Forza Motorsport 6: Apex arrived on PC yesterday, marking the first time the premier racing series has left the tight embrace of the Xbox family. It’s not the full fat Forza 6 but we’ll take what we can get at this stage. Anyway that’s all by the by, what’s really of interest is its new Dynamic Optimisation graphics setting, a tool which to our knowledge has never been used in a game before.
Essentially what you do is set a target frame rate and then Forza Apex dynamically adjust the graphics settings on the fly in order to keep the frame rate consistent. So on a packed starting grid you might find draw distance and model quality takes a minor hit, before ramping up the visuals during less intensive parts of the race.
You can see via the image below that dynamic optimisation can in fact be applied to each individual setting, allowing users to pick and choose which elements are worth sacrificing.
In essence it means a game is constantly optimising its performance and delivering the best possible visuals the hardware can deliver. In theory, I should add, because it’s sounds like a mighty tricky prospect to put into place. On the surface it looks as if something that could drastically wrong at a moment's notice. If there’s a delay between a demanding scene and the graphics dropping it’s going to lead to instances of stuttering.
Should it work well for everyone though then this could be a major addition for PC gamers. Imagine if every game could tweak the visuals on the fly so you never drop below 60 FPS. A few games that spring to mind where this would be really useful are Rise of the Tomb Raider and Fallout 4. Both have sections which tank the frame rate, necessitating going into the menu and dropping the visuals down a notch. If they could automatically change in these areas before bumping up when you leave that would be pretty neat.
What do you think of this, should dynamic optimisation be a new standard for PC games? Or do you prefer to have more control over your graphics settings? Let us know!