Asus 128mb PhysX Card Review/Preview

Gaming Testing – Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

G.R.A.W. is a game that is allows for hardware and software support of the PhysX card. It’s the first full retail game that can claim this and as far as I am aware the only game actually out that allows for PhysX card support.

G.R.A.W. is a first person shooter that is heavy on HDR lighting, particle effects and of course: physics effects. It does not put a huge strain on the PC is was using although with it being a slow FPS I found that around 30FPS was acceptable. If your PC can run CoD 2, F.E.A.R. and Oblivion then it can definitely run this game: although I will say that you need to run it at fairly high settings to see all the nice particle physics effects.

I am not here to give a review of the game itself but I will make some comment on the gameplay seeing as the game is bundled with the card.


The game is a tense, tactical shooter. I’ll revise that. It’s a hard tense tactical shooter. For someone like me who usually plays a game on normal, then on hard it is pretty hard.

The HDR lighting effects are very nice but I feel that the colours are very slightly “washed out” – maybe I haven’t got to a bright bit in the game yet. The graphics are very nice altogether and are definitely worthy of a new PC game – perhaps lacking the “sparkle” of games like Oblivion.

The controls are pretty intuitive and I quite enjoy sending my team here and there to kill enemy soldiers.

But, I hear you cry, “What are the physics effects like?”

In my opinion G.R.A.W. has not fully utilised the strengths of the physx card. This is not to say that it does not use them at all, it does use them with sparks flying when you hit metal, cars being destroyed when you shoot them and walls with lots of fragments coming off them.

All is not rosy for those among you who are really wanting to see what PhysX can do. After you shot that wall and the dust settles the fragments disappear and sometimes makes you feel a little non-plussed. But then sometimes you’ll have enjoyed blowing up the lorry so much you simply will not care!

However when you do come across some decent explosions the PhysX card takes it all in it’s stride and they are very impressive. It’s just a shame more isn’t made of the physics aspect of the game. Imagine being able to blow down the top of a building and kill several enemy soldiers in the process!

Screenshots and Video’s

I have provided you with some screenshots and video’s of PhysX in action.

First a comparison of no PhysX and PhyX on destroying a wall:

No PhysX

ageia physx

With PhysX

ageia physx

The gun is different but you get the point: the particles fly all over the place and are much more prevalent than they are without PhysX

Next we see some car/lorry destroying:

ageia physx

Lorry explosion (2 pics sequence)

ageia physx graw

ageia physx graw

Car explosion (2 pics sequence)

ageia physx graw

ageia physx graw

The sparks are a very nice touch and all cars in the game can really be shot and blown up!

Here’s a video of a grenade thrown at a van. Click Here to download

And a very nice clip of a lorry I decided to blow up click Here

You can see the effects of a grenade in the game is much more pronounced than in normal games with a lot more debris. I was very impressed with the lorry being blown up in the clip and this was definitely a fun thing to do.

Does G.R.A.W. really take advantage of PhysX?

All in all I think that G.R.A.W. lacks that killer touch when it comes to physics. It is better than your average game but when you take a look at F.E.A.R. and the explosions and effects in that you are a little disappointed in all honesty. However it is good fun destroying lorry’s and all sorts of other objects in the game and the game itself grows on you.

Don’t be dissuaded yet…read on to see why I think PhysX really is an excellent product…