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Anthem in the test: Very nice graphics, extreme GPU requirements (update)

Anthem in the test: Very nice graphics, extreme GPU requirements (update)

tl; dr: Anthem is Bioware's latest major production that needs to heal the wounds of Mass Effect: Andromeda. Optically, the editors of the graphic can issue a positive mark in the test. However, this has its price: The Frostbite engine needs much faster GPUs in this game than in Battlefield V.

Anthem is very nice with Frostbite, but often at the store

Update 20.02.2019 16:21 clock

After the mediocre and much-discussed Mass Effect: Andromeda (test) Anthem is Bioware's next major project. Mass Effect: Andromeda is still remembered by many players with their grotesque facial animations. Technically, the new title has to heal wounds without a doubt.

Like most of the publisher EA games, Anthem relies on the frostbite engine actually developed by DICE for Battlefield. And the graphics benefit clearly: Anthem has become a very nice game. The foresight is enormous and in combination with the always good lighting at Frostbite the game looks quite impressive in places. There are various particle effects, good textures and a few more optical delicacies.

Frostbite could do a little more

The graphics could be even better. Bioware does not drive all the features that Frostbite actually offers. For example, DirectX 12 does not support the game, but only DirectX 11. It automatically lacks raytracing. And the facial animations look better, but graphically remain the weakest part of the game.

In addition, in Anthem is charged constantly (and sometimes quite extensively). From the harbor to the outside world: invite. In the next cave: load. Out again: load. That should also be different in 2019. That will load, should remain so at the loading time but hopefully patches something.

Anthem participates in Nvidia's GameWorks program

Anthem participates in Nvidia's GameWorks program: the well-known HBAO environmental hiding has found its way into the game. In addition, Anthem will in future support the AI ​​upscaling DLSS. When the Turing technology is to be integrated into the game in which quality is not unknown.

The latest Ubisoft games now have an exemplary options menu on the PC and even that of Battlefield V is impressive. The counterpart of Anthem, however, is not very spectacular. After all: The graphics options can be set in detail. That was it already. There is no down, no upsampling, no FPS limiter, no dynamic resolutions, no VRAM display, no sample screenshots and no other specials.


The graphics menu of Anthem
The graphics menu of Anthem

The graphics menu of Anthem
The graphics menu of Anthem

The graphics menu of Anthem
The graphics menu of Anthem

As presets the player has the settings “Low”, “Medium”, “High” and “Ultra” available. Ultra does not correspond to the maximum settings, because the ambient occlusion can be turned up by another option.

The visual effects of each step are clearly visible. If you're going for high instead of ultra, you'll have to settle for less vegetation and less tessellation. At the very least, some of the second highest level floor surfaces are less three dimensional. The changes do not bother, with high it is good games, without disturbing the look.


Ultra-Preset
Ultra-Preset

High-Preset
High-Preset

Central Preset
Central Preset

Low
Low

That then changes to means. Some surfaces are really flat here, the ambient occlusion does not work properly anymore and the textures are blurred. The actual problem is only visible in movement: The LOD works very aggressively on means and the visibility is screwed back significantly, so constantly popping up objects in front of the player. On low the problems get bigger again. The Low and Medium settings should therefore only be used if performance is not different.

If you switch from ultra to high, you get 13 percent more pictures per second on a Radeon RX Vega 64, and 14 percent on a GeForce RTX 2070. The mid-preset then brings a much larger boost of 40 or 42 percent and the lowest setting increases the frame rate by another 15 percent each. In Anthem, the performance on an AMD graphics card can be improved by 81 percent, on an Nvidia counterpart, it is 87 percent.

Graphic presets in Anthem

    • Low

    • normal

    • High

    • Ultra

    • Low

    • normal

    • High

    • Ultra

Anyone who sets HBAO's environmental concealment to HBAO will simply have a slightly more pronounced environmental concealment on indoor levels. In outdoor levels, however, the differences are much greater, because large parts of the vegetation get only with HBAO full at all Ambient Occlusion. On the one hand, the effect with HBAO Full is partly too exaggerated. On the other hand, the graphics benefit from the fact that some elements are only ever included with HBAO Voll. It is a matter of taste, if the option should be used.


HBAO full
HBAO full

HBAO
HBAO

HBAO full
HBAO full

HBAO
HBAO

In the test sequence, HBAO Voll only costs two percent on the GeForce RTX 2070, while the Radeon RX Vega 64 is a bit more four percent. In other sequences, however, the loss can be twice as high. HBAO opposite SSAO costs regardless of the graphics card eight percent in speed. HBAO is optically but also visibly better choice.

Nvidia GameWorks in Anthem

    • SSAO

    • HBAO

    • HBAO full

    • SSAO

    • HBAO

    • HBAO full

Antialiasing is available in Anthem TAA and Ultra. Ultra is probably also TAA; However, the picture is obviously later a little sharpened. Because with TAA even in higher resolutions a slight blur arises, with Ultra, however, these are no longer available at the latest in WQHD. However, as the picture does not get more restless, Ultra is the anti-aliasing of choice. Speaking of calm: Anti-aliasing can not prevent Anthem flickering regardless of the resolution. Even in Ultra HD, the picture quietness is mediocre. However, the aliasing is still limited. Especially in higher resolutions than Full HD, the flickering surfaces no longer disturb.

On the next page: test series, test system and graphics settings

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