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home : reviews : ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 128MB 8500 Review : page 3

Written by Benjamin Sun
Edited & Posted by Giovanni Glass
July 26, 2002

TRUFORM games and gameplay with TRUFORM
Here, I'll discuss TRUFORM. In my AIW RADEON 8500DV review, I discussed higher order surfaces, including N-Patches. In this review I'll be taking a look at how developers are using TRUFORM in a couple of games It's unfortunate that I don't have Soul Reaver 2 handy, as that's another game that supports TRUFORM.

Myth III
Myth III was one of the last games produced by GOD (Gathering Of Developers) last year. Unfortunately, while the concept of GOD was extremely interesting, they were bleeding money at the end :(. A real time strategy (RTS) game that was the sequel to Bungie's Myth II (before they were bought out by Microsoft), Myth III uses TRUFORM to good effect.

Myth III plays wonderfully on the AIW RADEON 8500 128MB card. As it's not a very complicated game graphically, most cards today handle this game with ease. The support for TRUFORM in the game does improve the look, however, and currently, only the 8500 series from ATI supports this feature, though Matrox's recently announced Parhelia will support it as well.

Serious Sam The Second Encounter
Serious Sam was developed by Croteam and released in the year 2000. At the time the game was one of the most technically advanced games available, with support for many of the available graphics technologies from ATI, NVIDIA and the late 3dfx, including support for the FSAA modes used by the Voodoo5 and the various features of the GeForce2/RADEON series including three textures per pixel. Later patches added support for TRUFORM for ATI's RADEON 8500 chipset.

The sequel to Serious Sam The First Encounter, Serious Sam the Second Encoounter was released last year. Featuring support for many new features, including native support for TRUFORM, SS: TSE is one of the compelling games that uses the features of the 8500 and cards like the 8500 to good effect.

The minimum system requirements for Serious Sam are: PC CDROM, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, PII 400 with 950MB hard drive space, 96MB RAM, 16MB Videocard (3D Hardware Acceleration required), 4x CDROM drive, 100% Microsoft compatible mouse and DirectSound soundcard, DirectX 8 required.

I was able to play Serious Sam The Second Encounter without difficulty. No slowdowns were noticeable in any of the resolutions I tried, and while TRUFORM is subtle in the game, it was there. It's nice to see a game engine that uses the latest available graphics card technologies, and the game is a lot of fun to boot.

Command And Conquer Renegade
Unlike in the Serious Sam demos and Myth III, the effect of TRUFORM support in Command and Conquer Renegade is much more subtle. In point of fact, I had a hard time distinguishing what was TRUFORMed and what wasn't. Taking a look at the screenshots, even zoomed 800%, it was hard to tell a difference. The radar antenna on one of the GDI buildings looks a lot better than TRUFORMed, and there's subtle differences in the buildings, but it's all subjective.

I played Renegade at the highest possible settings supported by my monitor. It played without issue at 1280x1024 throughout the single player missions. TRUFORM does make a difference but it's subtle in gameplay. Turning antialiasing on, allowed my to play 1024x768 with 2x Quality antialiasing turned on with little difficulty.

The recommended system requirements for C+C Renegade are: PC CDROM, Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, PII 400 with 950MB hard drive space, 96MB RAM, 16MB Video RAM (3D Hardware Acceleration Required), 4x CDROM, 100% Microsoft compatible mouse and DirectSound compatible soundcard, DirectX 8 required.

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