Visually, Crysis is still a contender. Comparing this 10-year-old game to present-day titles, we can clearly see that CryEngine 2 was ahead of its time. Maybe even a little too much. It is missing some well-placed shadows (notably, ambient occlusion technology, which arrived in later mainstream games). Modders improved the graphics quality even beyond Crytek's original scope, though, further showcasing the potential of this unique 3D engine.
Need a 5 GHz CPU?
Between this piece and But Can It Run Crysis? 10 Years Later, we've put a lot of effort into testing modern GPUs and previous-generation graphics cards. In the process, we came away with two striking observations.
First, only the fastest desktop board available (GeForce GTX 1080 Ti) can average more than 60 FPS at 4K. Oh yeah, that's Crysis for you. It's a game that remains challenging to render, even 10 years later.
Second, the game is still bottlenecked on most of our machines. Why? Because it's not sufficiently threaded to run well on present-day CPUs. These processors have progressed less with clock rate and more on their core/thread count. New architectures are more efficient, but they're still unable to fully unleash the game with just one core fully utilized. You need a beast of a processor overclocked to 5 GHz in order to max out a high-end graphics card and reach for 120 Hz.
A Perfect Game By All Accounts
Technical limitations aside, Crysis remains a small work of art in every area: gameplay, campaign, and graphics (plus the physics simulations that go with it). Open maps offer multiple ways to enjoy the experience a second or third time. And if you've beaten it once, try increasing the game's difficulty. We promise you'll be challenged.
But Crysis is also well-made from a technical perspective. It runs like a charm on modern Windows 10-equipped machines. And although the built-in resolutions are a blast from the past, we had no problem adding 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 to the game's list of options.
Now's the time to enjoy Crysis with smooth frame rates and forget frustrations it might have caused you in the past. If you missed Crysis altogether, don't skip out on this classic (and marvel at the fact that a decade-old game still costs $20!).
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I actually did the math and it's 10-42% higher average frame rates and 35-56% higher minimum frame rates. Is this only due to the higher clock speed and IPC of the 7700K?
"RX 580" does not necessarily mean stock. One could be a stock-settings card and the other could be an MSI Gaming X+ version. That alone could shift the FPS significantly.
Because the original Cryengine delved into completely new territory with light ray tracing and water and foliage texturing. On top of that, it was an open world shooter, not a sandbox player like previous AAA shooters that took place in corridors, metro cities, etc. Crysis 2 was not nearly as challenging on hardware as it was a closed city world where there wasn't much distance draw and just had simple building and street textures. On top of that it was dumbed down for consoles. Cryengine 3 was dumbed down for consoles as well.
In any event, after two articles on this, I'm going to have to break out my original Crysis 1 DVD and install it and play it again on my 1440p rig and check out some graphics mods. Anyone remember when you could actually buy a physical copy of a PC game in a box in a store? I hadn't played it since 2010 or so.
The main takeaway I got from this is how well the 8GB R9 390 scaled with an increase in AA use and higher resolution over Nvidia counterparts or even the 8GB RX 580. Case in point: at no AA at 2560x1440, the R9 390 and RX 580 are only apart by 1FPS average, yet with 8xFSAA dialed in, the R9 390 leaves the RX 580 behind by 7FPS. Very impressive and I have to only assume that is attributed to the 390's 512-bit memory bus to the 256 bit for the 580.
You don't see this separation in an R9 390 review from two years ago regarding Crysis 3 when jumping up in resolution and AA like here (https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/R9_390_Nitro/11.html). That's all you need to know about why the original Crytek 1 engine is still useful and why later versions of Crysis or other game engines dumbed down for consoles just aren't in the same resource demanding universe.