What things makes a PC game look and run great?

I was playing MEffect 2 few hours ago and it looked so brilliant to me maxed out, ran all smooth and good. I have a 5850 gpu, but I am pretty sure its less GPU demanding and still could keep the brilliant visuals it has.
and same goes for the COD series.
But when I play crysis its smooth but not everywhere when maxed out, and not as good as ME2 in graphics.
Why is it that some games are so demanding on Paper and still lag behind less demanding games in visuals.
I want to know the technical things they do to improve the performance of the game or what things ( coding, etc ) could bring down the visual appeal of a more demanding game ( Stalker. not brilliantly looking but demands)
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More about what things makes game great
  1. Crysis is a well known game that is very demanding on hardware. Even an i7 9** CPU and the fastest graphics card can struggle. I wouldnt let it worry you too much if Crysis causes your PC to struggle a bit.

    What are you PC specifications ? (CPU / Mobo etc)
  2. No crysis dsnt struggle on my pc ( its a c2duo 3.0, 4gb ram, 5850, dg45id) I meant why is that ME2 feels so easy on PC and crysis dsnt (visually both are awesome, but i wld say me2 looks better), is it the bad coding or texture compression or any other techie things that goes in them...that i wnt to know.
  3. The COD graphics engine uses less advanced tools and techniques compared to the Crysis engine. In MW2 they use it very, very well and you are right it does look amazing but if you start looking at the details you will see that, on the higher settings, Crysis has more little details due to the technologies they used that make it look great. Just from my personal experience:
    - Water in Crysis looks more realistic when looking through it (e.g. looking from outside the water to the objects underwater)
    - Have a look in Crysis at the way light is filtered through the trees. It looks a lot more natural than COD's simpler technique.
    - In Crysis if you change from looking at somewhere dark to somewhere very light, it takes your "eyes" a second or so to adjust to the difference and "see" more details.

    I am sure there are a lot more examples, but those are the first ones I can think of off the top of my head. In short, COD uses a DX9 engine that they have made look very pretty, where Crysis uses (on higher settings) a DX10 engine that looks very realistic.
  4. Yes crysis still looks great but its defntly a badly optimized game as its 3 year old now and still struggles to run on max, I bet water in it isnt the only reason.
    Look at Battlfld 2...looks leaps and bounds ahead of crysis to me in visuals. and again ME 2 terrific. I bet they (crysis team) could build a better engine. or better texture compression and effiecient codes.
    Btw is a game engine like some framework with libraries and stuff that u can just put in yr game codes?
    and which is the most efficient Game engine ?
  5. Quote:
    Look at Battlfld 2...looks leaps and bounds ahead of crysis to me in visuals.

    What :o

    Btw is a game engine like some framework with libraries and stuff that u can just put in yr game codes?
    and which is the most efficient Game engine ?

    Basically yeah it's a very complicated framework/library, and as such you can't just "put in yr game codes", you need to learn how to use the engine and know all the little tricks that make it look/run better. And there is no most efficient game engine as they are all different but be assured that if you are interested in getting one you :
    - either make it yourself, virtually impossible given the competition
    - either buy it from the developers that made it (like Crytek engine, the source engine, etc...), but I'm pretty sure you need to have a developer company label to actually get your hands on those babies, and it costs a crapload of money (and it's not even yours, you are just being allowed to use it, if you actually want to truly take ownership of it the price increases thousandfold and it's unlikely they would accept)
  6. There are some things in Crysis [such as the way light filters through the trees] that is VERY demanding to compute, which taxes performance. Unreals textures may be just as detailed, but a lot of advanced options are simply not avaliable in the engine.
  7. I think the thing about Crysis that is so demanding is that almost every single thing is destructible and has a physics model. You can actually knock down almost all the buildings and trees, when you run into a bush in the snow the snow actually flies off of it, and it's not some cheap effect they actually model the ice particles in 3d. Same with the alien fire, it's actual particles rendered in 3d being slung at you, not just a beam like in Warhead. You can pick up most object and throw them at people, even the coffee cups on tables in random huts are fully modeled. Sure there are games that might look just as good in a screen shot and might play more smoothly, but nothing beats the original crysis that I've played yet as far as realistic physical interaction with almost all the objects in the game.
  8. ^^ The Crysis physics model is actually simplistic, as its only dealing with changes to an existing state, so its only very limiting circumstances where you have heavy physics workloads, and even then, only in one dimension at any one time.

    "God rays" are hell to compute, as you have to deal with the way light reflects through objects, brightness, shadows, and the like. Very tough on performance.
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