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Crytek and EA unleashed the highly anticipated sequel to Crysis last week. While waiting for it to become available Down Under, I found myself reading numerous reviews about the game. Most were highly positive, while informal observations from bloggers and PC gamers noted that Crysis 2 has departed from some of its predecessor's gameplay essentials and feels closer to a Call of Duty-style shooter.
As you've probably come to expect from our performance reviews, we'll leave you to judge the gameplay and concentrate on how the game runs on a variety of hardware instead.
Still relevant to our discussion however is the absence of DirectX 11 support at launch. As PC gamers ourselves, we can't help feeling a bit disappointed by Crytek's exclusive use of DirectX 9 rendering, especially considering that the original game did support DX10.
After some backlash from PC users last year, Crytek responded with the claim that Crysis 2 on the PC would have superior graphics to console versions. This was taken as a sign that the company would remain faithful to its PC roots. But then came the demo fiasco, with EA/Crytek releasing a Crysis 2 demo exclusively on the Xbox 360. Nothing was announced for the PC until a few weeks later when a last minute PC multiplayer demo surfaced.
Adding insult to injury, when the PC demo finally arrived, it carried many Xbox 360 leftovers such as the prompt to "press start to begin" or to "adjust your TV settings" when configuring the game brightness.
The game's launch wasn't entirely smooth either unfortunately. Crysis 2 saw a number of technical problems appear which prompted the release of a day one patch. Various graphics related bugs remain unaddressed, such as flickering screens and multi-GPU issues. Some users have also been experiencing activation troubles, though we understand the developer has been pretty responsive about these.
As things stand today, Crysis 2 on the PC does offer better textures, but that's about it other than the higher resolutions and frame rates usually offered by PC titles. DX11 effects are expected to be added in a future patch, but in the meantime don't misinterpret us, the game looks gorgeous regardless.
Clearly it's not exactly what we expected, but Crysis 2 does appear to be quite a lot of fun nonetheless. Now the question that remains to be answered is how demanding Crysis 2 is on PC hardware? Despite its shortcomings, can it bring the most power hungry rigs to their knees as the original game did? Today we plan to find out as we run a wide range of processors and graphics cards through the gauntlet.