Today Square Enix released the PC benchmark for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s expansion Heavensward, and not only it gave us a chance to test our PC against the visuals of the game and to see the beautiful graphics coming with the expansion, but also to compare the visual fidelity of the old DirectX 9 client with the new DirectX 11 one.
First of all, the options are slightly different, with features unique to each client. HDR can be enabled only with DirectX 9, while highest quality reflections, background and water tessellation and HBAO standard and high quality can be activated only on the DirectX 11 version.
Below you can see a long series of 160 screenshots taken from the benchmark. They’ve been taken on an average PC, that still manages to perform quite well on both clients at maximum settings. It loses about 1100 points in the score mostly due to HBAO+ high quality, that is quite taxing on the system.
On top of each pair, there will be the DirectX 11 version, while the DirectX 9 version will be below it. You can open them on separate tabs and flip between them to see the differences, that are subtle, but visible, especially in ambient occlusion and surface detail.
In order to try the benchmark yourself, all you need to do is to go here and select Download. The whole thing weighs 1.627 gigabytes. There’s no benchmark for PS4 or PS3, because benchmarking your console wouldn’t make much sense.
But without further ado, I leave you with the screenshots, that also let you catch a glimpse on some of Heavensward‘s spiffy equipment and beautiful environments. Incidentally, due to the massive number of screenshots, we had to break the article in four pages. Do make sure to check them all out: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4.
One thing is for sure. Almost two years after its release, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is still the prettiest kid on the MMORPG block.