Graphics Analysis: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Maximum PC Staff

We compare Wolfenstein: The New Order's low, medium, high, and ultra settings with pics and video

For this graphical analysis feature, we examine the graphical capabilities of Bethesda's Wolfenstein: The New Order. When the first-person shooter was released on PC, it had tons of graphical glitches, which included long load times and massive texture pop-in issues. Luckily, most of these problems have been sorted out with a few patches.

Now the new Wolfenstein title is known for being a beautiful-looking game, so we wanted to take this graphical behemoth for a test run to see how it looks across its different graphics presets. Is this game going to show off your graphics card in all of its glory? Read on to find out!

Testing Methodology:

We wanted our tests to be easily replicated, so we ran the game in 1080p, using Wolfenstein’s preset graphics options, which include "Low," "Medium," "High”, and “Ultra”. We should mention that the point of this test is to analyze image quality and visual fidelity. This is not a frame rate performance test.

We captured our screenshots and video with a fairly beefy gaming rig, which sports an Intel Core i7 4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 780 video card.

The settings we used for each test are shown in the screenshots below:

Low Settings

Medium Settings

High Settings

Ultra Settings

Video Scene Analysis:

Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across low, medium, high, and ultra settings.

Mech Scene:

The first scene has the main character, William Blazkowicz, inside of a mech suit. When the game is rendering in Low settings we see very little detail in our character's clothing. His sleeves gain more texture and color as we go from Low to Ultra settings. The mech suit also has some differences going from Low to Ultra settings, but they’re very minimal. For example, the gauges on the left-hand side gain more texture and lighting as we ramp up graphical fidelity. The rest of the scene looks almost the same across all four presets. Yes, there are a few extra textures sprinkled into the landscape in High and Ultra settings, which Low and Medium don’t have, but again, this a very small difference and you really have to pixel peep to notice them.

Soldier scene:

In the Soldier scene above, we see there’s less texture and definition in the soldier who’s standing in the left corner of the screen. His clothing gets more texture as we go up in graphical quality. The same can be said for the soldier in the middle of the screen too. The texture quality of his clothing is better in Ultra than in Low settings, but the rest of the scene looks almost the same across the other presets. The dark colors and low lighting in this scene's background make it hard for us to discern any other meaningful differences.

Airplane scene:

The hardest scene to tell any difference between the three presets is the Airplane scene. We couldn’t see anything inside the aircraft which looked noticeably different. The ocean in the game's Ultra preset looks the best of the four scenes, but that’s the only noticeable difference we could effectively draw here. The interior of the cabin looks very similar across all four presets.

Conclusion:

Analyzing Wolfenstein's different visual settings, we were surprised by how hard it was for us to tell the difference between any of the game’s four presets. At times, we really had to dig to bring out the nitty gritty details. In general, we found that characters look more fully realized the higher you crank up the settings. If you’re not looking at soldiers on screen, the game looks very similar across all the settings. The similar look and feel in all four presets is in part due to Wolfenstein's dark color palette. When Wolfenstein adds in more textures onto gray, black, and brown surfaces, it can be hard to notice much of a visual improvement. If the game was brighter and offered a wider color palette, it may be easier to pick up on the differences. Regardless, as it stands, it doesn't look like Wolfenstein: The New Order is going to shock and awe anyone at the highest settings, at least not compared to the game's lower presets.

Which game would you like us to do a deep dive graphical analysis on next? Let us know in the comments below!

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