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A Laundry List Of Visual Improvements

Crysis 2 Goes Direct X 11: The Ultra Upgrade, Benchmarked
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Crysis 2 Version 1.9 Improvements

The following improvements work in both DirectX 9 and 11 mode:

Contact Shadows (available in both DirectX 9 and DirectX 11)
This feature is also called Screen Space Directional Occlusion (SSDO), which is an upgrade over the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) technique with which we're already familiar. SSDO is better at handling ambient deferred lights and casts realistic contact shadows in spaces where traditional SSAO fails.

Real-Time Local Reflections (available in both DirectX 9 and DirectX 11)
Crytek takes a new approach to generating reflections with its Real-Time Local Reflections (RLR). This technique approximates ray-traced HDR reflections to local objects, and while the results are not always ideal, this method is flexible enough to be applied to any curved surface in the scene. It’s also capable of handling self-reflections, an effect that cube map or planar reflections cannot simulate.

Improved Tone Mapping (available in both DirectX 9 and DirectX 11)
The new tone mapper uses an S-shaped curve color control to deliver a wider range, with improved definition of dark tones. It also gives the artist better control over the exposure of the scene.

DirectX 11 Patch Improvements

The following improvements are only enabled in DirectX 11 mode:

Tessellation and Displacement Mapping
Hardware-accelerated tessellation is one of the main graphical boons offered by DirectX 11, and Crysis 2 is capable of applying it to all mesh types. Modern hardware is not yet able to handle tessellation of the entire game world, so the art department applies it to the models that best benefit from the feature. Displacement mapping is also applied to make the finer geometry detail stand out.

Parallax Occlusion Mapping
This technique creates the appearance of depth without adding geometry like tessellation. The simulated geometry can even cast shadows on itself.

Realistic Shadows with Variable Penumbra
As a shadow is cast further away from an object, the softer it becomes. This feature mimics real-life phenomenon.

Water Rendering improvements using Tessellation and Displacement Mapping
Crysis 2 has a lot of scenes that include bodies of water. Enhancements include dynamic tessellation of water geometry (adding detail to the water surface) and an improved ocean animation method with higher-frequency wave composition. Sub-surface scattering and wave crest foam are added to the shader, too. Finally, water interaction physics have been polished; shooting a gun into a pool of liquid results in a much more dramatic effect.

High-Quality HDR Motion Blur
Motion blur quality is improved. In addition, masking is better able to cope with objects that move with the viewer, so items like hands and weapons are no longer distorted by the effect.

Sprite-Based Bokeh Depth of Field
DirectX 11 features a new sprite-based method of rendering the depth-of-field effect. This allows for a more accurate camera model representation, and it supports masks to approximate camera aperture shapes (note the hexagonal aperture effect).

Particle Enhancements
Motion blur is now applied to particles, and particles can receive shadows like their real-world counterparts.

The High-Resolution Texture Pack Improvements

This patch doubles the resolution of many texture assets. Keep in mind it doesn’t replace ALL of the textures in the game. And from the screenshots we’ve seen, the improvements are mostly found on items that include text, such as signs and posters. The good news is that these enhancements aren’t limited to DirectX 11, and are just as effective when using the DirectX 9 code path.

Advanced Graphics Options

Unlike the debut release of Crysis 2, version 1.9 grants PC users granular control over graphics options. In addition to the general quality increases, here are some of the specific features that are attached to the new Ultra setting:

Object: Tessellation (DX 11-only), Parralax Occlusion mapping (DX 11-only)
Particles: Shadows (DX 11-only), Particle Motion Blur (DX 11-only)
Post Processing: High-Quality Motion Blur and DOF (DX 11-only)
Shading: Contact shadows (DX 9 & DX 11), Real-Time Local Reflections (DX 9 & DX 11)
Shadows: Realistic Shadows with Variable Penumbra (DX 11-only)
Water: DX11 version of ocean and water volumes (DX 11-only)

Now that we know what Crytek’s new Ultra Upgrade entails, let’s look at some benchmarks!

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    >.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.
  • 16 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , July 12, 2011 6:55 AM
    the reason i tell people to get a 6850 minimum even for lower res...games like this. Toms, how do 6 core phenom2's scale?? does it see improvement over 4 cores?
  • 13 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    Awesome, I've been waiting for Tom's to bench the DX11 patch. Thanks for the benchmarks.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:24 AM
    O.O
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    >.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.
  • 13 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:25 AM
    Awesome, I've been waiting for Tom's to bench the DX11 patch. Thanks for the benchmarks.
  • 6 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 4:33 AM
    bear95>.> the graphics card I bought a month ago is officialy outdated imo.

    What graphics card did you buy a month ago?
  • 4 Hide
    bebangs , July 12, 2011 4:43 AM
    Is your monster rig is bored? Can't find any other games to play with your rig? Get this patch.

  • 2 Hide
    coldtortilla , July 12, 2011 4:51 AM
    wow now I am really ashamed of buying a core i3 for my budget gaming pc, hopefully it won't be that bad considering that the game favors intel architecture.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 4:59 AM
    Always when you overclock a amd system, the CPU_NB (northbridge ) is so or more important then clock itself. Just raise the multiplier and no cpu_NB over makes no sense at all!!! The performance boost its significative!!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 12, 2011 5:17 AM
    And the game play still is average or below. When people say they want gameplay over graphics and then push Crysis 2 you know that is not the truth.
  • 7 Hide
    Taylor422 , July 12, 2011 5:19 AM
    I would've liked to see how a single GTX 580 held out. There were single and double 570s, but only double 580s. Otherwise, good article. It looks like Metro 2033 has been knocked off as the benchmark standard.
  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 12, 2011 5:45 AM
    So a $109 dollar Phenom II X4 945 CPU can play Crysis 2 just fine as long as you have a Highend GPU. Well I got one of the two now I need an Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 Time to retire my ATI Radeon 4770 and sell it on ebay.
  • -3 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 5:59 AM
    SteelCity1981So a $109 dollar Phenom II X4 945 CPU can play Crysis 2 just fine as long as you have a Highend GPU. Well I got one of the two now I need an Nvidia Geforce GTX 570 Time to retire my ATI Radeon 4770 and sell it on ebay.

    That processor will definitely bottleneck a GTX570 (at lower resolutions the performance hit seems quite severe), although yes, you'll probably still be able to achieve playable frame rates at anything but maxed out settings.
  • 5 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 12, 2011 6:06 AM
    dragonsqrrlThat processor will definitely bottleneck a GTX570 (at lower resolutions the performance hit seems quite severe), although yes, you'll probably still be able to achieve playable frame rates at anything but maxed out settings.



    Doesn't look that way seems like the Phenom II X4 945 @ 3gz paired with a Geforce GTX 570 on highest details on a 1280x 1024 with 45fps seems to be pretty playable.
  • 3 Hide
    wintermint , July 12, 2011 6:09 AM
    Don't wanna be nitpicky on typos but for your test setup.. you mentioned "OCZ PC3-16000" :p 
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 12, 2011 6:11 AM
    SteelCity1981Doesn't look that way seems like the Phenom II X4 945 @ 3gz paired with a Geforce GTX 570 on highest details on a 1280x 1024 with 45fps seems to be pretty playable.

    Sorry, I just assumed that since you were going for a GTX570, you'd be running it at higher resolutions.
  • -1 Hide
    flyboy86 , July 12, 2011 6:16 AM
    Wish they would have included the 5770 in crossfire.
  • 3 Hide
    kurahk7 , July 12, 2011 6:25 AM
    It says "1920x1800" instead on 1920x1080 on the Dx11 page.
  • -3 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , July 12, 2011 6:25 AM
    i have a GTX 460 1 GB, and yes, the benchamrk what Toms did its accurate. Maxed out on 1080p i have 20 -21 FPS. Core i7 2600k its bottlenecked by the GTX 460. I buyed the card last december.. so i dont wanna upgrde yet :(  or i should? oO
  • 16 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , July 12, 2011 6:55 AM
    the reason i tell people to get a 6850 minimum even for lower res...games like this. Toms, how do 6 core phenom2's scale?? does it see improvement over 4 cores?
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