Wolfenstein: The New Order Performance Review

Wolfenstein: The New Order is out on PC. It utilizes the id Tech 5 game engine and sports fast paced first-person shooter gameplay. We look at some video card performance, make some comparisons, and look at image quality as well. Can this game overcome the stigma associated with RAGE since its the same engine?

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Graphics Settings

Unlike RAGE, thankfully Wolfenstein: The New Order has several graphics settings options available. Unfortunately, AA (antialiasing) is not one of those. There are no options to enable any form of AA from shader based, to traditional, to SSAA. That is a huge disappointment, and further lends to the "console-itis" feel of the game.

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The primary "video" settings you have available is on this first window. You can change the display mode to fullscreen, or windowed. You can select the resolution and enable or disable VSYNC. There is also a FOV slider, this is good to see, this is an option we wish more PC games would have. This option is a PC-centric graphics option, but unfortunately it isn't enough to make up for the inability to remove the 60 FPS cap with in-game options.

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There are 4 built in global quality settings, Ultra, High, Medium and Low. However, Ultra Quality is not technically this games highest settings possible. You can manually manipulate the graphics options to go one notch higher on the "Max PPF" setting and the "Screen-Space Reflections" setting. By pushing those to options to the highest possible levels, this game can then be run with the highest settings and it will say Custom at the top. It will cause a performance hit.

For the most part, Ultra Quality will be sufficient. We did not notice any image quality differences between what Ultra provided and what turning up Max PPF and Screen-Space Reflections to the highest levels provided.

VT Cache Size - This setting determines the texture cache size for streaming textures. The options are Ultra, High, Medium and Low.

VT Compress - This setting compresses the streamed textures. Enable it to save graphics memory or disable it for the highest quality.

Max PPF - This is the texture streaming limit in pages per frame. Options are 64, 32, and 16.

Shadow Resolution - This is the resolution of the shadow buffer. Options are 8192, 4096, and 2048.

Depth of Field - This is the depth of field mode, options are High or Medium.

Screen-Space Reflections - This enables the screen-space reflections effect. Options are High, Medium or Disabled.

Additional Quality Settings - This adjusts the texture filtering, shadow complexity and lighting quality. Options are Ultra, High, Medium and Low.

Haze Flare - This enables the haze flare post processing effect. Options are enable or disable.


Test Setup

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We are performing our run-through in Chapter 3 "A New World." We begin when we get out of the car, and end the run-through after killing the two boss robots. This run-through involves a lot of outdoor graphics, and weather graphics, as well as long view distances, and interior graphics. There are explosions and a lot of effects in use. We kill all the enemy moving through, which is necessary to progress in the level.

Our test system is shown here. We are using AMD Catalyst 14.4 WHQL drivers for the AMD video cards, and NVIDIA ForceWare 337.50 drivers for the NVIDIA video cards.