Archive for the ‘PhysX Games’ Category
Dark Void is interesting title – at least from GPU PhysX perspective. It’s using brand new APEX Turbulence module for dynamic real time fluid smoke and particles simulations, which is looking much more realistic and natural then usual SPH-based smoke we’ve seen, for example, in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Hovewer, more immersive gameplay came at great cost – Dark Void is most demanding GPU PhysX game currently. Consider dedicated GTX260 GPU as minimum requirement for High PhysX settings.
In general, there are four PhysX modes in the game:
PhysX – Off: standart physics stuff, calculated on CPU – ragdolls, some dynamic rigid bodies, some particles. Default level for console versions.
PhysX – Low: adds some dynamic particles – chunks and debris from bullet impacts, physically simulated sparks for Hypercoil and Magnetar weapons, additional shards for destroyed enemies. We’ve seen such effects before, in almost every single GPU PhysX game, but this time there is really huge amount of particles, and they are not dissapearing for like half a minute or so.
Remark: The Low setting is the only setting that can be used to compare CPU PhysX effects versus GPU PhysX.
PhysX – Medium: additionally enables turbulence particle simulation for Disintegrator Gun. Each vaporazed enemy emits 30 000 particles, and there can be several simultaneous effects on-screen at once. As ragdoll moves and rotates it imparts linear and angular forces into the fluid simulation, thus each disintegration is unique.
This mode is NOT available for CPU calculations, you just won’t be able to enable it without appropriate Nvidia GPU.
PhysX – High: includes all additional physics effects, and adds dynamic fluid smoke for Jetpack in Hover mode. Smoke simulation uses up to 100 000 particles, which are emitted every time whenever there is a change in applied power (i.e. the jetpack is turned on or off). This mode is NOT available for calculations on CPU.
Recently, Nvidia put some information sessions showing their upcoming next generation GF100 GPU (you can see previews all over the web now). But this article – “Sneak-peek at Nvidia’s Fermi” by neoseeker.com contains something really interesting:
But we can’t be fooled – that’s Vito Scaletta – main character of upcoming Mafia II. (right pic).
GPU PhysX support in Mafia II was suggested previously, but now it’s more then obvious.
Dark Void release is very close, and PhysX benchmarks are starting to emerge. We’ll try to gather all available info on one place.
You can check out game performance by yourself, using Dark Void PhysX benchmark.
That’s right – single GTX260 can’t handle Dark Void with APEX Turbulence effects enabled (Medium and High PhysX settings). Actually, dedicated GTX260 and above – official recomendation for High PhysX settings.
[22.01.10] Dark Void Review with PhysX Analysis by Gaming Heaven
Apart from game review itself, containts brief description of GPU PhysX effects and some benchmarks (test system – Core-i7 975, 3x 2GB DDR3 1600, NVIDIA GTX 295, NVIDIA GTX 260 PhysX)
Dark Void page at nzone.com was updated with new screenshots, demonstrating GPU PhysX effects in action. Most impressive are new APEX turbulence based smoke and dynamic particles for Jetpack and Disentegrator Gun accordingly.
In addition, other weapons are augmented with more “standart” particles effects – impact debris from bullet hits, physically simulated sparks and chunks.
As always, we’ll prepare long and boring comparison PhysX video after game release Until then you can watch Dark Void PhysX trailer
Update: comparison PhysX video available
Update #2: PhysX patch and benchmark available
PC demo version of Dark Void emerges on the net recently. It’s just resembles console demo – 20 min of jetpack fun, ufo hijacking and some firefight on foot.
However, despite of fact that Dark Void is augmented with hardware accelerated PhysX support, this particular demo does not contain any GPU PhysX content (confirmed by Nvidia).
Recent interview by games.on.net with Olez Shishkovtsov, 4a-games Chief Technical Officer, covers technical aspects of Metro 2033 game engine and reveals new details on how PhysX SDK is used in the game.
games.on.net: Can you talk about PhysX and what this will add to the game?
Olez: We’ve done a lot of stuff with PhysX fluids. A lot of stuff with particles too, and there is a lot of destruction in the game. Destruction will be more lifelike with PhysX. Everything can destruct even without NVIDIA hardware, but with NVIDIA hardware it has much better fidelity.
There are a few things specific only to NVIDIA hardware. But as a game developer, we don’t want those to affect gameplay – it’s mainly visual fidelity, like smoke the smoke effects.
RPG called Two Worlds, developed by Reality Pump and released in 2007, was decent game, but from physics side we memorized it for it’s negligent implementation of PhysX SDK (on CPU) – badly tuned ragdolls in initial release, laggy cloth simulation (disabled with first patch) and Character Controller, that makes enemy archers a tiresome kill.
Add-on Two worlds: The Temptation, announced in Q1 2008, evolves later on to a complete sequel – Two Worlds II, based on next-gen GRACE engine.
However, physics solution provider for Two World II was unknown, but Mirek Dymek, project leader, reveals in 12th issue of Antaloor Post (sort of devblog) that PhysX SDK is still used. According to Mirek, world becomes much more interactive compared to title’s predecessor, physics is used to simulate magic effects, moving cloth, chains and ropes in realistic way.
On first gameplay teaser you can notice character’s cape, simulated as cloth, and lamp on a chain dangling in the background.
Two Worlds II will be available for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, status of GPU PhysX support is unknown currently.
Second trailer from Metro 2033 gives sneak-peek of game’s story, gloomy and anxious as post-apocalyptic Moscow metro tunnels.
Metro 2003 is going to be heavily augmented with GPU PhysX effects, and is just several months away from release. Our personal favorite for Q1 2010.
World’s first PhysX trailer from Dark Void was uploaded to YouTube.
It’s showcasing some nice particle effects for Desintegrator Gun and Jetpack, made with APEX Turbulence module. You also can notice small chunks and debris, breaking off from destroyed enemies.
Update: hands-on impression by Shacknews
The additional special effects kicked in by turning on PhysX are all just cosmetic touches but boy do they make an impact. Dark Void’s jet pack puts the turbulence modelling to good use as each of the twin exhaust plumes swirls and realistically responds to momentum independently. It looked strikingly realistic as I pulled off aerial manoeuvres.
PhysX also provides a number of flashy weapon effects. Hitting an enemy with the disintegrator gun, for example, cause them to disperse in a wisp of particles on the wind. As nice as the console editions look, these effects give the PC version a real visual pop.
With both PhysX and 3D turned on, though, I found the combination distracting. The turbulent jet exhaust that had looked so good became a distraction as it didn’t quite line up correctly with the rockets. All the particle effects from weapon fire still looked pretty but also noticeably increased my eyestrain. I’m not sure whether this was due to their taxing the system or my sight but either way it was uncomfortable.
For my money, I’d probably play the game through with the PhysX effects turned on and leave the 3D as an occasional thing to turn on and fly around a level that it works well with.
We were little worried that Dark Void, staying without updates on GPU PhysX support status since first press-release, will follow the way of other “abandoned” PhysX titles, like Terminator Salvation. Fortunately, certain sources indicates that PC version of Dark Void is going to be shown at CES 2010, being held in Las Vegas on January 7-10.
According to capcom-unity.com, Dark Void “with special Nvidia-powered PhysX enhancements” will be presented at PC Gaming Alliance Booth – North Hall #5616.
Moreover, user Zed X, referring to invitation for CES show, reports on XtremeSystems.com forums that NVIDIA will showcase one GF100 (Fermi) card running Dark Void on three monitors setup, with PhysX effects and 3D Vision enabled.
We’ll try to keep an eye on this, and will inform you on all PhysX related news from CES.
Update #2: First Dark Void PhysX trailer