Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning. I was among those that criticized Crytek’s decision to release a dumbed down version of Crysis 2 to the PC. As I wrote in my ‘How Crytek doomed Crysis 2’s PC version’ article for another publication, Crytek had failed to release a proper PC version of Crysis 2 and didn’t include any DX11 support, modding tools, advanced graphics options or an 64bit executable file. Fast forward some months and here we are today with most of those issues addressed/fixed.
Was it really worth the extra effort? Most certainly as right now we have a better PC version of Crytek’s little baby. Crytek released this week both the DX11 Update and the Sandbox 3 Editor for Crysis 2. The DX11 Update provides a nice graphical overhaul, although we can still notice some blurry textures. Furthermore, the environmental destructibility is limited and hasn’t been improved at all. Let’s be honest though, we didn’t expect Crytek to improve the game’s destruction. It would require additional coding, creation of new assets, further testing and so on.
This DX11 Update is quite demanding and will push your systems to the limits. It features Tessellation and Displacement Mapping, High Quality HDR Motion Blur, Realistic Shadows with Variable Penumbra, Sprite Based Bokeh Depth of Field, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Particles Motion Blur and Water Rendering improvements with the help of both Tessellation and Displacement Mapping. DX9 are also benefited from this patch as they are getting Real-Time Local Reflections, Contact Shadows and improved Tone Mapping. We have to wonder though why Crytek didn’t enable POM for DX9, as we already know that this API supports it. And as you’d expect, the game runs better on Nvidia’s hardware. Guess those extra dollars really paid off.
So Crysis 2 PC now features advanced graphical options, better graphics, better textures, DX11 support and the much-anticipated Sandbox 3 Editor. And this Editor will basically drive Crysis 2’s sales. It’s essential and might save the game at the end of the day. A lot of modding teams were waiting for it, so we can expect some spectacular mods. Moreover, we can expect some special graphical or gameplay tweaks, better TOD’s, better textures packs, better AI and a lot of custom maps. The bad news is that the ambitious mods won’t be coming anytime soon, as the teams will have to get used to this new editor. Still, we’ll eventually get some that will hopefully introduce new and interesting ideas.
Crytek has finally delivered. Although Crysis 2 was developed as a multiplatform title and its gameplay was limited by consoles, the company has managed to offer those features that most of us were asking for. This is partially how Crysis 2 was meant to be. We should acknowledge Crytek’s attempts and congratulate them. Crysis 2 right now is the best looking PC game, even though it lacks the level of its predecessors’ destructibility. Still, it’s graphically amazing and shows what can be easily done to most multiplatform games if developers can actually put some effort to their games’ PC versions. Kudos to Crytek and we are looking forward to more updates and further support from them!