F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon, is one of the meanest games to hit the street. This state-of-the-art FPS demands a lot from the graphics processor and pushes its pixel shaders to the edge. When maximum quality is selected, most graphics cards can be crippled to the point that the screen can look like a fast slide presentation. F.E.A.R. is capable of rendering soft shadows but at a large performance hit. We set all effects to maximum and turned off soft shadows for the first run, enabling it on the second runs. We have AA disabled in the SS tests as it does not run correctly on all platforms. For this reason, we tax the card by enabling SS with AF set to 16x. The hardware driver is set to Application controlled for AA and AF, Vertical Sync is disabled, and the mipmap detail option is set to Quality.
F.E.A.R. makes apparent the lack of SM 3.0 in cards that don't support it. In the tests with AA and AF turned on, the ATI cards make a quantum leap over the Nvidia based cards, but again, this is due to the detail that the Nvidia cards are providing over the SM 2.0b X800 and X850 cards. The visual differences are noticeable in many parts of the demo, such as the glass on the office door. The refraction light bending and clarity of the glass is much more realistic on the Nvidia hardware.