Image Quality Comparison
Before we get stuck into the performance testing, lets just take a moment to look at and compare the game's three main visual quality presets.
The above screenshots give us a good view over the wasteland where a lot of grass, rubble, and dead trees can be seen along with crumbled structures in the distance.
The ultra high quality settings gives us maximum draw distance, detail, and lighting/shadows. Going from ultra high to just high removes a small amount of lighting and shadows, though this is only very slightly noticeable.
The biggest difference is in the detail lost due to the capped draw distance. The farther grass and fences detail that was present in the ultra high screenshot are gone when using the high settings. The texture quality does remain the same from what we can tell.
Going from high to medium has a huge impact on visual quality and now there is a very noticeable difference in texture quality. Almost all the distant detail is gone along with a great deal of lighting and shadow detail.
The difference between the ultra high and the high quality screenshots is minimal when looking at the above images. There is a slight difference in lighting on the trees, the ultra high settings show a little more detail. In the top left corner you can also see the top of two trees in the distance in the ultra high image which are missing when using the high settings.
Again going from high to medium shows us the most drastic changes. You will notice that many of the rocks on the right side of the image are missing when using the medium quality settings. The lack of anti-aliasing is also very noticeable, particularly when looking at the trees.
The difference between the ultra high and the high quality screenshots above is now quite significant. The lighting on the water is much richer, while the shadows are stronger and more realistic. The trees and buildings in the distance look about the same however.
Interestingly the shadow or even the lighting effects difference between high and medium are not quite as dramatic this time. The key change here is anti-aliasing and as you can see with it turned on using the high quality settings, the trees to the left look more impressive. Also on the right side there is a crane in the distance which looks much better when anti-aliasing is active.