Today is a pretty big day in gaming; for the benefit of those who weren't already running a countdown like I was, I'll elaborate. Both the newest installment of downloadable content for Skyrim, Dragonborn, and Far Cry 3 are out today. Both of these are pretty big news, of course, but the Far Cry 3 news gets a little extra help on launch day from AMD (News - Alert), who is joining up with Ubisoft to make Far Cry 3 just a little more potent than it already was.
Far Cry 3 was actually developed as part of AMD's Gaming Evolved program, and is therefore specifically tuned for PC gaming. It's set to make the most of some very high-end AMD components, like Radeon graphics and support for both Eyefinity and CrossFire technologies. This means not only are gamers looking at some multiscreen capabilities, they're also set to get a powerful experience for upper-tier gaming machines.
The use of Eyefinity will actually allow support for up to six monitors at once on just one lone graphics card. CrossFire, in turn, will put extra power behind a multi-GPU system, allowing systems with at least two Radeon GPUs to work in parallel, boosting gaming performance. But it may well be graphics that get the biggest boost here, with the Graphics Core Next architecture taking advantage of DirectX 11 to bring several new graphic features into play.
For instance, the use of Direct3D 11 deferred rendering can start up, which improves image quality thanks to a new kind of light-culling, as well as the use of multi-sample anti-aliasing in the graphics to provide further improvement. Better, the illumination system is also improved, making more realistic light reflections from ambient lighting, better reflecting both dynamic light sources and distant light sources. There are improvements to skin and hair shading, as well as an improvement to what's known as "high definition ambient occlusion", that will improve shading relative to the position of light sources and make the overall experience more realistic.
For gamers who plan to get Far Cry 3 on PCs, there's a lot to like in this package. The graphics are about to take a major leap forward and improve the overall immersive quality for those who put a lot into their gaming PCs. Console gamers, meanwhile, won't have near so much to be happy about, but will likely be able to content themselves with the "Skyrim with guns" gameplay, as Machinima put it not too long ago. Some may, not surprisingly, question the value of putting several hundred dollars into an appropriately top-end gaming PC to get more realistic hair, but for those gamers that rank graphics as paramount in their games, it isn't even a question. Undoubtedly, however, they will get a more realistic and more immersive experience than console gamers will.
Far Cry 3 was released just today, so those PC gamers with their hardware already tuned will see it pay off today. Console gamers can also get a slice of this action too starting today, though just without the upgrades.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman