Battlefield V PC Performance Review
Published: 14th November 2018 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
DX12 Launch Issues and the Problem with Screen Space Reflections
At the time of writing, Battlefield V's DirectX 12 version is not worth using, either on AMD or Nvidia graphics cards, mostly due to a huge amount of stutter that seemingly occurs every time the game loads in a chunk. This is not exactly a good thing for a game that often requires fast movement, whether it be charging towards an enemy encampment or running towards the nearest cover when an enemy tank has you in its sights.
Right now, this issue seems a lot like Star Wars: Battlefront II's early DX12 issues, as it presented the same problems when it released back in 2017. To be honest, I expected more from Battlefield V under DirectX 12, especially given the game's development of DXR features, which require DirectX 12 to access.
DICE claims that these issues are temporary and that they will be addressed before the game launches on November 20th, but for now, all I can say is stay clear of Battlefield Vs DirectX 12 mode. In its current state it is not worth using.
Update - Battlefield V's November 14th update has significantly improved Battlefield V's DirectX 12 mode, removing most of the game's hitching issues, though a minimal number of these framerate drops still persist. DirectX 11 remains the most stable API for Battlefield V, though this could change with future patches.
Screen Space Reflections
Battlefield V makes extensive use of Screen Space Reflections (SSR), often in areas where the feature should have been avoided entirely. While the feature offers great graphical results in many areas, in others the effect is sorely lacking, presenting tonnes of artefacts that mess up the game's otherwise excellent execution.
Perhaps this is DICE's way of showing us why DirectX Raytracing is the way forward when it comes to reflections, but for now, I think we need to talk about SSR and its downsides.
As the name suggests, SSR uses data that is taken from the Screen Space, with SSR allowing the game to generate reflections that are based on data that is added to objects in a post-process manner from completed frames. IE, if a puddle is supposed to draw a reflection of a tree, that three will be reflected if it is included within the game's screen space data. If the reflected object isn't visible on screen, the object will not be drawn in the reflection.
The consequences of this are artefacts when screen space reflections are used on surfaces at the edge of a screen, though these artefacts also occur when objects within the screen space occlude these objects from view. For example, the image below showcases how the player's weapon can be used to prevent screen space relations from working properly, with the area under the gun presenting no reflections.
Other examples of this include the "Tirailleurs" War Story, which features extensive use of puddles with screen space reflections as well as autumn leaves which blow in the wind. These leaves when combined with SSR present an insane number of graphical artefacts, making it a strange decision for DICE to feature both so heavily in a single mission when they conflict so often.
We will go deeper into SSR and its downsides at a later date, when we can compare it to Battlefield V's planned DXR raytraced reflections.