Strange Brigade is a cooperative third-person shooter where a team of adventurers blasts through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine.
Last year, we used the DX12 renderer as it offered improved performance. In 2020, we’ve switched to the Vulkan renderer with async compute enabled, as it’s now your fastest option and Vulkan games are rare indeed.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with DX12. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider and includes optional real-time ray tracing features.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint
It may run in DX11, but like its predecessor, Ghost Recon Breakpoint and its AnvilNext 2.0 engine absolutely melts GPUs—so much so that we test this game on Very High rather than Ultra settings.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Most of the games in our suite are shooters or adventure games, but we’ve included Total War: Three Kingdoms to give us a glimpse at RTS performance. It’s another DX11 game, running on an improved version of the same engine found in Creative Assembly’s previous Total War entries.
This game isn’t really a visual barn-burner, but still tops the Steam charts day in and day out. We test Grand Theft Auto V with all options turned to Very High, all Advanced Graphics options except extended shadows enabled, and FXAA. GTA V runs on the RAGE engine and has received substantial updates since its initial launch.
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