Rewatching the long-lasting Crysis 2 ‘Extremely Improve’ graphics trailer right this moment in 2024, a bombastic tech showcase that modified how we speak about PC gaming endlessly

Immediately, in 2024, you do not have to look far for a brand new PC sport to be discovered marketed nearly totally on the graphical advantages it delivers to PC avid gamers alone. From Cyberpunk 2077, a sport repeatedly marketed on PC nearly solely on its graphical prowess, by means of to AAA ports of big-budget console video games, such because the not too long ago launched Horizon: Forbidden West Full Version, it is now unsurprising to see these video games framed out of the gate when it comes to what visible upgrades they provide when in comparison with their lesser console counterparts.

Nevertheless it wasn’t all the time thus. Sure, positive, because the early days of mainstream PC gaming within the Nineteen Nineties it was frequent accepted data throughout the PC gaming neighborhood that, after all, a major purpose we performed video games on PC was that you just received one of the best expertise. Why would you play a sluggish, restricted console model of Doom when you may expertise the lightning-fast actual factor, with all of the graphical bells and whistles turned to most? Precisely, you would not.

However what did not occur, not less than in my recollection, had been PC video games being overtly marketed on the granular graphical benefits they delivered, promotions that appeared to quietly however confidently whisper in your ear, ‘we secretly know that this is why you are going to purchase this sport, PC gamer, not for the gameplay, not for the narrative, not for the creativity on present, however for pixel-pushing eye sweet’. That, as I argue right here although, modified endlessly in 2011 with the ‘Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Extremely Improve’ trailer. You may watch it beneath.

First off, as a PC gamer, watching that trailer right this moment in 2024 nonetheless will get my mouth watering. It is over two and a half minutes of virtually continuous graphical goodness, with so many fascinating graphics options (for the time particularly, however nonetheless true even now for a lot of) injected into your eyes that it stays actually exceptional. This is an inventory of the graphical upgrades Crysis 2 is marketed with on this trailer:

Tessellation and Displacement Mapping, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Excessive High quality HDR Publish Processing, Improved Tone Mapping, Actual-Time Native Reflections, Customized Form Based mostly Bokeh DOF, Improved Water Rendering, Interactive Water, Sensible Shadows with Variable Penumbra, Contact Shadows, Excessive High quality HDR Movement Blur, Particle Movement Blur and Shadows. And breathe. Wow, simply wow!

Talking in pixels

The cumulative impact of viewing all this pixel sweet on the time was actually jaw-dropping, a way that this was a PC sport from the distant future, one which with all these unique graphical enhancements turned on (one thing that after all required a robust rig on the time) would transport PC avid gamers right into a higher-fidelity digital gaming world.

And, whereas Crysis 2 would not find yourself happening in historical past as one among PC gaming’s most iconic-ever video games, regardless of it being scored effectively by Evan Lahti in PC Gamer’s official Crysis 2 evaluate, it completely did ship on happening as some of the visually gorgeous PC video games ever. Even right this moment it seems to be excellent, and I am scripting this 13 years after the sport launched. Crytek labored visible wonders with Crysis 2, because it had carried out within the authentic Crysis, which had remained the graphical testbench for PC avid gamers all the way in which as much as Crysis 2’s launch.

Of higher significance to the business, although, I argue that this trailer would go down in gaming historical past as a game-changer for the way it influenced how PC video games had been promoted. For the primary time ever (definitely, to my expertise, and at such a excessive, AAA stage) right here we had a newly launched blockbuster sport getting its personal devoted graphics trailer for public launch. And, what’s extra, this graphics trailer did not simply say issues like ‘greater decision’ or ‘quicker body price’, however fully brazenly bandied round technical graphics jargon for over two and half minutes that, even throughout the PC gaming neighborhood on the time, not very many PC avid gamers had been acquainted with, not to mention snug in precisely describing. However whereas they might not perceive what this stuff had been or how they labored, this trailer confirmed them the advantages, and boy did they appear to be stuff you needed.

PC avid gamers had been now having their saliva glands focused by phrases like ‘Customized Form Based mostly Bokeh DOF’ and ‘Parallax Occlusion Mapping’. The language of mainstream PC gaming was all of a sudden widened, and it was being proven entrance and middle, too, not restricted to technical manuals, on-line dev weblog posts, or press briefings to specialist media. This graphically spectacular FPS was being marketed otherwise, one which I really feel would go on to affect how video games that will come after it might be marketed on PC to PC avid gamers, too.

You solely have to have a look at how Cyberpunk 2077, the technical testbed darling of the PC gaming world over the previous few years, has marketed itself to PC avid gamers since its launch, repeatedly, on its superior graphical choices and capabilities, educating avid gamers quickly on the advantages of real-time ray tracing, DLSS, path tracing, DLAA, display house reflections, subsurface scattering amongst different graphics choices, to see the unbroken lineage. Disgrace that Cyberpunk 2077, not less than till its game-changing 2.0 patch, wasn’t that good an precise sport. However that is irrelevant.

Curiously, Crysis as a sequence has, I feel, been sidelined in significance within the modern-day from the historical past of PC gaming, most probably remembered through good however not nice evaluate scores predominantly, whereas the very fact it was a momentum-generating poster little one for PC gaming growth and {hardware} adoption for years largely forgotten. Nonetheless, its influence on PC gaming, with a trilogy of technically jaw-dropping and boundary-pushing releases in addition to, arguably much more importantly, an openness in speaking a few key purpose why all of us play video games on PC, that want to achieve the very highest audio-visual high quality we will, can’t be understated and endures to this present day.

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