Hawken PhysX Analysis

Company: Meteor Entertainment
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 25th, 2013

Screenshot comparison, framerate test, microstutter test

Screenshot comparison

Screenshots show PhysX makes a notable difference in Hawken, particularly in the case of destruction. With the option enabled, firing your mech's weapon at walls and other objects will produce more pronounced and realistic effects, and cause rubble to drop to the ground and stay there.

Smoke turns from brown to black, and though the smoke itself doesn't appear anymore impressive, it's said passing through it with PhysX on will see it dissipate. Particle effects (as seen when healing) appear unaffected, as does the blaze from mechs when rockets are fired from them.

Framerate test

The purpose of this test is to provide a general and basic idea of where Hawken sits performance-wise with PhysX on and off, by displaying the minimum, maximum, and average framerates for each test run, respectively.

Microstutter index test

Because the data involved in traditional framerate testing is so limited, raw numbers are not necessarily accurate to the 'feel' of playing a game. That is to say, while you may report an average framerate of 50, due to your variable framerate, it could well feel more like an average of 40.

Using the Microstutter program (which accounts for variable framerates in order to produce a more accurate 'perceived' average framerate figure), Hawken showed an average of 108fps, five frames below the FRAPS reported figure (113), and five frames below the apparent average framerate with PhysX off (also 113).