Age of Conan DirectX 10 content looks stunning

Written by Tim Smalley

August 28, 2008 // 2:42 a.m.

Tags: #10 #age #conan #content #cuda #d3d10 #directx #dx10 #graphics #nvidia #nvision #nvision-2008 #of #physics

We were lucky enough to grab a first look at the final DirectX 10 implementation for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures yesterday and when you consider that the game is an MMO, the level of visual fidelity is stunning.

I haven’t had chance to go hands-on with AoC’s DirectX 10 mode yet – the video only made its way out of Funcom for the first time on Monday night, but Funcom said that it plans to release the video for all to see in the next few days.

I pushed to post the video ahead of the planned unveiling but Funcom wants to make some final tweaks—including adding developer commentary—before allowing it to be distributed onto the ‘net. I was also asked not to post photographs either, so we’ll have to wait for the video to be made available before you can see it for yourselves.

However, we can reveal that Funcom has created its own custom physics engine using CUDA, which enables some pretty stunning wind and water effects. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the water in Age of Conan looks almost as good as the water in Crysis with the quality set to very high; the shore blends with the environment and the waves move in a realistic manner.

What’s more, Funcom has done some pretty incredible work underwater – god rays are now present and they interact with the way the water surface is moving, resulting in some great lighting effects on show when you look at the sky from under the water.

The best example of the wind effects came when the character started casting spells while in the middle of a field – the grass around him rippled and moved in a way similar to how grass moves when a helicopter is taking off or landing.

HDR lighting also looks great and there are some great soft lighting effects around the edge of buildings, railings and foliage – light softens the edges of objects in a pretty realistic manner. Ambient parallax occlusion mapping also makes its way into the game too, and again it adds another level of immersion into the game.

I haven’t played much of Age of Conan so far, but some of the graphical and physics effects I’ve seen in the DirectX 10 features video make me want to sink a good amount of time into the game. There have been many videos of earlier versions of the engine running DirectX 10 mode, but the video I saw looked a hell of a lot more polished than any previous demos I’d looked at. There’s no release date confirmed for the DirectX 10 patch yet, but I don’t think it’ll be too far away based on what I’ve seen.

Looking forward to finally playing Age of Conan under DirectX 10 mode? Tell us in the forums!

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