Today’s benchmark is based on Dead Island: Epidemic. As an AMD Gaming Evolved title it’s been showing up for quite a while when installing the Catalyst Software. I decided to take a deeper look now that it’s gotten into it’s open beta phase.

The Dead Island series was initially based around a first person zombie shooter. With Epidemic, this has changed to a third person hack and slash MOBA, or as the publisher Deep Silver describes, a ZOMBA (Zombie Online Multiplayer Battle Arena). The game is developed by Stunlock Studios on the well known Unity cross-platform engine.

There’s two different game modes available, PvE (players versus enemies) and PvP that consists of three teams of four players battling it out called Scavenger (similar to capture the flag). The game is relatively small at 2Gb, due mainly to the limited content. They’ve added a tutorial mission series that wasn’t available previously, to better acquaint newer players.

 

Dead Island Epidemic Character Menu

 

Moving on to the benchmark performance analysis the game has not received official SLI and Crossfire support as of yet. The good thing though is that the game isn’t very taxing.

 

Benchmark Components

Dead Island: Epidemic Benchmark System

CPU i7 3930K
Motherboard Asus P9X79 Deluxe
RAM Kingston Hyper-X 16GB 1600mhz
HDD/SSD Crucial M550 256GB
GPU Galax GTX970 EXOC 4GB , MSI R9-290 Gaming 4S
Monitor Asus PB287Q 28″ 4K 60Hz 1MS
PSU Corsair AX1200W
OS Windows 8.1
Drivers Nvidia: 344.75 WHQL, AMD: Catalyst Omega 14.12

 

Testing Methodology

I decided to go with a 60 second run on the Co-Op mode. There’s quite a lot going on with multiple players as well as enemy NPCs. I tried to replicate the most demanding scenario in the game that can be seen below in the video.

The graphics options are somewhat limited so I bumped everything up to the highest settings but, decided to turn Bloom OFF as it caused a strange yellow glare effect.

The resolutions tested are 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 on a GTX970 and R9-290.

 

Dead Island: Epidemic 1920×1080 Benchmark

Dead Island Epidemic Benchmark 1920x1080

 

Both our benchmark graphic cards hold up very well with the AMD R9-290 at 124 FPS average and the GTX970 at 133 FPS average. The minimums are well above 100 FPS on both cards giving a smooth experience overall at 1920×1080.

 

Dead Island Epidemic Screenshot 1920x1080

 1920×1080 Screenshot

 

2560×1440 Benchmark

Dead Island Epidemic Benchmark 2560x1440

 

Albeit a AMD Gaming Evolved title we see the R9-290 with 15-20% lower performance across the minimum, maximum and average frame rate. The GTX970 seems to be keeping up at 2560×1440 with a very minor decrease in FPS over the HD resolution.

 

Dead Island Epidemic Screenshot 2560x1440

 2560×1440 Screenshot

 

DI: E 3840×2160 Benchmark

Dead Island Epidemic Benchmark 4K

 

At 4K both cards perform very well at over 100 FPS average. The R9-290 seems to again produce lower frame rate than the GTX970 but nothing noticeable in terms of gameplay. On both cards and all resolutions there was no visible stutter or strange frame drops.

 

Dead Island Epidemic 4K Screenshot

 4K Screenshot

 

CPU Usage

Dead Island Epidemic CPU Usage

 

Looking at the CPU usage graph above using the lowest possible resolution, the minimum CPU requirements specifying a Core 2 Duo are just about right. The game is not very CPU intensive with 3 to 4 of the virtual cores being utilized. The game should be playable on just about any processor, hyperthreading doesn’t give any benefits.

 

Dead Island Epidemic VRAM Usage

Dead Island Epidemic VRAM Usage

 

Using the GTX970 to test video ram usage we see 1080p using up 1.28Gb while 4K just over 1.7Gb. This may differ vastly for other lower VRAM graphics cards as most games utilize as much as possible if available. If you experience any strange single digit framedrops on a 1Gb card try lowering the settings to low or medium and drop AA.

 

Total System Memory Usage

Dead Island Epidemic Total System RAM Usage

 

Dead Island Epidemic seems to need just under 4Gb of total system memory across all resolutions on the 16GB system. This is with running Windows 8.1, but should be similar to Win 8 or Win 7. The minimum specs specify 2Gb, that ofcourse on the low graphical settings.

 

Conclusion

The Unity engine is not a power hog whatsoever, and as the game is going to be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC only, you can imagine there won’t be any serious issues in terms of performance on older systems. The graphics ofcourse aren’t the best available but for a mass multiplayer online game are sufficient.

The game does have some unique features with the discovery of blueprints for weapon craft as well as levelling up giving you additional weapons and skill sets. The player level only goes up to 15, while the game levels seem linear and very limited in variety.

The most appealling of all is the PvP 4v4v4 gameplay, it’s not your usual MOBA and will probably have a hard time in e-sport tournaments but, with a big fan base it might just save an otherwise repetitive and dull experience. For players that are already accustomed to other games like DOTA 2 and LoL might find these somewhat empty.

If you have any questions about the benchmark please ask in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer.

About The Author

"Overclock and benchmark freak"