Dragon Age II Image Comparison

See what all the image quality settings do, and check out the game with the high resolution texture pack.

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Dragon Age II has a variety of image quality options that make the game look downright pretty. Of course, should you not have the added graphical horsepower, prepare for a pretty slide show. The game's graphical engine supports DirectX 11 and features depth of field (DOF) effect and screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO). BioWare also released an additional 1GB download that provides high-resolution textures.

Preset Quality Settings

At low quality, the game doesn't look bad, but it's pale shadow of itself. From our testing, we determined that high quality is a good place to stop. Hopping up from there yields image quality benefits, but the hits to frame rates are tremendous. At the moment, AMD GPUs run the game considerably better than their Nvidia counterparts. We found that Nvidia cards currently run about one-third as fast. The company is hard at work to make drivers that will remedy the situation.

DX9 Low DX9 Medium DX11 Medium DX11 High DX11 Very High DX11 Very High +SSAO/DOF

DX9 Low DX9 Medium DX11 Medium DX11 High DX11 Very High DX11 Very High +SSAO/DOF

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion

It's a big term, but simply put, the setting gives scenes more realistic shadowing. You can see it in action on this scene at the edges of wall segments and anywhere on the statue edges. It's nice to have, but the performance hit is tremendous on even the best of computers.

SSAO Disabled SSAO Enabled

SSAO Disabled SSAO Enabled

Depth of Field

Depth of field effects make distant objects look slightly out of focus. In our screenshots, note how the distant mountains and trees have a slightly softer look to them. The setting is incredibly taxing on all video cards. If you're looking to reclaim performance, it's one of the first things you'll want to disable.

DOF Disabled DOF Enabled

DOF Disabled DOF Enabled

High-Resolution Texture Pack

At 1GB, the high resolution texture download is rather hefty. The effects are readily noticeable on the sword detailing. The armor looks slightly better as well. Many of the ground textures have also been swapped out, but the results aren't quite as dramatic. If your video card has enough RAM (1024MB) to load the high-res textures, enabling them won’t slow the game down at all.   

High Textures Very High Textures

High Textures Very High Textures

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