Rebellion: Switch Brings Fascinating Options to the Table; Sniper Elite 4 Supports DX12 mGPU

Alessio Palumbo

Rebellion's Sniper Elite 4 is almost here, with a worldwide release date set for February 14th on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The launch trailer (embedded below) is now there to prove it, after all.

Just ahead of the game's debut, we've been able to talk to Rebellion's technical department to get some of those technical details we know you crave here at Wccftech. For example, Sniper Elite 4's Direct X12 support features a rendering pipeline specifically made for Microsoft's new low-level API and designed from the ground up for multi-core and multi-GPU. Interested PC gamers can check out the official system requirements confirmed by Rebellion on the Steam page.

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You've said right at the game's announcement that you were targeting 1080p resolution on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Can you now disclose the frame rate as well?

Just like Sniper Elite 3, we’ve targeted 30 frames per second and native 1080p resolution for Sniper Elite 4 on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Of course, the scale of the game, both technically and physically, is much, much bigger now. Also, on PlayStation 4 we utilize a true triple-buffering scheme that allows us an unlocked frame-rate that can go above 30 frames per second while still avoiding tearing, so we can support an enhanced frame-rate on PlayStation 4 Pro.

Are you going to support HDR on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S for Sniper Elite 4?

Not at the moment, but it’s something we’re looking at and considering both for Sniper Elite 4 and our future projects.

What do you think of Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro and what kind of improvements will there be for Sniper Elite 4?

We actually announced our PlayStation 4 Pro support earlier this month. As I said before, we’ll support an enhanced frame rate on PlayStation 4 Pro, but you’ll also see increased draw distances, improvements to lighting and shadows, faster loading times, increased image quality of reflections and a higher geometry level of detail.
We also announced we’re supporting DirectX 12 on PC for Sniper Elite 4. It’s great to be able to offer fans who want the best technical experience possible those improvements.

As a developer, what's your take on the Nintendo Switch? Is there any chance you might consider porting Sniper Elite 4 or any other future game of yours to the platform?

It’s always exciting to see a new console and of course a new Nintendo console. The Switch certainly brings some fascinating options to the table – I know our co-founder Chris Kingsley said he likes how flexible the controllers are. Currently, we’ve only announced Sniper Elite 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and we’ve got nothing more to announce at the moment.

What kind of technical improvements to the Asura engine did you make for this new entry of the Sniper Elite franchise?

Well, it’s hard to summarize the many improvements we’ve made over the course of some two or three years. That said, a lot of it is reflected in the biggest changes in Sniper Elite 4.
We’ve moved to physically based rendering, for example, with major improvements to rendering tech across the board. We’ve optimized rendering to cope with the massive scale of the maps in Sniper Elite 4 – as we’ve said from the start, our smallest map in Sniper Elite 4 is three times bigger than the largest in Sniper Elite 3, and that makes such a difference. We also make much more use of multiple CPU cores than before, and that’s essential to simulating a bigger, more detailed world.
The AI capabilities of Asura are now really advanced. Not only is the behaviour more complex, but we’ve massively increased the number of simultaneous active AIs across a map. We’re talking 150 or more enemies and enemy vehicles in any one map. And AI enemies are now active across the whole map all the time, and that’s obviously vital for a more open world sniping game like Sniper Elite 4.
There are many other improvements I could go into, but I wanted to note since we only recently announced DirectX 12 support that we’ve made a new rendering pipeline specifically for DirectX 12, built from the ground up for multi-core and multi-GPU. And Sniper Elite 4 will ship with multi-GPU support for DirectX 12 at launch, which we’re really pleased to be able to deliver.

Thanks for your time.

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