Game Realism Via NVIDIA Enhanced Effects
By Julian Duque
Earlier this year, NVIDIA introduced the Maxwell architecture and a lot of upcoming features that Benchmark Reviews briefly talked about on the review of the GTX 980 by Olin Coles. These features were demonstrated in detail, but were still pending to be released on actual games, that is until Assassin’s Creed Unity was released earlier this year. Thanks to NVIDIA GameWorks, game developers have the ability to use NVIDIA’s sample libraries and SDKs as well as implementing some of the features mentioned that allow for a more realistic game-play experience.
Aside from much of the criticism NVIDIA and AMD have received for working closely with game developers, this relationship is were the future of the industry lies to create and implement more realistic environments into games. The importance of this relationship is due mainly to the optimization games receive when developers and manufacturers work together. It is through this relationship that we have seen things like FaceWorks, Turbulence, and Mantle come to modern releases and bring a better gaming experience to PC users.
Just like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Unity utilizes the AnvilNext Engine, which since it’s debut in Assassin’s Creed lll, has received major updates to include pre-baked Global Illumination, volumetric fog, dynamic weather, and dynamic foliage to name a few examples. Of course, with Unity there is also some major upgrades to the engine from which the most outstanding is Physically Based Rendering (PBR) which enables materials, objects and surfaces to look and react more realistically to lighting, shading and shadowing. Add to that a patch that has enabled the AnvilNext engine to decrease CPU bottlenecking which Unity definitely needs since many gameplay areas are filled with NPCs.
Additionally, there has been a vast improvement of shadowing and reflection effects, depth and field, and textures through Advanced Soft Shadows, Plug and Play Tessellation, HBAO+, and TXAA. For a quick explanation and demonstration of each, continue reading as we explore each of these features found in Assassins Creed Unity.