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PC Report: Dying Light


Dillonator
  • PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Dillonator. For an up to date account of Dying Light's fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

     

    Dying Light is a game developed by Techland debuting their new Chrome Engine 6. Their previous games include Dead Island and Call of Jaurez, which both franchises had relatively poor PC ports. Without further ado, let's dive in and see if Techland have repented their sins or if bad habits die hard.

    https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/

System requirements

Minimum

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 3.3 GHz / AMD FX-8320 3.5 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 40 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 / AMD Radeonâ„¢ HD 6870 1 GB
  • OS: Win 7 (64-bit), Win 8 (64-bit), Win 8.1 (64-bit)

Recommended

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K, 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 40 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 / AMD Radeon R9 290 2GB

Test machine specifications

  • CPU: AMD FX 8320, 4.2 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce Gigabyte Windforce GTX 970 4GB
  • OS: Win 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Drivers: Nvidia Game Ready 347.25

Video settings

I was very surprised when I initially turned the game up to the highest settings for testing, as there was a lot more aliasing than at lower options. The culprit is view distance, which is actually a LOD slider. You see, at higher settings, the game uses overly complex geometry considering how far away you are. For example, the distant trees and scaffolding under the highway created a lot of aliasing in motion and is unnecessary, so I actually prefer the lower settings for a smoother, simpler scene. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is biggest hit on framerates. At maximum view distance in the scene below, I got an atrocious 18FPS. At minimum I hovered at a stable 35. One thing to note is that zombies aren't affected by this, as you can see in the comparison, the distant zeds are identical. I definitely recommend turning this down regardless. Full resolution screenshots: Min, Ultra.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_79709.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_159474.jpg|800|450|Min|Ultra[/compimg]

 

Texture quality

Texture quality only has two settings, medium and high and it has minimal impact on visual fidelity. If you're having issues running low on VRAM, turning down the textures isn't a horrific fate. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_14267.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_212562.jpg|800|450|Medium|High[/compimg]

 

Anti-aliasing

For anti-aliasing, the only option is a binary on/off. I'd wager with it's low performance impact that it's most likely FXAA. A little disappointing considering Dying Light is DirectX11 only and all DX11 games are capable of more advanced AA methods. Full resolution screenshots: Off, On.

 

DL Aa comp

 

Ambient occlusion

The HBAO+ setting is rather light and subtle, with virtually no impact on performance. In the below scene, I had 72FPS with it on and 72 with it off. Full resolution screenshots: Off, On.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_192231.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_186713.jpg|800|450|Off|On[/compimg]

 

Depth of field

The depth of field is an Nvidia only feature so I'm sure AMD users will be glad to hear that the setting actually makes no difference. It also doesn't affect performance. Full resolution screenshots: Off, On.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_53605.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_105209.jpg|800|450|Off|On[/compimg]

 

Shadow quality

The shadow setting has a major impact on image quality but not framerate. I definitely recommend turning this up to atleast medium, as some scenes do look really great. Full resolution screenshots: Low, High.

 

[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_85292.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_67/gallery_13_67_99829.jpg|800|450|Low|High[/compimg]

 

Controls

Mouse smoothing by default is off and while the sensitivity slider isn't numbered, it has a lot of steps so it isn't difficult to find a sensitivity that you're comfortable with. Leaving the mouse menu sensitivity at default means that the in-game cursor behaves exactly like it would in windows, so I recommend leaving that where it is.

 

Dying Light is the first game from Techland that has an in-game functional FOV slider and its numbered too! This is a very nice surprise, as both Dead Islands and their latest Call of Jaurez required editing a text file with rather unreliable results. The FOV slider goes from 68 degrees to 104 so covers a nice range, however you can get higher (or lower) FOV by using this guide.

 

DyingLight game settings

 

The key bindings in Dying Light are fairly good, with support for side mouse buttons. Every in-game action can be rebinded which is a good start.

 

settings Kb And keybinds

 

Performance analysis

The performance of Dying Light is a very odd case. All settings apart from view distance have very little effect on your framerate. What does matter is your processor's first core.

 

DyingLight CPU usage

 

The picture above is why only view distance effects framerate, it's why GPU intensive settings don't make a difference and it's why framerate drastically varies from person to person. It's such a shame that a modern game running on a brand new iteration of Techland's Chrome Engine still can't get multithreading right, especially in an age where more cores seem to be every chip manufacturer's goal.

 

To illustrate my point, I conducted a few benchmarks. The first one is a comparison between max settings with view distance and it's highest and max settings with view distance at it's minimum. The difference is astounding, almost doubling my minimum FPS and gets the average FPS to a much better ~50.

 

graph view distance

 

To further highlight this single thread bottleneck, I'll show you the difference in performance between max settings with highest view distance and minimum settings with highest view distance.

 

graphs presets

 

As expected, the frame rate is almost exactly the same. The CPU intensive LOD and poor use of multiple cores combine to cause this serious issue.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the game's a fairly well rounded port excluding the multithreading and view distance issues. I can't wholeheartedly recommend Dying Light just yet as the performance issues really are disappointing, but if Techland are able to fix the CPU utilisation in the coming days or weeks, I think this would be a very good purchase.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this report and you would like us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to

PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:

 

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User Feedback

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Depth of Field does make a difference during cutscenes and conversations and actually has a big performance hit. You should have compared the view distances especially after the patch as that's the most performance hitting setting. More framerate graphs would be nice as well

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Some feedback from the /r/pcgaming thread:

  • "I like the idea behind the comparison slider thingies, but the images are far too small to see the difference." - /u/Compizfox
  • "They need to add framerate graphs like Tweak Guides do" - /u/Frizzik
  • "And that modding is stopped by DRM." - /u/Big_Cums

 

Definitely some things we should take into consideration in the future. May want to append this article with a note about the anti-modding DRM, assuming we can confirm that exists.

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I did some digging through the game files and it looks like the game uses SMAA T2X rather than FXAA or TXAA like others have speculated.  It does a very good job in my experience.

 

 

Is it just me or that building in the first screenshot is horrendously.. shiny? Blurry? I wouldn't know how to say

 

If you're talking about the tallest building, that's due to a forced chromatic aberration effect that as of yet, nobody has been able to figure out how to disable.  The color separation near the edges of the screen is quite severe.

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Some feedback from the /r/pcgaming thread:

  • "I like the idea behind the comparison slider thingies, but the images are far too small to see the difference." - /u/Compizfox
  • "They need to add framerate graphs like Tweak Guides do" - /u/Frizzik
  • "And that modding is stopped by DRM." - /u/Big_Cums
Definitely some things we should take into consideration in the future. May want to append this article with a note about the anti-modding DRM, assuming we can confirm that exists.

 

Heh, it wouldn't hurt if there were more pre-release codes, it doesn't help that these reports have to be written in a hurry.

 

Also the whole blog (and even the wiki itself) would need to be redesigned (the wiki has a ton of clutter on it's header, it looks really ugly, for the most part I hid it through my custom css), currently the comparision sliders don't really scale at all depending on what resolution you have anyway. The website should be built from the ground up in order to be a bit more flexible at least.

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Heh, it wouldn't hurt if there were more pre-release codes, it doesn't help that these reports have to be written in a hurry.

 

Also the whole blog (and even the wiki itself) would need to be redesigned (the wiki has a ton of clutter on it's header, it looks really ugly, for the most part I hid it through my custom css), currently the comparision sliders don't really scale at all depending on what resolution you have anyway. The website should be built from the ground up in order to be a bit more flexible at least.

 

1AHuzv6.gif

 

I completely agree, but that's going to be a lot of work. I know what tools we should replace the forum and blog with, but it's the time commitment that's going to be the problem.

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Oh, I just realized that scaling the comparision sliders in order to be a tiny bit bigger wouldn't be such a huge problem on really high resolutions, although they might look rather broken without some partial scaling on lower res screens. I think 900, 1000px would be decent enough, but I don't really have an ultra high res screen to test this on.

 

Although, now I remembered that the blog's content isn't always fully centered, so poop.

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  • "I like the idea behind the comparison slider thingies, but the images are far too small to see the difference." - /u/Compizfox

Well this would be pretty easy to fix by linking to page with only the comparison of non-compressed images. I remember at least Nvidia site does this and because of that they can include more screenshots of setting in comparison e.g. shadows in day and night, instead of just other. 

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Thank you all for the feedback. It would be great to properly improve the presentation of articles as I agree that the screenshots are too small. At the moment it's very time consuming to create articles and screenshots in the current system, and we are limited to choosing display sizes that work on majority of screens. I may go back to our developer of the slider image plugin (who did bespoke work for us) to create a new version that is responsive. Then we can have any size screenshot (even 1080p) and it would scale to any screen size. I'm also open to new suggestions about forum/CMS software - we've invested a lot into IP Board as a blog/forum/community but if there's an option that's better I'm all ears!

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The chromatic aberration effect is truly hideous. I think it might be helpful to start mentioning impurity effects like this (and film grain etc.) in the port report text and whether they can be disabled since some players will consider this to be a deal-breaker (it certainly is for me).

 

I definitely agree with the suggestion to have the screenshot comparison feature available in a large-size mode.

 

Oh, and great work on the report itself.

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