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Crysis 2 Performance Previewed And Analyzed

Crysis 2 Performance Previewed And Analyzed
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A year is an eternity when it comes to the ever-changing world of PC graphics technology. It is, therefore, a testament to the developers at Crytek that the original Crysis, released November 2007 (more than three years ago), continues to set the bar for PC game graphics. This title created a standard so lofty that we continue to get requests for benchmarks in Crysis in our graphics card reviews, more than three years later.

Yet, this game is not without its faults. Despite some shining examples of free-form single-player arenas, as Crysis nears its conclusion, it sometimes feels muddled and rushed. The successful sandbox approach often gives way to on-rails shooting and racing sequences that feel out of place. Crysis’ multiplayer component is unique, but not as successful as it aspires to be, with colossal maps and a capture-the-building mechanic that never seems to reach its potential. The ‘Power Struggle’ mode seems better-suited for a large-scale army than a handful of super-soldiers. Simple standbys like team deathmatch aren’t included.

In the final analysis, Crysis was probably more successful at showing off what PC graphics can do than it was at being a great game.

But Crytek has been far from idle for the last three years, and Crysis 2 is about to hit store shelves on the 22nd of March. Happily, the company gave us a chance to experiment with the game via a free multiplayer demo (that demo that is no longer playable, by the way; Crytek disabled it on March 16th). Because of this, we’re able to provide you with detailed information regarding graphics card performance in Crysis 2.

The Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo

Before we look at that data, let’s discuss the gameplay aspect. Crytek went back to the drawing board with the multiplayer component of Crysis 2, and it’s clear the company paid a lot of attention to the Call of Duty series. Crysis 2 tracks kills and unlocks ranks and achievements in a very similar fashion. Even the feel is similar.

But Crytek’s newest title is so much more than a Call of Duty clone. Of course, the nanosuit’s strength, speed, armor, and cloaking capabilities remain, but the addition of a new ‘nanovision’ mode helps you see other combatants and even cloaked enemies. And all of these wonderful abilities come with an associated energy cost. This adds a whole other dimension to the standard first-person shooter combat formula.

Yes, the controls have been streamlined, but not necessarily in a bad way. It’s easy to point a finger and say the game is dumbed-down for consoles. But in practice, the new scheme makes much more sense. The default mode is strength and speed, but these abilities don’t take any energy unless you use them by jumping or running. Armor and stealth modes can be toggled with the Q and E keys, respectively, but enabling either of these modes will constantly consume energy. Nanovision mode also eats energy, but at a much slower rate than armor or stealth. Energy management is key, and the most successful players are the ones who do that effectively. The simple-but-sensible control scheme helps with that.

The two maps included in the demo are Skyline and Pier 7, both of which are just the right size for a team deathmatch of eight to 12 players. But there’s also a new game mode called ‘capture the pod.’ an alien ship drops an item, and the team that occupies the area surrounding it gains points over time. After a couple minutes, the pod becomes unstable and explodes, and this sequence of events repeats until one of the teams has gained enough points to win. It’s a good metagame alternative to simple team deathmatch.

And that’s about it. Crysis 2 multiplayer might not sound groundbreaking, but it’s certainly very addicting. In this author’s opinion, it contains the best PvP elements of Call of Duty and Aliens vs. Predator, but ends up being more fun and challenging than both.

With no single-player demo for us to try, that’s as much as we can say about the game play until we get our hands on the full release. Now let’s talk about performance.

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  • 2 Hide
    kcorp2003 , March 18, 2011 4:16 AM
    I still have to download their demo....but so far, everyone is saying its a let down. (perhaps copying CoD?)But its nice to see hardware performance. however its Dx9.
  • 6 Hide
    reasonablevoice , March 18, 2011 4:31 AM
    So its another crappy console port? Oh I'm shocked. No wait, what is the opposite of surprised? I'm that.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 18, 2011 4:38 AM
    Well, so the 1 million grant from nVidia to Crytek was indeed to make the game run faster on Geforce cards.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 18, 2011 4:41 AM
    As for the game to be run on mainstream cards, I have to say that the graphics in Crysis 2 aren't much better than the first one. The major thing about Cryengine 3 is that it is multi-platform, but visually, the two games are not too far apart. Current mainstream cards are at least 2-3 times faster than 8800 Ultra, so that answers question of the game running so well.
  • 0 Hide
    mantis2001 , March 18, 2011 4:45 AM
    As I saw lots of Benchmarks dx11/dx10/dx9, I sill believe that GTX 460 is the best card $150
  • -2 Hide
    Saljen , March 18, 2011 4:53 AM
    That last pic looks like a freakin' photograph. I can't wait for this to be released.
  • -2 Hide
    stiehl , March 18, 2011 4:57 AM
    Crysis 2 is already the most disappointing game of 2011. Subpar graphics, console port and that the multiplayer is a dumbed down copy of COD multiplayer all make this game something to scoff at. The fact crytek has the audacity to release a dx9 game instead of dx11 baffles me. I don't understand how PC enthusiasts such as toms can enjoy this game!
  • 0 Hide
    sabot00 , March 18, 2011 4:59 AM
    rohitbaranAs for the game to be run on mainstream cards, I have to say that the graphics in Crysis 2 aren't much better than the first one. The major thing about Cryengine 3 is that it is multi-platform, but visually, the two games are not too far apart. Current mainstream cards are at least 2-3 times faster than 8800 Ultra, so that answers question of the game running so well.

    Actually, a 8800GTX is more or less equal to a 9800GTX, and the 5770 = 9800GTX+/GTS250, so the slight improvements means a 5770 (mainstream today) is only say 10-20% better instead of 2-3 times.
  • 0 Hide
    jlefebre6001 , March 18, 2011 5:17 AM
    the multi-player is so much like CoD its ridiculous.
  • 1 Hide
    Rizlla , March 18, 2011 5:21 AM
    I'll be waiting to hear some feedback from others about the games before buying it, but first I must get Dragon Age 2. :D 
  • -1 Hide
    scrumworks , March 18, 2011 5:27 AM
    "two Radeon HD 6850s in CrossFire gives the same result as one" No they won't. One gives 39fps and two 55fps.
  • 0 Hide
    scrumworks , March 18, 2011 5:33 AM
    Even if I don't care about the game it's nice to see my HD5770 beats GTX550.
  • 3 Hide
    tony singh , March 18, 2011 5:51 AM
    Looks like my faithful HD4870 will serve me well at 1080 advanced!!
    Tom is getting interesting day by day :) 
  • 0 Hide
    aznguy0028 , March 18, 2011 6:10 AM
    kcorp2003I still have to download their demo....but so far, everyone is saying its a let down. (perhaps copying CoD?)But its nice to see hardware performance. however its Dx9.

    You should dl it. I really liked it. I'm an avid FPS player, everything from CS/quake/unreal/cod/battlefield. The stealth suit's powers are really fun to play with an adds a tactical aspect to the game. The only similarity i see with cod is getting X kills and you can do a radar sweep/call down gunship. Thing is though, its much harder to reach a 7 kill streak in this game (for gunship), so you rarely ever see the higher call downs, I usually only get 3 kills streak for the radar sweep. I honestly dunno why ppl are saying the demo's bad.
  • 2 Hide
    footsoldier , March 18, 2011 6:13 AM
    nesto1000Are you an idiot? Crysis 2 is coming out in DX11... The demo was in DX11 ffs...Dam trolls/idiots piss me off...


    Please, u didn't read? The demo was in DX9...
  • 4 Hide
    stiehl , March 18, 2011 6:25 AM
    Quote:
    Are you an idiot? Crysis 2 is coming out in DX11... The demo was in DX11 ffs...
    Dam trolls/idiots piss me off...


    LOL BE PREPARED TO BE OWNED

    In an interview with crytek developers

    "Die Demo lief wie erwähnt unter DirectX 9, die Cryengine 3 beherrscht aber auch DirectX 10 und 11 und wird in einigen Monaten mit DX11-Support an Lizenznehmer ausgeliefert."

    I am sure you can put that through a translator (basically demo is in dx9 and crytek will add dx11 later as a patch)

    SOURCE: http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,768480/Crysis-2-Alles-ueber-DirectX-11-3D-ohne-Leistungsverlust-und-8-Kern-Optimierung/Action-Spiel/News/

    And from another interview from IGN

    "Regarding DirectX 11 support, which would allow for more advanced graphical effects, Camarillo said, "Crysis 2 will support DirectX 11 but we'll talk more about that in the future. There's an announcement coming soon about that." "

    SOURCE: http://pc.ign.com/articles/115/1153248p1.html

    And from a swedish source

    "At a presentation before the launch of Nvidia's new graphics card in the GeForce 500-series revealed that Crysis 2 initially will not include support for DirectX 11. Instead, the PC gamers had to make do with the six year old DX9......According to Nvidia the developers promises to include a DX11 mode in a future update."

    SOURCE: http://www.sweclockers.com/nyhet/13594-crysis-2-endast-dx9-dx11-kommer-senare

    From do gaming

    "Gamers looking to get Crysis 2 on the PC will need to put up with the console disadvantage for a while as the PC version will only be shipping with DirectX 9. "

    SOURCE: http://gaming.do.co.za/articles/news/crysis_2_with_directx_9.htm


    Chances they will add directx11 as a patch later - 50% in my book
    Chances the patch will actually make the game look better - 10%

  • 5 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , March 18, 2011 6:29 AM
    nesto1000Are you an idiot? Crysis 2 is coming out in DX11... The demo was in DX11 ffs...Dam trolls/idiots piss me off...

    Wow you sound really confident there, even to the extent of calling someone else, better informed, an idiot. Given the 5 minutes of research you're probably now conducting after the fact, confirming that the Crysis 2 demo along with the final shipping version of the game will in fact be DX9 only (at least initially), don't you feel like a bit of an... well, I won't say it.
  • 3 Hide
    stiehl , March 18, 2011 6:33 AM
    aznguy0028You should dl it. I really liked it. I'm an avid FPS player, everything from CS/quake/unreal/cod/battlefield. The stealth suit's powers are really fun to play with an adds a tactical aspect to the game. The only similarity i see with cod is getting X kills and you can do a radar sweep/call down gunship. Thing is though, its much harder to reach a 7 kill streak in this game (for gunship), so you rarely ever see the higher call downs, I usually only get 3 kills streak for the radar sweep. I honestly dunno why ppl are saying the demo's bad.


    level system = cod
    kill cam = cod
    load outs = cod
    medals = cod
    xp system = cod
    spawn system = cod
    level design = cod
    kill streaks = cod

    if you disregard the different graphic styles, crysis 2 and cod are the exact same multiplayer game except for one difference. A nanosuit.
  • 5 Hide
    Olle P , March 18, 2011 6:35 AM
    I really like this type of performance review, and prefer it to the canned benchmarks!

    Here it's hands on, experience based, results telling what's actually playable and what's not.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , March 18, 2011 6:49 AM
    There's a couple of things to note about the performance of the GF114 and 116 cards. With Gamer settings, the framerate plummets when going from 1024 to 1680 far more than it does with the older GF104-enabled 460. Also, I suspect that strange memory setup on the 550 hampers it in Advanced settings as the major drop off is when you go from 1680 to 1920, whereas it's a more linear drop-off with the Radeon cards, thus allowing the 5770 a little glory for a change.

    It's also worth noting that the Crossfired 6850s actually start to help when you really start throwing work at them, notably 1680 Advanced and higher. It's a small boost, but it's there. The behaviour with the SLi'd 460s is odd considering this is a TWIMTBP title but I'm sure it'll be fixed very soon.

    The 560 just eats Crysis 2 up, very impressive. I do know now that my old 4830 will never handle this game. :p  If NVIDIA can bring out more efficient cards to replace these with the next refresh, I may just be on the lookout for one.

    Please note, the final Hardcore graph says 1920x1800. Other than that :p  , very good article.
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