Help recreating an effect

Hi I am currently trying to achieve something like this
(8) Crysis 2 Particles - YouTube
But I am not sure which technique to use, If I use individual particles I believe the particle count will be to big, so I am thinking to pre render it on Houdini or something like that, any insights on how was this created?

from watching this video frame by frame (when paused, use , or .) I believe there are two spark systems. The sparks are opaque super stretched quads. The first system stretches the sparks long and thin, shortening and thinning out more for the fade out. The second system has the sparks more blocky, which are suddenly killed pretty fast. I believe these are just for “thickening” up the flash.
In the video it does look like there is some transparency going on. But in my opinion, this is due to the video capture/compression as it doesn’t make sense to be rendered that way (as there is plenty of ghosting going on).

Alternative: if you really want to have this or even more excessive amount of particles (with transparency), try profiling if GPU particles would do the trick in your project.