The game Prey uses the CryEngine, the developer has modified it but neatly. The (unusual) result is a more average graphic, but the performance is surprisingly good.
Table of Contents
1Don and Abs with the CryEngine
Four presets and four edge smoothing
2 test series, test system and graphic settings
Benchmarks from Full HD to Ultra HD
Frametimes in Percentiles
Recommended from Full HD to Ultra HD
Up and down with the CryEngine
Prey is developed by the Arkane Studios, which had delivered with Dishonored 2 a technically wackly PC implementation. However, the developer has already promised in advance that the PC version of Prey should run significantly better from the beginning. The promise was kept, but also with Prey not everything is optimal. Nevertheless the PC implementation succeeded.
A completely different technical basis was also helpful. Dishonored 2 is based on the in-house void engine, which is based on the idTech-5 technology. Prey, on the other hand, uses the CryEngine including DirectX 11 and thus a completely different basis. However, the CryEngine is not recognizable.
Because usually games with this technique look very good, but run it but anything but good. Prey turns the game around. You have to say it so hard, but the graphics of Prey is below average. The textures quickly become mud, the shadows are strange, the faces lifeless, and the lighting also seems to be more of a foregone. This is nothing new for Arcane Studios games. However, the graphics saves the usual strength of developers: the art design. Because artistically, Prey is always spectacular again – just like Dishonored 2. It is quite easy to go in dark corridors, which are not very nice to look at. However, you always bend around a corner and get a very nicely designed room to see. This ultimately saves the optics of Prey, which however still does not gain a beauty prize.
“On” is off and “Off” is on – but VSync is (part) anyway not
There are positive points regarding the technology bugs, of which Dishonored 2 had a lot to start. Prey ran flawlessly on all tests and graphics cards. Only with the not working graphics options remained the Arkane Studios faithful, even if the error this time falls into the category curious, but forgivable. For example, the function for VSync is incorrectly labeled with an Nvidia graphics card: “On” is then disabled and “Off” is activated. Moreover, it is not at all a vertical synchronization, but obviously simply a framelimiter, which limits the maximum image rate independent of the resolution and refresh rate to 144 FPS. When the function is switched on, the image rate is not limited.
Interestingly, everything changes with an AMD graphics card. Because on a Radeon it is actually VSync. And one is also correct on and off is off. For this, then suddenly a frame limit at 144 FPS. There is also the suggestion that some options have been twisted on a GeForce graphics card. However, you can also disable the framelimit on an AMD accelerator. To this end, the value of the line “sys_MaxFPS = 144” must be changed to the value “999” in the game.ini in the user directory under Windows. The classic value “0” does not work.
Prey is participating in AMD’s gaming-Evolved program
Prey is participating in AMD’s gaming-Evolved program and already has a Radeon and Ryzen logo on the intro. In addition, Prey will also be optimized for the forthcoming high-end graphics card Radeon RX Vega. Graphics effects of AMD, such as TressFX, do not seem to use the game.
Four presets and four edge smoothing
Prey offers four presets to improve performance at the expense of graphics: low, medium, high, and very high. Very high is the maximum possible quality. The low and medium presets are not recommended. Because both shadows have strong artifacts.
Image 1 of 4
From the high setting, you do not have to accept many disadvantages. Then the shadows look neat and the game also uses an environmental cover, which clearly increases the graphic quality. In addition, the texture quality and edge smoothing make a step forward.
Very high then lifts the quality visibly once again, without the jump is too big. While high soft shadows use, at very high much harder, but more precise shadows are used. In addition, very high objects show shadows, which previously had none. Apart from this, there are differences with the magnifying glass.
Presets – 1,920
Four times PP-AA, without an optimal solution
Prey offers four different edge-smoothing options, all of which are post-processing variants: FXAA, SMAA 1X, SMAA 1TX and SMAA 2TX. The last two offer a temporal component and thus also handle objects which, for example, do not capture SMAA 1X. But to make it short: apart from SMAA 2TX the three other settings are not useful. Especially FXAA and SMAA 1X have hardly any effect due to the missing temporal component.
SMAA 2TX is the mode of choice, but also not perfect. It is pleasing that the setting in Full HD only produces a minimal blur. For this, most objects are effectively smoothed and barely flicker. However, there are also items that also SMAA 2TX hardly captured at all. Even in Ultra HD with SMAA 2TX, the image is not flicker-free. Since the game has no downsampling integrated, then only the driver-external variant DSR resp. VSR remains to provide a remedy.
Edge smoothing – 1,920 × 1,080
Images per second (FPS)
AMD Radeon RX580:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060:
As usual, post-processing AA does not cost much. The value is three per cent on the GeForce GTX 1060 and four per cent on the Radeon RX 580. Correspondingly, one should not attempt to obtain additional images per second by means of a worse anti-aliasing.
On the next page: Test series, test system and graphics settings