How Not To Make A Video Settings Menu

By Alec Meer on September 22nd, 2008 at 11:42 am.

(From Crysis Warhead). That’s going to make perfect sense to people who get confused by system specs. Am I a gamer or an enthusiast? I just don’t know! What if I’m both? Is that illegal? And if I’m not mainstream, does that automatically make me edgy and avant-garde? Cos that’d be great.

For fun and frolics, imagine if this list of presets were in a different order.


« | »

, , .


  1. Ketch says:

    That is just terrible. Replacing “low, medium and high” with stereotypes is something I’d expect from a really bad pro-christian knock off NES game making company. Not Crysis. As it stands I’d not be sure if I was an enthusiast or a gamer, but hell, I could easily be mainstream just for buying the game in the first place! Good lord I’m confused!

  2. nabeel says:

    That’s pretty hilarious, and irritating. I don’t really care that much since I always knew I could rely on the community to come out with some custom config files which I’ll be using like I did with the original Crysis (it didn’t let you use the maximum settings in Direct X 9 despite the engine and the hardware being fully capable of using some of them). Haven’t got a chance to get this yet, but I will do soon enough.


  3. Jonas says:

    I don’t see how this is much more confusing or less useful than the original low, medium, high, and gouge-out-your-eyes (or was it very high? I forget). A little silly perhaps, but it’s not like it tells you any less than the typical naming, does it?

  4. YaRisse says:

    Wait a second, Doesn’t an “Enthusiast” tend to go ahead and set all the settings individually anyway? Real men don’t use presets!

  5. AndrewC says:

    My Dad
    Mild OCD

  6. Heliocentric says:

    In the old days games had 1 setting, and it didnt work, and we liked it!

  7. Nallen says:

    I’m a mainstream gaming enthusiast.


  8. Twanni says:

    I don’t see the problem.
    I just miss the Gothic/Emo setting which reduces gamma to zero.

  9. PetitPrince says:

    Bling Bling
    More Bling Bling

  10. Dinger says:

    Eye Crack
    Eye Candy
    Eye Sore
    Eye Can’t Play This Game

  11. Aftershock says:

    Since when is Enthusiast > Gamer?

    Gamer > You.

  12. AbyssUK says:

    I’m too young to die
    Hey, not too rough
    Hurt me plenty

  13. Rook says:

    People who get confused by system specs are just going to use the auto detect.

  14. Phil says:

    If you sold your computer, would you get:
    700 pounds
    350 pounds
    A three-month suspended sentence

  15. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    It should just use minute variations of “purdy”.

  16. Mogs says:

    They were trying to fix something that wasn’t broken.

    Still, I didn’t dwell on it, it’s not a big deal.

  17. EyeMessiah says:

    I said they should change the preset names so they insulted your computer less, but this is just baffling.

  18. FhnuZoag says:

    Slide show
    Slide show
    Slide show

  19. EyeMessiah says:

    20 FPS
    15 FPS
    10 FPS
    5 FPS


  20. Ingenu says:

    I see some people have had the same idea…


    At least that’s my experience with Crysis, dunno whether it can be applied to Crysis Warhead, though.

    If there’s an auto detect, what’s the point of those profiles anyway ?
    People who really want to tweak stuff will go into advanced options and tick/slide whatever fancies them…

  21. Alarik says:

    What’s the problem with it anyway? Seems perfectly normal and understandable – PC configurations are being sold or labeled in shops/reviews in similar manner.

    Usually you have base configuration (minimum config – usually everything possible integrated), not exactly good for gaming, then some mainstream system (low end GPus and correspoinding equip), then gaming machine – mainly differs from mainstream one by having better GPU (i.e. suitable for gaming – I would say 9600 GT equivalents or better). And then there are enthusiasts machines with best high-end equipment – basically high-end GPU.

    Of course CPU/MB/RAM/HDD usually corresponds to the GPU, but current games are about GPUs – this is what defines PC configuration.

    So if you are buying “game” machine, you need to have corresponding GPU.

  22. Nimic says:

    My computer is far from a super computer (Faaaaar), and I can play Warhead on Gamer (High). A few places it lags a bit, but most of the time it runs very smoothly. If people haven’t tried Warhead they can’t complain about it, as it has lower demands than Crysis (or at least you can play with better graphics on poorer computers).

  23. Bananaphone says:

    When it comes to Warhead, ‘optimised graphics’ means ‘we’ve made it look worse so it runs better’. I’m running it on Gamer, and I’m getting rocks on the beach popping up two feet in front of my face.

  24. Shadowmancer says:

    Im a gamer so why dont it work for me!

  25. Monkfish says:

    Perhaps the new name for the settings have a more positive psychological effect than the old ones?

    I mean, this is Crytek’s attempt at trying to avert the same situation with Crysis where all these poor souls went straight for the “Very High” settings in the mistaken belief that their PC would handle it. Or, worse still, the “Very High” options were shown, but oh-so-unobtainable because some poor souls were running WinXP.

    These poor souls – who, by now, had become Angry Internet Men – went on to air their displeasure on various forums, whilst simultaneously acting as if you’ve questioned the size of their manhood (apologies to female RPSers) by suggesting that they try to lower a few settings to “High” or even *gasp!* “Medium”. Because everyone knows that graphics settings are directly proportional to e-penis size.

    Maybe these people’s egos won’t feel quite as threatened by the prospect of changing a few settings from “Enthusiast” to “Gamer”. Who knows? And, perhaps most importantly, the “Enthusiast” option is now available to those without DX10 – those with WinXP-flavoured e-peens (eww!) can rest happy…

  26. Heliocentric says:

    Warhead? I never even finished crysis. The suits would have made an asymetrical multiplayer game great. Shame they suited everyone. How does it go? When everyone is special no one is? Give me a 5 vs 30 game. The 30 trying to get a convoy across a map the 5 super goofs trying to stop them. You could even have a non combatant camera class who if he manages to record any of the 5 guys using super powers gets his side increased resources. Where is my cheque?

  27. Songbearer says:

    I saw this yesterday after grabbing Warhead from STEAM and spent about five minutes wondering what it all meant.

    After working out that it was just a name change, it was business as usual, but what on earth posessed them?

  28. Okami says:

    Maybe developers should take a hint from condom manufacturers. Nobody was buying “small” condoms, so they just repackeged them as “medium”. Et voila: Suddenly people were buying them..

  29. Caiman says:

    What’s the problem? The one at the top is the fastest, the one at the bottom is the prettiest, that is how it has always been and always shall be.

  30. aldo says:

    Maybe developers should take a hint from condom manufacturers. Nobody was buying “small” condoms, so they just repackeged them as “medium”. Et voila: Suddenly people were buying them..

    Presumably leading to the Trojan, Colossus, Horse and You Can’t Fit That In There, Surely sizes?

  31. kuddles says:

    Whether or not this idea worked, I understood why they did it. So many people complained about being unable to play on “Very High” on their expensive video cards ruining their experience, despite the fact that a) they said a hundred times over the “Very High” setting wasn’t for any current computers but for ones two years down the line and b) Almost all the released screenshots and videos weren’t using Very High settings either.

    So the setting changes make sense. Crytek tried to make clear that the ideal settings on Crysis was Medium, but people already have a psychological belief that “Medium” equals “garbage”. “Mainstream” sounds like less of a compromise.

  32. cqdemal says:

    @ Heliocentric:


    Now that you’ve said it, Crysis Wars feels quite useless.

  33. Dan Milburn says:

    Except that now you’re telling people that not only can they not run the game on the highest settings, but they’re not even a ‘Gamer’! I fail to see how this is going to help anyone psychologically.

    Still, at least now I’m absolutely sure that Crytek are not a company whose products I wish to purchase.

  34. qrter says:

    You can almost hear them grating their teeth..

    “Jesus, guys.. what are we going to call the lowest setting!?”
    “But there is, it’s-”
    “call it… *dry heaves*.. minimum..!”

  35. Chis says:

    Those of you that STILL have frame rate issues with Crysis: use a smaller screen resolution!

    I have an 8800GTS 320MB – that I’d really like to sell, offers welcome – which is supposedly not quite up to the task of playing Crysis. But, oh, it is even at “high”. The trick is not to go above 1024×768. If you have a 640MB model, likely you can.

    Still, at least now I’m absolutely sure that Crytek are not a company whose products I wish to purchase.

    I confess that this somewhat insulting move with the visual settings menu, as well as their ivory-tower stance towards piracy, put me off buying any more Crytek games.

  36. Andthensobecause says:

    This is all apple’s fault what with it’s let-me-warm-your-soup-and-spoon-feed-you interface design.

    And then everyone buys it.

  37. Tarn says:

    Ouch. That’s quite embarassing.

    In Steve Krug’s rather spiffy web design book “Don’t Make Me Think” he writes about how crucial it is to make choices clear. If you have a multiple choice question, the answer that applies to you should be immediately apparent. You shouldn’t have to spend time decoding and second-guessing the intent of the designer. Although his advice is aimed at web dev, it still applies to other areas.

    Crytek have fallen right into this one, face first. Those definitions are so loose and interchangeable I had to double-check it wasn’t April 1st today (clearly my internal clock is a little imprecise).

    I can’t help but think this is slightly emblematic of Crytek’s design skills in general.

  38. Psychopomp says:

    Bling Bling
    More Bling Bling

    You are now my favorite person.


    Bling Bling
    Diamond Grill
    I lost the game.

  39. dhex says:

    i didn’t think it was a big deal, though it’s not the choice i would have made.

    overall, i was surprised at how much i enjoyed warhead, especially the little characterization bit after the bridge bit.

  40. Calabi says:

    But what if I’m a Gamer and I’m playing on my laptop. Or my PC is Enthusiastic, and I’m more a Mainstreamer. My head hurts.

  41. Deuteronomy says:

    Basically if you are willing to spend the money needed to run Warhead on Enthusiast – yes – you are a goddamn Enthusiast. Otherwise you’re just a gamer.

    BTW with my 8800gt and E4500@3.0GHZ I can play on Gamer settings – but I get dips down into the low 20s on heavy action. I played Crysis on high with very high tweaks and I rarely went under 28fps (and it looked a hell of a lot better). I have heard Warhead has issues with 8800 cards.

  42. dredge says:

    They should have arranged them in a circle, that way none of them are the best and no-one feels bitter if they can’t handle the nicest one.

    Actually, they should just have hidden it all behind a big “auto” button and made the config files encrypted binaries. If you’re gonna bitch about the settings you don’t get to play with them!

    p.s. what Chis said about lowering the resolution is totally true. High settings are very smooth for me with a cheapo 8600GT 1024*768.

  43. Arsewisely says:

    Good job the settings menu is all that’s wrong with Warhead… See my review below:

    I’ve just CEXed my copy of Crysis: Warhead.

    That is my review.

  44. Pwnzerfaust says:

    Oh lawdy.
    I admit, I chuckled.

  45. Chris R says:

    If you enjoy the mild sandbox gameplay of Crysis, then you will enjoy Warhead as well. I had a blast with both, but then again I HATE linear games, and would much rather be in a “open world” like Crysis and Warhead where it’s up to me to entertain myself.

    You could argue that Crysis and Warhead are linear as well, and that is true. However they are not so linear as to only give you ONE alleyway or building to move through on your way to the objective.

    Crysis says, “Here you are… here’s where you need to end up next… have fun! See you on the other side!” And I love it. MOAR PLEASE!

  46. Gorgeras says:

    Have they released the specs for the system used for the clips they released and were the clips non-staged this time?

  47. onkellou says:

    “I mean, this is Crytek’s attempt at trying to avert the same situation with Crysis where all these poor souls went straight for the “Very High” settings in the mistaken belief that their PC would handle it. ”

    This is exactly the reason. Silly people on the internet pushing all sliders to the right on their laptops, and then complaining how Crysis is unoptimised.

    Hardly an ideal solution, but it’s really the angry internet men that are to blame here.

  48. Fumarole says:

    This is an issue for some people? Taking five minutes (really?!) to figure out that they merely changed the wording? I weep for mankind.

    Nothing to see here people, move along.

  49. Alec Meer says:

    There’s a surprising amount of humour-fail today. Monday blues, presumably.

  50. qrter says:

    Crysis says, “Here you are… here’s where you need to end up next… have fun! See you on the other side!”

    What Crysis actually said was: “Here you are… here’s where you need to end up next… whoa, waitwaitwait, you can’t go there. And you can’t go there. No no no no, not there either.. don’t go too far into that direction, you’re not supposed to go there yet! Um.. have fun!”

    There’s a surprising amount of humour-fail today. Monday blues, presumably.

    Or maybe you just weren’t that funny..! ;)

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>