Benchmarking Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 31 July 2015 at 12:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 28 Comments.

Yesterday Feral Games released Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor for Linux and Mac OS X. Since its release, I've been very busy working to get some benchmark results produced for this AAA game that's out for Linux one year after the Windows released. Included in these initial results for Shadow of Mordor are benchmark results for a few modern high-end graphics cards plus looking into the warning issued by Feral about the lack of AMD support.

Shadow of Mordor has a benchmark mode! I was very excited yesterday when hearing that, given my Linux game testing requirements. Sadly, after spending the $25 USD and downloading this 67 GB game, I was disappointed in the benchmarking support for the game... It's 95~98% the way there. There is an automated, reproducible benchmark option for this game, but it's only accessible via the in-game UI and so far I haven't found any way to automate this from the command-line.

It's a huge pity that there isn't any command-line switches for being able to launch the game on Linux with a --benchmark argument (along with the relevant resolution/visual parameters) to be able to yield complete automation of the benchmark process, followed by the automatic exiting of the game upon completing the benchmark and outputting the results... Given the rest of the process is there, hopefully Feral Games will add that support in a future Linux update for this game, otherwise this is likely the last time this game is tested at Phoronix. The lack of complete automation support makes this just a small comparison today and misses out on many features compared to when fully-automated via the Phoronix Test Suite, see: Reasons To Make A PTS/OB Test Profile For Your Software.

With Thursday's release of the game for Linux, Feral warned that only NVIDIA graphics are currently supported. Particularly, AMD and Intel graphics are known not to work. "Linux users please note: Shadow of Mordor doesn't support AMD at this time...AMD and Intel GPUs are not supported at this time." For NVIDIA users, they recommend the 352.21 Linux driver or newer given that's what they've been testing against. This game does require OpenGL 4.3 plus compute shaders, meaning that none of the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers will work at this time. It will probably be a few months at least before Mesa and the Intel/Radeon/Nouveau drivers are supporting the necessary extensions for this game.

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