When the first Crysis game was released, I didn’t have a hope in hell of playing it. My PC would have probably struggled with Minesweep let alone such a graphically intensive shooter. So the announcement that Crysis 2 was on its way to consoles pleased me to no end. I mean, the hallowed Crytek engine was coming to my platform of choice, what could be better? And earlier this year it did just that, playing brilliantly on my Xbox 360 and looking rather splendid in the process. Aside from the occasional moronic AI and frustrating glitches, I, the console gamer, was happy however some hardcore fans of the first game weren’t so chipper. A supposed dumbing down took place in order for it to run on consoles plus a shift in story and gameplay didn’t help matters. Worst of all for the die-hard crowd was the lack of Direct X 11 and 10 support opting to go with DX9 instead.
That meant Crysis 2 wasn’t the power hungry beast Crysis was and although looking gorgeous on places, it never truly tested GPUs. Crytek ceo, Cevat Yerli spoke with Gamasutra about the change and the upcoming patch saying: “Crysis 1’s intention was, if I were to play it three years later, it looks great. And it does, actually, it fulfilled that. But it made it difficult for entry-level players. So with Crysis 2, we took a different direction, and it backfired a little bit.” It’s unfortunate the a developer making a game more accessible in this way gets their wrists-slapped for doing so but the fans know what they want and it sounds as if they don’t want just any old gamer playing Crysis 2. The patch, coming in a couple of weeks, adds things like HDR motion blur, displacement and parallax occulsion mapping among other things which will no doubt make an already good looking game even more pretty but it really is just a peace offering of sorts to appease a certain crowd. Crytek will make no money by producing the patch as they don’t believe it’ll gin any more purchases. But ironically, the company are again trying to please everyone even though the original changes and omittance of DX11 were made in order to please everyone (my head hurts…)
“This is much more like a gift to the high-end community,” Yerli said. “And I think gamers will appreciate that. It lifts up Crysis 2 and gives a sneak peak of how PC gaming will evolve in the future, if you support a high-end preference.” It’s great that Crytek are tweaking the game so it can last a good few years but the annoyance apparently comes from PC fans wanting an upgrade over the console on release not months after. Which I can totally understand, Crysis 1 gained popularity by being intensive and why shouldn’t the sequel be too? One commenter on Gamasutra pointed out that the mainstream market wasn’t so happy with their rigs being pushed to the limit. He also pointed out a Steam survey which showed only 5% of users had a DX11 card with the majority using a DX10/11 one. That means only 5% would reap the benefits of high-end DX11 visuals and such a small number isn’t one a developer can economically focus all their attention on.
Not being a PC gamer I won’t fully appreciate the significance of the ‘degrade’ of Crysis 2 and subsequently its upgrade to DX11. But, as much as I enjoyed the game, it was the aforementioned questionable AI and bizarre glitches that spoilt Crysis 2, not the graphics.