PC gaming surely has its perks. From the vast amount of games that are playable at any given time, to the sheer amount of customization building your own PC allows for, there is no denying that those who like freedom of choice tend to head towards PC gaming.
One of the best aspects of the PC gaming market is without a doubt the insane settings that some computers can pull off. With the right hardware, it is completely possible to make any game look absolutely stunning.
Pumping a game’s settings to their lowest might not be as visually interesting, but it is definitely worth it for the laughs. Take a look at three beloved games displayed on their highest possible graphical settings with an upper level graphics card, and compared to their lowest graphics setting. After reading, be sure to take a look at the gallery below to see the pictures used in more detail.
Remedy’s moody and atmospheric thriller, Alan Wake, is one of the best written games of all time. Aside from Sam Lake’s masterfully written script, Alan Wake was noted for its great lighting effects and highly detailed environments.
Played on the highest graphics settings, Alan Wake looks great. The screenshot above is taken during the game’s opening moments, when Alan finds himself on a foggy road; his car crashed, and his mind swimming. Alan’s character model looks great; each detail of his suit is highly detailed. The environment looks very good as well, the subtle colors of the night-time forest set the scene well and the light source behind Alan serves as a tremendous focal point.
On its ‘Very Low’ setting, Alan Wake isn’t much to write home about. Alan’s car is utterly unremarkable and looks more like something left over from a PS2 era title. Alan doesn’t look too bad himself, but the difference from the highest settings is certainly noticeable.
Left 4 Dead 2:
One of the most popular multiplayer PC titles, Left 4 Dead 2 is Valve’s zombie blasting masterpiece. While Valve’s Source Engine is by no means the greatest in terms of its graphical fidelity, Left 4 Dead 2 manages to look great even with the high amount of enemies that are often on the screen at one time.
At its best, shown above, Left 4 Dead 2’s cast looks good. Even amidst the rainy setting and poor lighting, the characters are modeled well and are instantly recognizable. Textures on the player controlled character’s gun are detailed and perhaps the most impressive part of the screenshot visually.
Set to low, Left 4 Dead 2’s graphics take a plunge. The zombie pictured looks more like an afterthought than anything, with comically colored skin and a hair texture that looks more like it was drawn on. Gun textures, which stood out in the higher setting, look bland here.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings:
CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2 is in many ways a perfect storm for RPG fans. The game’s brilliant story and characters, fast paced combat and unbelievably detailed graphics earned The Witcher 2 tons of praise when the game was released.
Set to the ‘Ultra Spec’, The Witcher 2 looks every bit as good as the praise it received would indicate. Geralt is beautifully rendered, each and every detail on his outfit, as well as his face and hair, are fully realized. The foliage surrounding Geralt is of note as well, as it feels every bit like a living and breathing forest, aided by the sun shining through various openings in the tree coverage.
On the lowest setting, The Witcher 2 still looks pretty good. Geralt’s detail takes a bit of a dive, but the Witcher’s outfit and face still look better than expected. The characters behind Geralt, however, leave a lot to be desired. It seems that even with the settings turned low, CDPR wanted to make sure that their main character still stood out among every other detail. Of the three game’s tested, The Witcher 2 is certainly the most playable on its lowest settings.
High-Res Gallery of Screenshots Compared:
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