FCAT VR Reveals The GPUs Required For A Great VR experience In Robo Recall

Featured Stories, FCAT, Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality continues to gain momentum, and the games and experiences created for it are improving exponentially. Case in point: Robo Recall. Created by Epic Games, Robo Recall is a big-budget, super slick Oculus Touch game that has you teleporting through city streets and across rooftops in an awe-inspiring ballet of bullets.

Based on concepts first demonstrated and publicly tested in Bullet Train, Robo Recall puts players in the shoes of Agent 34, a Recall Specialist at the RoboReady Corporation, the company responsible for creating the robots currently rampaging through the game's city streets.

Using the Oculus Touch controllers and up to 4 Oculus sensors, you'll blast and bash robots in rapid succession to build combos and climb online leaderboards. Dodge bullets or return them to their senders, beat robots into submission with their own limbs, and take out advancing enemies by launching your weapons directly at them – with tracked controllers and high-precision sensors you can pull off incredible moves and get an amazing buzz from building your combo.

Helping enhance the experience, and increasing your sense of presence in the VR world, are some stunning Unreal Engine 4 graphics that mix photo-realistic worlds with hyper-realistic robots, and comic book-inspired on-screen scoring. The result is one of the most visually-arresting VR titles available, which can use all available horsepower to further improve fidelity.

Robo Recall achieves this through the addition of several graphics options that enable the game to be scaled across all VR Ready machines. Primarily, this comes from the toggling of Low and High settings, demonstrated below in interactive comparisons.

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High adds real-time reflections of foes and cranks up the quality of geometry reflections, too.

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Geometry and detail levels are improved on High, and more shadows are rendered, creating a more realistic world.

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Shader aliasing is reduced when High is enabled, and entirely new geometric detail is added to smaller objects, further improving fidelity.

In addition to the Low and High toggle, players can manually adjust Multisample Anti-Aliasing, and can toggle the use of Planar Reflections and Indirect Shadows. The biggest cost, however, comes from the rendering resolution (Pixel Density), so low-spec users can dynamically adjust the resolution when performance drops using the Adaptive Resolution option.

At the other end of the spectrum, players with high-end systems can modify the Pixel Density option, which sharpens detail and further decreases aliasing artifacts.

Options are all well and good, but how do you know which settings to use on your system? Or if you're buying a PC or upgrade for a VR game, how do you know what to buy and how that upgrade or purchase will improve the experience?

In the past, answering these questions was a tricky task, since there were no easily-assessable public tools that collected and presented all of the key metrics when testing VR.

Thankfully, we can now record and present all of that information with our free FCAT VR software, which records frametimes, dropped frames, and extrapolated frames, which all lead to a greater understanding of the VR experience on any GPU, in any DirectX VR game, including Robo Recall.

Now, you know exactly what experience you'll receive, and what hardware is required for a specific set of settings.

To help you determine the hardware you'll require for Robo Recall, we tested it using our FCAT VR Software Capture, and then used the FCAT VR Analyzer to interpret the data. The results show that the GeForce GTX 1060 is ideal for a smooth 90 FPS 11.1ms Low-detail Robo Recall experience, and the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is similarly suited for a High-detail experience.

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The FCAT VR Analyzer output shown above affirms this statement, revealing performance around or below 11 milliseconds (90 FPS), the level of performance required for a smooth VR experience. In the lower half of the image the individual benchmarks for each GPU are shown - here, solid green equals a consistent framerate with zero dropped frames, meaning performance is as good as it can get.

A few small spikes are seen in the most intensive moments of the game, though these split-second minor drops have little impact on overall fluidity or the experience seen and felt in the headset. In comparison, High on the GeForce GTX 1060 results in 45 FPS with asynchronous space warp enabled for the majority of the benchmark, resulting in a less fluid experience that simply doesn't ‘feel' as good to play.

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With FCAT VR we can now apply this testing to the majority of VR games, demonstrating the impact of GPU performance and different game settings on your experience. Similarly, users can benchmark CPUs and other hardware before analyzing the data and drawing meaningful conclusions about how to invest in hardware when building a VR system.

If you wish to look at our Robo Recall data in greater detail you can download it here, and analyze it yourself by following the steps in our FCAT VR guide. In addition, check out hardware sites and GPU reviews now and in the future for additional FCAT VR game testing, to see how the latest graphics cards shape up in Virtual Reality.

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