For as much as we’ve heard Microsoft sing the praises of DirectX 12 and its potential, we’ve still seen little hard evidence of what the new graphics API is capable of. The first game to really put it to the test looks to be Fable Legends, which arrives this summer in open beta form on both PC and Xbox One.
Microsoft reckon it’s going to be one of the best looking games ever, made even better by the use of DirectX 12. Speaking in an interview, developer Lionhead Studios’ director Stuart Whyte said the use of DX12 resulted in “a significant [increased] amount of horsepower – resulting in increased visual fidelity, higher frame rates, and improved shadows and effects.”
That additional horsepower comes from the use of various new techniques exclusive to DirectX 12, including low-level hardware abstraction, draw call overhead reduction and potentially even multi-adapter. What it all means is that with a bit of streamlining, your system has freed up additional resources to tackle other tasks - in this instance boosting Fable Legends’ visuals.
Depending on the hardware you’ve got, Whyte reckons you can up to 40% faster performance in DirectX 12 over DirectX 11, which seems to be an impressive jump if true. That’s not limited to PC gamers either; Xbox One performance has seen the visuals upgraded on Microsoft’s console, making use of efficient multi-threaded rendering and asynchronous compute to deliver visuals which can give the PlayStation 4 a run for its money.
Fable Legends is coming as a free-to-play game so there's no reason you can't give DX12 a whirl when the open beta arrives, aside from needing a Windows 10 installation. League of Legends is cited as the inspiration for its F2P mechanics, so I guess we can take heart it may not be a micro-transaction fuelled cash-grab.