Far Cry 2 is a great game with breathtaking visuals that can be enjoyed on an affordable mid-range gaming PC.
As far as eye candy is concerned, Far Cry 2 is certainly up there with the Crysis series, which is saying a lot. And while we are not going to get into the debate of which game looks better, we do believe Far Cry 2 looks every bit as good. However it's a rejoice for us to report that this game can be played using its ultra high quality settings at 1280x1024 with nothing more than a $100 GeForce 9600 GT.
Those that invested in a GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card all those years ago will still be grinning as they can expect playable performance at up to 1680x1050. The new budget kings, being the Radeon HD 4850 and GeForce 9800 GTX+, were just as impressive delivering slightly more performance. Then those of you using the current cream of the crop like the 1GB Radeon HD 4870 or the GeForce GTX 280 will also be very happy with their Far Cry 2 performance with higher frame rates at 1920x1200.
The Radeon HD 4870 X2 was the fastest ATI card tested, though we feel there is still more power just waiting to be unleashed in Far Cry 2 as it was only slightly faster than the standard single-GPU version. And this still applies in spite of the hot fix drivers that were released specifically for this game.
While the Radeon HD 4870 X2 performance could have been better, it is only fair to mention that the GeForce 9800 GX2 wasn't impressive either. In fact the GeForce 9800 GX2 didn't appear to be working with more than one GPU with performance that often equaled that of the GeForce 8800 GTS.
Thankfully stability didn't appear to be an issue with any of the tested ATI cards, except when running the time demos. While normal gameplay worked fine, the time demos were very jerky every few seconds and this problem persisted when testing all ATI-based graphics cards. The Nvidia GeForce cards on the other hand were as smooth as silk, unless they were labeled 9600 GSO or 9500 GT.
Overall Nvidias latest beta driver (180.43) worked very well and for the performance shown across this article we can give the edge to Nvidia cards on this game, especially in the upper end of the spectrum.
As an additional closing note, before any testing took place we compared a number of screen shots using both ATI and Nvidia graphics cards and as far as we could tell the image quality was pretty much identical.