Crossout. Focus-test and perfomance

About the game

Crossout is an aggressive PvP/PvE car oriented MMO-action game in a postapocalyptic world. The game looks very promising. It has got an editor mode with almost unlimited opportunities, a variety of armored vehicles, advanced destruction model, a wide range of firearms, all possible body kits, such as saws, drills and disk saws. Experienced publisher and developer inspire trust. In other words, we are all set for some desert madness!

We haven’t only discussed the game in the most detailed preview in runet, but also recorded a let’s play. In this article we are going to describe the results of our focus test and check the performance on common configurations. Let’s get to it!

Focus-test

First of all, a few lines about what focus test is. This is a test for a focus group, the purpose of which is to predict the reaction of players on the product itself and it’s parts: graphics, sound, useability of interface, difficluty, entrance level etc.
The aim of our focus test was to gather opinions of experienced players on basics of Crossout. The personal opinion of one player and the sum of answers of a devil’s dozen are two different things, all in all.

The audience of our focus test:

  • 13 people
  • 11 male, 2 female
  • 25 y.o. in average

General measurements

MeasurementsAverage value
General impression 4,08
Visuals3,85
Sound4,69
“Test-drive” mode4,38
"Missions" (PvP- battles)4,23
"Raids" (PvE-battles)3,85
HUD4
Controls3,69
Physics3,69

7 out of 13 testers rated the game as good. 6 testers gave it a will do mark. Noone thinks that the game was completely bad.

11 testers are satisfacted with game visuals. 2 participants didn’t like the monotonous and boring set of colors. The main wish was to make vehicles and surroundings more destructible.

Only one participant of the test described the game music negatively. He based his opinion on different music tastes. All other members of our focus group were completely satisfied with the sound in the game.

All testers positively valued the “test-drive” function. Only propositions were to improve this function with adding AI configuration settings and increasing the variety of options in the testing polygon.

The focus group described PvP battles as good. They also noticed a variety of tactics and an increased interest in the battle during team deathmatch battles. Purposes were made to create various maps with the necessity to use specific tactics for each and to add time differentiation for different maps.

PvE missions were welcomed by all participants of our test. However, most players asked to complicate AI behavior with a function of making an ambush, for example.

All testers positively evaluated the HUD as it is plain and understandable. The only problem was camera controll function in the garage, which is binded to RMB, not LMB as usuall.

The sensitivity of a vehicle seemed to be the problem, according to our focus group. Most testers voted for increasing the reaction time after pressing keys and vehicle moving. Another questionable thing was the interface of rebinding firearms to mouse buttons. This function lacks hits and needs to be improved.

Of all remarks about game physics, the vehicle behavior on water needs to be noticed. According to all participants’ opinion, the speed should not fall so drasticly when the vehicle is in the water. There also is weight of the vehicle, as now it can’t be observed and needs to be re-worked.

On the question if they would want to continue the game 8 testers answered “yes”, 1 tester said “no” and 4 testers were not sure.

Conclusion. Testers of our focus test well evaluated the editor mode. However, it has most remarks, such as: low amount of details for crafting and not enough variants for customization of your own unique combat vehicle. The visual part of the project, as well as the sound part, was warmly welcomed by the majority of testers.

Minimal system requirements

OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1
Processor: 2.0 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon II
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 512 МБ, NVidia / AMD Radeon / Intel (HD 3000, HD 4000) with support of Pixel Shader 3.0 (except AMD Radeon X1000 series)
Network: Broadband internet service
Storage: 1.8 GB free space

In our preview we’ve written that Hammer Engine was developed by Targem Games a long time ago and wouldn’t require a brand new PC. How many players use Pentium 4 nowadays? And 1GB RAM is only enough for three tabs in Chrome browser! It’s hard for us to imagine a person, who is into games, but uses a PC that’s 10-15 years old. Overall, low system requirements benefit the developer.

Bytex minimal configuration. Performance

OS: Windows 7 х64
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6750 (4M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB)
Cooler: Intel original
Motherboard: ASUS P5B
Videocard: Zotac PCI-Ex GeForce 9500 GT 512MB DDR2 (128bit)
RAM: 2 Gb
HDD: Western Digital Red SATA III 1TB 1000GB(WD10EFRX)
Case: ATX LINKWORLD 316-10

We’ve managed to find a person with a pre-historic PC in our studio. That casket was brought here, to the studio. After we’ve cleaned it and changed the thermal paste we were surprised that we could not only start Crossout, but also play it more or less successfully in window mode!

Sure, 20 FPS is not enough for a dynamic racing game. In WoT or War Thunder, people can play and – according to the statistics of 45% victory – even win with such FPS! Well, these masters of counting prefer heavier tanks, as it demands less reflexes. Crossout gameplay differs from tank games in terms of speed. Can we manage to play it with 20-30 FPS? It’s not for everyone, I daresay. Although, our collegues managed to create their vehicles and play decently on minimal configurations.

Right after we’ve finished testing the performance of 0.2.9 version, patch 0.2.10 was uploaded. Our studio couldn’t help, but taking the opportunity of comparing the results of both versions. Fair to say, there also was a patch 0.2.11 the next day, but it only chaged the game balance, so we decided to keep comparing 0.2.9 and 0.2.10 versions. Some places were imroved and some became worse, but the main thing is that FPS increased on small resolutions during PvP battles. 1600×1900 resolution is almost the same and FPS on FullHD decreased.

Of course, it’s too early to predict anything yet. To do that, we have to wait fo an open beta at least. All in all, you can see everything on our diagrams. The only thing there is to add is an almost complete lack of crashes and freezes. During the week, the only two freezes occured after turning benchmark on and recording the video. The stability of the game surprised our most experienced testers.

Garage. Performance

Test-Drive. Performance

Test-Drive. Performance

Performance diagrams

  • Patch: ver. 0.2.10
  • Game mode: PvP
  • Map: Powerplant
  • Settings: Low.
  • Duration: 2-2,5 minutes

The diagrams show us that the perofrmance is quite unstable. FPS rate could sometimes go over 30 and drop to 15. This influenced the gameplay very much. 20-25 FPS would let us be more or less effective in combat, but it was much worse during FPS drops.

Performance diagrams

  • Patch: ver. 0.2.10
  • Game mode: PvP
  • Map: Powerplant
  • Settings: High.
  • Duration: 2-2,5 minutes

Even though 8-9 year old hardware could manage low settings, the performance results on high settings were predictably worse. FPS is below 10 even on small resolutions.

Other participants. Performance

OS: Windows 10 Home x64
Processor: Intel Core i5-6500 Skylake (3200MHz, LGA1151, L3 6144Kb)
Cooler: DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 300
Motherboard: ASUS B85M-G
Videocard: MSI AMD Radeon R7 370 Gaming 4G
RAM: 8 Gb
HDD: Seagate ST1000DM003
Case: Deepcool Tesseract BF black

On СBT stage users can play the game only on the PC used for game activation. But there is more. The game protection won’t allow you to upgrade your PC too. Once you’ve changed the CPU or GPU, you can’t play the game.

If not for this limit, we would test the game on a dozen of our best videocards like we did with Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. We would also test the performance on integrated AMD and Intel GPUs. But here, we see no point of buying a dozen game versions to check every videocard. We only hope that this hardware binding will disappear soon.

Instead, we decided to go another way and check the performance of an average price PC. Nothing special: quad-core Intel Core i5-6500, based on Skylake, MSI AMD Radeon R7 370 Gaming 4G videocard, which is wide spread.

We prefered AMD to NVidia (GTX 950, for instance) for several reasons. First, the “green” videocard has already been examined on minimal configurations. Second, we wanted to check the stability on new AMD Radeon Software Crimson drivers. They always cause a lot of problems. And the third reason is our system administrator Andrey, who is a latent AMD fan. He declared that all computers are busy and the only available option is AMD Radeon R7 370. Later that day, we found that he has got the same videocard at home and he wanted to check the performance for himself.

Performance diagrams

  • Patch: ver. 0.2.10
  • Game mode: PvP
  • Map: Powerplant
  • Settings: High.
  • Duration: 2-2,5 minutes.

There is nothing else to add to our diagrams. AMD Radeon R7 370 overbuilds FullHD and high quality. In addition, 1600×900 resolution could drop 3-4 FPS. All other resolutions FPS didn’t go below 60.

Graphics

To compare graphics on different settings we made some screensots from minimal configuration Bytex (Core 2 Duo E6750 и GeForce 9500 GT).

Low settings can be mostly seen by worse lighting and shadows. Medium and high settings smooth the picture a little bit, but have almost no difference between textures. Our diagram also proves no big difference between medium and high settings. It will be most likely changed by the release as the developer adds more flexible graphic settings.

List of bugs

  1. Fuel barrel doesn’t damage as much as written. The description says that the damage is 900 within 10 meters radius. The damage is a lot less in the game.

  2. Vehicles are clipping into objects on the map.
  3. Camera is clipping into objects whil driving to them.

Conclusions

What is there, that we can be sure of, after the results of our performance and focus tests? The first and foremost, Crossout can boast of it’s stability and optimization. The game has shown itself extremely well on AMD Radeon R7 370 (let’s suppose that their “green” competitor GTX 950 will demonstrate same results, if not better). Above all, Crossout will work even on a 10 year old computer. We doubt that you will use GeForce 9500 GT, but it’s still nice.

But other parts of the game don’t look so complete. Game’s biggest problem is physics: vehicles lack weight and proper behavior in water and while drifting, ramming looks boring… Those are probably the biggest problems for a car game. But there are others: the controls is too sensitive, interface is complicated, uncomfortable camera in editor mode. It would be nice to have more details for crafting and maps. In other words, there are some things to work on.

The game creators are in touch with the community. They have developer’s diaries, give out keys for closed beta to youtube bloggers and commuticate with the forum. Judging by this, Targem Games and Gaijin Entertainment are trying to collect as much feedback, as possible. The release date is later this year, so the have time. Their main objective now is to finish the parts, that players gaze into.

Anyway, joyful, bloody and original game in post-apocalyptic decorations is a great alternative to every tank game we’re fed up with. Let’s wish all the success in the world to the developers!

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