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Port Report: Shadow Warrior

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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 LDK. For an up to date account of Shadow Warriors' fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

 

Shadow Warrior is a reboot of a long forgotten FPS action game of the same name from year 1997. This new version is developed by Flying Wild Hog, and they are aiming to be faithful to its predecessor, bring back old school design with emphasis on fast-paced shooting, lots of enemies, no cover mechanics and many weapons available all the time. This article will look at the technical aspects of the game, mainly performance, options and overall technical quality. You will also find several benchmarks for every performance heavy effect so you know how to set your game to run perfectly. Shadow Warrior is being released on September 26th, 2013 for Windows, and will be available through several digital distribution channels, including Steam and GOG.com.

System requirements

Minimum

  • CPU: 2.4 Ghz Dual Core
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • HDD: 8 GB
  • GPU: Radeon 3870, GeForce 8800 GT or better

Maximum

  • CPU: Core 2 Quad 8200 or Phenom X4 9950
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 8 GB
  • GPU: Radeon 4890, GeForce GTX 460 or better
Testing was done on a system with Core i7 clocked to 4.5 GHz, 32 GB RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 6870 in 1920x1200 resolution. Download size is slightly under 7GB, with the same amount of space occupied on the HDD.

 

Video settings

Shadow Warrior is based on the Road Hog Engine developed by Flying Wild Hog studio. It was used in their previous game, Hard Reset, and it is making a return with some tweaks and new effects. There is no launcher and everything can be set directly from the game without restarting, something that is not very common and developers deserve to be praised. Menu and its content is very similar to the last Road Hog Engine game with the addition of two new effects - ambient occlusion and mirrors, which will be talked about later in more detail.

 

This menu features a lot of settings that will make every PC enthusiast happy. If you feel overwhelmed, feel free to use one of four preset setting: LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH and ULTRA.

 

Video settings

Field of view

Shadow Warrior features a vertical field of view slider with a default value of 65 degrees, going up to 90 degrees. As this is vertical field of view implementation, this range should be enough even for multi-monitor setups. Unfortunately there is no field of view entry in the configuration files, so you can't set it manually. This may be related to the issue that field of view setting is not saved between sessions, so you will have to set it every time you start the game. But this probably will be fixed later, as we had an early copy of the game.

 

 

Performance

The game seemed to me rather well optimized, with some very performance hungry effects. Performance scales properly between each preset, in order to cover most of the different systems. With the LOW preset, you can get even higher FPS if you turn everything completely off, as some effects are just set to LOW.

 

The game is very dependent on graphics card and CPU speed does not matter that much. On my system CPU utilization was around 8% (apart from more common 12-15% that single threaded games usually use), with one main and one secondary thread. GPU utilization was at 95% and more all the time, with the exception of loading screens and menus. VRAM was nearly full (950MB) and for advanced effects (AO, AA) you'll definitely need more than 1GB of VRAM. System memory use was more subtle, with the game taking around 1.5GB of RAM

 

Performance

 

 

Anti-aliasing

The game has three different anti-aliasing solutions (and an option to turn AA completely off, of course). Nowadays very popular blur filter aka FXAA is here as a recommended setting as it has the least performance impact (around 2%) but you will lose some sharpness on the textures. Next is first proper anti aliasing - FSAA 2x. Sacrificing around 30% performance you'll get basic edge smoothing. Last but the best is FSAA 4x that will cost you roughly 50% of performance.

 

AA performance

 

As you can see, performance drop is significant but quality is comparable with FXAA method of anti aliasing. You will sacrifice a little bit of texture quality by choosing FXAA but gain considerable performance boost. See comparison of each method:

 

AA comparison

 

Ambient occlusion

Screen space ambient occlusion is a new feature in Road Hog Engine and, as usual, there is a significant frame rate drop when you enable it. The game offers four setting, going from OFF to ULTRA, but no preset uses OFF so change it manually if you have problems with the frame rate.

Between OFF and LOW there is a considerable drop in performance - around 10%, after that each option will cost you another 2-5% until you get to ULTRA, where you lose another 20-30%. Recommendation is to set it to HIGH, unless you have performance to spare.

 

AO performance

 

Shadows

In the past, shadows were one of the performance killers. This is not the case anymore, and in many current games shadows do not have large impact on the frame rate, and Shadow Warrior is not an exception. You can set shadows to one of three levels - LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH, where each step will mean 1-5% drop in FPS.

 

Shadow performance

 

 

Mirrors

Brand new effect that is rarely seen in current generation of games. It basically creating real time reflections effect in glossy surfaces like a water surface, blood pools and metallic objects. Because game has to render much more of the game scene, performance drop is rather significant - 25-35% and is enabled only in ULTRA preset, unless you set it manually. There is no fine tweaking and you can just turn this effect on or off.

 

I've run into some problems with this effect causing flickering of reflections. It will be probably fixed by developers or in drivers in the future so if you see flickering of water surface, turn Mirrors off and wait for a fix.

 

Mirror performance

 

 

Controls

Shadow Warrior supports game pads and classic mouse and keyboard combo. Mouse does not have acceleration even if you have it set in you OS, you can set its smoothing, sensitivity and inversion though.

 

Tip: see our Mouse acceleration article to learn difference between smoothing and acceleration.

 

Actions on the keyboard can be rebinded to your liking with two keys assigned to one action.

 

Controls

Xbox 360 controller is supported from the get go and you can tweak sensitivities, aim assist, inversion and vibrations. Under layout you will find what action is binded to what button and set left-handed mode for sticks and buttons, triggers layout can be set to reverse. Hot plug is also supported.

 

Controller settings

 

Audio

The game supports auto-detection of speaker configuration from your OS and its result is shown under Audio options. I haven't got any problems with it, the game correctly detected all my speakers and started using them properly. If you encounter problems, you can force stereo mode. Apart from this there are three volume sliders for global, music and voice. Subtitles can be found under Game Settings menu.

 

Audio options

 

Saving

A long lost feature called quick-saving is back! The game lets the player save anywhere they want, even in the middle of combat. There is also checkpoint system that works very well and maps your progress through the game. All saves are accessible via the Load game menu and all saved games are divided by difficulty and chapter to avoid clutter.

 

Conclusion

Shadow Warrior is a fine example of how a PC release should look like. The game features plenty of options for players to fiddle with, field of view slider included, and performance problems can be easily solved by turning some demanding effects down or completely off. I haven't run into serious technical issues and apart from few nuisances the game runs as it should.

 

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 LDK. For an up to date account of Shadow Warriors' fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.

 

Click here to view the article

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Aside from surprisingly low CPU usage... this is exactly what I expected from Flying Wild Hog. Since, I enjoyed playing Hard Reset very much and the biggest problem, I had was with checkpoints - I really can't wait to buy it, when I get some money.

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It's been a long time since I was excited about an upcoming FPS game and Shadow Warrior did not disappoint. I love this game! From a technical point of view the game let me customize everything I wanted without having to edit config files. From gameplay point of view there's finally a game with decent swordplay and the sword action is fast paced. Just what I was waiting for with my 120hz monitor!

 

Pros:

  • Stamina system. Dashes are *very* fast but drain stamina. 
  • Excellent implementation of partial heath regeneration.
  • Swords. Nuff said.
  • Love the banter and cutscenes.
  • Combos are used to channel powers. For example, Right, Right, Hold LMB is used to channel healing. No need to have a gazillion keys assigned to each power or having to cycle through powers. I've never had one get in the way of combat either.
  • Graphics are pretty well optimized. I get 120fps out of combat and about 60-80 in combat on medium settings on my dual 7950. Game feels pretty fluid.

Cons:

  • Exploration doesn't feel right in this game. It's more of a distraction. However, money is needed to upgrade weapons, so in a way you're forced to explore if you want the best upgrades earlier (or at all?). 

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Sholva: I'm aware of differences between horizontal and vertical field of view. In this game range of the slider is wide enough for single-monitor setups, but not enough for user with Eyefinity (which can go up to 150° horizontal field of view) and there is no way to change it yet.

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Sholva: I'm aware of differences between horizontal and vertical field of view. In this game range of the slider is wide enough for single-monitor setups, but not enough for user with Eyefinity (which can go up to 150° horizontal field of view) and there is no way to change it yet.

Are you absolutely sure about that? I don't see any complainants about that on WSGF - http://www.wsgf.org/dr/shadow-warrior/en. From what I read and saw - it seems like the game just expends FOV with multi monitor setups. I may be missing something, since I don't own such monitor setup.

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I am wrong then and I understood vertical field of view implementation rather badly. Thanks for correcting me, I'll rewrite that part.

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Hi guys I don't know if you can help me but... i 'm having this weird problem with the new Shadow Warrior. I can't play in fullscreen! Every time i enter the game in fullscreen, my screen starts to flick. If i activate de v-sync, it get worse... the menu dissapear. My videocard is an AMD Radeon XFX 6870. And the funny thing is that, when i instaled for the first time, i didn't had this problem. I hade updated everything that there is to update. DirectX, Visual C++, Framework. But nothing seems to resolve my problem. Can any of you help me with this? I don't have a clue of what's going on! ;_ (

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GUYS!!!! Nevermind!!! Finally, i found the freaking problem! It was on the catallyst control. I had overited de default 3D config. of the system to always render with 8x in anti-alising! I though that i was doing this to mass effect, but i just found that o had do it to all of the system!!!And this was scrambling the graphics on Shadow Warrior! After i click on the DEFAULT CONFIG button, everything comes back to normal! I am felling like a donkey! HAuhauahuahuahuauah!

 

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The game is pretty well optimized however, ambient occlusion especially on ultra settings is very taxing but other than that the game is awesome and runs as smooth as silk.

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      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_906509.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_177395.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       

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      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_14558.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_106673.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       

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      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_40553.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_66441.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       


       
       

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      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_524249.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_391076.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       
       


       

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      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_1043537.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_1055492.jpg|864|540|Low|Ultra[/compimg]
       
       

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      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_291913.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_788460.jpg|864|540|70 degrees|95 degrees[/compimg]
       
       

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      Click on the Image to Move the Slider


      [compimg]https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_531641.jpg|https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_133/med_gallery_2284_133_1105215.jpg|864|540|70 degrees|95 degrees[/compimg]
       

      Anti-aliasing
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      The comparison below is not shown in the source quality. See the original image as it's easier to spot the difference on each AA level. If you want AA enabled I would recommend SMAA as it provides the best quality and the least performance hit.
       


       
       

      Controls
      There are separate sensitivity sliders for different usages, which is a bonus. Mouse Acceleration is disabled by default, and I have had an smooth experience not experiencing any mouse lag. The key binding is disappointing since you only can assign an action to one key. There is a preview image of the keys assigned, but since I have a Swedish keyboard these binds do not match, neither do the extra letters we have in the language match up, which shows that there could be improvements done.
       


       

      Audio
      The audio settings are underwhelming due to a lack of independant sliders for music, sfx and voice. They are all mixed into one volume slider, except VoIP which has its own separate slider.
       


       
       
       

      Conclusion
      So conclusion time! The draw distance for each level of all the graphical settings should be documented, the current tool tips feels really basic and do not contain enough information, neither are most of the preview images helpful.
       
      I have not suffered from any mouse lag, and mouse acceleration is disabled by default. The key binding can become problematic since you only can bind an action to one key, hopefully the developers can change this behavior.
       
      The graphics settings you will want to invest your performance on are the shadows and the vegetation quality. Both of these control draw distance of the majority of objects, and at least Medium provides a good trade off for performance / quality.
       
      Performance wise, the game is stable. In all my testing the game never crashed. Not even once, neither did I experience any major bugs / glitches, which shows that Ubisoft puts tremendous effort in order to ensure a good experience.
       
      This wont escape the high GPU usage, a GTX 760 will simply not hit 60 FPS on 1080p at Low settings, you will need a medium end system to truly benefit. Despite some of the aforementioned, this is still an incredibly solid addition to the Far Cry series and a PC version trend we would like to see continued, ideally improved!
       
       
       
       
       
       

      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
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz
      RAM: 8 GB
      HDD: 30 GB
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB of VRAM
      OS: Windows 7, 64bit


      Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz or AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz
      RAM: 8 GB
      GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X, 3GB (Nvidia), 4GB (AMD) of VRAM

      The system requirements for Fallout 4 are a little bit on the demanding side. A quad core CPU is a must and the GPUs are from the older mainstream range. Recommended specs are even more demanding with high-end CPUs and GPUs.
       
      All the tests were done on a system with a Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.6GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD R9 390 with 8GB of VRAM, Catalyst 15.11 Beta graphics drivers and version 1.1.30.0.0 of the game. Testing was done at 1920x1200, and because there is no built-in benchmarking tool, a test run consisted of one minute of playing the game in one of the larger cities and included a short fight with a pack of ghouls. This resulted in very consistent frame rate measurements so only two measurements were averaged for each effect.
       

      Graphics settings


       
      Most of the graphics settings have to be set in the launcher. This is rather inconvenient because there are very few graphical options directly in the game. Other that that the launcher offers a fairly standard arsenal of graphical settings and a few presets. The game has also auto detection system that sets options during the first launch of the game. A nice addition are the Windowed and Windowed borderless toggles.
       

      Field of View and wide screen setups
      Field of view is locked in low 80's by default and there is no direct option to change it from the game. Players have to edit configuration files to set a comfortable field of view.
       
      Same applies for ultra-wide and surround resolutions as these are not directly supported. Again, configuration files needs to be edited and even that can hide some of the GUI elements, thus rendering the game unplayable.
       
      For easy configuration file editing and tweaking a special configuration utility can be used.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_63759.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_58722.jpg|864|540|Default FoV|Custom FoV of 110[/compimg]
       

      Overall performance and image quality
      Fallout 4 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. There is only a 3% difference in performance between Low and Medium. High preset has a more significant performance drop of 33% and Ultra costs almost 40% of Low's framerate.
       
      The framerate is limited to 60 FPS by default, unlocking it via editing .ini files will unfortunately cause problems, as the game logic and physics are tied to the framerate. I've experienced severe framerate drops in major cities where the game's framerate seemingly randomly falls from 100+ FPS to sub 30 FPS.
       
      The game also loads very slowly on mechanical hard-drives. The loading times were around 30-40 seconds, after moving the game on SSD loading times dropped significantly to only few seconds.
       
      During my testing I've found only one effect (Shadow Distance) to have significant performance impact on the game. Even the dreaded over-tessellated god-rays effect led only to a 4% drop in FPS. The rest of the effects have negligible or non-existent performance cost so I'm not going to include all the graphs here. Feel free to browse through the measurements though.
       


       
      Visual quality on the Low preset is nothing special, shadows are visibly low resolution and cut not far from camera, vegetation is shown only very close to the player and textures are not very sharp. Medium preset improves shadow resolution and cutoff distance of vegetation. High preset further improves vegetation cutoff distance and increases cutoff for shadows and the scene seems to be less flat. Ultra preset further increases render distance. Overall the game doesn't look particularly impressive visually and the renamed Gamebryo engine very clearly shows its age. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_185184.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_250146.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       

      Texture Quality
      Texture quality controls the texture resolution and can be set in three steps - Medium, High and Ultra. Visual difference between High and Ultra is very small and performance impact wasn't clearly measurable. The textures are not very sharp to begin with so there is definitely room for improvement. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_19291.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_225899.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       

      Shadow Distance
      Shadow Distance setting controls cutoff distance of the shadows and is the most demanding effect in the game. High setting causes almost 30% framerate drop, Ultra costs another 2% on top of that. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       
      [compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_58376.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_81/gallery_13_81_3546.jpg|864|540|Preset Low|Preset Ultra[/compimg]
       



      Anti-aliasing
      The game offers only two anti-aliasing methods and these are only post process filters FXAA and TXAA. Both have major visual impact and horribly blurs the whole scene, vegetation lose its definition, broken lines are kept broken, textures are slightly blurred as well. At least these effects has only 3% performance impact. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, TXAA.
       



      Controls
      The game doesn't offer very large controls options. Mouse sensitivity can be set and the keys can be remapped but there are major problems with controls in Fallout 4. First of all there are multiple actions on one key that doesn't make sense and will cause trouble. Melee attack shares button with a Throw grenade function for example. There is also a system of favorites weapons and items, but slots are locked to the number keys and cannot be remapped. Scroll wheel also cannot be remapped (to navigating favorites for example) and controls camera distance which I find fairly useless.
       
      There is a mouse acceleration turned on by default and can be turned off only by editing an .ini files.
       
      Pip-Boy and GUI navigation is nothing short of a disaster. I was expecting it to be bad as horrible controls are Bethesda's trademark but this is a whole new level of awful. Nothing is consistent after more that 20 hours of playing I still have to think really hard about what key is doing what in the menus. For example, exiting or going back a menu is sometimes Tab, sometimes it's E and sometimes it is Esc. Worst is the settlement building option which suddenly has you using the arrow keys and the game doesn't even hint that Shift+WSAD can be also used. Alternative GUI mod cannot arrive soon enough.
       
      On top of that tutorial is almost non-existent and fairly important game mechanics are never explained like VATS or how to assign settlers to jobs.
       

      Audio
      Fallout 4 offers fairly standard audio options with many volume sliders. The game supports surround sound setups up to 7.1 and audio sound fairly good with one exception though. Voices have very low volume outside of cutscenes and very often are inaudible when speaking character is more than few meters away.
       

      Conclusion
      Fallout 4 suffers from heavy consolitidis. The underlying game is fun and the world is rich but visually the game looks unimpressive and old, almost like modded Fallout 3. Performance is not terrible overall but there are framerate drops suggesting optimization issues, almost none of the graphics settings has any meaningful performance impact on the game.
       
      Keyboard and mouse controls are awful and should be redesigned from the ground up. Many of core PC features like FoV, widescreen support or unlocked framerate are absent and has to be edited in via configuration files. Another six month of polishing would greatly benefited the game, but obviously Bethesda is counting on modders to fix the game for free and that is not a good sign.
       
      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 Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       

      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:

       




      [h2][/h2]
    • 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 Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       
      The Fallout 4 is the next title in a series of a very popular post-apocalyptic RPG's developed by Bethesda Game Studios. The game key was generously provided by Gamesplanet. We are going to look at the technical quality of the PC version of the game.
      System Requirements

      Minimum
      CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz RAM: 8 GB HDD: 30 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB of VRAM OS: Windows 7, 64bit Recommended
      CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz or AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz RAM: 8 GB GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X, 3GB (Nvidia), 4GB (AMD) of VRAM The system requirements for Fallout 4 are a little bit on the demanding side. A quad core CPU is a must and the GPUs are from the older mainstream range. Recommended specs are even more demanding with high-end CPUs and GPUs. 
      All the tests were done on a system with a Core i7-2700k clocked to 4.6GHz, 32 GB RAM and AMD R9 390 with 8GB of VRAM, Catalyst 15.11 Beta graphics drivers and version 1.1.30.0.0 of the game. Testing was done at 1920x1200, and because there is no built-in benchmarking tool, a test run consisted of one minute of playing the game in one of the larger cities and included a short fight with a pack of ghouls. This resulted in very consistent frame rate measurements so only two measurements were averaged for each effect.
       

      Graphics settings


       
      Most of the graphics settings have to be set in the launcher. This is rather inconvenient because there are very few graphical options directly in the game. Other that that the launcher offers a fairly standard arsenal of graphical settings and a few presets. The game has also auto detection system that sets options during the first launch of the game. A nice addition are the Windowed and Windowed borderless toggles.
       

      Field of View and wide screen setups
      Field of view is locked in low 80's by default and there is no direct option to change it from the game. Players have to edit configuration files to set a comfortable field of view.
       
      Same applies for ultra-wide and surround resolutions as these are not directly supported. Again, configuration files needs to be edited and even that can hide some of the GUI elements, thus rendering the game unplayable.
       
      For easy configuration file editing and tweaking a special configuration utility can be used.
       

       

      Overall performance and image quality
      Fallout 4 offers four image quality presets - Low, Medium, High and Ultra. There is only a 3% difference in performance between Low and Medium. High preset has a more significant performance drop of 33% and Ultra costs almost 40% of Low's framerate.
       
      The framerate is limited to 60 FPS by default, unlocking it via editing .ini files will unfortunately cause problems, as the game logic and physics are tied to the framerate. I've experienced severe framerate drops in major cities where the game's framerate seemingly randomly falls from 100 FPS to sub 30 FPS.
       
      The game also loads very slowly on mechanical hard-drives. The loading times were around 30-40 seconds, after moving the game on SSD loading times dropped significantly to only few seconds.
       
      During my testing I've found only one effect (Shadow Distance) to have significant performance impact on the game. Even the dreaded over-tessellated god-rays effect led only to a 4% drop in FPS. The rest of the effects have negligible or non-existent performance cost so I'm not going to include all the graphs here. Feel free to browse through the measurements though.
       


       
      Visual quality on the Low preset is nothing special, shadows are visibly low resolution and cut not far from camera, vegetation is shown only very close to the player and textures are not very sharp. Medium preset improves shadow resolution and cutoff distance of vegetation. High preset further improves vegetation cutoff distance and increases cutoff for shadows and the scene seems to be less flat. Ultra preset further increases render distance. Overall the game doesn't look particularly impressive visually and the renamed Gamebryo engine very clearly shows its age. Full resolution screenshots: Low, Medium, High, Ultra.
       

       

      Texture Quality
      Texture quality controls the texture resolution and can be set in three steps - Medium, High and Ultra. Visual difference between High and Ultra is very small and performance impact wasn't clearly measurable. The textures are not very sharp to begin with so there is definitely room for improvement. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       

       

      Shadow Distance
      Shadow Distance setting controls cutoff distance of the shadows and is the most demanding effect in the game. High setting causes almost 30% framerate drop, Ultra costs another 2% on top of that. Full resolution screenshots: Medium, High, Ultra.
       

       



      Anti-aliasing
      The game offers only two anti-aliasing methods and these are only post process filters FXAA and TXAA. Both have major visual impact and horribly blurs the whole scene, vegetation lose its definition, broken lines are kept broken, textures are slightly blurred as well. At least these effects has only 3% performance impact. Full resolution screenshots: No AA, FXAA, TXAA.
       



      Controls
      The game doesn't offer very large controls options. Mouse sensitivity can be set and the keys can be remapped but there are major problems with controls in Fallout 4. First of all there are multiple actions on one key that doesn't make sense and will cause trouble. Melee attack shares button with a Throw grenade function for example. There is also a system of favorites weapons and items, but slots are locked to the number keys and cannot be remapped. Scroll wheel also cannot be remapped (to navigating favorites for example) and controls camera distance which I find fairly useless.
       
      There is a mouse acceleration turned on by default and can be turned off only by editing an .ini files.
       
      Pip-Boy and GUI navigation is nothing short of a disaster. I was expecting it to be bad as horrible controls are Bethesda's trademark but this is a whole new level of awful. Nothing is consistent after more that 20 hours of playing I still have to think really hard about what key is doing what in the menus. For example, exiting or going back a menu is sometimes Tab, sometimes it's E and sometimes it is Esc. Worst is the settlement building option which suddenly has you using the arrow keys and the game doesn't even hint that Shift WSAD can be also used. Alternative GUI mod cannot arrive soon enough.
       
      On top of that tutorial is almost non-existent and fairly important game mechanics are never explained like VATS or how to assign settlers to jobs.
       

      Audio
      Fallout 4 offers fairly standard audio options with many volume sliders. The game supports surround sound setups up to 7.1 and audio sound fairly good with one exception though. Voices have very low volume outside of cutscenes and very often are inaudible when speaking character is more than few meters away.
       

      Conclusion
      Fallout 4 suffers from heavy consolitidis. The underlying game is fun and the world is rich but visually the game looks unimpressive and old, almost like modded Fallout 3. Performance is not terrible overall but there are framerate drops suggesting optimization issues, almost none of the graphics settings has any meaningful performance impact on the game.
       
      Keyboard and mouse controls are awful and should be redesigned from the ground up. Many of core PC features like FoV, widescreen support or unlocked framerate are absent and has to be edited in via configuration files. Another six month of polishing would greatly benefited the game, but obviously Bethesda is counting on modders to fix the game for free and that is not a good sign.
       
      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 Fallout 4 fixes and improvements, please visit its respective PCGamingWiki article.
       

      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:



       
      Click here to view the article
    • By LDK
      Template for graphs and data from benchmarks for PC Report articles. It was created by Microsoft Excel 2007 and although formulas are compatible with other applications, graphs design will be probably compatible only with Microsoft Excel 2007 and newer.
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