freedom in the levels, but that’s a major step back from the freedom you had in Far Cry and Crysis. And indeed, the link with the earlier Crysis games was very small, with only Prophet turning up here and there.

      I think the reason why CryTek blamed PC piracy was simple though: they didn’t make any console games. Crysis 2 is their first console title, and now they’ll find out just how much piracy there is on consoles as well. Then again, they now sell the game to three platforms instead of just one, so sales will probably go way up anyway.

      I was a bit disappointed because early CryEngine 3 demos showed things like jungle scenes from the original Crysis running on XBox and PS3. This made me think that Crysis 2 would be a lot more like the original Crysis than this.

      I do think there will be a DX11 patch, probably also 64-bit. The news of a patch being released on the 28th of March turned out to be just a rumour, and was denied by CryTek… However, they did say the patch is coming, we just don’t know when exactly yet. But I agree with you that such a patch will not do too much for the game. They won’t give us completely new maps, so the freedom from the original Crysis won’t be restored with such a patch. They also won’t change the AI or vehicle control dramatically. I just hope that they can make the game more stable, and it’d be nice if it could also look even prettier than it does already, if they use DX11. One of the major improvements in DX10 mode for the original Crysis was the shadowing quality. A DX11 patch for Crysis 2 could do the same.

      On another note, just days after I posted this blog, a patch for NFS:HP was released, to address the stability issues. I haven’t had the game crash to the desktop since, so that is at least one less thing to get annoyed by.

    • Scali says:

      Well, there is now an official announcement on the Mycrisis forums that the DX11 patch is indeed on the way: http://www.mycrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=22276
      It will probably be around 2-3 months until it is finished though.

  2. Bonzai says:

    I just thought of another PC game that just came out. This isn’t so much about “gameplay” but how it’s programmed for video cards, per se. Dragon’s Age 2. Apparently this game has a complete loving for AMD video cards yet NVIDIA’s flagship cards are performing terribly. They have increased performance now with newer drivers but still not to the same potential that the 6970 can do vs a 580 gtx.

    Then I read somewhere that it was a game that belongs in the TWIMTBP program but in AMD’s version. Not sure how accurate that is, but it is pretty interesting that the 580 gtx, a video card that outperforms the 6970 on many games got hampered over a big game like DA2. Not sure if it was NVIDIA not communicating properly with BioWare or if it was a crap port as Xbox360 uses AMD rendering. Either case, games like this need to stop. Developers need to design for both video card companies. Ah well, I wish there were more PC themed games these days. Crossing fingers on Battlefield 3.

    • Scali says:

      Well, I say they should design for *neither* video card company. DirectX (or OpenGL for that matter) is a standard. It’s an abstraction of the hardware. You should basically just design your game for the ‘virtual DirectX videocard’, not for a specific brand or model of videocard.

      There are occasions where one brand is not as good as another at a certain feature as the other (such as tessellation now in DX11, or SM2.0 way back in the GeForce FX era), but that is generally nothing that can’t be solved with some detail settings, which you need to have anyway, for the different levels of performance of videocards in various price ranges.
      Once a new generation of videocards comes out, where the brand fixes their weakness, they can run these standard games at full detail as well. Problem solved.

      However, it would be a bit strange if Dragon Age 2 doesn’t run very well on nVidia cards, since nVidia’s current architecture has no apparent weaknesses in any standard DirectX functionality. On the contrary, it’s AMD that has some weaknesses (tessellation, DirectCompute), making nVidia outperform AMD in these cases. I don’t think an XBox360-port would even have an influence on it, since an XBox is mostly just a DX9-class machine. The main extra feature it has is tessellation, but it’s nowhere near as good as what nVidia’s current generation has.

      So I wonder what’s going on with Dragon Age 2. It could just be some unfortunate driver bugs… Or it could be some kind of nVidia weakness that somehow no other game or benchmark has been able to uncover yet. I think that’s highly unlikely though. Or perhaps it’s just a case of a lame DX9 game where AMD has added extra DX10+ features via driver extensions, but nVidia only runs vanilla DX9 code (more or less the opposite of what happened in Batman:AA where nVidia added custom AA code for their hardware, and AMD did not).

      • Bonzai says:

        Ultimately, I think what I was implying was that a game should be programmed in just the DirectX with nothing fancy (Though, I do like PhysX hehehe). But yes, what you said.

        I honestly do not know what is going on with Dragon’s Age 2 when it comes to the performance gap, but it definetly seems like some type of extension. Tesselation is quite weak in the 6000 series, I’ve seen that myself. But I can’t tell yah what is causing such a difference. All that seems to make sense to me is that it was purposely done (Drama) or Nvidia was not given proper time to work with the developer for optimizations. That is my understanding of some developers with major graphic card makers.

        Ah well, I still like the 580 GTX over ATI’s. I was super burned by the Grey Screen of death bug with Cypress.

      • Scali says:

        Yea, I don’t mind PhysX myself. There is no vendor-agnostic standard for it, so there’s not much of a choice there. As long as the games remain playable without a PhysX-capable GPU (with lower-detailed CPU effects), I don’t see a problem with it.

        I will say though, if a game is just written with standard DirectX code, then there should be no need for optimizations anyway. Any game-specific optimizations are suspect. DirectX is a standard, it shouldn’t matter what game is using it, things should always go as fast as possible. Most games perform pretty much the same operations, so why would every new game require optimizations to run well, even though we’ve had DirectX games for years, and drivers have received optimizations for years?
        Likewise, these game developers are probably not writing shaders for the first time, so they probably have optimized them quite well already, and don’t really need AMD’s or nVidia’s help with that.

        Sure, there may be some game-specific tweaks, but they should not make a huge difference in performance in general, since the basis was already quite optimized to begin with. With tweaks that make a significant performance difference, there are generally two options:
        1) The game ran into some kind of corner-case where a problem in the driver hampered performance.
        2) The driver does some game-specific shader replacement, texture downgrading or other tricks to improve performance at the cost of image quality (however subtle it may be to the naked eye).

  3. DA2performance says:

    The DA2 performance problems are related to the Conservative Depth Output. This is an optimization for the Depth Output. An early depth test run before the fragment shader so that the shader evaluation can be skipped if the fragment ends up being discarded. Only the HD Radeon cards support this feature, so on the GeForce you need to use SV_Depth. The result is identical, but you gaining speed with the Conservative Depth Output.

  4. DA2performance says:

    Bonzai: No real problem with the Radeons tessellation engine. I think most people misunderstood tessellation. You don’t able to do micropoligon render with today’s GPU. Rasterizing small triangles on a quad pixel pipeline is inefficient. We need to improve this first, otherwise we loose plenty of performance. Maybe DX12 solve this problem, I don’t know.

    For the partner programs. It’s not surprising that this game is Gaming Evolved related. The TWIMTBP program is not just for GeForce, but for Tegra. Most of the programmers are working on Tegra titles. This is the main reason that NVIDIA only have four DX11 titles, when AMD have twelve.
    For the future NVIDIA have Crysis 2 in the partner program, but AMD working on DiRT3, Deus Ex: HR, STALKER 2, Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Mass Effect 3. These are all DX11 game. Otherwise NVIDIA have plenty of Tegra 2 titles. this is just a segmentation of the markets. NVIDIA realize that they don’t have a PC platform so they only able to get the third place. But in the future they will have a Windows 8 platform with the Maxwell architecture, which is a CPU+GPU combination.

    • Scali says:

      That’s not true at all. There IS a problem with the Radeon’s tessellation engine. I have already covered this in-depth in previous blogs, such as here:
      AMD tries to do more damage-control for tessellation
      AMD/Richard Huddy need to lie about tessellation
      Proof of what I said in my previous blog, from an unexpected place

      These blogs contain enough information to prove that the small polygon problem is nonsense (AMD PR’s damage control), since the Radeon’s rasterizer is actually slightly MORE efficient at small polygons than the GeForce. The problem is that the Radeons have a single tessellator rather than a parallel one, which is a bottleneck that starves the rasterizer when large tessellation factors are used. THAT is what is inefficient on the Radeons. And no, DX12 won’t solve that. It’s a hardware deficiency, not an API limitation. AMD needs to redesign the tessellator.

      The main reason why nVidia has very few DX11 titles is much simpler than you think: nVidia was almost a year later to DX11 support than AMD was.

  5. DA2performance says:

    Whats the problem with the driver based control? It’s just a simple technique to make playable games with tessellation with the cheaper Radeons. I think NVIDIA need this kind of solution too, because most people only buy lower end card.

    The real problem is not the tessellation engine. Just watch Heaven benchmark (it’s not a game I know, but maybe representative). With extreme tessellation in Full HD 4xAA, you cannot get decent (45-60 fps) frame rate near around the dragon with one GPU. The small polygon problem is real, and the GPU-s quad pixel pipeline is inefficient in these situations.
    Well, yes you can do parallel tessellation with more then 16/32 engines, but you can only do efficient rasterization with single pixel pipeline. Todays GPU-s only use quad pixel rasterization. We need to solve this limitation first, and than we can think micropoligons.

    API can do some serious tricks for efficient rasterization. Just read this:

    • Scali says:

      The problem with driver based control is that it is a hack. The control should be in the game, not in the driver. Aside from that, AMD’s approach to the control is suboptimal. They should have a scale factor as well as a hard limit, for much better control, scaling and quality.

      And the real problem IS the tessellation engine. Haven’t you read what I’ve been saying? The rasterization inefficiencies are nearly the same on AMD and nVidia hardware, with AMD actually being slightly MORE efficient. This is a simple fact, that has been demonstrated by Beyond3D’s benchmarking.

      Since nVidia still is MUCH faster at heavy tessellation, apparently the problems that AMD has are not related to rasterization. While these problems exist, AMD’s hardware bottlenecks before the rasterizer can get saturated with small polygons, because the polygons are simply not fed to the rasterizer quickly enough. The whole rasterization thing is a red herring anyway, as I also explained in my blogs over and over again. Namely, AMD’s tessellator gets bottlenecked regardless of the actual size of the polygons. If you take a single large polygon and tessellate that to a high degree, AMD performance still drops exponentially, even though the generated polygons can still be dozens of pixels large, well above the danger zone for the rasterizer.
      This isn’t even about micropolygons! You still don’t get that? Read man, and think!

      As for that paper… I hope you understand that these API changes also require hardware changes. And the bottleneck of the tessellator is still there. You’re looking at it from the wrong side.

      • DA2performance says:

        Yes it should be in the game, but no such control in the programs. So if you want good support you need a driver based approach.

        Yes it’s nearly the same on AMD and nVidia hardware, but thats too low. Even if AMD more effencient in here … you loose too much. This is one of the main reason why there are no heavy tessellation in todays games.
        Even with HAWX 2 the Radeons tessellator works great.
        These tests are prove that. I don’t see the problem. All cards scaling identical with tessellation on/off.

      • Scali says:

        The main reasons why there’s no heavy tessellation in games today are:
        1) It’s a relatively new feature, and proper use of the feature requires the entire content pipeline to be aimed at using tessellation. Most games with tessellation are actually DX9/console-based games, with some TruForm-like tessellation bolted on, rather than games that have been designed with tessellation in mind (where Unigine Heaven and nVidia’s Endless City are good examples of the latter).
        2) The first DX11 cards were very poor at tessellation. It wasn’t until the release of the GTX480 many months later, that heavy tessellation became a workable option.

        Also, I don’t see why you say the Radeons are doing well in HAWX 2. Look at the 5970 for example. Without tessellation, it is faster than a GTX480, and about equal to the GTX580. Turn tessellation on, and not only is it now slower than the GTX480, but it is even slower than the GTX570! So by turning on tessellation, the price/performance and performance/watt of the 5970 are destroyed completely, and it is beaten by a single-GPU card, which isn’t even the fastest and most expensive of the range.
        And that is a ‘light’ tessellation game. Things get much worse when heavier tessellation is used. Even GTX560 or GTX460 cards will surpass AMD’s high-end models.

  6. Bonzai says:

    @.@ are how my eyes feel right now. But just to put a few words in… the DA2 performance has caused a big huff within hardcore gamers. Apparently the story goes that the DX11 engine is somewhat “broken” and that this has been gone on the record from the developer themselves. Not sure what they mean by that though. If the DX11 engine in DA2 is broken, why is it performing so well on ATI than Nvidia.

    According to sites like HardOCP, whom I might add are going rather Anti-Nvidia lately with some of their articles with snide remarks (This is probably due to Nvidia pricing, which honestly is a bit steep vs ATI) ATI is the way to go for games right now. They base the fact alone on DA2 with some other games. The biggest hornet’s nest kick is the article they just did when you take a 6990 + 6970 crossfire vs 580 gtx sli. http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/11/amd_radeon_69906970_crossfirex_trifire_review It’s interesting, not very fair on a gpu vs gpu level but it is entirely about price. Spending $1000 (More or less).

    I certainly believe there is a driver/developer screw up for DA2, it is quite obvious. The hardware on the 580 GTX is pretty decent, impressive. The 6970 is as well decent but with faults. For me, I hate ATI drivers. LOATH. TO. DEATH. I was burned by the 5870 and it’s stupid Grey screen of death, I vowed not to go back for sometime. That plus the drivers just pissed me off. I hated how the drivers always changed something when a previous driver several designs back got it right. They have the WORST software team ever. Maybe that will change now with the Catalyst guy gone but I never had a good experience with those drivers. Grrr.

    I like Nvidia’s. Pretty simple, works, no issues on setting up things. Usually pretty stable.

    Anyhow, pretty sure Nvidia isn’t entirely focusing just on Tegra/CPU. I know it is in their interest but with Tegra 2 flopping (From some standpoints), they are probably making sure Tegra 3 will not be a screwup. Battlefield 3 will be a big interest to Nvidia just the same (Both parties seem to have their eyes on it) among other games. Let’s not talk about Crysis 2. That game is terribad. But I do hope Nvidia takes DA2 as a lesson to make sure it keeps in touch with the Developers to make sure things run right.

  7. Bonzai says:

    I need to go to sleep. Just a quick add to what Mr Performance added. The thing is with those benchmark numbers, thats a 50 fps difference between the 580 gtx and the 6970 in Tesselation. I mean, that is rather big.

    To add again on HardOCP, that site was also very pro Nvidia recently (I remember quotes from that Kyle dude that Nvidia hardware brought a more smoother experience than before etcetc) then the DA2 came out. Well, either way, prices do need to come down I think. Just a bit. I like my 580 GTXs, don’t regret it. But man I didn’t even think about doing 6990 + 6970. Ha! (Still, screw those drivers bleh)

  8. DA2performance says:

    I think Scali you’re livin in a dreamworld. You will won’t see heavy tessellation in games. As I pointed out in Heaven with extreme tessellation in Full HD 4xAA, you cannot get decent (45-60 fps) frame rate near around the dragon with one GPU … even with one high-end card. This is what I’m talking about. No one will force this kind of system requirement.

    • Scali says:

      Oh dear… there comes the ‘force’ argument again. Nobody has to force anything! The beauty of tessellation is that it’s very easy to control and limit the amount of detail. Heaven is a fine example of that. The benchmark can run at various different tessellation settings. This doesn’t require any changes to the content at all, you just specify a tessellation range for the tessellation shaders. It is trivial for any game with tessellation to implement this.
      Therefore there is absolutely no reason not to have high/extreme tessellation settings in games, even if that means that only certain high-end nVidia cards can run them at this time. Lower-end nVidia cards or AMD cards will just run with lower tessellation settings.
      After all, it is a standard DX11 feature, so any future hardware from nVidia and AMD will run it as well. Once faster hardware becomes available, more people can enjoy the higher tessellation settings. It’s always been that way with PC games… Crysis being the most extreme example of this: the game included pretty much all the DX10 eyecandy you can think of. When it was released, only nVidia had DX10 hardware out in the first place, and only the most high-end setups were capable of running it at high detail. But today, many people with DX10+ hardware from both nVidia and AMD can enjoy the game at higher detail settings.

  9. I do agree with the author of this article about NFS: Hot Pursuit. Game is extremely hard and instead of enjoy you get stressed. And about those cutscenes which we see in some modern games nowdays and which they can not be skipped… It’s very frustrating when you want to play, but instead it, you’re forced to see tons of those stupid cutscenes…

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