Poll Question 069 – Full graphic settings or not at all?

10th February 2008

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I had an interesting discussion with a very partisan PP reader. His position was related to Crysis and is this: “If you can’t run this game at full graphic settings then you probably shouldn’t play it at all!”. So, this week’s poll question is:

Full graphic settings or not at all?

Now I know that this position is an extreme and everybody is entitled to their own (Crazy – oops, sorry, just slipped out!) opinion. I am currently playing Crysis and, as in the demo, am bored with the beginning jungle section.

He said, and I paraphrase now, “You wouldn’t be bored if you were playing on the full graphic settings”.

I should tell you that I am playing on low settings and it’s almost as bad as Half-Life 1!!

Perhaps I should just wait until I have a PC capable of running the game “As it was meant to be played”

So, what’s your opinion? Is he right or should people play on what they have and miss an incredible gaming experience or wait until they upgrade?

The Poll

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27 Comments

  1. cubedude89

    I disagree, most games handle different pc’s very well and can be played on high or low and still be good.

    But I also agree that crysis’s low setting is just to low to play and have fun.

  2. firba1

    I don’t think that’s true. Although it may make the game less enjoyable, that shouldn’t be the ONLY way a game is played. For example on my old laptop that barely ran Source games, I would still play them, even on low settings because I thought they were fun.

  3. AI

    I know my 8500GT vid isn’t an 8800GT and my CPU chip isn’t the fastest it could be, but I do try to push the computer as much as possible!! Since I switched to “AMD” I’ve had better luck with the games ETC. I’ve tried “Crysis” on the high setting and got too much frame rate drops! I think an upgrade is in order! 🙂

  4. Let’s look at it this way: imagine Crysis was released 10 years ago and it’s “high” settings were the same as its ‘low” settings are now. Does that mean the game should not have been played back then? Should we refrain from playing the next big hit because 10 years down the line it has more of a chance of reaching its visual potential?

    I think it’s a ridiculous statement to make. If the game cannot stand on its own with low settings then it is not a fun game, and no amount of bump mapping or high detail foliage rendering is going to change that. If Crysis is not worth playing on low settings then why the hell did Crytek allow that as an option?

    Unfortunately not everyone has the money or enthusiasm to buy a top-end PC, it’s a fact that will always be true as long as we have PCs that can be modified. Some people would rather spend their money on other things and that is entirely up to them.

  5. el_espaniol

    I think that is a merely technical problem…
    If you don’t have a high-end graphic card You can’t play the game with the highest quality parameters; that problems is solved by two ways ( …or may be One ): pushing your hard to its limits or buy new hardware$ to do that…!!!

  6. Dufferx

    Don’t agree at all. If that was a criteria, then we wouldn’t play betas as they are usually not up to snuff.

  7. Kasperg

    My PC, although new, can’t run Crysis on Max settings. It drops to about 10 fps.
    Still, I lowered a few of the settings, and the game still looked fantastic compared to anything else my computer has seen, including the BioShock demo. You just need to decide which of the settings are the ones you want the most.

    I would compare the situation with having a high-end DVD player with the “Return of the King” disk, and pluggin it to an old black & white TV. You’ll still see the film, but it won’t be the way you were meant to see it.

    Returning to Crysis, the game is so tweakable (more than any game I’ve seen before) so having to decide between lowest and highest isn’t a real issue.
    By the way, I compare running Crysis in low settings to playing Half-life in fullbright. The difference IS as big as that. 🙂

  8. I have to agree with CrowbarSka, although I think people would agree with me when I say that the first play-through of a game can be the most important, Crysis looks like Counter-Strike: Source on low. That’s not too bad. Besides, if a game is that good you won’t need a high-end rig to enjoy it. I’ve heard stories of GeForce 6200s playing it, and I think that’s quite a feat to accomplish.

    I don’t think you need to have a game on high settings to enjoy it, but it would be great if you could.

  9. The problem with voting on this one is the idea of “full” settings; I ran Crysis on “high” and it looked incredible, but as far as what it CAN do, that’s still not even close to “full” settings, as it’s so futureproofed.

    If the poll was “decent” settings, then I agree, as stuff like the physics (part of the graphics options), are part of what makes Crysis (and Crysis was a surprise hit for me, although I suppose it makes sense considering I love Farcry, and Crysis is Farcry with the sucky parts either removed or improved, and a bunch of extras on top of that), it’s definitely one of the examples of a game that can be enhanced purely by graphics quality, as it’s actually part of the gameplay.

  10. cubedude89

    Go MMAN! 😀

  11. Kasperg

    That’s a better explanation of what I was trying to say. Graphics are usually paralel to gameplay in most games.
    But in a game where you can be blinded by the outside brightness while being inside a dark shack (HDR at its best), or a game in which you see the real-time dynamic shadows of your enemies, or some plants moving before actually seeing them, graphics are essential to gameplay.
    Crysis can still be a very solid and fun shooter with the lowest of settings, but it’s truly unique and relevant with the better settings.

  12. Gonome

    Errr… With me comp (1500mhz, 1024 ram, 64 video ram) I can play Ep2 with low resolution but high detailed models and medium detailed textures without other effects…

  13. hero twin

    By the time I get a PC that can run it on full settings I will have already forgotten about Crysis

  14. shawn

    “Now I know that this position is an extreme and everybody is entitled to their own (Crazy – oops, sorry, just slipped out!) opinion. I am currently playing Crysis and, as in the demo, am bored with the beginning jungle section.”

    I’m with CrowbarSka. The position is extreme, crazy, and just plain silly. If your friend wants to play Crysis only on “high”, *then by all means he should do so.* If someone else wants to play it on medium, or low, or with the monitor turned off, what’s it to him/her?

  15. Ezequielhl

    Let’s look at it this way: imagine Crysis was released 10 years ago and it’s “high” settings were the same as its ‘low” settings are now. Does that mean the game should not have been played back then? Should we refrain from playing the next big hit because 10 years down the line it has more of a chance of reaching its visual potential?

    I think it’s a ridiculous statement to make. If the game cannot stand on its own with low settings then it is not a fun game, and no amount of bump mapping or high detail foliage rendering is going to change that. If Crysis is not worth playing on low settings then why the hell did Crytek allow that as an option?

    Unfortunately not everyone has the money or enthusiasm to buy a top-end PC, it’s a fact that will always be true as long as we have PCs that can be modified. Some people would rather spend their money on other things and that is entirely up to them.

    I agree with that point of view when refered to graphics: a game like Crysis is not just technologies in graphics. The game is not a Doom 3 (this game can be great, but the graphics was almost all of it).

    An excellent game (like Crysis) must have a possibility to run in a PC that’s not exactly a “high-end-gaming computer”. That’s just one of various features that makes the game winner of… let’s say “4.5/5 stars” in most publications.

    Yes, the game can laugh of your single core micro and 128 bit interface 3D card 2.0 P. shader, but it’s possible to run it with ugly water, no particles, shadow and 640×480 with decent FPS. Crytek wanted to achieve a great production, and a great production is strong in all it’s features, and this game has all of them: gameplay, graphics (tech and artistically), and can run in my single core PC with 40 FPS!

    Do anyone think a game will catch any buyers if we needed a NASA custom processor and 18 GeForce 8800 GTS in a cryogenic-noiseless container to play it?

    A game that requires TOO MUCH to work always win a lil” demmerit for that. So, I congratulate you for trying Phillip, and to Crytek, who created their last engine capable to work without PShader 3.0 support!

  16. maxrelax

    Crysis still looks really good on medium/high settings, so I obviously disagree.

    But I think it’s quite an overhyped game. The jungle gameplay is really great, but the story can’t be less interesting and the alien parts really felt pointless to me. They just felt like being put there to give some alternation instead of really having a purpose in the story (suddenly you can float around and then you’re suddenly in a sphere of snow??..right).
    It does really have some great parts, but after the bad ending, I really had mixed feelings about the game.

  17. maxrelax

    btw, the difference between low and medium/high settings are BIG.

    Did anyone else also notice that the snow part is a lot heavier on your system than the rest. I really had to put down my settings in that part.

  18. shungokusatsu

    Ugh, I was so dissapointed that even on my 8600 GT I had to run it in low to get even a respectable framerate!! The grass looks awful when its like this and keeps appearing and disappearing, which is pretty offputting. What confuses me is how Quake 4 in Ultra High tuns fine on my pc really smooth and looks great, crysis in LOW looks far worse yet gets worse framerate than Quake 4 in Ultra, poorly designed engine in my opinion. Personally I want to run everything in it’s maximum detail. The things I don’t mind turning down are antialiasing, anisotropic filter, advanced lighting etc. If I have to play a game in low, chances are I will simply put it on the shelf for years until I get my PC upgraded.

  19. Kasperg

    @shungokusatsu: The Doom3 is already old and a 8600 GT runs it with perfection, just as it does with Source-based games, Far Cry or anything else from the past. I see the Cryengine as a thing of the future, but I’m glad I didn’t have to wait a year to play it, regardless of the specs. (BTW, I also have a 8600 GT and played the game on high settings, tweaking down the ones I didn’t care for).
    The engine is one of the best optimized out there (look for a youtube video named Crysis Editor, there’s a part where they show you in wireframe how the geometry hides other geometry, it’s incredible). As a matter of fact, I think there’s no other 3d game engine that would run the huge jungles with better framerate as of today. Not the Unreal Engine, not the Doom3 engine, not Source…

    But yes, Crysis is indeed a bit like a Formula 1 car. If you live in a city with bumpy streets, you won’t get the best of it.

  20. zeroth404

    You don’t have to be superficial to get immersed.

  21. I dont remember my true name

    I kinda agree. Many games I hadn’t the higner of the graphics nor resolution and it turned to be kind of boring. Like Crysis. The hardware I have now is old already but if I could have a mid end, it could’ve been better (Bioshock I could just run on 640 at high settings or 1024 on low settings). I prefer atleast mid quality so I dont think the high is the all better stuff.

  22. I habitually play video games at low settings, even if I can run it at full with a decent frame per second. So, simply, I don’t care about how things look as long as they play well. There are very few occasions where I did not follow this rule.

  23. SPY

    i think this is one of those questions where simply is not one answer for. everyone will have his own opinion. Mine is, that I do think( in comparison to most other comments above) that Crysis needs to be played on a very powerful pc. But I guess I started to think like this after I bought myself a year ago a very, very powerful pc. What makes that I can play all games on there highest settings and still have fps of around 100, (sometimes I even have fps of around 3 to 450, I know, silly but true). This makes that you experience the game as how it was intended by the makers. And specialty games like Crysis, Cod4, CM’s Dirt, and other heavy games do look so much more better that even after a year I still am VERY surprised how good things can look in games these days!
    But, like I said, is this opinion personal of mine. Don’t think this was always the case, I have had my share of slow pc’s, to give a example; I still mapped on a 160 Mhz pc when every body else had already for a year or more a pc of 1 ghz or more! so I know all to well what it is to game on slow pc’s, and that is still fun. although the frustrations where numerous when some games couldn’t be played well because of super sliding show effects, (nothing is so frustrating as not being able to aim well, simply because you aim on the person, just to see that you aim left of him, and then with slide show effect you suddenly aim 5 meters to the right of him!) guess we all have had this one time in our life. it;’s like with everything else, how much money do you have, and if you have it, do you want to spent all those thousands of euro’s dollars on hardware.
    but, once you do you simply can’t ignore that the play fun has at least doubled by the beautiful side of all those great games, specially the last year or 1,5.
    I guess ones you played Crysis on High and or ULtra you never want to step down again to normal or even Low.

    but, its all personal.

    leon

  24. Tetzlaff

    Of course gameplay is ultimately more important than eye candy, but when you set the graphic settings too low the overall artistic vision of the game gets lost. So personally I allways try to play the game in one of the higher graphic settings… it doesn’t necessarely have to be the highest, but at least one where the things in game still look like they were intended to look.

    It also depends on the game… some games for example look actually better when you turn the over-the-top bloom effects or similar exaggerated graphical features off.

  25. Zockopa

    Agree with Tetzlaff.
    Personaly I think Crysis is a weak game. Under
    the hood of multilayered shaders this game has very little to offer that is not very,very old. Im not saying its pure boredom,but its close.

  26. your evil twin

    I played the Crysis demo and decided not to buy the full game… not because I didn’t enjoy the gameplay, but because I could only play the game smoothly and enjoyably with the settings down quite low, and it looked terrible.

    Crysis is meant to be a realistic-looking Rambo style experience of sneaking and fighting through the jungle. When the jungle looks like crap, it is hard to get excited about it!

  27. I’m in the delicate position of only having my laptop to run my PC games on. In order to keep my framerate from bottoming out I run HL2 – Ep2 and Portal in DX8.1 mode.

    With some games, a little framerate drop isn’t going to bug me, but with FPS the framerate is utterly critical. It bugs the heck out of me and throw off my timing if I don’t have my framerate running smoothly. I can put up with 30fps, but I prefer 60fps. Anything below 20fps starts becoming painful for me.

    Personally, I’m not impressed by graphics PERIOD. If a game can’t impress me on gameplay alone, then no pretty graphical effects are going to change how I feel about it. I’ll save the graphics so that as I can upgrade my gaming system, I’ll be able to see the games I already enjoy get better with time.

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