Happy now, PC nerds? - The Crysis 2 DX11 Patch

Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

As promised, CryTek has now released its PC-only graphics enhancement pack for Crysis 2 consisting of both a DirectX 11-enabling patch (which adds a whole slew of new advanced features) as well as a collection of high-res textures weighing in at around 2 GB.

During the admittedly short time I've spent with the updated version so far I didn't experience a particularly big difference in the subjective minute-to-minute experience of playing the game. That being said, the more obvious and trendy new visual additions such as tessellation and displacement maps do of course give the environments a more life-like, three-dimensional feel whenever you stop for a moment to admire the scenery (which, due to the game's linear design if nothing else, happens far less often than in Crysis 1). Realistically irregular brick walls and cracked, rain-soaked pavements are the most noticeably improved surfaces seen in this particular video, but I'm sure there are other effects (such as lighting and reflections) which deserve mentioning as well.

And to be fair, some of the old textures *did* look pretty bad up close - which was perhaps most evident in the in-game cutscenes during which the player character gets knocked to the ground - and I imagine if I replayed the same scenes now those issues would all be sorted out. In the thick of the shooter action, however, many of these graphical improvements seem a bit too subtle to make a practical, tangible difference to the player. Still, since I haven't finished Crysis 2 yet (partly because I've been busy with its forward-thinking predecessor) it's nice to know that I'll be able to play through rest of the game with these enhanced visuals switched on.

On a side note, neither the DX11 or hi-res patch appears to have had any effect on the game's performance on my GTX 580-powered rig (by comparison, the similarily high-end-oriented "uber sampling" mode in Witcher 2 reduces my frame rate considerably if activated).

#1 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

As promised, CryTek has now released its PC-only graphics enhancement pack for Crysis 2 consisting of both a DirectX 11-enabling patch (which adds a whole slew of new advanced features) as well as a collection of high-res textures weighing in at around 2 GB.

During the admittedly short time I've spent with the updated version so far I didn't experience a particularly big difference in the subjective minute-to-minute experience of playing the game. That being said, the more obvious and trendy new visual additions such as tessellation and displacement maps do of course give the environments a more life-like, three-dimensional feel whenever you stop for a moment to admire the scenery (which, due to the game's linear design if nothing else, happens far less often than in Crysis 1). Realistically irregular brick walls and cracked, rain-soaked pavements are the most noticeably improved surfaces seen in this particular video, but I'm sure there are other effects (such as lighting and reflections) which deserve mentioning as well.

And to be fair, some of the old textures *did* look pretty bad up close - which was perhaps most evident in the in-game cutscenes during which the player character gets knocked to the ground - and I imagine if I replayed the same scenes now those issues would all be sorted out. In the thick of the shooter action, however, many of these graphical improvements seem a bit too subtle to make a practical, tangible difference to the player. Still, since I haven't finished Crysis 2 yet (partly because I've been busy with its forward-thinking predecessor) it's nice to know that I'll be able to play through rest of the game with these enhanced visuals switched on.

On a side note, neither the DX11 or hi-res patch appears to have had any effect on the game's performance on my GTX 580-powered rig (by comparison, the similarily high-end-oriented "uber sampling" mode in Witcher 2 reduces my frame rate considerably if activated).

#2 Edited by valrog (3671 posts) -

Too little too late.
 
And Uber sampling is clearly meant to push the limits, so yes, it is a performance killer (Though if you mess up with lower resolutions you can get nice results). Which Crysis 2 with its consolation fails to do so. Pus the limits, that is.
 
And it's PC Enthusiasts.

#3 Posted by Mikemcn (6996 posts) -

It doesn't change much of anything, the water looks better.

#4 Posted by Subjugation (4724 posts) -

@Mikemcn said:

It doesn't change much of anything, the water looks better.

Pretty much. At least that's what I noticed when I watched this:

#5 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@valrog: The weird thing about uber sampling in TW2 specifically is that I can't even tell what it does (apart from lowering my frame rate). Not exactly "pushing the limits" when it's hard to tell any visual difference whatsoever...

#6 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@weeman105: I'd say tessellation on flat surfaces like walls etc. is the most noticeable change (by contrast, water didn't seem that different for me while playing the game).

#7 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -
@Egge said:

@valrog: The weird thing about uber sampling in TW2 specifically is that I can't even tell what it does (apart from lowering my frame rate). Not exactly "pushing the limits" when it's hard to tell any visual difference whatsoever...

I hope this will help clear things a little.
 

Ubersampling - answer from another forum - "When ubersampling is enabled The Witcher 2 will render every frame several times and than re-interperate them into one frame. The most noticable difference is that textures will be a bit smoother and have a bit less noise."

A feature designed to be run by next generation PCs. Don't fret if your 580GTX only crunches 10 fps with it turned on.

 
Try it on lower resolution and tell me what you got. I have yet to try it myself, though.
#8 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@valrog: Yeah, I have read similar descriptions but still wasn't able to distinguish the actual in-game difference (though admittedly I haven't switched back and forth between uber samling on/off to study it more carefully). For me the game still seems playable with uber sampling on and 1920*1080 maintained, but since I only really noticed that frame rate drop I turned it off after about an hour or two of playing. Should check it out again at some point, though.

#9 Posted by Jimbo (9866 posts) -
#10 Edited by Jack268 (3387 posts) -
#11 Posted by buckybit (1455 posts) -

DX 11 is as much (maybe even more) about scalability, concurrency and performance as it is about implementing not before seen rendering effects. I 'see' lots of stuff - granted I have not played since v1.0.

Maybe it helps to know what to look for? It is not a different game. I enjoy playing it again for what it is. Tomorrow the SDK is out and modders will take care of this game?

btw, performance enhancement with DX11 should be around 5-10% (all depending on your rig - how many CPU/GPU cores etc...) - also SSD is good for 3-4 FPS (no joke).

Crysis 2 - not fake, not Gaussian, but custom shape based Bokeh DOF - not bokey, nor bukkake
#12 Posted by Tennmuerti (8135 posts) -

@weeman105 said:

@Mikemcn said:

It doesn't change much of anything, the water looks better.

Pretty much. At least that's what I noticed when I watched this:

You did not notice that the bricks cease to be a simple texture and actually stick out with DX11 on?

@Egge said:

@valrog: The weird thing about uber sampling in TW2 specifically is that I can't even tell what it does (apart from lowering my frame rate). Not exactly "pushing the limits" when it's hard to tell any visual difference whatsoever...

There is a big difference in the AA quality and shadow smoothness. At least those are the 2 that stood out most of all in Witcher 2 for me with oversampling on

#13 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

Good thing they finally got around to putting this in when everyone finally stopped caring about this mediocre game.

#14 Posted by mrangryface (775 posts) -

Totally happy with this update. Finally a game that uses all the fancy crap i threw in this box

#15 Posted by Tennmuerti (8135 posts) -

@mrangryface said:

Totally happy with this update. Finally a game that uses all the fancy crap i threw in this box

Get Metro 2033

#16 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

Crytek had been holding out on us, now we get back all the features that should of been in the pc version. No one was impressed before, maybe console gamers.
 
Think of the changes of being subtle, but everything is corrected. No more dark unrealistic shadows, grounds are bumpy, tesselated walls, sharp textures.

#17 Posted by mrangryface (775 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@mrangryface said:

Totally happy with this update. Finally a game that uses all the fancy crap i threw in this box

Get Metro 2033

Haha, oh yeah- forgot I had that. I completed it before my last upgrade- totally forgot. Guess I know what i'll be doing this 4th o July Weekend ;)

#18 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@buckybit: Point taken regarding what DX11 can do quite apart from adding new bells and whistles. The latter still seems to a major concern for a lot of PC ner...enthusiasts, though, and it was also what CryTek appeared to be focusing on in their official statements about these patches. For the record, this blog post's implicit message is that Crysis 2 looked good enough to begin with.

Although I'm always wary of the "this game will be good with mods, right...?!" argument (known in its most dubious and intellectually bankrupt form as The Oblivion Apologist Position), I do agree that it's going to be very interesting to see what the community can come up with.

#19 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@mrangryface: I second that recommendation. Despite some stiff character models, Metro 2033 looks truly impressive and was the first game that made me go "OMG GRAPHIXXXS!" once I got my new computer four weeks ago (and at that point I had already tried out Witcher 2, by the way).

#20 Posted by mrangryface (775 posts) -

Yeah Witcher 2 looks good- but its one of those games that looks pretty amazing to everyone. The best part about owning a decent rig is posting pictures from games at detail levels youre friends couldnt possible run at....

..and then crying in the corner- so very alone- BUT with a nice rig.

#21 Posted by Th3_James (2579 posts) -

I just want the Sandbox.

#22 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@mrangryface: No need to cry...friends and loved ones are so overrated. In fact, they barely even register in a 3DMark benchmark.

#23 Posted by Marz (5658 posts) -

no the AI still blows.

#24 Posted by Raineko (433 posts) -

Crytek didn't release this patch because they wanted to give you a better game, they did it because for months people were crying about how this game still has no dx11.

#25 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

Nerds? This coming from the guy with a blog on a video game web site. Wow...

#26 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@ShadowSkill11 said:

Nerds? This coming from the guy with a blog on a video game web site. Wow...

Look at his icon. He's clearly talking in jest.

#27 Posted by Gav47 (1542 posts) -

Cool, now get it the fuck back on Steam so I can buy it.

#28 Posted by dcgc (878 posts) -
@Gav47 said:
Cool, now get it the fuck back on Steam so I can buy it.
x2 Also, the AI is still shit.
#29 Posted by norenewalfee (108 posts) -

I don´t know why everybody is complaining about this...yes Crysis 2 has been out for a couple of months, yes it´s not the most original FPS out there, but hey at least they patched this in afterall... Also I think this is mainly a showcase for Cry Engine 3 for other publishers to look into using it over the Unreal Engine

#30 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: As I discuss in earlier blog posts, I have certain philosophical differences with PC enthusiasts who obsess about graphics in general and complained a bit too much about Crysis 2's pre-DX11 graphics. But, yes, it's certainly reasonable to describe anyone who (like me) has a Good Old Games account with 130 (!) games on it as a "nerd" (albeit of a very different kind)...

#31 Posted by dagas (2864 posts) -

Now the people who spend 500 bucks on a video card has something to play. They can start up the game once and say "yup, that water looks a helluva lot better than before" and then turn the game off and feel satisfied they paid 500 bucks for that experience.

The rest of us who don't spend crazy money on PC hardware aren't missing much.

I realized a few years ago when I bought a new video card even though I could already play every game I wanted to play on the highest settings that I was just throwing my money away.

#32 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Egge said:

@SeriouslyNow: As I discuss in earlier blog posts, I have certain philosophical differences with PC enthusiasts who obsess about graphics in general and complained a bit too much about Crysis 2's pre-DX11 graphics. But, yes, it's certainly reasonable to describe anyone who (like me) has a Good Old Games account with 130 (!) games on it as a "nerd" (albeit of a very different kind)...

Oh. Crysis 2 looks like shit compared to Crysis, even with this patch. It also plays like shit, even with this patch. I don't post my specs in youtube videos, I also don't have 130 games on GoG.com because I already played all of the old PC games I could in the 80s and 90s. People who spend $500 on video card don't give a shit about Crysis 2 at the moment, maybe the modding community will make that change, maybe not. I have a GTX 470 and I don't give a shit about Crysis 2. I gave my copy away and never completed the game. It's shit.

#33 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

patch or not, the game is still a stinking abomination

#34 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@mrangryface said:

Yeah Witcher 2 looks good- but its one of those games that looks pretty amazing to everyone. The best part about owning a decent rig is posting pictures from games at detail levels youre friends couldnt possible run at....

..and then crying in the corner- so very alone- BUT with a nice rig.

This doesn't really make any sense, people with outdated rigs won't be playing The Witcher 2 at high/ultra detail so it's still going to look worse. It doesn't look half bad at medium or anything but there's still a pretty big difference.
 
I'm more concerned about frame rates. I sacrifice detail to get 60FPS average. Games feel wrong at 30FPS, I put up with it on consoles since I have no choice.
 
Edit: Although that said I'm not having to sacrifice detail with my current rig. B)
#35 Posted by Egge (446 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: ...and I rest my case.

#36 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Egge said:

@SeriouslyNow: ...and I rest my case.

What case? I'm not a hardcore graphics buff (though I know my way around a GPU), I just happen to think Crysis 2 is a very poor game and not a patch on the original. This is something a lot of fans of Crysis feel.

#37 Posted by therealminime (234 posts) -

Happy, why yes, yes I am.

#38 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -
@Minime637: awesome video, ohh shiny. That looks so much better than before.

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