With the completion of my beast-tacular new gaming rig, I thought I’d flip COH over to DirectX 10 and try out some of these crazy new graphics enhancements. You’ll all remember of course, that COH was among the first games to have DX10 support, which was added via patch update in late May 2007. Now, while I certainly enjoy having the latest and greatest PC hardware just the same as the next tech-geek, I have to admit I barely noticed a difference in the actual game.
The first thing I did notice was the presence of little rocks and flowers — all over the place. I loaded up a replay on Angoville to find the American base looking like a rock garden had been emptied into it. You can see for yourself what I mean. Relic’s official patch changelog describes the addition of “thousands of additional litter objects.” When they said thousands, they weren’t kidding.
Now, you guys may like all these Mars rocks scattered everywhere. I think it looks absolutely retarded. I can see a few rocks — maybe 10% or 20% of the rocks and flora that currently appear in DX 10. But it’s way too much, kinda like the two-year-old who discovers crayons for the first time. Next thing you know, crayon art is over every smooth-textured object you own. It’s just immature art direction on the part of Relic.
Here’s a comparison shot of the strategic point by the southern base, first in DirectX 9 and then in DirectX 10. Click the images to enlarge them.
I looked carefully at other aspects of COH’s graphics with DX 10 on, but I really can’t make out much, if any, differences. Not even improvements — I mean I literally find it impossible to tell them apart if I ignore the rocks, pebbles and dandelions.
There are supposed to be numerous lighting and shadow improvements, but I can’t notice them. Here’s the full list of claims:
If someone can defend these based on my screenshots (or the ones in the Legit Reviews article), feel free to comment. Anybody else with a DX-10-capable graphics card care to weigh in?