Introduction"Wolfenstein: Youngblood" is the fourth chapter in the 2014 reboot by Machine Games. The backstory of the series is fascinating and shocking at the same time—Wolfenstein Youngblood is set in an alternate timeline in which the Nazis have won World War II and dominate the world. In this universe, you play as a vanquished B.J. Blazkowicz who organizes and leads a resistance cell to become the Nazi's worst nightmare.
"Youngblood" sees a big time jump from the events of "The New Colossus," in which Anya and B.J. have twin daughters that have taken up a life of Nazi ass-kicking like their parents. The two are the game's playable protagonists. At the beginning of the game, you can choose to play as either Jess or Soph, although both have identical characteristics and weapon choices. You play cooperating non-linear missions in which your sister is either an AI or a human in cooperative multiplayer.
The plot for "Youngblood" is simple. An aged B.J. Blazkowicz is captured by the Nazis and held captive somewhere in 1980s France of the alternate timeline. It's up to Soph and Jess to rescue him by traveling to Paris, and meeting up with the French resistance movement in a bid to free their country from the Nazis.
"Youngblood" is a first-person shooter with some additional RPG elements in which your missions include a mix of run-and-gun and stealth. The game is based on the idTech 6 engine and leverages Vulkan. This is one of the first non-DirectX AAA games to incorporate NVIDIA RTX real-time ray-tracing technology, although not at launch. In this performance review, we test "Wolfenstein: Youngblood" fresh out of the oven across our vast selection of graphics cards, with the latest drivers that include optimizations for the game.
On the first settings screen, you'll find the usual options, like resolution, V-Sync, monitor choice, and anti-aliasing. Like in most recent games, MSAA is not supported; the choices in Wolfenstein are Disabled, FXAA, SMAA, TAA 1TX, FXAA 1TX, SMAA 1TX, and TSSAA 8TX.
Moving on to the advanced settings, there is a huge amount of options here, so you can exactly dial in the performance you want with the looks you like.
- The game supports not only 16:9, but also 16:10 and other aspect ratios, which means no black bars on less common resolutions
- Field of view can be set between 70° and 120°, from a default of 90°, which is good as that range should be sufficient for everyone.
- The help text for "GPU culling" says "Toggle GPU triangle culling (recommended On for AMD, Off for NVIDIA cards). We actually tested this on Vega and Navi, and performance ends up almost 10% lower if you follow that recommendation, which is why we've kept it at "off" for both AMD and NVIDIA in our testing.
- NVIDIA Adaptive Shading is an NVIDIA exclusive rendering technique that renders some pixels at lower resolution, where the quality loss is only minimal; as examples, skies, flat walls, or even shadowed portions of objects require lesser amounts of shading detail, and thus, their shading rates can be reduced, which of course boosts performance. We've set this option to "off" for all our testing.
- Resolution scaling can be set to "off", "adaptive", and "auto". It lets you decrease the internal rendering resolution of the game, which affects performance accordingly. The HUD and similar elements will always be rendered on top of that, at the native resolution, so they'll stay crisp. When manual mode is enabled, options range from 0.5 to 1.0.
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