Far Cry 6 is finally only a couple of weeks away from launching, after missing its previous release date of February 18th due to COVID-19 related development challenges.
With the game’s development now concluded, we were able to arrange a brief interview with Ubisoft 3D Team Lead Programmer Stephanie Brenham where we dive into the main tech features of Far Cry 6, such as ray tracing, FSR, and much more.
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Far Cry 6 becomes available for Windows PC (Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna on October 7th.
Is Far Cry 6 powered by the engine previously seen in New Dawn? If so, how did you improve it for this new franchise entry?
We made several improvements. To name just a few: we added GPU culling to reduce the workload on the CPU and make better use of hardware resources; to support the lush tropical forests, we added GPU instancing to reduce draw overhead for dense biomes; and, to hit our performance targets in cities, we added DCC support to take advantage of the similarities in the colours found in urban settings.
Will the PC and next-gen consoles enjoy any tech-related perks over the PS4 and XB1 versions such as higher NPC count, more detailed physics, etc.? Also, are you planning to allow next-gen console
owners to select between a Performance Mode and a Graphics Mode as most games do nowadays?
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There are a few common benefits both next-gen consoles and PC enjoy. That includes better LODs, draw distances, better ocean simulation, and HD textures. Newer consoles also have 4K 60 FPS. PC has DXR Reflections & Shadows, Fidelity FX (FSR, CAS), unlocked FPS, ultrawide screen, and adjustable FOV.
Why did you choose hybrid ray traced reflections?
We chose hybrid ray traced reflections because it has the best quality-to-performance balance and
allows us to support DXR even on mid-range hardware. This way more players can enjoy ray tracing in scenarios where it’s impossible to use SSLR due to technology limitations.
Are you using the FidelityFX denoiser or a custom one?
We are using a custom denoiser for the hybrid ray traced approach.
Will ray tracing be available on PS5 and Xbox Series S|X, too? If so, how will it compare to the PC version?
Ray tracing is a PC only feature. On console, our objective has been to take advantage of new hardware capabilities, optimizing performance targeting 4K and achieving 60 FPS, for instance, all while ensuring new game features, like our dynamic weather system, are supported on all platforms.
The PC recommendations that you just put out didn’t consider AMD FSR. How much of a performance improvement are you seeing when FSR is enabled?
FSR is an option we give to our players on PC, and the performance improvement seen with FSR really depends on the hardware configuration. It’s a feature that can help players achieve higher final resolutions with smooth interactive framerates.
Will Far Cry 6 feature AMD FSR on consoles?
FSR is a feature we developed in partnership with AMD for PC.
After working on next-generation systems, which of their hardware features (ray tracing support, SSDs, audio, etc.) managed to stand out the most for you?
Each of these features contribute to a new level of quality that should define a next-gen
experience. However, SSDs are probably the most immediately striking difference. Loading in moments rather than minutes is obviously fantastic and it also gives us a different paradigm compared to older console’s HDDs.
For Variable Rate Shading, are you using Tier 1 or Tier 2 support? How much of a performance improvement can PC players expect when turning it on in Far Cry 6?
Our focus was really on other new improvements for PC, working hard to take advantage of those
powerful and unique features I mentioned earlier.
Beyond ray tracing and variable-rate shading, DX12 Ultimate also includes mesh shading and sampler feedback. Which of these features are you more interested in checking out in the future and why?
Both mesh shading and sampler feedback offer the ability to streamline a lot of the techniques we can already do, however, both features can be the difference maker in creating a rock-solid and stable game feature – or entering debug hell. I’m particularly interested in mesh shaders because they also offer more flexibility for fine-grained tessellation and culling techniques, which had to be implemented with very complex compute shader pipelines before.
On the PC front, Microsoft has introduced DirectStorage to PC. Do you anticipate it’ll be a meaningful improvement for PC gamers, particularly with open world titles like Far Cry?
DirectStorage does significantly improve data loading times. We anticipate it can make meaningful
improvements for open world games, which need to load and unload vast amounts of data to support a player’s unpredictable movements throughout a game world.
Thank you for your time.
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