Conclusion: Crysis 2 Is A Lot Easier To Run Than Its Predecessor
When the original Crysis was released, the most powerful graphics card available was the GeForce 8800 Ultra. That card cost over $800 upon its introduction, and could not run the game at 1080p with a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS at the highest detail setting.
God bless progress. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti and Radeon HD 6950 are significantly more powerful than the GeForce 8800 Ultra, both can be purchased for less than $300, and the two cards can handle the highest graphical settings in the Crisis 2 multiplayer demo at 1920x1080. Indeed, even the Radeon HD 6870 and GeForce GTX 460 1 GB can smoothly play the game at 1080p using its Advanced setting.
There are some details worth pointing out here. Note that the game seems to favor Nvidia's GeForce architecture ahead of the official launch, as the Nvidia options perform better than their Radeon counterparts at the same price points. Having said that, Radeon owners are not left out in the cold: even the $125 Radeon HD 5770 is able to handle the Advanced detail setting at 1680x1050. And as mentioned previously, there's a chance that AMD's driver team will improve its standing in Crysis 2 the same way it helped optimize for Metro 2033 and Lost Planet 2, even though performance on AMD hardware was pretty dismal when both of those games launched.
We should point out that the multiplayer demo may prove to have fewer detail options than the full version. Regardless, we are confident that the cards we’ve singled out here will be capable of playing Crysis 2 quite smoothly, even if some settings have to be tweaked here or there. Crytek put in a lot of work to make sure that this game runs much smoother than its predecessor (Ed.: I still don't think this was an altruistic move; Crytek wants in on console gaming at the expense of the PC), and it shows.
But at this point, the big surprise for us was how compelling the Crysis 2 multiplayer demo turned out to be from a game play perspective. We certainly didn’t expect a change in direction of this magnitude. But what we’ve played so far has us stoked, and looking forward to the game’s release. If Crytek improved the single-player experience as much as it improved multiplayer, Crysis 2 is going to be one hell of a game.