Mass Effect 2 Review and Tweaks V1.2
Last edited: 02/02/2010
- Added gameini.conf tweaks, DepthOfField comparison, GalaxyMap convergence issue
- NVidia 3DVision driver: v196.21
- checkout the Graphics Tweaks section at the bottom of this post...(will keep updating it as we go)
- Overall Game (and gameplay) review...
- More details on Graphics Tweaks effects (with screenshots)
01/29/2010: V1.1 added screenshot/structure
01/28/2010: V1.0 Initial Post
I have a GTS8800 512Mb card (win7 ultimate) whatever parameters I push, I ALWAYS got the 60fps I needed for 3dVision and no sluttering...
Overall I found this game looks amazing with 3d Vision. It looks a little dark even with changing brightness, and ghosting seems to be noticeable in some areas but not all. Hopefully I can reach a point where all settings will be optimal. Please share your own for the benefits of others by replying to this thread.
So here we go:3D Overall Description and Issues1)Nvidia Crosshair:
The cross hair is 2D and using the nvidia one from the driver required to rename MassEffect2.exe into MaxEffect.exe (that should be fixed in next driver release, I hope)2)To remove the 2D crosshair
, a custom ini file should be downloaded from this post on nvidia forum
.3)An issue with LensFlare
creates some disconnect light halo at the wrong depth for small point lights and major lines of light halo across the screen for bigger, more distant ones.
Here is an example of the small lights issues:
The following example shows the bigger leakage for large or distant lights when LensFlare is on, and off.
LensFlare turned on (by default) = leakage
LensFlare turned off:
(apparently, this bleed through is not only in S3D)... On this shot, the white is the light, the blue is the flare...
One way to get rid of the small one was to increase convergence like crazy so that it creates a huge separation of that halo out of screen. That doesn't seem to help for the bigger lights' leakage.
In order to turn LensFlare off, add a game ini file: LensFlare=False.
Unfortunately, if you do that, you loose the ability to interact with many objects (HUH ????).
Yeah, that's right, these light blue rectangles that overlay some objects to interact will not be there anymore. This would be fine if this didn't prevent you from interacting with them altogether...
Here is the proof:
With the default LensFlare, the character is facing a vendor terminal and the blue rectangle indicates he can interact with it (notice the icon at the top indicate "Omega Market, Browse")
Now with LensFlare=False, I can't interact with terminal and instead will talk to the vendor...
Notice that this flare is at the wrong depth too
I don't understand why BioWare used these flares as objects instead of real transparent objects that have their own lights... The fact is, if you disable LensFlare, you won't be able to open vendor terminals (as shown on the image link above), or finish some quests (like putting "the cure" vial into the ventilation or use the Galaxy map).... Doors seems to still open...I hope BioWare will react to fix this because it is the single most annoying issue right now and it transpires everywhere! Put these lights at the RIGHT depth please !!!4) Dynamic Shadows
, as usual seems to create some ghosting and flickering on the characters' armor and face... This is annoying, turning them off is not too bad. I decided to keep them on and play with other parameters (see Graphics Tweaks section below)
Here is an example where the character's armor chest piece was not right...
After playing with some parameters (SEE BELOW
), this issue seemed to be minimal (see Graphics Tweaks section below
) 5)Film Grain
: I don't understand how this can look better when turned on. It is like watching a game in HD and suddenly wondering if it wouldn't look better in black and white as if made in the 50s... (look at the snapshots of some cutscenes in section 10) below)...6)Background
: Looks to me that every objects including VERY distant background objects look like real 3d objects at the correct depth.
Here is one (of many) amazing examples...7)Fire, smoke
and other "floating" particles are rendered correctly in 3d ! Nice. 8)Depth and convergence
work (except with the light flares) described above.
Depth works like a charm. Switching between cutscene and play usually doesn't requires changing convergence. I usually use about 60% Convergence and 10-30% Depth.
One issue (again linked to LensFlare) is that if you use Convergence, the light flares are at the wrong depth and this messes up the Galaxy Map navigation. (see screenshot below) 9) Pop-outs
: Increasing convergence allowed me to get some amazing pop-out effects (like body parts and objects actually flying in your face). At some point, I crossed a room with some "dust" particles flying around that popped all around my face. Rockets and other projectiles actually makes you blink when they come at you. 10)Some of the cut scenes
are actually 3d (when taking place inside). Unfortunately, I was waiting for the cut scenes in space to look amazing with S3D, but they are only 2d (bummer!) If you are not exagerating on convergence, there is no pain in switching between play and cutscene.
Here is a cutscene with my default convergence setting (which is pretty high) - notice FilmGrain is enabled - yuck...:
Here is another cutscene snapshot without FilmGrain:
Notice that apparently for the cutscenes, DepthOfField is turned off which creates the "circular visual artefact" described below in the DepthOfField tweak section... (maybe it's me, maybe not)...Graphics Tweaks Section1) My (current) GamerSettings.ini file
As of 02/02/2010, these settings appears to be getting the best results for me (yet some others are still obscure to me).
Some have suggested turning off DepthOfField (using DepthOfField=false). I find this makes the game brighter but it creates (or rather exagerates) circular visual artifact and separation on the edge of the screen. Keeping DepthOfField turned off also washes out all colors and makes the environment look ugly... Looks at the screenshots below to understand what I mean.
With DepthOfField=False: (lower left edge for artifact and washed out colors)
With DepthOfField=True; (looks much better, even if a little dark)
I played with the Gamma parameters, but so far, not much difference (maybe I am using it wrong).3) Anisotropy/Trilinear
Boosting up textures rendering was achieved using the following parameters: (very slight improvement)
It seems the following parameters made some of the shadow ghosting disappear. After using them, I kept all Shadows settings turned on:
I couldn't see a difference when it is on or off, so I turned it off.Gameplay
Overall, this is a great game and 3d looks great. Fixing LensFlare and convergence issue would make it outstanding !
More to come later...including more pointers, settings and 3d pics...