bit-gamer.net

Company of Heroes DX10 comparison

Booting up the game into the first mission, we sent wave after wave of men up onto the beach and studied the graphics closely at close-up and far-out distances to get an idea of what the game could do on DirectX 9 if it was really trying.

The screenshots really tell most of the story graphics-wise, but we were still very impressed with the game's performance and it didn't look at all like a year-old game for the vast majority of play, though eagle-eyed critics were able to spot some pixellated and spritely explosions.

Aspects such as physics held up well, with bodies and rubble launching through the air realistically when satchel charges and grenades went off. Explosions looked far better from a distance than from up close, but it's not really an issue as playing the game zoomed in is a sure way to get booted back to the main menu.

Smoke effects held up excellently too, and short in-game cutscenes that punctuate the missions show off some subtle but effective facial animations, even if the model detail is noticeably reduced at such extreme close-ups.

Company of Heroes DX10 comparison Direct Xtra Company of Heroes DX10 comparison Direct Xtra
The DX 9 version of Company of Heroes (left) and the DX 10 version (right), click for hi-res.

In terms of AA and lighting the game held up very well, with hardly any noticeable jagged edges and some appropriately bright flashes and the like when explosions went off.

With a clear idea of what the game can do under the established DirectX 9 technology, we pushed forward to try it under a Vista PC to see just what the game can do with some newer software.

DirectX 10

For the DirectX 10 version we had a different hardware setup that should have been able to handle everything we threw at it. A single ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT and 2GB of RAM rounded out this Vista machine, so we patched up a different copy of the game and jumped in to the options menu.

Company of Heroes DX10 comparison Direct Xtra Company of Heroes DX10 comparison Direct Xtra
The DX 9 version of Company of Heroes (left) and the DX 10 version (right), click for hi-res.

Where things had changed from how they were a few minutes ago.

We're guessing that Company of Heroes automatically detects whether the PC is running under DirectX 10 or its little, better supported brother and based on that unlocks a few more options in the settings menu that only DirectX 10 users can access. These extra settings included the options to force texture detail up to the Ultra setting and enable D3D10 Shaders.

It's worth mentioning that the DirectX 10 patch supposedly boasts a fair few extra features, such as increased litter objects on the map, increased terrain detail, soft effects blending and short grass that covers the levels.