When Crysis 2 came out, I often read it would look hardly better than Crysis 1 (or even worse), because C1 had DirectX 10, while Crysis 2 is a DirectX 9 game and once you would enable DirectX 10 in Crysis 1…!11!!111!!! For me, DirectX 10/11 never did more than run significantly slower, but still look about the same. Sure, this isn’t completely the fault of the later DX versions, because games are developed for consoles, which don’t have those and therefore few people take the time to properly optimize it on the PC, but… the result is what counts. Looking at Crysis 2, I’m really baffled by such remarks. The graphics have clearly improved (to me, it’s a nice example how graphics did evolve in the last few years, despite neglecting current DX standards). Duh! It’s as wrong, as saying Crysis 1 would still be slow on current hardware – it isn’t. And I haven’t even used “the latest and greatest” (far from it).
Graphics aside, I generally perceived Crysis 2 as the better game (action felt more intense/thought the urban setting was superior). True, the jungle environments of Crysis 1 offered bigger terrains (which is great) than the urban setting of 2, but it’s really just a shooter and there’s nothing to explore anyway. Great locales can become very important in role-playing games, where hidden treasures await or characters can bet met. As long as the levels aren’t so small, that they start feeling like a very cramped space, it can always work well for an action oriented shooter.
However, this whole text should just lead up to the screenshots and give some context as to why I “mix” them up like this. All screenshots are 1920×1080 with the max effect settings the games allowed/offered (“very high” in Crysis 1 and Crysis Warhead and “extreme” in Crysis 2), so they should be easy to compare/get an overview/allow a good impression.
Due to my laziness, the Crysis Warhead Screenshots are last, after Crysis 2 (which, as the newest game, should be last) but that shouldn’t be a problem, since it’s impossible to mistake them and the file names even say so.