Windows 7 is out, and with it is the latest version with DirectX — DirectX 11. The new graphics API is an evolution from DirectX 10, but it doesn’t only include more features, it’s faster than the previous version (unlike the DX9 to DX10 transition). Among the new features is Tessellation, which increases the amount of visible polygons, and multi-threaded rendering, which takes advantage of multicore CPUs a lot better than previous DX versions.
While only ATI’s 5000 series of graphics cards support DX11, Nvidia will join the club later this year, when new games which support the standard will emerge as well. We’ve picked top 10 games that are confirmed to include DirectX 11 support when released.
(EA Games, out now)
Battleforge is the only game that’s currently available that supports DirectX 11. While it’s a card-based RTS with out much action to fully shocase the new visual features, the game was patched with DX 11 goodies, which provided smoother gameplay and better visuals. While it’s still not a Crysis-caliber game, it’s officially the first game to support the new API.
9: The Lord of The Rings Online
While LOTR: Online was released a few years ago, the game has received visual overhauls over the years, and it’s no different with DX 11 — the upcoming LOTR: Online patch will include DX 11 features, and will be developed in cooperation with AMD.
8: DIRT 2
(Codemasters, December 2009)
DIRT 2 was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 a few months ago, but the PC version was delayed until December so Codemasters could implement DirectX 11 features into the game, with an added investment into the game by AMD (makers of the only DX11 available graphics cards on the market). And it appears the wait will be worth it for PC gamers, as DIRT 2 for PC will support tessellation, delivering more fluid crowd, particle and water animations.
7: F1 2010
Codemasters not only have a rally game with DX11 support, the developer/publisher is also working on a new F1 racing game, which will used an enhanced version of the DIRT 2 engine, and will include even more DX11 features. Look for F1 2010 when the new F1 season starts next March.
6: Alien Vs. Predator
The team behind the original AVP from 1999, Rebellion, is back with what looks to be a solid remake. Alien Vs. Predator will feature all three playable classes (Aliens, Predators, Marines), and will include DX 11 features such as Shader Model 5 and tessellation, and the developer is noted saying that the new API not only improves the visuals, but overall speed of the game as well.
5: Alan Wake
While Alan Wake was originally a showcase for Intel’s quad core CPUs and DirectX 10, the game has for some reasons slipped from the PC lineup, and only Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are officially mentioned. However, the game was originally developed for the PC in mind, and all signs point towards a PC version which is delayed in order to get a DX 11 overhaul, and which is slated for release after the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
4: STALKER: Call of Pripyat
Developer GCS World has already revealed screenshots comparing DX 10 and DX 11 versions of the game (see above), and while the differences are subtle, they’re noticeable. The biggest improvement should be speed and stability, which has plagued previous installments of the Chernobyl-based STALKER franchise.
3: Supreme Commander 2
Supreme Commander, while released a good two years ago, still remains the most impressive-looking RTS out there, and the sequel, Supreme Commander 2, will be building using an improved engine from the first game, and will include support for DX 11, when released, about a year from now.
2: Crysis 2
While CryTek hasn’t officially revealed DirectX 11 features for Crysis 2 (it hasn’t revealed the game yet — only announced), it’s a fact that the game will be build using the new CryEngine 3, which includes full DX 11 support across the board. Crysis was originally a poster boy for DX 10, and it looks like Crysis 2 will take the same role for DX 11.
1: Battlefield 3
(Q4 2010/Q1 2011)
Earlier this year, DICE announced
that Battlefield 3 was in development, but didn’t reveal much further, other than the game would feature the new Frostbite 2 engine. While the upcoming Bad Company 2 will be build using a version of Frostbite 1 which includes DX 11 support, it unfortunately won’t be present in the final version of the game. Battlefield 3 on the other hand, will be build with Frostbite 2, and will include all the DX 11 bells and whistles, which should make the destruction and effects even more prominent. Look for BF3 late 2010 or early 2011 — depending on how successful Bad Company 2 on the PC is.