Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crysis 3 multiplayer beta impressions

Day before yesterday (29th of January), Crytek released the multiplayer beta of their upcoming flagship game, Crysis 3, to the public. Wasn't I glad to see that by the time I got home, the game was already online. (Except that my mouse was broken! Gah!) i didn't expect to find out that my PC (a 2600K @4.5GHz and GTX670 @1176MHz/6800MHz) wasn't adequate to play the game with graphics maxed out. But sadly, that was the case. Well, I could use very high settings for everything, but any mode of AA along with those settings would make it slow enough. TBH, even without AA, the game looked amazing. Crytek knows how to do eye candy right.

I was getting around 60fps without AA and if I used MSAA 8X, which comes with the biggest performance hit, I would get like 25FPS. There are so many AA options for you to choose from though. Most people are recommending that you use SMAA which not only gives much better performance than MSAA, but produces better quality AA’ed renderings overall. (Well, it is not better across the board, otherwise there is no point in including MSAA, but on average it is on par with MSAA.) I didn't play around with the different AA modes and how they affect performance, especially because there wasn't repetitive gameplay to come to a solid conclusion, but I shall give it a try when I have some free time - which is hard to come by these days though. The only way to improve it beyond what I get is by going multi-GPU. Didn't I say that I'm never going to go the multi-GPU route after biting the dust with the HD6950 CFX? *sigh*.
Like I said, the graphics are amazing. I did not expect to see anything less from Crytek and I'm glad that they didn't disappoint. I'd not post any screenshots here because we have Google for that. But you can take a peak at the following two gameplay videos I recorded on my PC. The videos are available in 1080p, so you can get an idea about graphics quality and gameplay. (Is there any point examining the still image quality in a fast paced game? I don't think so.)
Few thing about the resource utilization though. The game seems to love multi-core CPUs. Even hyper-threading seems to improve performance according to other benchmark sites. My CPU usage was consistently around 50% mark though. But GPU was at 99% during gameplay. That's great. I would have liked to see PhysX support though. The GPU temps hit 80C with a 23C ambient, but I have to confess that I am running the bottom intake case fans very slowly (~600RPM) and have completely stopped spinning the direct intake to the video card due to dust.

Oh btw, I am currently using the 313.96 beta drivers but TBH, I did not see any performance benefit (definitely not 65%) with these over the 310.90, though I didn't measure the FPS properly. Maybe it is there are certain places.
Here’s a frame time graph in a span of 5000 frames that I captured during a Crash Site game. there are spikes every now and then which points to stutter, but perhaps it is because the drivers are still in beta stage. This was taken from FRAPS. The average FPS was recorded during that time was 58.5fps which is very good. (But this is without AA.) If I recorded my gameplay at 1080p using MSI Afterburner, the FPS would drop by about 5-10fps.

I believe I did very well back when Crysis 2 was the bomb, but I haven't played it in a long time. In fact, I haven't played any competitive multiplayer game in the last few months. The only thing I played was BF3 and then I played as a sniper, so hardly any action there. I like to play Crysis 3 with an offense. I remember how adrenalin pumping it was when I ran around waving the Marshall. After playing a couple of games, I felt that feeling was creeping back into me. (It can only go up from there when the replacement mouse arrives.)

So, February 19th is the launch date for the full game. If NVidia can release drivers with even better performance enhancement, it's going to be so awesome! (Not that it won't be awesome with the current drivers.)

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