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Mirror's Edge to Tap PhysX Technology

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 14 comments

PhysX, the physics-acceleration technology developed by Ageia and later acquired by Nvidia, has always had the capacity to impress. But it’s taking a long time for the eye-popping effects seen in demos to show up in retail games. Electronic Arts’ DICE studio is taking the plunge, so to speak, with the PC version of its upcoming action-adventure game Mirror’s Edge.

The game, based on the concept of a network of acrobatic couriers who take to the city’s rooftops and aerial skyways in order to avoid detection, is already available on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox gaming consoles; the PC version is scheduled to ship in January 2009.

The “world in Mirror’s Edge is visceral, immediate, and very dangerous” said Owen O’Brien, senior producer at DICE, “it is imperative that the gameplay reflect this level of urgency. Nvidia PhysX technology affords us the ability to bring a totally new level of immersion to the game, and by doing so, gamers can truly become part of the world.”

In-game physics effects—including wind, weapons impact, and movement—will impact how the game unfolds. Insubstantial, opaque objects such as cloth, flags, and banners can mask a player’s presence, but won’t protect them from weapons or flying debris. Ground fog will interact with the players’ footsteps, and explosions will fill the air with smoke, particles, and other debris.

Nvidia lists about 80 PhysX-enabled games on its website, either available now or in development, but relatively few of these are A-list titles like Mirror’s Edge. Many of the games that are—such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter—don’t make extensive use of the technology. Nvidia needs games the caliber of Mirror’s Edge to deliver a more compelling experience with PhysX enabled than without in order to convince more developers to take advantage of it.

Nvidia dumped the PhysX hardware when it acquired Ageia earlier this year, relying instead on its existing CUDA parallel-computing architecture to handle accelerate the PhysX middleware. CUDA technology is included in any graphics card equipped with an Nvidia GeForce 8-series or later GPU.

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  • 5 Hide
    falchard , November 19, 2008 9:35 PM
    I don't buy until EA takes off SecuROM.
  • -7 Hide
    sacre , November 19, 2008 10:30 PM
    falchardI don't buy until EA takes off SecuROM.

    why? because its harder to pirate? Seriously though, i buy games all the time and this DRM, securerom, bullcrap doesn't bother me at all, don't know why it would for others, unless they pirate all the damn time.
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 19, 2008 11:08 PM
    errr what?

    sacre, people don't pirate because of securom. i can say that people don't buy the games because of securom. than there are those who pirate regardless.

    and pirating doesn't become harder with securom. its the same sh1t, torrent, install, play, of course without that shit being installed in your kernel
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    frozenlead , November 19, 2008 11:13 PM
    why? because its harder to pirate? Seriously though, i buy games all the time and this DRM, securerom, bullcrap doesn't bother me at all, don't know why it would for others, unless they pirate all the damn time.

    No, because it's wrong. EA is punishing those who buy the game. The pirates will keep pirating. It's annoying, and I don't want rootkits on my system.
  • 2 Hide
    LAN_deRf_HA , November 20, 2008 12:14 AM
    sacrewhy? because its harder to pirate? Seriously though, i buy games all the time and this DRM, securerom, bullcrap doesn't bother me at all, don't know why it would for others, unless they pirate all the damn time.

    It took 15 minutes to crack the Crysis SecuROM. Ever since it's been introduced it has hurt their sales, driven piracy through the roof, messed up user's computers due to a lack of standardization between the rootkits and overall cost EA money on two fronts while hurting it's customers (loss of sales, putting money in Sony's pocket. Even the demos and steam versions of their games install it on your system. Please, don't say anything else defending this utter idiocy. Not buying EA PC games is an extremely non-nonsensical stance to take right now.
  • 5 Hide
    one-shot , November 20, 2008 2:03 AM
    It looks like a great game, but until SecurRom is removed, I will refuse to purchase the game.
  • 1 Hide
    bf2gameplaya , November 20, 2008 3:28 AM
    I'm all for the advances PhysX is bringing, as I was all for the advances it tried to bring as an add-in card. As we can probably guess in-game physics won't work until it fits inside a CPU core or two or 8.

    Thanks to PhysX I now have another layer of troubleshooting to wade through if something goes wrong game wise or video card driver wise, without much to show for it.

    GRAW2 does use PhysX stably enough, and it doesn't hit FPS much if at all and there is a boatload of debris and junk floating around where there wasn't before and it isn't too hard to imagine how that could be a very desirable terrain effect..someday. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon enough.

    And by the way, secuROM = no sale from me and my circle. You can protect your right to get paid, but don't piss me off in the process.
  • 0 Hide
    gamerk316 , November 20, 2008 11:03 AM
    Actually, PhysX slows things down, as there is now more work to do. If you want the best FPS, you have to disable it.

    Still, its nice seeing people finally put PhysX's abilities to decent use. To bad its an EA game no one will buy.
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , November 20, 2008 2:15 PM
    Did you actually check the box to enable PhysX on GPU, or are you getting better frame rates actually because you updated your driver?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2008 3:21 PM
    Man... I don't want physx... if it changes gameplay thats just bullsh*t... theres no way i'm getting this game if physx really changes how the games played... that would be ridiculous... anyway what happened to the drivers from AMD that claimed they ad physx working on their cards?
  • 0 Hide
    Hellbound , November 20, 2008 6:11 PM
    I will not purchase this game because it has SecurRom. I did not purchase Spore, Bioshock, or any other game that has SecurRom.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2008 7:56 PM
    it will probably come out on steam though... STEAM FTW!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    lounge lizard , November 21, 2008 2:55 AM
    I can't see secuROM through all this STEAM...
  • 0 Hide
    V3NOM , January 8, 2009 9:50 AM
    Case in point: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion sold tens of millions of copies. no copy protection WHATSOEVER. it might not have been the greatest game (but hell it was good!), but it sold more than arugably better games WITH SecuROM.

    the gaming industry is crying because of piracy. stuff off the copy protection and it may improve.