Articles

Kingdom Come: Deliverance GPU Performance Review

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Monday , February 19, 2018

We take the new game Kingdom Come: Deliverance and test ten current video cards in it to find how each one performs, how those stack up, and what the highest playable settings are. We test 4K, 1440p, and 1080p, with multiple graphics settings, maximum distance sliders, and find out what you need to play this game and have a good experience.

Introduction

It has been a while since a game was released that challenge graphics performance. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has sat atop the throne. It has been able to provide a high-end 1440p experience, and decent and enjoyable 4K gaming experiences, until now. The new game Kingdom Come: Deliverance is here and it has beautiful graphics that challenge video cards for the first time in a long while. This game will make you want to upgrade your video card (not that you can buy one) and build anticipation for the next generation of GPUs. It certainly needs it at 4K!

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was released on February 13th, 2018. This is the first big anticipated title of the year. This game has actually been in development for over five years, and following a popular Kickstarter campaign became very active after 2014 with alpha access and beta access. This game screams gamer-funded and crowd-sourced. This is the game many gamers wanted, and they let that be known by donating. This is an action role-playing single-player game developed by Warhorse Studios and published by Deep Silver.


Game Engine and Mods

To provide the graphics prowess for a modern game this one uses the CryEngine game engine. Warhorse Studios successfully licensed CryEngine 3 in 2012. You can read a ton about what CryEngine does for this game in this article. A Question and Answer session about CryEngine in this game is also here.

To further make this game even better, it is modable. This game can be modded and there are plenty of mods already on Nexus Mods. There are some mods that even improve image quality such as volumetric fog and shadow improvements. There is also a mod to provide unlimited saves, which is a must have.

Patches and Drivers

Note that we are testing the game with patch version 1.2.2. There is a note from the developer on the Steam community outlining the patch versions as well as upcoming patch versions. You will notice there is a hotfix version 1.2.5 coming up, but that won’t change any of the performance we are testing today. You can also see a patch 1.3 is planned as well, but again it doesn’t seem like it will affect performance or image quality. So the performance we are showing today should be solid for a while.

In terms of drivers, always use the latest. We are using GeForce 390.77 and AMD Adrenalin 18.2.2. These are the drivers you want for this game for the best experience right now. You can see that the GeForce drivers are "Game Ready" for this game. The AMD Adrenalin 18.2.2 driver also states performance improvements for this game specifically. Use these drivers if you are having issues.


Graphics Settings

Before we look at the graphics menus, note there is an accessible console in the game, just press ~ and you can input commands. The Steam community has started a thread on known console commands, and you may be able to google for more.

Oddly, the game does NOT have an option for VSYNC. However, thanks to the console command "r_vsync 0" you can disable it while in-game. You can also force it off from the NVIDIA control panel in your drivers on those GPUs. This game is DX11.

Under the "Graphics Settings" option you will find the ability to change your resolution, window mode, overall image quality, show fps, vertical FOV, and gamma correction.

The overall image quality option is a global setting for all image quality options under the "Advanced Graphics Settings." There are the options of: "Low," "Medium," "High," "Very High," and "Ultra High." Note that "Ultra High" technically is not the highest setting.

You can also go into "Advanced Graphics Settings" and manually turn up higher three sliders, the three sliders are: "Object Distance," "LOD Distance," and "Vegetation Draw Distance." These sliders are changed with the global option, but it’s just that at "Ultra High" it does not maximize these, you have to do that manually to really push graphics harder.

When you set the overall image quality global option it changes values under: "Object Quality," "Game Effects," "Lighting," "Particles," "Physics," "Postprocess Quality," "Shader Quality," "Water Details," "Volumetric Effects Details," and "Vegetation Detail."

Instead of us manipulating each and every one separately, which would take ages, we are just going to use the overall image quality option and then addition turn up the sliders to also test out the maximum image quality possible. We will call this one "Ultra High" + Maximum Distance Sliders in our graphs.

How We Tested

First a note, this is our full GPU performance review on Kingdom Come: Deliverance. That does not however mean we will not cover this game in other ways in the future. If a patch, or driver is released that changes things drastically, we can revisit performance. We may also follow-up with image quality comparisons and an article on mods for this game.

As of right now we have over 8 hours of gameplay into the game. This is enough for us to get a good grasp on how the game performs in different areas, we have made it into the game far enough to be free-roaming in the open-world to explore performance aspects. We have also utilized the unlimited saves mod to make many saved game places. We have experienced performance in the wide-open landscapes, heavy grass and trees, through small towns and castles, to full-indoor areas and up-close character moments.

Though our run-through represents a good mix of landscape and village/castle exploration, it is not the only place we used to gauge performance. We have several saved game places saved in low FPS spots to make sure those areas also perform up to playable levels. In fact, there is one scene in particular we use to gauge performance.

In the night shot above the amount of characters and lighting brings performance down about 10 FPS below what we achieve in our actual run-through. This is so far the lowest FPS spot we have found, performance here drops a lot for this dialog scene. There isn’t a lot of movement, so it doesn’t make for a good run-through, but we use it as part of our gauging performance.

The actual run-through we are going to use takes place half in the open-world landscape with long view-distances, and half inside castle walls walking amongst the housing and village, which seems to be a place where performance drops a lot as you will see.