Cry Some More: CryENGINE 3, STALKER 2?

By John Walker on October 15th, 2009 at 11:55 am.

Soon they will look more real than real beaches and we'll demand real life upgrades.

Crytek last night announced the latest incarnation of their engine, CryENGINE 3 is now available to be licensed. Now that may not affect you or me (unless you’re a games developer of course), but there’s some interesting implications of this latest tech. Of course, it first of all means games are going to be prettier – these are the people who keep bowling us over with each new engine as it creates vivid beaches and jungles. But it’s also looking to streamline development across multiple platforms – letting programmers see how the game will appear in PC, 360 and PS3 on the fly. And rumours abound that it may be the engine of choice for STALKER 2.

I take it we’ve moved on from calling the current generation of consoles “next gen”, as Crytek are describing CE3 as “next gen ready”. This seems a bold claim, since Microsoft and Sony aren’t. But presumably they mean it’s ready for DirectX 11 and anything else that’s likely to appear in the next couple of years. I dunno, what, do I look like a tech manual to you? They say it comes with “scalable computation and graphics for all major upcoming platforms,” which means it’s psychic technology!

If you watch the trailer below you can see the sorts of things it’s boasting. Perhaps one of the more significant ingredients is an improved WYSIWYP tool (What You See Is What You Play), called CryENGINE 3 Live Create, which is increasingly the sensible trend for development tools – no more chipping away in wireframes and streams of code, then rendering it to find out whether you messed up. Or as Crytek put it:

“It allows developers to work with a single editor, but see and play the results in real-time on PC, PS3 and Xbox360, hooked up to a single dev PC. The engine takes care of the conversion and optimization of assets in real-time; enables instant, cross-platform changes to any part of game creation and as a result materially increases the speed, quality and significantly reduces the risk of multiplatform development.”

Carl Jones, a suit at Crytek explained, “even producers, project managers and suits will love CryENGINE 3!” Surely this cannot be? The engine that will unite us all?!

The first game announced on the engine is, as was revealed at E3, rather predictably Crysis 2. The website for the new toy is currently struggling under weight of traffic, but you might be able to get at it here.

There are also rumours bubbling around the guts of the internet which suggest that GSC Gameworld have licensed, or intend to licence, Crytek’s new engine for their next full game: Stalker 2. Gamasutra picked up on the rumours from here and here.

What’s interesting about this, says Jim, is that GSC are expected to give up their X-Ray engine, which had seemed pretty cutting edge. Could it be that they lost man-power and expertise to the development of THQ’s new Ukraine studio, 4a Games? Just speculation on our part, obviously, but it makes for interesting times.

Here’s the CryENGINE 3 tech trailer:

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  1. subedii says:

    Or a gorgeous and absolutely awesome shooter, depending on who you ask. Subjective subjective OLOL.

    We get it, you hated Crysis, fine, whatever. Please realise that a lot of us thought it was a really good game, and that’s not because we’re taken in by the hype, however much you like to portray it that way.

    The key thing about Crysis is that it really allowed for the player to choose their own approach to any scenario that cropped up. When I played the demo I was pretty much instantly hooked on the game. In the short time between then and actually getting the game, I must have played through the starting level about six times. And the thing is, each playthrough was almost completely different. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played through the harbour level in the full game. The scope for creativity in the combat scenarios is just right, the best levels being where you’re essentially dumped onto islands, given your tools, and told “fulfil these objectives here, here, and here. Everything else is up to you.”

    A comparison video I saw a while back made an interesting point of what makes Crysis different here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQTCeobZlg

    Admittedly it’s not that professional and a bit gushy, but I feel he really nailed the point at the end. In a game like CoD4, if you like it or don’t, it’s nothing to do with how you choose to play it, it’s all about the scripted sequence (and arguably, there’s no popular FPS more scripted than CoD4). In Crysis it’s all about how you choose to play it. If you play it like a bland and linear shooter, that’s exactly how it’s going to end up.

    Incidentally, it’s difficult for me to say that the Crysis computer was mythical when my two year old PC can run it really well.

  2. subedii says:

    Or a gorgeous and absolutely awesome shooter, depending on who you ask. Subjective subjective OLOL.

    We get it, you hated Crysis, fine. Please realise that a lot of us thought it was a really good game, and that’s not because we’re taken in by the hype, however much you like to portray it that way.

    The key thing about Crysis is that it really allowed for the player to choose their own approach to any scenario that cropped up. When I played the demo I was pretty much instantly hooked on the game. In the short time between then and actually getting the game, I must have played through the starting level about six times. And the thing is, each playthrough was almost completely different. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve played through the harbour level in the full game. The scope for creativity in the combat scenarios is just right, the best levels being where you’re essentially dumped onto islands, given your tools, and told “fulfil these objectives here, here, and here. Everything else is up to you.”

    A comparison video I saw a while back made an interesting point of what makes Crysis different here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyQTCeobZlg

    Admittedly it’s not that professional and a bit gushy, but I feel he really nailed the point at the end. In a game like CoD4, if you like it or don’t, it’s nothing to do with how you choose to play it, it’s all about the scripted sequence (and arguably, there’s no popular FPS more scripted than CoD4). In Crysis it’s all about how you choose to play it. If you play it like a bland and linear shooter, that’s exactly how it’s going to end up.

    Incidentally, it’s difficult for me to say that the Crysis computer was mythical when my two year old PC can run it really well.

  3. subedii says:

    And double post hooray. I can’t wait for when the edit button finally makes its triumphant return

  4. Wooly says:

    I’m still waiting for Lucasarts to remake some Monkey Islands on the CryEngine 3! *hopes*

  5. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  6. V. Tchitcherine says:

    Sometimes I get the impression that the overwhelming majority of grief directed at Crysis is from spurned gamers who like jilted lovers attack the game because they could not run the game anywhere near high settings. I mean, the story was not special and the dialogue either unremarkable or lamentable but it was certainly better than many other games, especially the original Far Cry.

    The presentation was extraordinary and the gameplay was extremely diverse, often I wanted to play far more of a particular section than was on offer, such as terribly impressive tank offensive. The graphics have also yet to be surpassed on technical grounds even now, two years after release. The gameplay itself was extremely emergent and quite open given the diverse array of approaches, tactics, tricks and cunning one can deploy against unfortunate soldiers.

    It’s an incredible shooter which certainly is not bland, though it has a somewhat bland storyline.

  7. Hug_dealer says:

    crysis fails because of this.

    Worst end boss battle ever. Seriously i felt like i was in a 3d fps contra game during it. It so incredibly simple, and followed all the rules that generic boss must do in a game. it tells you when its going to shoot, he tells you what its weaknesses are, etc etc.

    That right there turned a decently fun game into a turd sandwich. I though, i faught through all that just for this. what a crap, utter crap. I follow up with not buying warhead because of it. Even my damn grandma was like "shoot there sonny, my boss battles did the exact same thing 80 years ago."

  8. toro says:

    Crysis is one of the most sterile FPS that I’ve played. Why? Because a great game is more than just graphics and Crysis is only graphics. It’s a real achievement when no weapon in Crysis is feeling right. Even the weapon from the last Dust 514 trailer has more personality than any weapon from Crysis. For any CS/COD4 players is hard to take those weapons seriously. Add the constant floating of the player and Crysis feels like Quake, without push backs from weapons, you could say that DM4 time is back.
    The entire game feels like a arcade shooter and all the gimmicks are just a shield used to hide the shallow game mechanics. SS2/Deus EX had emergent gameplay and to a minimal extent Dead Space/Bioshock had emergent gameplay. Crysis is just a soulless technological demo. Peace.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Crysis is one of the most sterile FPS that I’ve played. Why? Because a great game is more than just graphics and Crysis is only graphics.”

      Y’wha? It has some of the best AI in any game, period, and lets you play it in almost any manner you want. I’m seriously convinced that the people who hated Crysis have no imagination whatsoever. I’ve heard plenty of people complaining that they beat the entire game just crouching in the jungle and headshotting people over and over again and then complaining that they didn’t do anything interesting.

      Meanwhile, I’m punching through buildings, throwing guys off cliffs and kidnapping people from squads.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I think your right, Dominic. I remember playing the demo of Crysis when it first came out and being slightly underwhelmed, not helped by it running fairly poorly. When I got a new graphics card I thought I would try it out again had an absolute blast once I started pissing about with it. You can create loads of fun by mixing up all the different abilities and really missing with the enemy. I’ve still yet to play the full game, but I will certainly get the pack with the original and Warhead at some point.

  9. Legionary says:

    A version of this article was originally posted by Jim, but it was about CryENGINE2 I seem to remember. I guess you were the only person to reply to it before John re-did the article, and he ‘moved’ your comment so that it didn’t just disappear.

  10. Ian says:

    This again?
    GSC has stated multiple times that it would not use CryEngine 2 for any of it’s games.
    And, since CryEngine 3 is less technically impressive than 2, I doubt that a shoddier version for consoles will be used by a PC developer.

  11. Spacewalk says:

    I liked the part where all the boxes got blown away.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Well, that looks nice. Guess I’d better get ready to see the bank manager, for a loan to buy a new PC.

  13. frymaster says:

    I’d just like to +1 the “just because you can’t run it maxed out and you can run everything else maxed out doesn’t make it badly optimised” comments. maybe it just means their “max” goes higher than everyone elses.

    I’m reminded of people saying the same thing about gta4 when it transpired that maxing it out meant drawing 9 times as much stuff as the console version due to a larger draw distance, for exampe

    • Gorgeras says:

      Both complaints about GTA 4 and Crysis were justified. Crysis was not enormously more better-looking than games that have come out since, the quality of work was inconsistent in that whilst people looked like they really had realistic skin(notable exceptions being the spy held in the school who looked like those things ouf of Cocoon the way she glowed), the buildings and their interiors could have come straight out of a Source engine game. The whole thing was awful on Medium settings, the disparity between Medium and High settings was huge and the whole thing suffered from terrible dynamic scaling where whole scenes were drawn unneccessarily whilst objects were popping up 20 metres ahead of you.

      The problem with GTA 4 is that you could stick it on the exact same settings consistent with either of the consoles and the PC did not see a better performance increase, it should have been vast. You got very little improvement from down-scaling and the benchmark that came with it was a joke that at no point pressures the engine as much as the actual game will in most circumstances. This was not a CPU limited game like everyone claimed; it’s an engine limited game that was most certainly not re-done from scratch for the PC like Rockstar claimed. If you play Unreal on a modern PC, you won’t see a huge performance boost over the best PCs when it came out; that’s what I mean by engine limited. The same will be the case with GTA 4: Rockstar’s claims that the higher settings are intended for ‘future tech’, in a game that doesn’t actually properly utilise more cores than two, doesn’t take advantage of 64-bit proccessing, has no anti-aliasing, no SLI or Crossfire support, probably isn’t even using nvidia unified shaders properly(as evidence by some people experiencing glitches that put the frame-rate at over 100 but with broken shader effects). This game will not see any significant performance increase in the future and even nVidia and ATI acknowledge this enough that they have not done the slightest damn thing with their drivers since release to get more out of it; it isn’t worth the effort.

  14. Melupom says:

    I really do hope that GSC move to CE3 – for all its goodness 2 or 3 years ago GSC hasn’t done all that much to improve the Xray engine for CoP other than do pretty much what various mod teams were able to do on the original engine for SoC – the handful of new effects barely bring it up to CE2 standard, and no doubt any improvements done by modders will totally destroy the optimisation of the engine, unlike what appears to be the case with CE3.

    • Blurr says:

      I think a lot of people missed the bit of the STALKER Call of Pripyat announcement that said stand alone expansion (now I dono about you but that means “same tec, new story and bits” to me).

      I would love to see the Zone in CryEngine 3 tec (can you imagine the Red Forest at night with a blood sucker on your tail?!) but I would rather they incremented XRay to 2.0 rather then drop what was (and still is) actually not a bad engine at all.

      As for the Crysis bashing I think O might indulge in a bit of it myself….. My problem with it was that, yes you can go and punch ppl off of cliffs and kidnap them but even if the move your trying to pull fails and your left in the middle of 15 enemies you can still survive with ease. There is no challenge because its basically impossible to die

  15. Gamer! says:

    good news!

  16. GOnzale$$$ says:

    Stalker > Crysis …. Xray < Cryengine 3 ……. Stalker 2 = Cryengine 3 …that's what i want to see

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