We admit heading into our preview of Gearbox's Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway with some trepidation yesterday. Shooters set in World War II feel so played-out that even calling them a cliche has become a cliche. It seems that the team is trying some innovative things with its new title, though, including an attempt at making the "feel" of combat more authentic. Some new tactical features, like requiring you to lay down suppressing fire, as well as a mechanic for simulating the overall heat of combat, gave the preview we saw a unique flavor.
But the end of that meeting was even better for us, at least as far as our quest to find out about the overall adoption of DirectX 10 in the next batch of PC games on the horizon. As Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told us, we'll be in a mostly DirectX 9 world for a while yet. And when we finally get to games built from the ground up with DirectX 10, you might not even notice, because next-gen graphics features will only trickle in to new titles gradually for the next couple of years.
According to Randy, PCs using today's DirectX 10 hardware would still likely have a hard time with a pure DirectX 10 game. There's still optimization that needs to go on with the drivers and the software in general. Further, and this is a bit more obvious, few developers are going to spend a lot of time on DirectX 10 now, when so few gamers have the hardware to take advantage of it. That's also why even on the titles that do incorporate some features of DirectX 10, you won't see anything drastically better-looking, because those games are still only dabbling with the next-gen API. This explains why (in our opinion) the current crop of DirectX 10 supporting games,
Just prior to our meeting with Gearbox, we sat through an hour-long demo of Fallout 3, developed by Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda, if you recall, was the developer that made
We don't doubt that Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, and the other big PC shooters this year will look great when they launch. We also still advocate DirectX 10 hardware if you're a gamer and you've moved to