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  1. Port Reports are a new series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Pharnaces. For an up to date account of Total War: Rome II's fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Total War: Rome II, the latest entry in the Total War strategy series by The Creative Assembly, released on September 3rd, 2013. This article will take a quick look at several technical aspects of the game, including its options, controls, and performance. All testing was done on an AMD Radeon HD 7870 XT and an Intel i5-3570K. System requirements Minimum OS: XP/ Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor Memory: 2GB RAM Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card (shader model 3, vertex texture fetch support). DirectX®: 9.0c Hard Drive: 35 GB HD space Additional: Screen Resolution - 1024x768 Recommended OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 Processor: 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 processor (or greater) Memory: 4GB RAM Graphics: 1024 MB DirectX 11 compatible graphics card. DirectX®: 11 Hard Drive: 35 GB HD space Additional: Screen Resolution - 1920x1080 Video settings The Total War series has always had a wonderful number of available options, and Rome 2 is no exception. Detail settings for texture, shadow, water, sky, particle effect, terrain, grass, tree, unit, and building quality are all present in addition to anti-aliasing, texture filtering (trilinear and up to 16 samples of anisotropic), vegetation alpha, unit size (controls scale of armies), depth of field, and 4 versions of the Shader Model. There is also a windowed mode, but no borderless option. A benchmarking tool is provided and can be accessed from the advanced options screen of the video settings menu. This benchmark plays through a cinematic that displays the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This cinematic benchmark is, unfortunately, the only way to benchmark the game with any degree of stability, as changing video settings from either the campaign map or while playing a battle frequently resulted in a blue screen of death, at best, or absolutely nothing before Windows automatically rebooted. While I cannot rule out the possibility that this is caused by an unrelated issue I did find more than one person who had the same issue in the same situation, so I believe that the problem is on Rome 2's end, and not mine. The game comes with 6 different preset graphical options: low, medium, high, very high, ultra, and extreme. None of them look particularly good, but the lowest options do look hideous. On the extreme preset units look fairly detailed, though textures are blurry and unclear, there is plenty of vegetation, and distinct shadows. On the low preset textures are extremely undetailed, ambient occlusion disappears, and shadows disappear. Something interesting about the lower options for unit quality is that after a certain distance units seem to transform from 3D models into 2D sprites. While these are absolutely not pretty this does seem to come with a noticeable performance increase, around 10fps for the army in this image, so players who want to command battles manually on extremely weak computers will most likely want to stay as far zoomed out as they can. Performance in Rome 2 in the benchmark level is, in general, decent. The same can be said about performance in actual battles, though the framerate does tend to drop significantly more during sieges with large numbers of units concentrated on a single spot. Every preset before ultra increases the quality of shadows, water, sky, particles effects, terrain, grass, trees, and units, and these settings all appear to have a fairly minor performance impact by themselves and, when combined, cause a noticeable loss in framerate after the high setting. Unit scale and unit quality appear to be the most demanding settings for battles, so players struggling to maintain their desired framerate should turn them down first after disabling SSAO. Performance on the campaign map is another matter entirely. It performs worse on most presets and even when it doesn't it is still much more inconsistent. Zooming in on a city can cause the framerate to drop into the 20s, scrolling across the map can cause the it to momentarily drop by 10 fps, and textures stream in on areas that you were looking at just a moment before. There is also a funny issue where selecting a unit, which displays their portrait as an ugly, low resolution 3D model causes the framerate to drop by 18fps. This sort of extremely poor optimization plagues every aspect of the campaign map, where the player spends a significant amount of time, and seems somewhat silly, since large scale battles with hundreds of units perform much better. It is worth noting that the highest preset, extreme, does not actually set every setting to its highest. Unlimited memory access, vignette, vegetation alpha, and depth of field are all disabled by default on it. Vignette and depth of field did not have a significant performance impact in the benchmarking level, but vegetation alpha had an absolutely crippling impact on performance in certain areas, with framerate dropping down to 9fps at one point. Unlimited memory access has been rumored to increase performance, but it has not had a significant impact in my experience. Some framerate spikes in the benchmark were lower, some were higher, the average ended up being less than 1fps different. Performance on the campaign map was similar. There is also a setting exclusive to Intel Haswell processors called Direct Resource Access, which, according to its description, increases rendering speed while decreasing processor power. As I have an Ivy Bridge Intel CPU I was not able to test if this trade-off was worth it, but owners of Haswell CPUs may want to experiment. Control settings As an RTS/TBS hybrid Total War: Rome 2 has dozens of keybinds controlling everything from ending the turn to utilizing a single unit's special abilities, and it's great to see that all of these can be rebound from within the control settings. There are spaces for both primary and secondary keybinds, as well as options for camera shake, mouse scrolling, Y-axis inversion, and the standard two camera options that are present in recent Total War games. Game settings Rome 2 has most of the standard Total War settings. Campaign and battle advice frequency can be changed, a battle time limit of 20, 40, or 60 minutes can be imposed, or disabled entirely. Battle difficulty can be adjusted to increase the competence of the AI, and a "realism mode", which restricts camera movement to the player's units' line of sight in available for people who seek a slightly more realistic tactical experience. Tooltip delay, floating unit flag scale, and various UI elements, such as path markers and selection markers, can be found under a separate menu called "battle interface". All settings for R2:TW are located in preferences.script.txt, located in \AppData\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Rome2\scripts. This contains a number of options that are not found in game, such as tesselation, in-game browser and chat window positions, screenshot directory, number of CPU threads to utilize, and more. Audio settings Indepedent volume sliders for speech, sound effects, music, and master volume, as well as independent mute options for each slider, are present. There is an option for lowering audio quality and the game can be forced to use a sound system other than Windows' default, with options for stereo speakers, stereo headphones, and "5.1 discrete". Voice communication options are present, including push-to-talk, microphone gain, and microphone volume. Conclusion Rome 2 is really a mixed bag right now. It's an enjoyable game that's held back by inconsistent performance, strange bugs (after running the benchmark about 20 times the subtitles started displaying off-screen, for instance), weak AI (in one battle some rebels charged right through a line of my troops towards a victory point before stopping right at the edge to turn around an fight), and horrible optimizations. I don't usually pick up Total War games on their launch because they usually have lots of technical issues, and this game is no exception, so if you're looking for a smooth experience it'd be best to wait for several patches. Good Plenty of settings Full key rebinding Benchmark level included Looks nice on the highest settings Unencrypted configuration file with many options BadPoorly optimized Extremely buggy, crashes Windows Mediocre AI No borderless windowed mode Update September 4, 2013: Creative Assembly have announced that a new patch will be released September 6th which may address some of the above issues. Port Reports are a new series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Pharnaces. For an up to date account of Total War: Rome II's fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Click here to view the article
  2. System requirements Minimum OS: XP/ Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core processor / 2.6 GHz Intel Single Core processor Memory: 2GB RAM Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible card (shader model 3, vertex texture fetch support). DirectX®: 9.0c Hard Drive: 35 GB HD space Additional: Screen Resolution - 1024x768 Recommended OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 Processor: 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 processor (or greater) Memory: 4GB RAM Graphics: 1024 MB DirectX 11 compatible graphics card. DirectX®: 11 Hard Drive: 35 GB HD space Additional: Screen Resolution - 1920x1080 Video settings The Total War series has always had a wonderful number of available options, and Rome 2 is no exception. Detail settings for texture, shadow, water, sky, particle effect, terrain, grass, tree, unit, and building quality are all present in addition to anti-aliasing, texture filtering (trilinear and up to 16 samples of anisotropic), vegetation alpha, unit size (controls scale of armies), depth of field, and 4 versions of the Shader Model. There is also a windowed mode, but no borderless option. A benchmarking tool is provided and can be accessed from the advanced options screen of the video settings menu. This benchmark plays through a cinematic that displays the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This cinematic benchmark is, unfortunately, the only way to benchmark the game with any degree of stability, as changing video settings from either the campaign map or while playing a battle frequently resulted in a blue screen of death, at best, or absolutely nothing before Windows automatically rebooted. While I cannot rule out the possibility that this is caused by an unrelated issue I did find more than one person who had the same issue in the same situation, so I believe that the problem is on Rome 2's end, and not mine. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_8821.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_190141.jpg|960|540|Low|Extreme[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_258022.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_895897.jpg|960|540|Low|Extreme[/compimg] The game comes with 6 different preset graphical options: low, medium, high, very high, ultra, and extreme. None of them look particularly good, but the lowest options do look hideous. On the extreme preset units look fairly detailed, though textures are blurry and unclear, there is plenty of vegetation, and distinct shadows. On the low preset textures are extremely undetailed, ambient occlusion disappears, and shadows disappear. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_317877.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_240301.jpg|960|540|Low|Extreme[/compimg] Something interesting about the lower options for unit quality is that after a certain distance units seem to transform from 3D models into 2D sprites. While these are absolutely not pretty this does seem to come with a noticeable performance increase, around 10fps for the army in this image, so players who want to command battles manually on extremely weak computers will most likely want to stay as far zoomed out as they can. Performance in Rome 2 in the benchmark level is, in general, decent. The same can be said about performance in actual battles, though the framerate does tend to drop significantly more during sieges with large numbers of units concentrated on a single spot. Every preset before ultra increases the quality of shadows, water, sky, particles effects, terrain, grass, trees, and units, and these settings all appear to have a fairly minor performance impact by themselves and, when combined, cause a noticeable loss in framerate after the high setting. Unit scale and unit quality appear to be the most demanding settings for battles, so players struggling to maintain their desired framerate should turn them down first after disabling SSAO. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_777098.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_9/med_gallery_1_9_1035862.jpg|960|540|Low|Extreme[/compimg] Performance on the campaign map is another matter entirely. It performs worse on most presets and even when it doesn't it is still much more inconsistent. Zooming in on a city can cause the framerate to drop into the 20s, scrolling across the map can cause the it to momentarily drop by 10+fps, and textures stream in on areas that you were looking at just a moment before. There is also a funny issue where selecting a unit, which displays their portrait as an ugly, low resolution 3D model causes the framerate to drop by 18fps. This sort of extremely poor optimization plagues every aspect of the campaign map, where the player spends a significant amount of time, and seems somewhat silly, since large scale battles with hundreds of units perform much better. It is worth noting that the highest preset, extreme, does not actually set every setting to its highest. Unlimited memory access, vignette, vegetation alpha, and depth of field are all disabled by default on it. Vignette and depth of field did not have a significant performance impact in the benchmarking level, but vegetation alpha had an absolutely crippling impact on performance in certain areas, with framerate dropping down to 9fps at one point. Unlimited memory access has been rumored to increase performance, but it has not had a significant impact in my experience. Some framerate spikes in the benchmark were lower, some were higher, the average ended up being less than 1fps different. Performance on the campaign map was similar. There is also a setting exclusive to Intel Haswell processors called Direct Resource Access, which, according to its description, increases rendering speed while decreasing processor power. As I have an Ivy Bridge Intel CPU I was not able to test if this trade-off was worth it, but owners of Haswell CPUs may want to experiment. Control settings As an RTS/TBS hybrid Total War: Rome 2 has dozens of keybinds controlling everything from ending the turn to utilizing a single unit's special abilities, and it's great to see that all of these can be rebound from within the control settings. There are spaces for both primary and secondary keybinds, as well as options for camera shake, mouse scrolling, Y-axis inversion, and the standard two camera options that are present in recent Total War games. Game settings Rome 2 has most of the standard Total War settings. Campaign and battle advice frequency can be changed, a battle time limit of 20, 40, or 60 minutes can be imposed, or disabled entirely. Battle difficulty can be adjusted to increase the competence of the AI, and a "realism mode", which restricts camera movement to the player's units' line of sight in available for people who seek a slightly more realistic tactical experience. Tooltip delay, floating unit flag scale, and various UI elements, such as path markers and selection markers, can be found under a separate menu called "battle interface". All settings for R2:TW are located in preferences.script.txt, located in \AppData\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Rome2\scripts. This contains a number of options that are not found in game, such as tesselation, in-game browser and chat window positions, screenshot directory, number of CPU threads to utilize, and more. Audio settings Indepedent volume sliders for speech, sound effects, music, and master volume, as well as independent mute options for each slider, are present. There is an option for lowering audio quality and the game can be forced to use a sound system other than Windows' default, with options for stereo speakers, stereo headphones, and "5.1 discrete". Voice communication options are present, including push-to-talk, microphone gain, and microphone volume. Conclusion Rome 2 is really a mixed bag right now. It's an enjoyable game that's held back by inconsistent performance, strange bugs (after running the benchmark about 20 times the subtitles started displaying off-screen, for instance), weak AI (in one battle some rebels charged right through a line of my troops towards a victory point before stopping right at the edge to turn around an fight), and horrible optimizations. I don't usually pick up Total War games on their launch because they usually have lots of technical issues, and this game is no exception, so if you're looking for a smooth experience it'd be best to wait for several patches. Good Plenty of settings Full key rebinding Benchmark level included Looks nice on the highest settings Unencrypted configuration file with many options Bad Poorly optimized Extremely buggy, crashes Windows Mediocre AI No borderless windowed mode Update September 4, 2013: Creative Assembly have announced that a new patch will be released September 6th which may address some of the above issues. Port Reports are a new series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor Pharnaces. For an up to date account of Total War: Rome II's fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
  3. Port Reports are a series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a port, this is very apparent from the moment you arrive on the menu only to be warned about the game using autosave (a fact that you will be reminded about every time you launch the game) and to see the mouse cursor stuttering along across the screen. The issues, unfortunately, do not end there. The game was tested on an Intel i5-3570K and an AMD 7870 XT GPU. System requirements Minimum OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: DirectX9 Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT Hard Drive: 12 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Additional Notes: Incompatible with Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics Recommended: OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit Processor: Quad Core Processor Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Hard Drive: 12 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Graphics settings The Bureau starts off on the right foot, featuring many graphics settings. Settings for vertical sync, field of view (65-100 degrees), max smoothed framerate (30, 60, 120), film grain, and windowed mode (unfortunately no option for borderless) are all available. There is plenty of screen tearing, so vertical sync is an especially nice sight to see, but unfortunately due to massive, random framerate drops it is impossible to use if you want around 60 frames per second. Settings for texture, world, shadow, and effect quality are all available. Post-processing anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, decal persistence, and ambient occlusion are all present as well. Screen space reflections and PhysX are also available, though PhysX is not usable with an AMD GPU and screen space reflections tanks the framerate well into the 30s. Quality Presets There are two major differences between the "high" preset and the "low" preset in The Bureau. First, texture quality, especially on far away objects, is much lower on low. Second, the framerate drops into the 30s, which is made worse by massive amounts of microstuttering. Anyone who wants to play The Bureau should customize their video options and disable screen space reflections if they want a playable experience. Texture detail The texture detail option does just that, adjust texture detail. The lowest setting has blurry, but still decent quality textures, while high offers much clearer higher resolution textures. The high res textures aren't particularly good and there are many blurry textures to be found throughout the world as skybox. Shadow detail The shadow detail options seems to affect the general lighting of the game much more than what shadows are in the game, becoming much darker as the quality is dropped. Shadows become a bit blockier on the low settings, but not significantly more so than they are on the highest settings. The real issue with shadows in TB:XD is the shadow draw distance, it is simply abysmal. As you can see from the comparisons, moving forward just a few feet caused two major shadows to draw in, significantly changing the appearance of part of the image. This is a regular occurance in the game and is incredibly distracting. Anti-aliasing The Bureau uses a standard form of post-processing anti-aliasing to reduce aliasing. This works fairly well and does not appear to blur the image much, if at all, and it is very effective at reducing the amount of aliasing. The performance impact of this setting is negligible. Field of view Field of view whilst aiming Although The Bureau is a fairly bog-standard console port with somewhat limited options it does come with a field of view setting, which is quite rare for a third person game and is definitely appreciated. This setting lets you define a horizontal field of view between 65 and 100. Unfortunately this setting only affects the camera when you are not aiming, so while you can play with a FOV of 100 you will spend a significant amount of time in the aiming FOV, which appears to be around 60. This oversight is just annoying for me, but it may be a deal-breaker for many others. Audio settings The audio settings for TB:XD are fairly standard. There are subtitles, a master volume control, and then three specific volume controls (sound effects, music, and "voice over"). The game lets you easily switch between the available languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, Russian, Italian, and Japanese) from the menu, and that is definitely a nice feature. Control options Some of the default keybinds in The Bureau are absolutely bizarre and hard to reach (O opens the level-up menu, F1 and F2 are quick team movement controls), so it is very nice that the developers included almost full key rebinding. As many reviewers have brought up, though, some functions, such as picking up a new weapon, are *presses*, not holds, and this cannot be easily fixed from within the game. This is much worse when playing with a controller, though, as the keyboard does not share a bind for reloading and interaction. Gameplay settings Fairly standard gameplay options are available. Hints can be turned down, but not off, the camera can have its Y-axis inverted. Vibration can be disabled, and since your controller will vibrate if it is plugged in, regardless of what input method you are using, you may want to disable it. Aim snapping and target following can both be enabled or disabled, which another major 2K game, Bioshock Infinite, forgot to include in its settings. Conclusion Overall The Bureau is as much a mixed quality port as it is a mixed quality game. There is a lot of good to be found in its options, but a few glaring oversights like aiming FOV, shadow draw distance, and the ability to fully disable hints have the potential to hurt the experience gamiing on a PC. Issues with the mouse cursor skipping over the screen and microstuttering do not help, either. However, when compared to most ports The Bureau shines and it's definitely preferable to the incredibly barebones ports that we often see. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified released on Tuesday, August 20th in North America and will release on Friday, August 23rd in the PAL region. Port Reports are a series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article. Click here to view the article
  4. System requirements Minimum OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz Memory: 2 GB RAM Graphics: DirectX9 Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT Hard Drive: 12 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Additional Notes: Incompatible with Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics Recommended: OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit Processor: Quad Core Processor Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Hard Drive: 12 GB available space Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Graphics settings The Bureau starts off on the right foot, featuring many graphics settings. Settings for vertical sync, field of view (65-100 degrees), max smoothed framerate (30, 60, 120), film grain, and windowed mode (unfortunately no option for borderless) are all available. There is plenty of screen tearing, so vertical sync is an especially nice sight to see, but unfortunately due to massive, random framerate drops it is impossible to use if you want around 60 frames per second. Settings for texture, world, shadow, and effect quality are all available. Post-processing anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, decal persistence, and ambient occlusion are all present as well. Screen space reflections and PhysX are also available, though PhysX is not usable with an AMD GPU and screen space reflections tanks the framerate well into the 30s. Quality Presets [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_273895.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_151645.jpg|960|560|Preset: Low|Prest: High[/compimg] There are two major differences between the "high" preset and the "low" preset in The Bureau. First, texture quality, especially on far away objects, is much lower on low. Second, the framerate drops into the 30s, which is made worse by massive amounts of microstuttering. Anyone who wants to play The Bureau should customize their video options and disable screen space reflections if they want a playable experience. Texture detail [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_233554.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_200051.jpg|960|560|Texture detail: Low|Texture detail: High[/compimg] The texture detail option does just that, adjust texture detail. The lowest setting has blurry, but still decent quality textures, while high offers much clearer higher resolution textures. The high res textures aren't particularly good and there are many blurry textures to be found throughout the world as skybox. Shadow detail [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_84874.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_32455.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg] The shadow detail options seems to affect the general lighting of the game much more than what shadows are in the game, becoming much darker as the quality is dropped. Shadows become a bit blockier on the low settings, but not significantly more so than they are on the highest settings. [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_32574.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_430590.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg] [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_277638.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_175623.jpg|960|560|Shadow detail: Low|Shadow detail: High[/compimg] The real issue with shadows in TB:XD is the shadow draw distance, it is simply abysmal. As you can see from the comparisons, moving forward just a few feet caused two major shadows to draw in, significantly changing the appearance of part of the image. This is a regular occurance in the game and is incredibly distracting. Anti-aliasing [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_297576.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_335337.jpg|960|560|Anti-aliasing: Off|Anti-aliasing: On[/compimg] The Bureau uses a standard form of post-processing anti-aliasing to reduce aliasing. This works fairly well and does not appear to blur the image much, if at all, and it is very effective at reducing the amount of aliasing. The performance impact of this setting is negligible. Field of view [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_209547.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_5/med_gallery_1_5_36385.jpg|960|560|Field of view: 60|Field of view: 100[/compimg] Field of view whilst aiming Although The Bureau is a fairly bog-standard console port with somewhat limited options it does come with a field of view setting, which is quite rare for a third person game and is definitely appreciated. This setting lets you define a horizontal field of view between 65 and 100. Unfortunately this setting only affects the camera when you are not aiming, so while you can play with a FOV of 100 you will spend a significant amount of time in the aiming FOV, which appears to be around 60. This oversight is just annoying for me, but it may be a deal-breaker for many others. Audio settings The audio settings for TB:XD are fairly standard. There are subtitles, a master volume control, and then three specific volume controls (sound effects, music, and "voice over"). The game lets you easily switch between the available languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Korean, Russian, Italian, and Japanese) from the menu, and that is definitely a nice feature. Control options Some of the default keybinds in The Bureau are absolutely bizarre and hard to reach (O opens the level-up menu, F1 and F2 are quick team movement controls), so it is very nice that the developers included almost full key rebinding. As many reviewers have brought up, though, some functions, such as picking up a new weapon, are *presses*, not holds, and this cannot be easily fixed from within the game. This is much worse when playing with a controller, though, as the keyboard does not share a bind for reloading and interaction. Gameplay settings Fairly standard gameplay options are available. Hints can be turned down, but not off, the camera can have its Y-axis inverted. Vibration can be disabled, and since your controller will vibrate if it is plugged in, regardless of what input method you are using, you may want to disable it. Aim snapping and target following can both be enabled or disabled, which another major 2K game, Bioshock Infinite, forgot to include in its settings. Conclusion Overall The Bureau is as much a mixed quality port as it is a mixed quality game. There is a lot of good to be found in its options, but a few glaring oversights like aiming FOV, shadow draw distance, and the ability to fully disable hints have the potential to hurt the experience gamiing on a PC. Issues with the mouse cursor skipping over the screen and microstuttering do not help, either. However, when compared to most ports The Bureau shines and it's definitely preferable to the incredibly barebones ports that we often see. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified released on Tuesday, August 20th in North America and will release on Friday, August 23rd in the PAL region. Port Reports are a series of quick first impressions of the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified’s fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
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