There were a lot of new gaming titles launched in the year 2010. The most highly anticipated games in general proved to be worth the wait even though such titles as StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty took their time in getting to the market. If you thought that Blizzard likes to tease its fans, wait till you actually see Duke Nukem Forever later this year (fingers crossed), as it will be around 14 years since its initial announcement. Maybe a bad joke, but there is still some time for this schedule to be postponed.
Speaking of postponing. Originally we were planning to complete this review as soon as Crysis 2 hit the market. When it became apparent that the delayed DirectX 11 patch is not going to arrive any time soon, we decided to hold the review. But due to a significant number of email-requests from our regular readers, we decided to share the comparison results we’ve got so far. Although they should probably send those emails not to us, but to CryTek, asking why there is still no DirectX 11 support available and when it is going to arrive.
Until then we are glad to report that Crysis 2 turned out to be the exact monster everyone expected it to be. It might be quite hard on the hardware but in the end the Crysis 2 experience is going to be more than rewarding. If we disregard somewhat disappointing texture quality, the game is quite stunning even at the lower image quality settings. The only major shortcoming in our opinion is the way single-player levels are designed. This is definitely a step backwards for game developers at CryTek, as at times the game feels remarkably similar to close quarters design featured in Doom III and Quake 4 video games. I have to stress once again that constant save/check points limit sidestepping and free exploring.
The original Crysis raised the quality bar so high that even the latest generation of graphics cards is still struggling with loads from back four years ago. Crysis 2 is going down the same road and continues to set new quality and performance milestones for the GPU designers and end-users.
The recently launched high-end Radeon HD 6990 and GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards are probably the only no-compromise solutions for your Crysis 2 gaming rig. AMD based cards are currently noticeably slower than their Nvidia based ones, but it may as well change when the DirectX 11 patch or better tuned drivers come out.
If you don’t have unlimited graphics card budget, feel free to consider a Radeon HD 6950 or a GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card. Both are capable of handling Crysis 2 calculations with minor picture quality tradeoffs. Unfortunately for users on a budget, there is little hope for a sub $100 graphics card here. Even with the lowest quality settings your best bet would be a Radeon HD 5750 graphics card.
Despite its complexity, the CryENGINE 3 feels quite at home on any quad core CPU and insufficient CPU power will hardly ever become a bottleneck. Save you money here and invest it in the graphics department.
Until the highly anticipated eye-candy feature-filled DirectX 11 patch arrives, enjoy the Crysis 2 video game as it is and stay tuned for our “Crysis 2 Re-visited” review in the near future.