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Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - Graphics card benchmarks and quality settings compared

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood will hit the markets soon. PC Games Hardware already ran graphics card benchmarks and compared the graphics settings of the Wild West FPS game.

Bound in Blood is a prequel to Call of Juarez and the plot takes place 20 years before the events of the first game. The main characters are Ray (who becomes the Reverend later) and Thomas McCall who desert during the Civil War in favor of their family and thus are on the run. Later in the game they meet the Mexican Juarez and an Aztec treasure - but we don't want to reveal more. According to the latest information the game will be published on June 30 in North America and July 3 in Europe.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood [Source: view picture gallery]
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood: The Chrome Engine-4
Bound in Blood is based on the Chrome Engine 4. The DirectX 9 Deferred Renderer supports almost any modern graphics technology like HDR, Per Pixel Lighting, subsurface Scattering, Wet Surfaces, Virtual Displacement Mapping, Soft Shadows, Depth of Field, Cloth Simulation, volumetric clouds and Motion Blur. Furthermore a Edge Anti Aliasing (a Deferred Render doesn't allow Multisampling based Anti aliasing in DirectX 9) is calculated by the Shader ALUs. The effect gained from this is visually similar to MSAA (since only polygons are smoothed), but the quality varies: While some parts of the geometry are smoothed out very well (similar to AMD's 24x ED-CFAA), the technology also fails in certain situations.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood also convinces with more than the graphics: Extensive outdoor levels with dense vegetation including small animals like birds or spiders, detailed and well animated character models, atmospheric lighting, many particles and cinematic Post Processing effects. Only the bitmap background and a few washy textures lower the otherwise excellent impression.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - Graphics settings compared
As it can be seen in the system requirements of Bound in Blood you need a graphics card that supports Shader Model 3.0 in order to run the game. Thus devices like Ati's X800 are incompatible. As you can see in the comparison below, the visual quality of the new Call of Juarez suffers only if the settings for the textures and the Post Processing effects are reduced.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - Graphics card benchmarks
In order to find out which 3D Accelerator is best for Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood we test a sequence in front of the McCall mansion. With several opponents, a big explosion and lots of gunfire this is a quite challenging scene in the game. At this point we would like to note that the Chrome Engine 4 automatically applies 16:1 Anisotropic Filtering if the game is set to maximal details - this tends to cause more flickering and banding on Radeons than on Geforces.

At 1,280 x 1,024 a Radeon HD 3870 or a Geforce 9600 GT are fast enough to deliver a smooth framerate. But if the resolution is increased the game is, like most shooter games - suffering from an inaccurate input behavior if the less than 40 fps are reached. With a middle-class graphics card like the Geforce 8800 GT you can easily run 1,680 x 1,050 pixels - Radeon HD 4770 which cost about as much is even better and can place itself right below the GTX 260-216. With a Radeon HD 4870 or a Geforce GTX 275 Bound in Blood is running smooth even at 1,920 x 1,200 - with little disadvantages even on a Geforce GTX 260-216 or a Radeon HD 4850/HD 4770.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - Conclusion
Due to the up-to-date Chrome Engine Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood doesn't just look very well and feels like a playable movie but also convinces in matters of performance - especially on Radeon cards which are beating the Geforce. Future driver updates can of course change the situation.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Marc Sauter (Jun 17, 2009)

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