Entry 116: A technical quagmire from CryTek ( not a review )
We were all anticipating a true HD game we could barely handle unless owning a high end machine; instead we get an unoptimized monster killer under Vista - even for Nvidia 8800 adopters like me. If you lurked the most dedicated Crysis forums this week end, well, most of the community is whining. No high end user can run the demo smoothly on higher resolutions ( 1920x1200 only playable with medium settings ). The most commonly used resolutions by even high end geeks are in the 1440x900 - 1280x1024 range with no Anti Aliasing, below what they ( and I ) are playing the other recent games.
The Crysis demo is the most sensible piece of tech ever released so dependant about AA and resolution scaling, especially under Vista 32 bit. It shouldn't supposed to be this way. Most ironically, the demo runs better under a fast single core CPU + Windows XP. It isn't optimized to fully use multi threading, dual cores which could partially explain the laggy experience compared of ( what we hope ) the full game.
Even with a mix of high and medium video options, the construct still look amazing - just a bit better than the best competitors. Yet without the optimization needed to fully experience the DX10 effects under a HD res &Vista ( how in Earth we can't run the Very High settings under a 8800 Ultra 768 Mb ?), I'm guessing both the CryTek personel and video card gurus are already working on tweaks this very week. Otherwise, I'm predicting either an additional delay before the full game is released, or most likely a commercial semi-failure if the November deadline remains.
The situation reminisces a lot Far Cry in 2004 before it was fully patched. Now the room is wide open for a better technical polish ( like Epic's UTIII ?), but don't get me wrong, I'm beginning to wonder if the Vista/DX10 solution exists only to be used as a temporary white elephant before the true 64 bit gaming we could embrace at large in the long term.