Trying Out Ballistic Overkill On Linux With Vulkan
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 16 May 2017. Page 1 of 2. 9 Comments

Aquiris Game Studio today released Ballistic Overkill with Vulkan support for this first person shooter built atop the Unity game engine. Being one of the few Linux Vulkan games at this time, I ran some quick tests with Radeon RADV and NVIDIA on Ubuntu Linux.

Unfortunately, Ballistic Overkill doesn't have any integrated benchmark mode nor any integrated ability for easily showing the rendered FPS under OpenGL and Vulkan, so this is just a quick testing article for those curious how this $12 game via Steam on Linux works with Vulkan. Some Phoronix readers have reported that Ballistic Overkill 1.3.6 is not working for them, but on my tests so far, it's been working fine.

With Ballistic Overkill 1.3.6 there isn't any renderer option from the in-game settings but you need to launch the game with "-force-vulkan" if desired. To see which graphics API is being used, it will show the graphics API next to the build number on the main menu.

First up I was most curious how well the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver was running for this game... So on the Core i7 7700K system with Linux 4.12 Git + Mesa 17.2-dev Git (as of yesterday, built against LLVM 5.0 SVN, from the Padoka PPA) I tried it out. While RadeonSI was fine with a Radeon RX 480 Polaris graphics card, when trying to launch the game with the "-force-vulkan" option, Ballistic Overkill would crash immediately without showing any error messages in the CLI output. When trying a few other modifications, Ballistic Overkill was still refusing to start-up on the RX 480 with Mesa Git using RADV but when using the OpenGL core profile with RadeonSI it was working fine on this same system.

So next I decided to try out a NVIDIA card with the 381.22 proprietary driver. Ballistic Overkill doesn't have stiff requirements: minimum GPU on Linux is HD Graphics 4000 while they recommend a GeForce 8000 series or better. With curious about monitoring the Vulkan impact, I opted to slot in just a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

With the GTX 1050 Ti installed and using the 381.22 driver atop Ubuntu 17.04, the game started up just fine with the Vulkan renderer option.

When playing the game for a few minutes with the Vulkan renderer on the GTX 1050 Ti, I didn't notice any Vulkan rendering problems. From initial testing, the NVIDIA Vulkan Linux experience for this game was fine.

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