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Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis

Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis

Crysis 2 PC Review
Download the upgrade

Crytek's plans for improving and evolving the PC version of Crysis 2, which it released earlier this year on PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360, have been hard to follow. Despite making the usual assurances about how good the PC version would be, Crysis 2 lacked DirectX 11 features at launch. A post-release patch was rumoured, but Crytek strangely downplayed this story.

And now, a trio of graphical upgrades - including a DirectX 11 patch - have been released. The result, whatever the story behind the files, is that Crysis 2 is now one of the most graphically splending - and demanding - titles released this year. It looks fabulous.

The graphical upgrade isn't small or subtle either; there are three separate files, totalling up to a sizable 2.35GB.

Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis
Crysis 2 with DirectX 11 features and high resolution textures applied

The first file you need to download and apply is a standard patch for Crysis 2, bringing the game up to Version 1.9 and providing computability for the later enhancements. Even without these later improvements, Version 1.9 adds Realtime Local Reflections and Tone Mapping, improved graphics menu options and support for multi-GPU systems. The patch also updates the anti-cheat systems and fixes gameplay bugs, such as an error which removed bullet penetration from previous versions of the game.

The next two files can be added in any order. One will add DirectX 11 features, such as DX11 Tessellation and Displacement Mapping, while the other upgrades Crysis 2 with high resolution textures (HRT). Collectively, these work to add a fourth preset to Crysis 2's graphical options - 'Ultra'.

The downside is that the upgrades naturally come with an increase in Crysis 2's system requirements. You'll need a DirectX 11 graphics card with at least 768MB of local memory just to be able to run the Crysis 2 with the DirectX 11 upgrades, as well as a 64-bit operating system to run the game with the high resolution texture pack applied. If you're just running the 1.9 patch without the further add-ons, the system requirements are unchanged.

Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Patch Analysis
Crysis 2 with DirectX 11 features and high resolution textures applied

That's not all, either. If you intend to run both, Crytek and Nvidia recommend that you pack a quad-core CPU, 8GB of system RAM and are running the game off of an SSD. That will mean an inevitable upgrade for many users, of course, and the Bit-tech Buyers Guide should provide a handy reference if you need help deciding on which hardware to opt for and is handily broken down according to budget.

Over the next few pages we'll be running comparing a fully upgraded (i.e. with DX 11 and HRT patches applied) version of Crysis 2 to what the game originally looked like when it was released at the end of March. We'll be discussing the technology at work and, where appropriate, we'll be comparing the Crysis 2 on the PC to the Xbox 360 version of the game. The intent is to show how Crysis 2 has evolved since launch and to discuss the technologies behind these improvements.

All of this information can then be compared to our original Crysis 2 graphics analysis and at-a-glance console versus PC articles.

Let's get started.