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Company of Heroes: Image Qualilty Comparison

Company of Heroes was always developed with DX10 in mind and so the release of a DX10 patch for the game was a likely but still very welcome addition. Of course, the game looks brilliant even in its DX9 guise but adding in support for DX10 just adds that extra layer of gloss and gives me another excuse to go back and play what has to be one of my favourite games of the last year.

As with Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, the difference between the DX9 and DX10 versions of Company of Heroes can be quite difficult to spot at first. However, when you grab a few screenshots the differences are subtle, but evident.

The lighting has been upgraded so that all light sources cast proper shadows creating real atmosphere in night scenes. Geometry shaders have also been utilised to create more litter objects, like rocks and tufts of grass, on the open areas of the map.


Company of Heroes DirectX 9

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If you look at street lamp you can see the light from it creates additional shadows on the floor. Also, the circled areas highlight the litter objects that DX10 has added - told you it was hard to spot at first!

Company of Heroes DirectX 10

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Explosions have also been given the geometry shader once over to create much more realistic particle effects.


Company of Heroes DirectX 9

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Company of Heroes DirectX 10

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The final addition to the DX10 version is subtle but makes quite a big difference to the overall feel of the game, especially during cut scenes and other occasions where you need to zoom close in. The aforementioned pixel shading techniques that make the surfaces of models look more realistic seem to be more sophisticated when using the DX10 code path. The result is that up close, models are simply more detailed.

You can see the extra detail from the DX10 version if you look at the mesh on the helmet. In the second picture it is quite noticeably more detailed.

Company of Heroes DirectX 9

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Company of Heroes DirectX 10

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