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Review Medal of Honor Open MP Beta: DirectX 9 versus DirectX 11

Since early Monday morning, the open multiplayer-beta has been available. PC Games Hardware reports technical improvements and issues as well. We'll sum up facts about DirectX 11, MSAA, performance and image quality.
Medal of Honor Open MP Beta
Medal of Honor Open MP Beta [Source: view picture gallery]
On Monday, the open testing-phase of the new Medal of Honor beta-version has become available. You'll need an EA-account and the game client. The latter can be obtained via direct download or via Steam. It's 1,6 Gigabytes and it contains the maps Kunar Base and the Shahikot Mointains. The game mode sector control consists of conquering and securing checkpoint whereas the combat mission mode is composed of five sub-goals tob be achieved (i.e. securing a crash site). We compared the optical appeal and the performance to the one we experienced in the closed beta that had been released four months earlier.

Medal of Honor Open MP-Beta: Technology
DICE still uses the Frostbite Engine 1.5 which offers the modes DirectX 9, 10 and 11. You can alter the active mode by editing an ini-file ("...\My Documents\EA Games\Medal of Honor MP Open Beta\settings.ini"). DirectX 9 disables MSAA, soft shadows and Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion (HBAO). DirectX 10 and 11 are basically the same, but only DirectX 11 comes with exclusive shadow filtering. What all three of the APIs have in common is a strongly limited Field of View which you should set from 55 to 70. The strong bloom effect which makes the image far too bright and should be disabled via ini-editing. The MSAA-implementation is better then the one in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 but it still misses some borders. If you use DirectX 10 oder 11 you should rather make use of the implemented Downsampling. Therefore, you have to edit the resolution in the ini-file.

Compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 the performance has been noticeably increased. On a Geforce GTX 480 and a Phenom X4 970 BE at a resolution of 2.560 x 1.600 with maximum details, 4x MSAA and 16:1 AF the framerate rarely drops below 40 Fps. The stuttering on Geforce cards that had been reported in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has disappeared. Fps-bumps due to smoke that have been mentioned in the closed-beta are a thing of the past. Deactivating HBAO severely increases the framerate without significant impact on the visual appeal.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Marc Sauter (Oct 07, 2010)

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