RAGE Performance and Image Quality Evaluation - Day 1
Image Quality Considerations
So we know that the performance of most any PC hardware at this point is going to be 60 FPS which is a bit of a letdown for those of us that invest in some high-end hardware in order to gain some image quality advantages over the console generation. And in my testing, there was no discernible image difference between the GTX 580 and the GXT 560 Ti and not even the GTX 460 1GB card. Bah.
It would seem until the console that is accessible through a shortcut modifier gets fully unearthed and decoded, PC gamers might be out in the cold for this one.
That aside, much of RAGE looks spectacular. And much of RAGE looks pretty bad. An example:
Full screen shot - Click to Enlarge
Gun looks great!
This area...not so much.
And isn't just an issue of something that is close versus something that is far away having different levels of detail. It is an obvious choice by the id Software designers to do this, likely for a technical / performance reason.
Fullscreen shot - Click to Enlarge
Distance appears good
While from a distance the majority of the game looks good and some areas (and especially the character models) look great even close up, there were some obvious issues at the end of development that caused some bad quality to creep into the game. Look at the section of pipe in the image above - we saw better graphics throughout the entirety of Doom 3 back in 2004!
And there are some more issues at work including texture loading pop-ups that might be a bit overblown as we'll demo in a short video.
Some Image Quality Improvement Options
I did find that there was some ability to improve image quality via the console which you can access by adding the line "+set com_allowConsole 1" in either your desktop shortcut or in the Steam launch settings. The setting that seemed to improve things for us while not affecting performance at all were the collection of variables called "vt_pageImageSize". There were four we increased from the default setting of 4096 to a higher value of 8192.
Here are a couple of images with before and after applying these settings.
Now for some closer shots...
If you look at the detail in the wall you can clearly see that the cracks in it are more noticeable and pronounced while the detail on the orange barrel is also increased.
The detail on the rocks improves somewhat...
As does the quality of the text on the sign.
So while there isn't MUCH you can do to alter image quality, there are at least these settings, and very likely more to be revealed in the near future, that can improve RAGE.