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Matrox Parhelia Review - Page 17 of 21

SERIOUS SAM 2

Who hasn't been on the Serious Sam bandwagon? If you could envision one title that might really shine in Surround Gaming, this could very well be it. With all of those monsters flying at you from all angles, you can easily see why.

These were my exact sentiments and I was patiently awaiting the release of the Croteam patch that would finally add Surround Gaming support. Here's a sneak peak look at the latest yet-to-be released patch that finally unlocks this feature. Matrox and Croteam were very cool in allowing me to test drive this baby before releasing it.

This is a very different type of build from that which will eventually be released. There are many things that are specific to the needs of IHV's. So, I'm not going to provide any numbers. However, I'll make a couple of observations.

One interesting aspect of Croteam's work on this patch is that the engine supports both 1 and 3 viewports for Surround Gaming. Without getting into technical details, the most accurate method of providing Surround support is to use 3 separate viewports. The tradeoff here is in the area of performance. While 3 viewports more accurately renders the game, it also yields lower performance.

SETTINGS

Serious Sam 2 was tested using the following settings:

  • Surround Gaming - 2400x600 resolution
  • Trilinear filtering forced via driver
  • No antialiasing
  • In-game graphics settings at maximum quality

SCREENSHOTS

I've included a slew of screenshots captured from the final level. Check them out. This has to be the nuttiest frag fest I've ever played.

Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Pictures don't really do this one justice. The ability to see all of these things coming at you from every direction is great.

PERFORMANCE

Due to the fact that this is an unreleased patch, I've decided against benchmarking this title. However, let me make a couple of observations.

I played the final level, where the amount of enemies coming at you is almost insane. By default, this patch has a framerate counter in the upper right corner, which was recording between 40-70 frames per second. This was quite shocking given the sheer madness of this level. A possible explanation for the performance is that Serious Sam 2 supports quad-texturing as does the Parhelia.

I played for an hour and at no time would I consider the performance to be sub-par. I was surprised thinking that running the game at such a high resolution, as well as the sheer nature of the game, would yield less than desirable performance.

I can guarantee that first person shooter fans would get a kick out of playing this title under Surround Gaming. Of all the Surround Gaming titles that I've played, Serious Sam 2 is probably the most enjoyable.

Great job Croteam.

Next Page: Surround Gaming Analysis


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Last Updated on November 16, 2002

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