2017 has seen a great number of games make a release on the PC. With those such as Tekken 7 making its very first appearance on the platform – being incredibly efficient on hardware and magnificently optimized, as well as new IP including For Honor and Nier: Automata being truly fantastic in terms of gameplay and story-based progression. With plenty to look forward to throughout the rest of the year here’s our pick for the top 5 most visually stunning games, guaranteed to make the most of your hardware – ensuring your latest graphics card upgrade doesn’t go to waste.
Exclusive to the console platform, the original Destiny left a great many PC gamers can confused as to why it never sought a PC release given the development studio behind the game, as well as the nature of the game itself. When Destiny 2 was first announced for PC, there was as much confusion as there was excitement surrounding the news, with many PC gamers wondering if the original would still see a release, as well as cross-play between consoles. While neither will be available, Destiny 2 will be taking full advantage of the PC platform, proving to be a visual showpiece that’s been significantly ahead of the console releases.
With full support for 21:9 displays, 4K resolution, an uncapped frame rate and a wealth of PC graphics settings to tweak alongside Nvidia-enhanced features, Destiny 2 delivers on the forefront and then some. With minimum hardware specifications falling very much in-line with the current gaming consoles, those on higher-tier hardware such as a GTX 970 or a GTX 1060 should be able to gain an experience close to 4K gaming, should they be sensible with graphics settings. Those looking for an uncompromised experience however, will require something closer to a GTX 1080 as 60 frames-per-second and above along with full 4K resolution will prove to be more demanding. Available as part of a bundle with all GeForce GTX 1080 and 1080Ti graphics cards and systems, there isn’t a better time to join the Guardians.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
The original title Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was an excellent title across both the PC and console. Proving to be very well optimized on the PC, delivering an equivalent if not superior visual quality than consoles on an aged GeForce GTX 560Ti – Shadow of Mordor clearly took full advantage of the PC platform. Along with a high-resolution texture pack designed solely for those with higher than 1080p displays, Shadow of Mordor delivered on the visual settings one could ever ask for. Taking gameplay experiences to an awesome new level of interaction with its iconic Nemesis System, this open-world Hack ‘n’ Slash blade wielder gave way to an A.I. system which learns and prioritizes its behaviour based on their many interactions with the game’s main character, meaning fights, deaths and wins all cause a change in operation towards the game’s world.
Taking things to the next level of gameplay and interaction through advanced control systems as well as the introduction of RPG and RTS like actions. Where the first game allowed the main character to recruit enemy orcs through violence and mind-control, Shadow of War allows players to build armies, rank up the status of their allies, and schedule battles across the gigantic lands of the world – all the while flying dragons, terrorizing uruks, sending death threats and tearing down towers. With the game being heavily advertised in-line with the Xbox One X gaming console – designed for high-resolution gaming with similar performance to a Mid-range gaming PC, this is one title well worthy of your high-end hardware, with further visual settings expected to be present on the PC platform. Clearly an excellent title that’s seen a magnificent level of optimization, the original game indicates a level of visual quality and that will work wonders for those with a GTX 1060 on displays higher than full HD.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
Presented as technological marvel visually indistinguishable from the franchise movies, the original Star Wars Battlefront delivered on a level of photographic realism that put most games to shame. Where the original also proved to be highly efficient and incredibly-well optimized, whether you’re running lower-end hardware or those built for 4K gaming, Battlefront looked and performed superb, regardless. With its jaw-dropping lighting system and highly rich texture work as its standout visual settings, the photo-realistic presentation paired with its amazing animation work delivered an experience that’s worthy of both Star Wars fans and gamers alike.
Going bigger than before along with larger environments, more on-screen characters, and a much grander scale of visual effects all designed to deliver an experience that blows other first-person-shooters off the map, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is certainly looking impressive. Giving way to the iconic space battles of the original games, players will now be able to pilot X-Wings and Jedi Starfighters above the the infamous locations of the movies, flying past a number of player and A.I. controlled vehicles all battling for supremacy. If the original game is anything to go by, Star Wars Battlefront 2 will no doubt exceed the visual standards the first game presented, proving bigger battles and louder explosions never gets old. Given the superb level of optimization from prior games of the studio, a GTX 1060 should deliver a great gaming experience for those at full HD or above. For those looking for a superb pre-built system that delivers a gaming experience ideal for 1080p, the newest system Primal Ryze 3 features the right set of hardware to get things done.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Proving to be a master of open-world game design, Ubisoft is one of the most influential studios when it comes to building a story-based experience within a fully living and breathing world. Where Assassin’s Creed Unity stood as a visual masterpiece with an amazing lighting system and some of the most detailed textures and assets to ever be developed, the game aimed and succeeded in presenting a 1700s replication of Paris, giving players plenty of buildings to climb and streets to scurry through. Where the game would have more than benefited from further optimization, as it proved to be too demanding on hardware – not truly justifiable of the lower visual settings most would’ve been forced to put up with.
Holding good faith that Ubisoft will provide us with a game that’s greatly improved and more acceptable on hardware, all the while exceeding the visual quality its prior games delivered, Assassin’s Creed Origins has a lot to live up to. Taking the series to a location that’s drastically different from those that came before, the desert landscapes and jungle-laid terrain of Egypt is finally explorable in a modern title. Along with the freedom to navigate pyramids, sail the Nile, wrestle with alligators, and assassinate Pharaohs, the story which gave birth to the creed will finally be told, bets experienced on the PC platform thanks to 4K assets and higher frame rates. For those seeking an incredible experience that pushes past the limits of consoles, a GTX 1060 proves to be an incredible graphics card with an amazing level of performance.
Project Cars 2
Known for its incredible scale of highly detailed cars and visually stunning level of environments and weather effects, the original Project Cars raced on to the track, leaving every other racer in shame in both graphics and gameplay. Featuring some of the best physics work ever to be utilized in a racing simulator, everything from track terrain to wet surfaces all had an effect on the player’s driving, delivering an experience unlike any other racing game. As well as being a highly demanding title for those deemed worthy enough to push the graphics settings to its limits, Project Cars was destined for a sequel.
Taking things that much further, not only will the sequel expand on the scale of visual effects and gameplay mechanics all efficiently tuned together through its stunning environments and track surface details, Project Cars 2 is set to redefine the mechanical aspects of A.I handling, delivering an experience that’s incredibly realistic. Along with aspects such as rain drops and the latest addition of snow and ice now placing a direct affect on vehicle handling through an expanded number of locations and tracks, Project Cars 2 will once again be challenging the competition, with a great a number of racers releasing around a similar time frame. Best of all, no matter your performance of hardware Project Cars 2 sets the visual standard so high the game will look amazing regardless of your configuration. As a recommendation, the GeForce GTX 1070 should provide players with a gaming experience well above modern gaming consoles, reaching higher than a 1080p display scaling up to 4K.
There’s only so many titles possible to speak on, as the ones we’re looking forward to could only make this list, it’ll be great to hear yours and to have this feature shared.