Ageia Island is a level within GRAW, specifically designed for PhysX users and therefore can only be run if you have the card installed. However, even though those without will not be able to enjoy this level, those with will be in for quite a treat. Some of the additional effects showcased on the island are:
- Physics based wind causing trees to bend, foliage to move and leaves to blow around.
- Fellable trees – fire a clip or grenade or clip at the base of a tree and watch it fall.
- Physics applied to individual planks in wooden structures. Blow holes in fences, knock out supports beams on metal fences or guard towers and watch them topple.
- Improved cloth effects.
So, it was onto the chopper and I was soon dropped off at my holiday destination, before cautiously making my way into the island’s interior. The first thing I noticed was that the trees were moving. Not swaying back and forth like some games, but actually moving with the wind, bending and flexing as the wind’s strength greatened and lessened. A nice touch, mainly aesthetic though occasionally a bush will blow in front of your aiming site which is rather annoying.
Dieing a couple times while trying to shoot out planks in a fence, I decided to take a different route through the island; round the edge. I moved on and found my first objective in front of me, a fuel tank which I must destroy for the good of the word. So, to cut to the chase, I slung a grenade and all hell broke loose. Check it out:
Even though at the actual moment of impact there is a freeze for half a second as your rig (I shudder to think how a PC would handle this without a PPU), its fluid enough for you to be sufficiently wowed by the sheer volume of debris flying around; if only there was this
uch debris in the main game.
Moving on from the smoldering ruins of the beach front lodge, I was confronted with a guard tower. Now in most games you would sit back and snipe him from distance, not on Ageia Island; here you have several ways to kill the guards of the towers. The first option is obviously to shoot them, a little cliche and dull. The second is to blow the tower up with a grenade or rocket which looks brilliant:
Another option is shooting out each individual strut, like a slow version of the grenade technique. Although this is quite possible it’s incredibly time consuming but still quite fun when the whole thing comes crashing down. You can also shoot out the planks underneath the soldier, either giving yourself another shooting angle, or causing the guard to fall to his death; nice.
My favourite technique by far however, is shooting out the roofing struts and watching the roof crash down on the poor guard. Now all they need is an AI that throws themselves off the tower to avoid the crushing, then this would be perfect!
Another feature of the island that I like is the tree destruction. Like some kind of high tech lumberjack you can fire grenades or clips full of ammo at the stumps and watch them topple.
There’s also several metal fences for you to topple with some accurate strut shooting: