It’s been a very long time since struggle dawned on the PC, however the Space Marines are lastly able to deploy. Dawn of War III is drop-podding onto Steam, and we’ve been placing it by way of its paces to see how a daily ol’ laptop handles it. Can the likes of an Intel i5 6500ok and a GTX 1060 take care of the epic scale that DoW III promotes? Say a prayer to the Emperor, after which check out our evaluation under.
Related: the best strategy games on PC.
We’re used to having a listing of graphics choices so long as your arm in terms of good PC video games, which implies Dawn of War III took me abruptly after I opened its settings menu. Just eight choices can be found: decision, picture high quality, texture element, gameplay decision, unit occlusion, anti-aliasing, v-sync, and physics. With simply three of them straight impacting graphical constancy, I really feel considerably shortchanged. Thankfully there’s a good quantity of granularity to them. Image high quality, which appears the closest choice to a typical preset, has six choices: most, increased, excessive, medium, low, and minimal. Texture element and anti-aliasing have virtually as many settings, and physics sports activities simply low, medium, and excessive.
The decision aspect of issues permits an incredible number of choices, capped solely by what your native decision is. There’s additionally the choice to downscale the precise gameplay whereas sustaining the decision of the HUD.
Also included is a helpful icon which shows a frames-per-second worth that adjustments based mostly on what settings you go for. It doesn’t really feel completely correct, however no less than it offers you a ballpark determine. More helpful is the benchmarking software, which can play out an intensive battle sequence to exhibit how your machine copes. Annoyingly the benchmark software doesn’t truly present any knowledge. To discover out what’s going on I’ve to make use of Fraps’ personal body counting software whereas the benchmark check runs.
Using that benchmarking software and Fraps, I took readings of the battle sequence on all six of Dawn of War III’s picture high quality settings. You can see the outcomes under.
First impressions are, admittedly, poor. My i5 and GTX 1060 combo are fairly normal fare, and also you’d count on greater than 26 fps on most settings. To hit 60 fps I’ve to drop all the way in which right down to low. While the distinction in graphic high quality is way much less drastic between settings than in lots of different video games, it nonetheless feels a bit upsetting. However, these stats don’t present the total image.
The benchmark software makes use of a really intense battle; hordes of Orks pile right into a wall of bolter fireplace, Whirlwinds spit rockets into the sky, and an Imperial Knight collapses below stress from an Eldar Wraithlord. To say there’s quite a bit occurring is an understatement. Another check was required.
Can we break Dawn of War III by filling the display screen with items?
To see how efficiency altered with the tempo of battle, I set myself a problem: construct the biggest military doable, fill the display screen with items, and launch an all-out assault on the enemy. To give me the advantage of numbers I paired myself up with an AI staff of Dark Angels, which means there’d be dozens and dozens of Space Marines on-screen.
In skirmish mode, DoW III’s inhabitants cap is 250 factors. A traditional five-man tactical squad prices 10 factors, so on the very most you possibly can have as much as 125 males on display screen. In the title of selection I sacrificed just a few level slots for the likes of tanks and extra highly effective items. My ensuing military appears a bit like this:
You can see within the prime left nook that my body charge was 58 fps with all these little warriors on display screen, operating at most settings at 1080p. Having a full set of troops on-screen doesn’t truly trigger the sport to break down. In the run-up to acrewing this military, I skilled something between mid-50s and low-70 frames-per-second, relying on the ferocity of the battle. When troops from each side descended on aims, such battles would see it dip to the mid-40s.
For probably the most half, then, Dawn of War III is fairly playable at max settings. However, that 26 fps common remains to be a really current niggle. When marching my full military to the enemy base, I had them cross by way of a river. They had been immediately assaulted by an Ork weapon that causes a rain of cluster munitions. The mixture of weapon results, flowing water, and variety of troops brought about the body charge to tank, bottoming out at round 19 fps. That is, in fact, unplayable. Thankfully getting away from the raining bombs and water brought about it to leap again as much as 50 fps, demonstrating that these low charges are just for when the sport desires to throw every part at you concurrently. For probably the most a part of a 30 minute match issues had been largely clean, if occasionally above 60 fps.
So we now know the way Dawn of War III performs, however how does it look? To give you a fast pattern I’ve gathered screenshots of the sport operating at 4 totally different presets: low, medium, excessive, and better.
At the highest finish of the size is the upper preset, which is definitely so far as the settings will go with reference to textures. There is a most setting for picture high quality, however the perceivable distinction is nil. These settings do present a beautiful wanting RTS, although, and one which definitely suits the Warhammer 40Ok mould. There’s loads of element on the chunky, gothic buildings that make up a Space Marine base. The snowy floor appears crunchy, and there’s consideration paid to the cracked ice and rock across the base of buildings.
Dropping all settings right down to excessive ends in no graphical degradation in any respect, no less than to not my eyes. Cracks within the ice stay sharp, and the best particulars within the steel cladding of the buildings keep in-tact. Considering the rise in efficiency you may get from these settings, as seen within the earlier part, excessive appears a wise choice.
It’s at medium settings that we lastly see an apparent graphical downgrade, but it surely’s not a dramatic change. You’ll instantly see that the lighting mannequin used is a bit duff, with total sections of buildings in shadow for no purpose, and even some odd sections the place the shadow is minimize quick, like on the center construction’s touchdown pad. There’s additionally widespread discount in texture decision. The ice texture is, actually, totally different to that of upper pre-sets, with an alternate crack design and much much less definition.
Low is near medium when it comes to constancy, however there’s an general noticeable fuzziness across the edges that’s brought on by diminished anti-aliasing. Aside from that and a slight downgrade to texture resolutions, the one actual factor that low could possibly be accused of is wanting a bit flat. This is extra apparent in movement, as issues like snow drifting within the wind and fog is eliminated. If low is your solely choice although, I don’t suppose it makes Dawn of War three look overly ugly in any respect.
Does filling the display screen with a whole lot of items break Dawn of War III? Well, below the correct circumstances, sure. It requires a bit of additional exploding munitions and environmental results to tank the body charge, but it surely’s secure to say that when every part is occurring directly, a standard-spec gaming PC can’t deal with most settings. Thankfully the vary of graphical settings lets you discover a blissful medium with out sacrificing all that a lot visible high quality, though I’d definitely have preferred to have seen much more choices in that division.
I’d hoped for higher optimisation from Relic on this one, though it’s comprehensible why the array of items and explosive results has such an affect on efficiency. When issues get busy on-screen they actually do get busy, far more than they might in a shooter or RPG. But when actions-per-minute and fast reactions are such a core a part of DoW III’s multiplayer, I can’t assist however suppose this sort of efficiency is more likely to additional upset a group that already felt as if it was against the sport within the first place. I personally don’t suppose it’s a massively poor scenario for Relic – they’re produced an clearly demanding sport with nice quantities of element in every unit – however I do surprise how many individuals will be capable of play DoW III at its best possible at launch. Unless you’ve bought a monster PC, I’d advocate getting into with suitably adjusted expectations.