Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia PC Performance Review

Graphical settings - engine regression?

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia PC Performance Review

Graphical settings - engine regression?  

As we have mentioned previously, Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia uses a modified version of the engine used for Total War: Attila, a game which was released back in 2015. The use of this older engine means that many of the new features offered modern games in the series like Total War: Warhammer will be missing, such as "beta" DirectX 12 support, resolution scaling and several other under the hood software changes.  

With this in mind, it is hard to not see Thrones of Britannia as anything aside from a technological regression, though as you can see below the game still offers a wide range of customisable options to adjust the game's graphical quality. Below the surface is the fact that Thrones of Britannia is a 32-bit application at its heart, something that is almst unheard of when it comes to modern PC games.   

Immediately, some of you will notice that Thrones of Britannia is not registering the fact that the GTX 1080 that we used to take this screenshot has more than 3GB of VRAM.  This oddity in itself isn't a huge cause for concern, given how light Thrones of Britannia is on both VRAM and system memory, though it does highlight a bug in the game that shouldn't be there. 

Another thing to note is that like other Total War games, Thrones of Britannia uses the same graphical options menu for both real-time battles and the game's turn-based campaigns. Both of these parts of the game have incredibly different hardware requirements, making it preferable for these two modes to offer players independent graphical options menus. The importance of this will be highlighted later. 

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia PC Performance Review


In Thrones of Britannia, the game's texture detail setting will be defined by how much VRAM the player's GPU possesses, automatically adjusting the texture details depending on how much VRAM the player has. For GPUs with 3GB of VRAM or more Ultra is selected, with 2GB GPUs using the game's high settings. 

All other settings can be adjusted manually or be pre-defined using one of the game's five graphical presets, Low, Medium, High, Ultra and Extreme, details for which are available in the table below.

Strangely, Creative Assembly has not used their maximum of 16x Anisotropic filtering for textures on any of their graphical presets, though we would recommend that most players set this option to 8x or 16x, given its minimal to negligible performance impact.   

Those who are suffering from CPU related slowdown should adjust the game's Unit Size settings first, as this will have the most direct impact on CPU utilisation in battle. Creative Assembly should take a Ubisoft like approach to their graphical settings in future, where they detail how each setting affects CPU, GPU and memory utilisation, as this will make the optimisation process a lot easier for most PC users. 

 

 LowMediumHighUltraExtreme
Anti-AliasingOffOffOffMLAA4x MSAA
Texture ResolutionAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic
Texture FilteringTrilinearTrilinearTrilinear2x4x
ShadowsLowMediumHighUltraUltra
WaterLowMediumHighUltraUltra
SkyLowMediumHighUltraUltra
Depth of FieldOffOffOffOffOn
Particle EffectsLowMediumHighUltraUltra
Screen Space ReflectionsOffOffHighUltraUltra
GrassLowMediumHighUltraUltra
TreesLowMediumHighUltraUltra
TerrainLowMediumHighUltraUltra
Unit DetailLowMediumHighUltraUltra
Building DetailsLowMediumHighUltraUltra
Unit SizeSmallMediumLargeLargeUltra
SSAOOffOffOffOnOn
Distortion effectsOffOnOnOnOn
VignetteOffOffOffOffOff
Proximity fadingOffOnOnOnOn
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Most Recent Comments

10-05-2018, 14:30:42

NeverBackDown
I think you were being slightly too harsh about the multi threading support. I mean we all know the Attila Engine was awful and expecting to much more certainly should have been out of the equation. I don't think comparing it to the newer TW3 Engine used in Warhammer is practical considering those were fully fleshed out titles rather than a spin off.

But all things considered the engine is MUCH better than the Attila one. That said I do still agree that 32bit and lack of Multi threading improvements were horrible ideas and should have at least had more work gone into it. But it's a spin off. So I guess as long as it was better than before they thought it was okay.


I also agree on having separate settings for Campaign and Battles. They are so VASTLY different in what they really stress on the system that it makes little sense to switch settings all the time. Which is something people with lower end hardware have to do.Quote

10-05-2018, 15:07:04

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
I think you were being slightly too harsh about the multi threading support. I mean we all know the Attila Engine was awful and expecting to much more certainly should have been out of the equation. I don't think comparing it to the newer TW3 Engine used in Warhammer is practical considering those were fully fleshed out titles rather than a spin off.

But all things considered the engine is MUCH better than the Attila one. That said I do still agree that 32bit and lack of Multi threading improvements were horrible ideas and should have at least had more work gone into it. But it's a spin off. So I guess as long as it was better than before they thought it was okay.


I also agree on having separate settings for Campaign and Battles. They are so VASTLY different in what they really stress on the system that it makes little sense to switch settings all the time. Which is something people with lower end hardware have to do.
I think it is accurate to say that my harshness could stem from my love for the series, as a sincerely hope that Creative Assembly can take some of my criticisms to heart.

Yeah, I think the best thing that they can do is split campaign and battle settings, though obviously some things like unit sizes will be shared between both modes.

As I have said in the review, I like the game, I look forward to playing more, but the focus here is on performance and when there is a major shortcoming it needs to be discussed in detail.

TBH I am very excited to see what CA bring to the table with Three Kingdoms. I'm very excited to see what CA can do with a historical Total War on the latest iteration of their Warscape engine.Quote

10-05-2018, 15:48:03

NeverBackDown
I understand and I am in the same boat as you.

I won't be getting it though. I just don't think it's worth it. We already had a ton of other Viking themed gameplay in Attila and playing more of it for the sake of different features doesn't interest me for the money.

I don't have much hope for 3K myself. China is boring to me and with how Britannia and Warhammer 2 have gone I am not excited.Quote
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