Metro 2033 delivers state-of-the-art technology as well as good-looking graphics. PC Games Hardware tested the performance effect of DirectX 11 and GPU Physx.
The game is based on the 4A Engine, which delivers almost any technical feature possible today. With maxed out settings the PC version looks just stunning. This is cause by the superb lighting with high resolution textures, GPU Physx, Hardware Tessellation, Morphological Anti-Aliasing as well as Direct Compute calculated Depth of Field, Screen-space Ambient Occlusion, sub surface Scattering, Parallax Occlusion Mapping and Object Motion Blur. If you want to know more about the technological base of Metro 2033 we recommend our exclusive tech interview
with 4A Games’ Chief Technical Officer Oles Shishkovstov.Metro 2033: DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 and the detail incident
If you are running Metro 2033 on a DirectX 11 graphics card you get two additional video options: Tessellation and Depth of Field. The latter one is also active in DirectX 10 but the DX11 version is rendered by Direct Compute. In Metro 2033 not only NPCs but also weapons in your hands and certain objects like chairs are tessellated. But the developers did exaggerate a little bit: Like it has been the case in Stalker: Call of Pripyat, the tessellated objects look pumped up. But without a direct comparison you can’t really see the difference anyway. Except the two additional options the DirectX 11 mode offers the same graphics as the DirectX 10 mode and even the performance is on the same level.
With a DirectX 9 card the game doesn’t just offer less DirectX 11 features but also other visual finesses: You have for example no Multisampling Anti-Aliasing but only the Morphological Anti-Aliasing (called Analytical Anti-Aliasing by 4A Games). Furthermore you don’t get the Object Motion Blur: While Metro 2033 uses only decent blur to illustrate the speed of the player, the fast movements of NPCs or enemies are made more realistic with the effect.
Besides the API specific details Metro 2033 offers either 4x MSAA or AAA as well as 4:1 or 16:1 AF. Additional settings are not available. Furthermore it is not possible to adjust the settings individually. With high instead of very high details for example the engine does not deliver Sub surface Shattering or Motion Blur, the shadows get a little rougher and the AAA as well as the Parallax Occlusion Mapping are missing, too. On the other hand the performance is increased by about 20 percent.Metro 2033: PCGH benchmark sequence
For our tests we use the beginning of the level Cursed
, where we and several NPCs defend a small camp against a horde of Nosalis mutants. The sequence contains all relevant features like Tessellation, Depth of Field, SSAO, Light and Shadow and so on. In matters of workload the scene is a common task and not a worst-case scenario.