When Metro 2033 was released in 2010, it helped elevate the PC graphics bar and take advantage of the latest DirectX 11 rendering technologies such as depth of field and tessellation, and high resolution textures.
Little was previously known about the developers of Metro. 4A Games was founded by Oles Shiskovtsov and Aleksandr Maksimchuk, former programmers at GSC Game World, who left about a year before the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R .: Shadow of Chernobyl. It is no accident that Metro 2033's images were similar to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., although we would argue they were better. Both Shiskovtsov and Maksimchuk had worked on the development of the X-ray engine that powers GSC's first-person shooter.
The subway last night
follows its predecessor roots by using a heavily adapted version of the 4A engine. Three years of extra work on the engine and you can expect visual effects like lighting, which were a big focus for 4A Games in the original Metro, have been greatly improved. There's also a lot more destruction and interactivity in the environments.
According to 4A, the custom nature of the engine allowed them to focus on improving and creating new sections rather than trying to re-use existing sections created by other developers for other mechanics.
In addition, the developer has continued to take care of loyal PC gamers who have significantly more power available than console gamers by incorporating a better gaming experience visually as well as a benchmark tool to measure system performance.
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As usual, in this article we will focus on the performance of graphics cards and CPUs. However, if you are wondering about the gameplay, read the game's full review. Here is a small excerpt to get you started:
The Metro series is set a few years after nuclear war ruined the surface of the earth and ended civilization as we know it. In Russia, survivors have withdrawn into the subway and restored a desolate half-life in the tunnels under the city. This is the type of game that mentions the very real possibility that God is dead in their opening film.
Although we tested Metro: Last Light the first time we tested it, we had to postpone this performance review until both the Nvidia and AMD cards performed the same. We tested almost 30 DirectX 11 graphics card configurations from AMD and Nvidia, covering all price ranges. The latest drivers were used, and each card was paired with an Intel Core i7-3960X to remove CPU bottlenecks that could affect high-end GPU values.
While we usually rely on Fraps to record up to 90 seconds of gameplay for our benchmark data, 4A provided us with an easier method that is also more accurate. Last Light's rolling demo runs for almost 3 minutes and plays a number of very detailed battle scenes. The benchmark tool allowed us to create our own graphics quality presets. We ran a total of nine main tests with three resolutions and three quality settings.
We tested Metro: Last Light at three popular desktop display resolutions: 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1200, and 2560 x 1600 with DX11. We also tested three visual quality presets: Very High, High, and Medium, plus an additional test for SSAA.