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Crysis 2 4-Years Later Review

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Graphics:

Crysis 2 is the first game in the series to be released on consoles, and to make that possible, the new CryENGINE 3 game engine was developed and used. That sentence may be triggering some mixed emotions for some of you, because while new game engines can offer better performance, quality, and effects, the prospect of a console-port is never a pleasant one for a PC gamer.

Rest assured that Crysis 2 is still a good looking game with beautiful lighting, awesome explosions, and plenty of detail. However, it is definitely not perfect. There were several instances when the graphics seemed softer than they should be, including with some textures and even some animations. The textures are largely of very good quality, but there are still several times that you can spot pixelation or blurring because they are being somehow enlarged more than they should have been. I only noticed this on environmental objects, and not any character models, and usually it was just blurring. Unfortunately it appears I did not take a screenshot of the pixelated texture, but then I only noticed it once.

The animations being blurry is something I have noticed in another CryENGINE 3 game, and is definitely odd to spot. It is almost like some animations are being rendered at a lower resolution than everything else, and the missing frames are being interpolated, causing a blurring effect. When I noticed this, it was always with facial and/or head animations.

 

 

The models always seemed very detailed, both for character models and the environment. Bricks and tiles have actual 3D details to them, instead of just relying on shadowing already in the textures. This is thanks to quite a bit of tessellation, via DirectX 11.

Lighting and shadows are very nice to look at, with how the light reflects off of different materials, and the relative sharpness of the shadows. It is not quite what we can find with some newer ambient occlusion solutions, but this is a four-year old game.

 

 

While I do prefer to avoid directly comparing games in reviews, sometimes I must make exceptions. In this case I want to point out that while, in some ways, Crysis 2 does have superior graphics to the previous titles, it lacks the scope they had. We are in New York City and not a large, fairly open island, filled with environmental objects everywhere you look. Sure, it looks good, but buildings of various sizes obscure your vision, so it is not like you are going to be looking across the city, as you practically could with the island before.

The water definitely looks good, but player interaction with it is not too complicated. It is just ripples emanating from your body. Actually I cannot remember much interacting with water, so that is not much of an issue. You definitely do see it a lot, and it looks pretty good, which is probably because it is tessellated for extra detail. One water issue is that water running over the ground can just be a flat animated texture.

 

 

Fire and explosions are a little odd. Fire does not look all that good to me, as it is often just an effect being pasted on at some point in space, and is also somewhat flat in its appearance. Explosions do look nice, with how debris is sent flying and trails of smoke following behind, but they too can look pasted in, as opposed to something naturally happening in the world.

 

 

One of the things I talked about in the earlier review is how impressive the physics was. Well, it is nice here, but not impressive like before. Probably the best example I have of this was when a car glitched, causing it to be stuck. The physics issue is not with the glitch, but with the two enemy occupants being in the vehicle, and completely protected from my attacks. This in comparison to shooting through a pipe in Crysis Warhead I would expect most games to put an invisible wall on.

 

With the looks covered, time to cover performance, so here are my specs:

  • Processor: AMD A10-5800K @ 4.40 GHz (44.0x100)
  • Cooling: Corsair H110
  • Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 980 4 GB
  • PhysX: EVGA GTX 770 2 GB
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
  • PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
  • OS: Windows 7- Professional 64-bit

As the version I have is the Maximum Edition (on Steam, if anyone is curious) my game includes the DirectX 11 Ultra content and the High Resolution Texture pack. Everything, except motion blur, I had turned on and to the highest, Ultra setting. Even with all of that going on, my rig maintained 60 FPS effectively the entire time. There were instances when it dropped down, but quickly returned to 60, so while I mention it, I do not consider it significant.

 

 

There were more issues than just the vehicle one mentioned above, but nothing serious. Unlike many other FPS games, the player's character model actually is rendered in Crysis 2, at least partially. Occasionally animations, like those of ripping a heavy machine gun off of its turret, would cause the camera to enter the character model, so I would see the edges of model move around my view. Not serious, but annoying that it happens.

What the graphics of Crysis 2 come down to for me is that they definitely do look good and run very well, but they are not particularly impressive. Having just come from reviewing Crysis and Crysis Warhead, I was hoping for something to wow me, but that is not what I got. Those old games could rival today's games and even surpass some, while Crysis 2 just equals some. More specifically it equals some from the previous console generation, so to a degree, yes, this is a console port.




  1. Crysis 2 Review - Introduction
  2. Crysis 2 Review - Graphics
  3. Crysis 2 Review - Story
  4. Crysis 2 Review - Gameplay
  5. Crysis 2 Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Crysis 2 Review - Conclusion
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