Articles

AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Island 359

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , September 01, 2016

When was the last time you got lost in the jungle while hunting dinosaurs? We got lost for a little over an hour last week the day that Island 359™ went live on the Steam Store. The Island 359™ has the chops to even be able to bring our TITAN X to its knees should you wish to turn up the IQ, and it can be as beautiful as it is scary.

What is Island 359?

Island 359آ™ is an Early Access Game available now on Steam. The quick and dirty storyline behind the game is that you are a mercenary that is dropped off by helicopter, into the jungle, to hunt dinosaurs. It very much has a "Jurassic" feel to it. You go out and hunt, and then return, get evacuated, and collect your score and place on the leaderboard. If you don't return...your game ends...because you got eaten by dinosaurs.

CloudGate Studio is the company behind Island 359, and is also producing another VR game, The Brookhaven Experiment, which is also available as an Early Access Game on Steam. Interestingly enough, CloudGate's tagline is "PREMIUM VR EXPERIENCES," which we have heard a lot about lately.

Rest assured that you will need plenty of GPU horsepower for a "premium VR experience," as Island 359 can be extremely GPU-intensive. Here is how CloudGate describes its game.

Island 359 is a Virtual Reality survival game for the HTC Vive. Players will use the guns, knives, upgrades, and other tools found on the island to survive for as long as they can against hordes of dinosaurs, as they explore the increasingly dangerous island.

Island 359 is a room scale game that uses the Vive motion controllers to put you inside of the action, and gameplay is extremely immersive and compelling. My first time out on the island, making my way around, I got lost. For some reason I expected to be on somewhat of a "rail" adventure like a lot of other VR games that I have played. That is not the case with Island 359 at all. I found myself out in the middle of the jungle hiding from dinos soon enough, kicking myself in the ass, for not paying any attention at all to the landmarks I should have been making note of as I progressed forward through the jungle. Your merc buddy that keeps comms with you is always letting you know that if you don't make it back to the LZ, that you are not getting "paid" for all the dinosaurs you have taken down and loot crates you have collected. He certainly helps ramp up your sense of urgency and gives you a feeling of purpose, and you don't want to let him down. And thankfully enough, there are a few places you can hide.

Beyond the gameplay, Island 359 has an extremely scalable set of Image Quality adjustments. We can actually scale up the IQ enough that we could crush even the TITAN X. We will talk more about all that on the following pages.