Shadow Ops: Red Mercury
This 3D shooter runs on the engine from Unreal Tournament 2003/2004, so it is unlikely to have anything new to say. At first sight it is an ordinary tactical shooter, focusing on the realism of the action. No sci-fi here – just the weapons and opponents of the 21-th century. The graphics with its sharp textures and rather complex geometry is very decent.
To our surprise this game, seemingly humble as concerns pixel shaders, turned to be a great admirer of ATI’s cards. The top-end RADEON X800 and X850 cards are much faster than their analogs on the NV40 GPU (well, the frame rate provided by the GeForce 6800 is anyway playable). The AGP and PCI Express versions of the GeForce 6600 GT lost their local fights to the RADEON 9800 XT and to the RADEON X700 XT, respectively.
The gap between the top-end cards from ATI and NVIDIA is smaller in low resolutions of the “eye candy” mode, as the UT2003/2004 engine needs the powerful FPU of the Athlon 64 processor. In high resolutions the RADEON X800 cards show the advantages of the HyperZ HD technology. The RADEON 9800 XT is ahead of the GeForce 6600 GT AGP in high resolutions thanks to its 256-bit bus.