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Hawaii Beach

PC Report: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

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PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. For an up to date account of Wildlands fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

 

Developed and published by Ubisoft. The game was released on March 7, 2017.

System Requirements

Minimum

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S @ 2.5GHz or AMD FX-4320 @ 4GHz
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • HDD: 50 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 270X (2 GB of VRAM)
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)

Recommended

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.5GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 390

Editor's System

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR3 1600MHz (Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9)
  • SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC
  • OS: Windows 10 (Version 1607) (64-Bit)
The minimum system requirements are really minimum and may not be enough to feed you 60 fps at 1080p. Neither is there many graphics cards that will operate with stable 60 fps in the Very High preset. Some settings will generally not make a difference with the look of the game.

 

Wildlands Video

Wildlands Graphics

 

This game is very GPU intensive, Nvidia released game-ready drivers for the game yesterday which should help performance - but doesn't really help with performance. Feels like the game isn't optimized correctly, as it can't handle the medium preset settings without going under 60 FPS constantly. Just having the game minimized in the menu takes ~60% of my CPU power.

 

The benchmarks are based on the Low and Medium preset to save as much GPU power as possible.

 

Wildlands Texture Quality Analysis

 

Preset

The game has five presets, from Low to Ultra. Ultra uses about 4.5 GB of ram and ~5 GB of VRAM which will require a very high system for stable framerates.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands Preset Analysis

 

Field of View

Slider that goes from 0% to 100%, and doesn't seem to affect performance.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Ambient Occlusion

The game has support for either SSBC or HBAO . I keep it disabled for that extra bit of performance and don't feel a difference anyways.

Wildlands Ambient Occlusion Analysis

 

Draw Distance

Allows for detailed textures in longer distances.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands Draw Distance Analysis

 

Shadow Quality

The shadows look well in this game but have a heavy cost in performance. Starting with the High setting, the game will use noticeably more RAM.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands Shadow Quality Analysis

 

Vegetation Quality

Increases the draw distance for vegetation, and improves details to existing textures.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands Vegetation Quality Analysis

 

Resolution Scale

Resolution scaling can be used to refine edges and enhance textures beyond Ultra settings.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands Resolution Scale Analysis

 

Anti-Aliasing

Strangly the game only supports FXAA and TAA - but For Honor (which is developed with the same game engine) also has support for SMAA. Possible that the developers forgot to add it, and may come in a future patch.

Wildlands Anti Aliasing Analysis

Seen in the image below, FXAA is the best choice but because how it works it will make the game appear more blurry.

Wildlands AA

 

Bloom

I get distracted by the bloom in this game and it often makes you unable to see outside as bloom acts like a blur.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Reflections

Reflections in this game aren't bad at all compared to e.g. Battlefield 3. They are not distracting and can easily be disabled if you wish to, and shouldn't cause a performance hit.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Anisotropic Filtering

Disabled in some of the presets as default and should be turned to 16 samples to achive the best texture fidelity for a extremly small performance hit.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

The rocks are in higher detail, the road is in higher quality.

Wildlands Anisotropic Filtering Analysis

We're talking a 1 FPS difference in average, seriuosly people turn it to 16 samples!

 

God Ray

Looks good outside, but I find it distracting sometimes as it makes my screen darker so I turn this off.

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

 

 

 

Click on the Image to Move the Slider

 

Wildlands God Ray Analysis

 

Controls

Wildlands Keyboard Mouse

There is no way to remap controller binds at the moment but sticks, bumpers and triggers can be swapped.

Good thing they left acceleration disabled as default, raw input is missing but I don't notice any acceleration issues with the game.

Wildlands Controller

 

Audio

Something that bogs me is that voice chat is enabled by default and uses a poorly implemented Open Mic Sensitivity Mode which tries to detect whenever you're speaking to sort out noise.

You should also change Microphone Volume to your preferred mic gain, because the game sets will set it to 100% which is annoying since not everyone wants to use 100% gain as it picks up a lot noise and will ignore what you set in Windows.

 

Wildlands Audio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:

 

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For Honor has SMAA, not MSAA.

 

Thanks for the spot! Hawaii Beach has now corrected this in the article.

 

Great work on this as a first report.

Yes, corrected. Didn't want to make a comment just a couple of sentences(IMO looks like spam)

 

Thanks Pridit for liking the report!

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Excellent work this. And those comparison shots are much appreciated since they've saved me a lot of time finding some decent settings without losing too much image quality.

 

Thanks, mate :)

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  • Similar Content

    • By Mirh
      All credits to arct, DarthTon and spazzarama
       
      Try master131's Extreme Injector if there is any problem
    • By Hawaii Beach
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S @ 2.5GHz or AMD FX-4320 @ 4GHz
      RAM: 6 GB
      HDD: 50 GB
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 270X (2 GB of VRAM)
      OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-Bit)


      Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.5GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4GHz
      RAM: 8 GB
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 390


      Editor's System
      CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
      RAM: 16 GB DDR3 1600MHz (Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9)
      SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB
      GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC
      OS: Windows 10 (Version 1607) (64-Bit)

      The minimum system requirements are really minimum and may not be enough to feed you 60 fps at 1080p. Neither is there many graphics cards that will operate with stable 60 fps in the Very High preset. Some settings will generally not make a difference with the look of the game.
       




       
      This game is very GPU intensive, Nvidia released game-ready drivers for the game yesterday which should help performance - but doesn't really help with performance. Feels like the game isn't optimized correctly, as it can't handle the medium preset settings without going under 60 FPS constantly. Just having the game minimized in the menu takes ~60% of my CPU power.
       
      The benchmarks are based on the Low and Medium preset to save as much GPU power as possible.
       


       

      Preset
      The game has five presets, from Low to Ultra. Ultra uses about 4.5 GB of ram and ~5 GB of VRAM which will require a very high system for stable framerates.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1248413.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_728435.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       

      Field of View
      Slider that goes from 0% to 100%, and doesn't seem to affect performance.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_840598.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1179744.jpg|864|540|Default FOV|100% Extended FOV[/compimg]
       

      Ambient Occlusion
      The game has support for either SSBC or HBAO+. I keep it disabled for that extra bit of performance and don't feel a difference anyways.


       

      Draw Distance
      Allows for detailed textures in longer distances.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1084227.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_305031.jpg|864|540|Low|Very High[/compimg]
       


       

      Shadow Quality
      The shadows look well in this game but have a heavy cost in performance. Starting with the High setting, the game will use noticeably more RAM.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_575530.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_581767.jpg|864|540|High|Ultra[/compimg]
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_595287.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1752658.jpg|864|540|Medium|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       

      Vegetation Quality
      Increases the draw distance for vegetation, and improves details to existing textures.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_267932.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_56320.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_312422.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_530693.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       

      Resolution Scale
      Resolution scaling can be used to refine edges and enhance textures beyond Ultra settings.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1089983.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_484871.jpg|864|540|x1.0|x2.0[/compimg]
       


       

      Anti-Aliasing
      Strangly the game only supports FXAA and TAA - but For Honor (which is developed with the same game engine) also has support for SMAA. Possible that the developers forgot to add it, and may come in a future patch.


      Seen in the image below, FXAA is the best choice but because how it works it will make the game appear more blurry.


       

      Bloom
      I get distracted by the bloom in this game and it often makes you unable to see outside as bloom acts like a blur.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_316909.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_791666.jpg|864|540|Off|On[/compimg]
       

      Reflections
      Reflections in this game aren't bad at all compared to e.g. Battlefield 3. They are not distracting and can easily be disabled if you wish to, and shouldn't cause a performance hit.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_393299.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_748051.jpg|864|540|Off|On[/compimg]
       

      Anisotropic Filtering
      Disabled in some of the presets as default and should be turned to 16 samples to achive the best texture fidelity for a extremly small performance hit.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_842535.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_994165.jpg|864|540|Off|16 samples[/compimg]
      The rocks are in higher detail, the road is in higher quality.


      We're talking a 1 FPS difference in average, seriuosly people turn it to 16 samples!
       

      God Ray
      Looks good outside, but I find it distracting sometimes as it makes my screen darker so I turn this off.
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_428138.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_497687.jpg|864|540|Off|Enhanced[/compimg]
       
       
       
       

      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1157026.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_114/gallery_2284_114_1438330.jpg|864|540|Off|Enhanced[/compimg]
       


       

      Controls


      There is no way to remap controller binds at the moment but sticks, bumpers and triggers can be swapped.
      Good thing they left acceleration disabled as default, raw input is missing but I don't notice any acceleration issues with the game.


       

      Audio
      Something that bogs me is that voice chat is enabled by default and uses a poorly implemented Open Mic Sensitivity Mode which tries to detect whenever you're speaking to sort out noise.
      You should also change Microphone Volume to your preferred mic gain, because the game sets will set it to 100% which is annoying since not everyone wants to use 100% gain as it picks up a lot noise and will ignore what you set in Windows.
       


       
       
       
       
       
       

      Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed our article and want to us create more articles, more often, please consider donating to
      PCGamingWiki's Patreon campaign:

       




    • By LDK
      PC Reports are a series of quick first impressions regarding the technical aspects of a PC game. This report was written by PCGamingWiki contributor LDK. For an up to date account of Far Cry 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      After not very impressive Watch_Dogs port and almost unplayable Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft is trying its luck for the third time this year with another open world game called Far Cry 4. Is it better then its predecessors? To find out, we are going to look very closely on the performance of each effect, controls, audio and overall quality of the port.
       
      Far Cry 4 was released on November 18, 2014 for Windows and is available through several digital distribution channels.
      System requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz RAM: 4 GB HDD: 30GB (31GB installed, 26GB without localization files) GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, DirectX 11 compatible Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz RAM: 8GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon R9 290X; 2 GB of VRAM The minimum system requirements are rather modest with five years old hardware, quad-core CPUs and mainstream GPUs from that time is needed. Recommended hardware is different story though and developer suggests using current generation quad-core CPUs and high end GPUs with at least 2 gigs of VRAM. 
      All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM. The testing was done in 720p resolution to eliminate stuttering caused by the lack of video memory and streaming problems. Benchmark consisted of one minute running at the top of the bell towers in the game during sunny weather, again to eliminate stuttering during streaming additional data from HDD test run stayed only at one location.
       

      Graphics settings and overall performance


      Graphics and video options in Far Cry 4 are rich and allows to set many different levels for each effect. Display modes are also nicely done and the game supports many resolutions, common aspect ratios and even borderless windowed mode. Unfortunately the game is forcing 16:9 aspect ratio by using letterboxing (black bars) on different aspect ratios. Far Cry 3 didn't have letterboxing and it is shame to use it in this title.
       
      The game unfortunately doesn't support multi-monitor setups very well. There are problems like field of view slider not working, stretching 16:9 aspect ratio, letterboxing and other similar issues. More information about it can be found at Widescreen Gaming Forum.
       
      Additional setting contains field of view slider and few modes of vertical synchronization with option to turn on 30 FPS frame limiter to smooth out performance.
       

      Overall performance and image quality
      The game offers five quality presets - Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra. Ultra preset does not set maximum anti-aliasing but leaves it at post process SMAA instead of MSAA 8x. Although MSAA 8x has massive performance impact so I can understand this reasoning.
       


       
      At low details the game runs very well even on older GPU. Medium preset cost about 10% of performance but it looks much better with added ambient occlusion effect. High preset is rather costly and prepare for losing about 30% of framerate. In this preset ambient occlusion is much stronger, textures are sharper and mountains are much more detailed. Anti-aliasing is also turned on. Very High preset is not very different from High preset. Shadows are in little bit higher resolution and billboards of distant trees are more detailed. Performance drop is about 5% from High preset. Ultra preset is turning on several advanced volumetric and post process effect that has very strong performance impact of 20% from Very High preset and almost 50% from Low preset. Performance scaling in different resolution is rather linear.
       


       
      Here we can see drastic difference between Low and Ultra presets. At Low details the image is very flat without any ambient occlusion effect, textures are blurry due to lack of anisotropic filtering. At Ultra the game comes to life and show beautiful scenery with detailed environment.
       

      The game unfortunately suffers from heavy stuttering during faster movement in game's environment. Developer suggest to install it on SSD but I've went further and created virtual hard drive in system memory and copied all the game's files directly into RAM. But even that didn't leave a dent and game kept stuttering.
       

      After few tries I've managed to completely eliminate stuttering after all. The key was lowering VRAM heavy effects and resolution. Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion turned off, textures kept at medium helped a lot so I suspect the game is not very economic with its graphics memory utilization. I suspect this is due to bad optimization from console code as the current generation of console have unified pool of system and graphics memory that is much larger (4-5GB) then graphics cards today normally have.
       
      After getting rid of stuttering the game performed flawlessly on my system with framerate around 60FPS with few effects turned to moderate settings.
       
      Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra.
       

      Field of view
      We are very happy to see Far Cry 4 featuring field of view slider. Unfortunately the implementations is not consistent and on few instances it can completely break the game. First of all the slider is not working at all in windowed borderless mode and on multi-monitor systems. There are reports, that field of view slider completely disappeared with 1.4.0 patch for some users, but personally I have not encountered that.
       

       
      Then there are annoying issues with this slider. The slider is working nicely when character is running in the game, but any other activity is on default and very low field of view. Activities like riding in a vehicles, using grappling hook and in a cutscenes.
       
      And then there are game breaking bugs: Conquering bell tower starts cutscene where camera fly though few locations but after that field of view reverts to ridiculously low value about 50 degrees. Messing up with slider does not help, only remedy is getting back to main menu and reload save.
       


       
      Completely opposite story is flying with wing-suit where field of view jumps to ridiculously high value above 150 degrees. With this jump game obviously stutters for a moment as it has to render much more of the scene often resulting in players death. Same thing with mortar aiming where field of view is much, much higher.
       


       
      There is also no indication of what field of view values slider represents but its maximum value seems to me to be just about right for a single large screen. Performance impact is noticeable with about 20% of framerate loss from lowest setting. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max.
       

      Controls
      The game offers nice controls customization even for gamepads although no full button bindings. Keyboard keys are fully customizable though with the exception of Tabulator key which can be fixed. There are few multiple actions on one key scenarios, but I haven't found them problematic. Very nice addition is plenty of toggles for GUI elements.
       




       
      What is problematic though is mouse acceleration. There is a switch and a slider that can turn off mouse acceleration, then there are additional entries in the configuration file but none of these can turn mouse acceleration completely off, only reduce its strength. But at least there is no negative acceleration as it was in Far Cry 3. Additionally the mouse movement felt jumpy and not smooth at all although I got used to if fairly quickly.
       

      Audio
      The audio options menu is very disappointing. There is only one slider for master volume and toggle for turning off music. Surround sound is supported but only up to 5.1, additional channels are ignored. Positional audio is nicely done though and the game otherwise sounds very good, I'm particularly impressed with weapon's sounds as each gun has very distinct and rich sound with slight echo.
       


       

      Performance analysis
      In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Also visit gallery for additional benchmark and screenshots.
       

      Textures
      This setting is little bit complicated as it contains several different effects. I haven't found increase in resolution with higher levels of this options, however there is increase of anisotropic filtering that results in much sharper textures. Another effect bundled in "textures" is parallax mapping that adds very strong 3D relief to the textures. I don't know, why these effects cannot be separated as both have very different performance and memory impact.
       

       
      Performance impact is around 8% up to High level, Very High and Ultra cost 12% and 15%. This setting is very dependent on graphics memory and even if your framerate is high and stable in static scenes, not enough VRAM will cause the game to stutter when camera is turned quickly or character moves fast. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 3 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra.
       


       

      Shadows
      This option sets up shadow resolution and distance of shadows level of detail. There is special level of Soft Shadows that blurs edges of shadows to appear more natural.
       



       
      Performance impact is surprisingly not very high and Soft Shadows are causing only 10% FPS drop. But as with Texture option, this is very memory demanding effect that can cause stuttering. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Soft Shadows.
       

      Terrain
      This sets terrain details. Low and Medium options are almost identical, very strong difference is on High level and Ultra offers very little improvement. Performance impact is very little, up to 3%. Full resolution screenshots Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       



       

      Anti-Aliasing
      The game offers few anti-aliasing methods, three levels od MSAA (up to 8x), SMAA and Nvidia specific TXAA which I was unable to test.
       


       
      MSAA is very performance heavy and surprisingly does not offer very good image quality. MSAA is for some reason creating slight bright outline around some edges that can be noticeable. SMAA on the other hand soften edges very nicely and does not blur textures at all. Additionally SMAA also blurs edges on foliage as these are in a form of transparent texture that is ignored by MSAA. Performance impact is not very strong with SMAA, as it is form of post process filter. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, MSAA2, MSAA4, MSAA8, SMAA.
       


       

      Ambient Occlusion
      Far Cry 4 also offers three methods of ambient occlusion - SSAO, HDAO and Ubisoft brand new SSBC. Ambient occlusion adds subtle shadows around objects and in corners that creates much richer scene. Performance impact is moderate from 5% of SSAO and SSBC to 11% of HDAO . Full resolution screenshots AO Off, SSAO, SSBC, HBAO.
       



       

      Godrays
      This option creates light shafts in a fog and dust. Additionally it tweaks contrast of sky and clouds resulting in very nice dramatic sky. Performance is between 13 to 14%. Personally I prefer option Volumetric Fog instead of Enhanced.
       



       

      Rest of the effects
      Rest of the effects only quickly as they didn't seem to improve image quality dramatically. Post FX and Water quality performance drop is around 5%, but without noticeable visual impact, same with Vegetation and its 2% FPS drop. Geometry affects level of details of further objects and has 11% FPS drop from Low to High and 16% from Low to Ultra. Fur is switching advanced fur on animals with 16% FPS drop, but the effect is noticeable only when animal is very close. Trees Relief should turn on tessellation on trees, but I haven't found any changes. Performance impact is 11%.
       

      Conclusion
      Far Cry 4 is a step in right direction, there are many toggles and sliders for tweaking, the game runs rather well and looks very nice. Unfortunately as with the previous Ubisoft games, Far Cry 4 suffers from premature release and severely lacks polish. There are unnecessary problems with field of view implementation, mouse acceleration, multi-monitor support (or lack of), limited audio option and stuttering. Sad thing is, these problems could have been easilly avoided if the game was in development little bit longer.
       
      Click here to view the article
    • By LDK
      System requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz
      RAM: 4 GB
      HDD: 30GB (31GB installed, 26GB without localization files)
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 5850; 1 GB of VRAM, DirectX 11 compatible


      Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
      RAM: 8GB
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon R9 290X; 2 GB of VRAM

      The minimum system requirements are rather modest with five years old hardware, quad-core CPUs and mainstream GPUs from that time is needed. Recommended hardware is different story though and developer suggests using current generation quad-core CPUs and high end GPUs with at least 2 gigs of VRAM.
       
      All the tests have been done on system with Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.5GHz, 32 GB RAM and HD 6870 with 1GB of VRAM. The testing was done in 720p resolution to eliminate stuttering caused by the lack of video memory and streaming problems. Benchmark consisted of one minute running at the top of the bell towers in the game during sunny weather, again to eliminate stuttering during streaming additional data from HDD test run stayed only at one location.
       

      Graphics settings and overall performance


      Graphics and video options in Far Cry 4 are rich and allows to set many different levels for each effect. Display modes are also nicely done and the game supports many resolutions, common aspect ratios and even borderless windowed mode. Unfortunately the game is forcing 16:9 aspect ratio by using letterboxing (black bars) on different aspect ratios. Far Cry 3 didn't have letterboxing and it is shame to use it in this title.
       
      The game unfortunately doesn't support multi-monitor setups very well. There are problems like field of view slider not working, stretching 16:9 aspect ratio, letterboxing and other similar issues. More information about it can be found at Widescreen Gaming Forum.
       
      Additional setting contains field of view slider and few modes of vertical synchronization with option to turn on 30 FPS frame limiter to smooth out performance.
       

      Overall performance and image quality
      The game offers five quality presets - Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra. Ultra preset does not set maximum anti-aliasing but leaves it at post process SMAA instead of MSAA 8x. Although MSAA 8x has massive performance impact so I can understand this reasoning.
       


       
      At low details the game runs very well even on older GPU. Medium preset cost about 10% of performance but it looks much better with added ambient occlusion effect. High preset is rather costly and prepare for losing about 30% of framerate. In this preset ambient occlusion is much stronger, textures are sharper and mountains are much more detailed. Anti-aliasing is also turned on. Very High preset is not very different from High preset. Shadows are in little bit higher resolution and billboards of distant trees are more detailed. Performance drop is about 5% from High preset. Ultra preset is turning on several advanced volumetric and post process effect that has very strong performance impact of 20% from Very High preset and almost 50% from Low preset. Performance scaling in different resolution is rather linear.
       


       
      Here we can see drastic difference between Low and Ultra presets. At Low details the image is very flat without any ambient occlusion effect, textures are blurry due to lack of anisotropic filtering. At Ultra the game comes to life and show beautiful scenery with detailed environment.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_148349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_147806.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
      The game unfortunately suffers from heavy stuttering during faster movement in game's environment. Developer suggest to install it on SSD but I've went further and created virtual hard drive in system memory and copied all the game's files directly into RAM. But even that didn't leave a dent and game kept stuttering.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_212085.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_160416.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
      After few tries I've managed to completely eliminate stuttering after all. The key was lowering VRAM heavy effects and resolution. Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion turned off, textures kept at medium helped a lot so I suspect the game is not very economic with its graphics memory utilization. I suspect this is due to bad optimization from console code as the current generation of console have unified pool of system and graphics memory that is much larger (4-5GB) then graphics cards today normally have.
       
      After getting rid of stuttering the game performed flawlessly on my system with framerate around 60FPS with few effects turned to moderate settings.
       
      Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra.
       

      Field of view
      We are very happy to see Far Cry 4 featuring field of view slider. Unfortunately the implementations is not consistent and on few instances it can completely break the game. First of all the slider is not working at all in windowed borderless mode and on multi-monitor systems. There are reports, that field of view slider completely disappeared with 1.4.0 patch for some users, but personally I have not encountered that.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_43614.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_51473.jpg|864|540|Field of view slider max|Field of view slider min[/compimg]
       
      Then there are annoying issues with this slider. The slider is working nicely when character is running in the game, but any other activity is on default and very low field of view. Activities like riding in a vehicles, using grappling hook and in a cutscenes.
       
      And then there are game breaking bugs: Conquering bell tower starts cutscene where camera fly though few locations but after that field of view reverts to ridiculously low value about 50 degrees. Messing up with slider does not help, only remedy is getting back to main menu and reload save.
       


       
      Completely opposite story is flying with wing-suit where field of view jumps to ridiculously high value above 150 degrees. With this jump game obviously stutters for a moment as it has to render much more of the scene often resulting in players death. Same thing with mortar aiming where field of view is much, much higher.
       


       
      There is also no indication of what field of view values slider represents but its maximum value seems to me to be just about right for a single large screen. Performance impact is noticeable with about 20% of framerate loss from lowest setting. Full resolution screenshots: FOV on min, FOV on max.
       

      Controls
      The game offers nice controls customization even for gamepads although no full button bindings. Keyboard keys are fully customizable though with the exception of Tabulator key which can be fixed. There are few multiple actions on one key scenarios, but I haven't found them problematic. Very nice addition is plenty of toggles for GUI elements.
       




       
      What is problematic though is mouse acceleration. There is a switch and a slider that can turn off mouse acceleration, then there are additional entries in the configuration file but none of these can turn mouse acceleration completely off, only reduce its strength. But at least there is no negative acceleration as it was in Far Cry 3. Additionally the mouse movement felt jumpy and not smooth at all although I got used to if fairly quickly.
       

      Audio
      The audio options menu is very disappointing. There is only one slider for master volume and toggle for turning off music. Surround sound is supported but only up to 5.1, additional channels are ignored. Positional audio is nicely done though and the game otherwise sounds very good, I'm particularly impressed with weapon's sounds as each gun has very distinct and rich sound with slight echo.
       


       

      Performance analysis
      In this section we are going to look at how each effect impacts framerate and how does each setting looks on screenshots. Be sure to check full resolution uncompressed PNGs linked in each section. Also visit gallery for additional benchmark and screenshots.
       

      Textures
      This setting is little bit complicated as it contains several different effects. I haven't found increase in resolution with higher levels of this options, however there is increase of anisotropic filtering that results in much sharper textures. Another effect bundled in "textures" is parallax mapping that adds very strong 3D relief to the textures. I don't know, why these effects cannot be separated as both have very different performance and memory impact.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_102349.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_182262.jpg|864|540|Textures Low|Textures Ultra[/compimg]
       
      Performance impact is around 8% up to High level, Very High and Ultra cost 12% and 15%. This setting is very dependent on graphics memory and even if your framerate is high and stable in static scenes, not enough VRAM will cause the game to stutter when camera is turned quickly or character moves fast. Full resolution screenshots: Scene 1 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 2 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra; Scene 3 Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra.
       


       

      Shadows
      This option sets up shadow resolution and distance of shadows level of detail. There is special level of Soft Shadows that blurs edges of shadows to appear more natural.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_79475.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_116476.jpg|864|540|Shadows Low|Shadows Ultra[/compimg]


       
      Performance impact is surprisingly not very high and Soft Shadows are causing only 10% FPS drop. But as with Texture option, this is very memory demanding effect that can cause stuttering. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Soft Shadows.
       

      Terrain
      This sets terrain details. Low and Medium options are almost identical, very strong difference is on High level and Ultra offers very little improvement. Performance impact is very little, up to 3%. Full resolution screenshots Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_163806.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_199135.jpg|864|540|Terrain Low|Terrain Ultra[/compimg]


       

      Anti-Aliasing
      The game offers few anti-aliasing methods, three levels od MSAA (up to 8x), SMAA and Nvidia specific TXAA which I was unable to test.
       


       
      MSAA is very performance heavy and surprisingly does not offer very good image quality. MSAA is for some reason creating slight bright outline around some edges that can be noticeable. SMAA on the other hand soften edges very nicely and does not blur textures at all. Additionally SMAA also blurs edges on foliage as these are in a form of transparent texture that is ignored by MSAA. Performance impact is not very strong with SMAA, as it is form of post process filter. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, MSAA2, MSAA4, MSAA8, SMAA.
       


       

      Ambient Occlusion
      Far Cry 4 also offers three methods of ambient occlusion - SSAO, HDAO+ and Ubisoft brand new SSBC. Ambient occlusion adds subtle shadows around objects and in corners that creates much richer scene. Performance impact is moderate from 5% of SSAO and SSBC to 11% of HDAO+. Full resolution screenshots AO Off, SSAO, SSBC, HBAO+.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_48887.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_20978.jpg|864|540|Ambient Occlusion Off|Ambient Occlusion HBAO[/compimg]
       

      Godrays
      This option creates light shafts in a fog and dust. Additionally it tweaks contrast of sky and clouds resulting in very nice dramatic sky. Performance is between 13 to 14%. Personally I prefer option Volumetric Fog instead of Enhanced.
       


      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_100437.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_54/gallery_13_54_45478.jpg|864|540|Godrays off|Volumetric Fog[/compimg]
       

      Rest of the effects
      Rest of the effects only quickly as they didn't seem to improve image quality dramatically. Post FX and Water quality performance drop is around 5%, but without noticeable visual impact, same with Vegetation and its 2% FPS drop. Geometry affects level of details of further objects and has 11% FPS drop from Low to High and 16% from Low to Ultra. Fur is switching advanced fur on animals with 16% FPS drop, but the effect is noticeable only when animal is very close. Trees Relief should turn on tessellation on trees, but I haven't found any changes. Performance impact is 11%.
       

      Conclusion
      Far Cry 4 is a step in right direction, there are many toggles and sliders for tweaking, the game runs rather well and looks very nice. Unfortunately as with the previous Ubisoft games, Far Cry 4 suffers from premature release and severely lacks polish. There are unnecessary problems with field of view implementation, mouse acceleration, multi-monitor support (or lack of), limited audio option and stuttering. Sad thing is, these problems could have been easilly avoided if the game was in development little bit longer.
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