Crytek Show Off Fly Tech

CryEngine 3 has been unveiled at GDC, and shown off with a new video. Nothing on the new “what you see is what you play” editor (WYSIWYP, clever eh?) or any hard tech facts so far, and sadly the crappy compression of the trailer means the impact is lessened somewhat. But it still looks fractionally more impressive than Crysis, and that’s the main thing. Right? Okay then.


  1. bhlaab says:

    I absolutely hear what you’re saying, but it comes down to my point before: there is no reason why I should have to turn down the settings of a 2 year old engine, when there are games that come out now that run perfectly, while all settings are maxed out.

    But here’s my point, your hardware is also at least 2 years behind, so there’s that. Then there’s the fact that CryEngine still looks better than all those other games, and turning down the settings so that they closer resemble those games you mention will make them run comparably. Thirdly, while I agree that Crytek went way too far attempting to ‘future proof’ their game, there IS hardware available that can play it at a steady clip, it’s just up in the air whether you want to pay for it. If not, alright.

    What is it you’re demanding, anyway? Either for Crysis to look just as good but run at 60fps on an 8800, which is impossible, or for it to look like it does on Medium but call it Very High instead.

    btw, mentioning FarCry 2 in the same breath as Crysis is only a few steps shy of saying “Hitler was right” so let’s not go down THAT road

  2. Zyrusticae says:

    Now, that’s just an unreasonable demand.

    First of all, Crysis is not two years old – it was released in November of 2007, which means it’s a year and four months old, which is hardly a large stretch of time for hardware advancement. Secondly, those “games that come out now that run perfectly” look nowhere near as good as Crysis does maxed out. Thirdly, I really, really don’t appreciate the thought of people demanding that they don’t push the envelope of technology just because someone thinks it’s not right for them to do so. Really, Crytek is the only company I can think of that pushes it so hard and so far. It’d be a damn shame if they were to stop and no one were to fill in for their shoes.

    Crysis serves as an excellent benchmark for how far our technology’s advanced since the time of its release in addition to being a plain ol’ fun game. I can only hope that we get a similarly envelope-pushing title in the future.

  3. Andthensobecause says:

    Often times, instead of arguing with my mother, I play the drums to express the enormous accomplishment it is to feel the complex and deep emotions our arguments stir within my heart.

  4. qrter says:

    Andthensobecause sums it up pretty well. A top tip, some might even say.

  5. j says:

    Just from a quick glance of the footage (can’t spend too long, technically working right now) I’ve noticed a few things:
    -It looks like it can handle quite a few more lights on screen at any one time than I remember seeing in Crysis or Warhead (doesn’t necessarily mean they’re using deferred rendering, but they might be)
    – Textures look more detailed than I remember seeing in Crysis ( I could be wrong, but they give me that impression), this isn’t a feature of the engine of course but it’s worth noting
    – Looks like they’re still using SSAO and variance shadow maps, nothing new there, but they still look cool
    – Particles bounce, don’t remember them doing that in Crysis or Warhead
    – Speaking of particles it looks like there’s a lot more debris and particle effects than I remember from Crysis/Warhead… you guys might want to fire up one of those games to check that but I think these ones look way cooler (to me at least)
    – I know you could manipulate vegetation in the original, but it looks a lot more responsive than I remember, again, you guys might want to check that to prove me wrong
    – Water still looks way better than in any other game I’ve seen
    Not a huge improvement but if it runs well on current generation consoles and hardware (it says that was xbox footage) then it doesn’t sound too bad to me. The graphics look pretty similar to KZ2 footage to me and if it can pull off KZ2 graphics with Crysis gunplay on all platforms then it sounds like a pretty sweet game to me. Not sure why so many people are bashing it.

  6. Tei says:

    Is weid the fear that some people have to Crysis engine. Is like some people moved to XBox, because crysis looked too cool to his PC, or something weird.

    Crysis is a engine like all others. Maybe more pretty on outdoors. And maybe a slighty different style of phisics than Havok… but a really powerfull style.
    Farcry 1 and Crysys game where Ok-ish games. Not classics, but good games. Maybe not for you, maybe for other people.
    This game is like cursed, or something, because people is not taking it like what is, but what it represents, or something.

  7. EvaUnit02 says:

    They’re pulling a “Windows 7”. This is obviously simply just a better optimised version of CryTek 2, but they’ve passing it off as new evolutionary step since their 2007 build has a stigma in the public’s eye (undeservedly so, just like Vista).

    P.S. Everybody knows that Win 7 is just Windows Vista with a new skin or NT 6.2. The Mojave effect.

  8. Skurmedel says:

    Will it come with a fun game this time?

  9. Malagate says:

    I love how many of the criticisms for Crysis were that the first part was great but the second half weak sauce, which always makes me wonder has anyone has created a mod for it which removes all alien references and just leaves it with grunts, jungles and the jeeps that explode in them? Just have a series of islands instead of the alien bit and see if people really enjoy it more.

    Of course I wouldn’t know if there are any mods out for it at all, I’ve never touched it. I didn’t fancy paying full price for a game which, according to popular opinion, boils down to “pretty but dumb”, although I forgot about the demo. If the demo is just set in the jungle bit, does that mean I can play the most fun part of the game for free anyway?

  10. Tworak says:

    This is the Cry-Engine-3-on-consoles video. That’s why it looks so terrible and runs at 0.01 fps. Lol consoles.

  11. zulu says:



  12. Heliocentric says:

    To all the people who say crysis isn’t fun. Pick up the turtle on the first beach use him to kill everyone you can. You can use other means on aliens helis and tanks, but nano augs are required to be taken out by comrade turtle.

  13. Down Rodeo says:

    I think the comments here demonstrate just how wide a variance in hardware there is even among the RPS readership which is possibly slightly more than casual? :)

    But yeah, I agree with the comments arguing that at least one company ought to push the envelope – like I said my PC can only just play it (smoothly mind you) but at some point, hopefully this summer, I’ll make myself a nice PC and all will be well. I don’t mind having to enjoy it a few years (year and a half? three quarters?) after it came out.

  14. Ian says:

    @ Helio: Alternatively, cast efficiency to the wind and kill the Korean soldiers in the first few outposts in the most splendidly unnecessary way possible.

    My favourite was throwing a soldier up into the air so he fell through a hut and getting his mates to set off an alarm. When reinforcements arrived and got out of their car to investigate said hut, I stole it, drove it through them and into the hut before stealthing away and shooting the petrol can to kill the survivors.

    Funs. :)

    On the main topic, my life isn’t complete unless graphics get marginally shinier, etc.

  15. Black Mamba says:

    That’s PS3/Xbox360 footage guys, even Crytek said so
    link to

    It looks like they ported the Cryengine 2 to the consoles and called it v3.

  16. Tworak says:

    link to

    Looks like someone forgot to offload the audio to spu4. Right?

  17. Al3xand3r says:

    They’re sorting performance I imagine and that’s a good thing, whether it’s done just because it’s going to be a multi platform engine or not.

    Optimising it further hopefully enables them to have a less ridiculous draw distance for detail elements. I’d almost prefer to have none of those elements than to have them pop up 5 metres ahead of me completely breaking immersion in the process. And yes that’s on max settings on PC, in both Crysis and Warhead.

    My PC isn’t the greatest but since I only run games @ 1680×1050 since that’s my monitor’s native res, they run with no hicups @ max settings (and I do mean no hicups, I’m one of those at least 60fps whores).

    Having watched the video, it looks more polished than the Crysis games to me. The urban areas are incredible and having those in Crysis would probably make it drop the fps flat. So, great work. Lighting on surfaces seems better too.

  18. Rei Onryou says:

    They’re just going the route of Unreal Engine 3. Since that is financially logical. It has the prettiness, it just needs optimisation for specific hardware. If anything, I’d hope this means it’ll run better on the PC as well.

    We are starting to hit a point where graphics can only be enhanced so far. Our worlds need to be made richer with detail. For example, the firing grenades through the leaves of the trees, or firing into the water causing big splashes. These are things that make a world feel more alive.

  19. subedii says:

    The sequence of events during my first Crysis: Warhead playthrough went something like this:

    They’ve definitely upped the pace on the game, and whilst “Summer Blockbuster” is the description that everyone’s using, it really is an apt one. Things around Psycho explode, that is the law. It feels as if sometimes he just has to look at something and it’ll instantly oblige by atomising into a plume of smoke and flashy Hollywood pyrotechnics.

    I find that a good test for whether an action game is awesome is whether you start surreptitiously spouting action-hero reject one liners in your head. Gunning your jeep onwards, there’s a roadblock ahead blocked off by two big troop transports. The guys at the post look up in shock as you simple don’t stop, “Surprise Mutha-truckers!”, as you bail out amidst scattered gunfire, the jeep hits home and explodes in a satisfying heatwave taking out the trucks with it. But the enemies are regrouping and there’s a chopper overhead, you quickly duck inside a nearby house and take it down with a couple of deft missiles. They’re closing in, you jump back out and hop up a sniper tower next door. Much to the surprise of the sniper still in there when you pull yourself up, “Pardon me a moment mate.”, shotgun blast, grab his rifle and start picking off the remaining troops as their fire pings against the metal sheets of the crows nest.

    All that happened in the space of maybe a minute or less, and what makes it awesome is that you’re the one writing this script (no matter how corny). I can’t really remember another game that brought together the confluence of factors so solidly into allowing to feel as if you’re playing your own part in a Jerry Bruckheimer film, but they really pulled it off in spades with Warhead. The game basically gives you the tools and the scenario, and says “go nuts”. Where every other FPS on the market tries more and more for the linear and scripted action set piece, Crysis is a game where the set pieces truly do happen dynamically, and it’s why the game works.

  20. Kalain says:

    It looks like the warhead engine. after reading the press release, it does contain 360/PS3 footage, but it is only a tech demo, not the actual engine playing.

    Just look at the Cryengine 2 tech demos compared to the actual game engine. But, who am I to say anything. The PC version will always look superior in my opinion anyway. :D

  21. Jon says:

    The ‘I can’t run the game maxed, therefore it’s unoptimised’ canonisation really has to stop. The reason you can’t run it maxed whilst other games run fine topped-out is because CRYSIS LOOKS BETTER THAN ANY OTHER GAME OUT THERE. ‘Maxed’ doesn’t equivocate across titles.

    I’ve no doubt the engine, on its first public build, wasn’t as tight as it could have been, but even on medium settings it looks great.

  22. MetalCircus says:

    Batolemaeus got it right in the early stages of the thread. Sure it looks nice but I don’t want that, I want something that has good gameplay!

  23. Nick says:

    That’s odd Y3k-Bug cause I ran Crysis on medium/low on an athlon x2 4600, 2 gig ram and a 7800GTX and it looked fine and played smoothly.

  24. catska says:

    This looks great, and better than the LOD in Crysis that 99% of people would be running it at. Maybe not as good as the ubernerds with $2000 rigs and custom configged graphics, but as long as its medium-high level it’ll be better than most stuff out there. Good for them moving to console development, now maybe they can get some actual paying customers and people who didn’t get crysis before because they knew it wouldn’t run on their computer.

  25. kong says:

    Great looks.
    If only somebody made a good game of the great gfx I’d be thrilled.
    Why is it impossible to use those hyperengines for adventures? Take crytek 2 engine at a discount and build a decent game for old farts like meself.
    Should Vampire:Bloodlines remain the last of its kind?

  26. wat says:

    What’s all this about Crysis?
    When Warhead came out, I had a system that was already 18 months old and had cost me about 650 EUR when I got it… Not exactly top of the line gear, but I did invest a few hours in bargain hunting.

    And I could run Warhead just fine on detail setting 4/5 (whatever that was called) at my screen’s native 1280×1024 res. Didn’t run smoothly on maxed out settings, but it still looked great (and better than Far Cry 2, imo)

    Methinks that 70% of the people who claim that Crysis was too hardware hungry never actually tried it.

  27. Gabanski83 says:

    Just give me a proper sequel to Far Cry 1. I want Jack Carver back! I don’t mind the Trigens, just make them less frustrating to fight, and more interesting. Give them some decent AI, for starters.

  28. subedii says:

    Methinks that 70% of the people who claim that Crysis was just a tech demo and no gameplay have never actually tried it.

    Grief, last I checked Crysis had a gamerankings of around 90%, and Warhead around 85%. Granted review scores aren’t the be-all and end-all, but it’s kind of hard to claim that all of them were taken in by hype. These are genuinely awesome games.

  29. Alistair says:

    I’ve just got Crysis and it’s phenomenal. I was worried about the zero-g bits given all the bad press… but they turned out to be short! And the alien bits back in the world are fine, great even. I’m now on the carrier and the fabled framerate drops just aren’t turning up. A good claim to best FPS so far IMO. (XP, 3GB, GTX260). The ‘other’ Far Cry 2 had some nice ideas, but fell down in delivering them. Crysis aimed at something a little more conventional and delivered in big, nano-suited spades.

  30. Theory says:

    As I expected: it’s CryEngine 2 with console support. It’s only been two years since Crysis, which isn’t enough time to make a huge leap.

    (This is assuming they’ve not gone all sophisticated and made stuff that can’t be conveyed by visuals. Extremely unlikely I’m sure you will agree.)

  31. mashakos says:

    found a “proper” clip of the tech demo:
    Looks like Crysis on med/high, and it’s not even running very well. Console gamers, you will get a shabbier looking crysis running at 25fps!

    I am a fan of Crysis Warhead, but the game ran horribly on my box. Its hardly cutting edge, mind. But due to how poorly it ran on my midrange system, I won’t be buying any CryEngine games until the system I have is quite a few years after the release of that game, where I know it’ll get good performance.Get an XBOX360

  32. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    gonna play this on onLive

  33. Nahual says:

    Really, Crysis’ requirements are the new “PC is dead” when it comes to memes blown out of proportion. My PC’s last update was 2 years ago, a EVGA Superclocked 8800 GTS I bought por about $280. I can play Crysis Warhead everything on the “Gamer setting” at 1680×1050 at a fairly solid 30 FPS so long as I’m willing to stand the occasional dip to 20 FPS or so, I could also play it butter smooth if i go with a lower resolution or go High instead of Gamer, and i only have a Core 2 Duo and 2 GB of RAM.

    I still have that card because after 2 years no game has even come close to being unplayable at the highest setting unless it had generally terrible performance (GTA IV) due to crappy programming and/or porting.

    If at this point you’re still complaining about Crysis’ performance you either have a very crappy card (Below 8800 which can be had for $100) or should accept that you need to pay a premium to run do 1920 x 1200 with 16x AA and AF and it’s not some sort of right you deserve to have for free (And even then it’s not actually that expensive, a 285 or 295 will do it, and they’re about $300-$400).

  34. Nahual says:


    This always makes my blood boil because whoever keeps bringing this point up clearly has no better what he’s talking about.
    The only way you can spend more than $1000 on a PC and not ending up with a gaming beast is if you got ripped off.

    And even a mom bought Dell or eMachines can be upgraded to a high middle grade gaming rig for about $400 so long as it has a PCI express port and you’re willing to do 30 mins of research (HINT: You don’t need the most expensive anything, with the exception of PC exclusives, most graphic intensive games are ports which puts a cap on the top end gear needed about 2 years ago, a 8800 and a Core 2 Duo are enough to max out almost everything).

  35. Vandelay says:

    I notice a lot of people who are saying that Crysis ran fine for them are playing Warhead. If I remember correctly, Warhead was far better optimised than Crysis was, proving the point that it wasn’t simply the users’ machines that were causing problems.

    I only ever played the demo of Crysis, but from that brief experience it seemed to be more demanding then it needed to be. Playing on a Q6600, 3 GB RAM and a 4850 512MB RAM it was only just about playable on high at my native resolution of 1680X1050. I would imagine those that could max the game out even now with a steady 60 fps would be less 1%. When a game is almost a year and half old, that is pretty extreme.

    An heavily optimised version is a good thing though, so hopefully we can all experience the full potential of the cryengine now (although by the time this is released a lot of games will probably be as good.)

  36. subedii says:

    Vandelay : Well for one thing the demo was unoptimised compared to the main game.

    You notice a lot of people saying that they’ve got Warhead probably because they like the franchise and BOUGHT WARHEAD. Drawing from that that they’re automatically talking about one and completely ignoring the other is simply false.

    I’ve played Crysis, and Warhead, they both perform about the same. If there is any performance increase in Warhead’s engine, it’s largely unnoticeable. Some areas have more enemies and things happening in them, so that might count towards it being optimised, but on the flipside the areas that everything takes place in are generally smaller and less sprawling as well.

    Even having said all that, being able to run Crysis on high means your machine is good. I don’t know how many freaking times this point has to be hammered home, but just because you can’t MAX OUT Crysis doesn’t make the engine unoptimised. The game looks amazing on high, heck it looks amazing on medium. What people are asking for isn’t for them to have made a better engine, it’s for them to have removed graphical options from the game that would have been useable with time, and relabel the graphics settings so that High was actually medium.

    That’s always the chief complaint, that Crysis couldn’t be maxed out on release. Well gee whiz, neither could Unreal, Doom III, any number of tech heavy games when they were released. Heck, I even remember reading an interview with John Carmack about Doom 3 (this was before release). He was saying that the highest texture settings available in the game wouldn’t be useable until we reached graphics cards with 512 MB of RAM.

    So tell me, how recently was it that we actually got hold of those? And does including features such as this make the Doom 3 engine “unoptimised”? Man I’d hate to have to tell Carmack that he doesn’t know how to make a good graphics engine…

  37. Lacobus says:

    Weirdly, the graphical prowess of Crysis actually put me off and I only bought it when my old pc went kapoot, forcing me to upgrade anyway. It’s actually an astonishing game, underneath all the (come on admit you love it) beautifull, beautifull scenery is a game with real class and finesse.

    Imagine going out with a boring girl just because she was really hot and available, and then finding out she was actually what you’d been looking for all along.

  38. mashakos says:

    I run the game at very high, 1920×1200 4x aa for the record.
    When I had a 8800gtx (bought in 2006) I could run the game at very high 1440×900. On Vista.

    I don’t own a quad core, still use ddr2.
    OK, my cpu is overclocked to 4ghz, i upgraded to a gtx280 and have 4gb ram and vista x64 … I could still build a system that can run Crysis at very high settings (on a 19″ monitor) and it wouldn’t go above $700

  39. Vandelay says:

    Subedii: Okay, I seem to have my facts wrong then (probably shouldn’t have commented on something I don’t know much about.) It was my understanding that Warhead ran much better than Crysis, thus confirming that the engine wasn’t originally optimised very well. When I saw a lot of people saying that they could run Warhead at whatever settings perfectly fine I thought I would mention what I had previously heard.

    edit: looking around on a quick google search brought up a few pages that seem to confirm my original belief: link to for example, as well as some forum posts. Also, it looks like DX10 was still very poorly used. As you say though, the improved performance maybe down to smaller maps.

  40. Y3k-Bug says:

    I played Crysis as well as Warhead Vandelay, the improvement is extremely negligible.

  41. Y3k-Bug says:

    subedii says: Well gee whiz, neither could Unreal, Doom III, any number of tech heavy games when they were released. Heck, I even remember reading an interview with John Carmack about Doom 3 (this was before release). He was saying that the highest texture settings available in the game wouldn’t be useable until we reached graphics cards with 512 MB of RAM.

    So tell me, how recently was it that we actually got hold of those? And does including features such as this make the Doom 3 engine “unoptimised”? Man I’d hate to have to tell Carmack that he doesn’t know how to make a good graphics engine…

    A question to the group:

    Whats the point of that? What purpose does it serve to create a game engine that won’t be able to do its full thing until years after its release? Using the example given is anyone, anywhere now rushing out to buy Doom 3 or the Crysis series to play it so they can see it in its graphical glory with proper 512MB equipped cards?

    I guess my problem with all this is that with all the hoopla over future-proofing a game, when hardware has finally caught up to it no one gives a shit, because who is still playing it?

    Although I won’t argue that this is all necessary in the end as someone has to push the envelope to keep the entire industry moving forward. I don’t have an issue with the engines that do, but I simply won’t buy the resulting games they are attached to. But the points brought up are valid ones, without question.

  42. mashakos says:

    Whats the point of that? What purpose does it serve to create a game engine that won’t be able to do its full thing until years after its release?

    well, it’s relative I guess.
    If you’re always going to use hardware that is at least 3 years behind, then you will never get to see the cutting edge of PC gaming. Some of us needed to wait a few months to experience Crysis fully, while others will need maybe a few decades? I don’t know. You’re not the target audience I guess.

  43. Andy`` says:

    Y3k-Bug: My PC’s not very good (though I do stupid things with it like run games on max settings for laughs, and other graphics-card melting chores [card is actually breaking now]), and I had to run the original Crysis on low settings to play with a smooth framerate (but I enjoyed it, and it still looked pretty good – graphically I’ll never complain). Warhead looked a bit better on my quite rubbish machine on the same settings, but the optimisations let me switch up a preset level, which made it look remarkably more interesting while still letting it run fine. Textures especially looked alot crisper, despite the fact I wasn’t able to magic more texture memory out of nowhere.

    Until you got to the dockyard with the submarine, at which point the framerate dropped a bit and stayed low for a long time and while it was still just about playable, cutscenes simply weren’t watchable. Had to turn down shaders to fix it, which got rid of the lovely motion blur :( but there are worse fates.

    Either way, from my perspective, “extremely negligible” is slightly inaccurate. They might be extremely negligible at the high end of the scale, but not from where I was superjumping.

    And, “Whats the point of that?”

    Eventually higher end hardware becomes the norm, and you’ll have to spend some time updating the engine. While you might be able to update as you go along (ie: Source, Valve), it’s probably a little easier to sell an engine on the basis of it being shiny (Unreal Engine 3 anyone?), and game engines should, ideally, be still around years after their original release when hardware that can finally take advantage is around, even though the original game that used it doesn’t exist anymore. The question does arise about why they bother to cram so much into the games when it can’t be used, but then if your game doesn’t implement all (or most) of the engine’s features, it’s a bit harder to wave at people.

    Nobody plays Doom 3 or Crysis long after release, sure, but they still use the engines.

  44. Zyrusticae says:

    I’ll be completely honest:

    One of the biggest reasons I upgraded to a GTX 260 was specifically to experience Crysis in a better, smoother, more visually awe-inspiring way. (The other was for Dawn of War II, for very similar reasons.) Totally shallow, perhaps, but I don’t think I’m alone out there (and, well, I got a very nice deal, at 150 USD after rebates…). You might think it silly, but Crysis has been on my mind for a long time as one of those titles that I simply must replay the very next time I get another hardware upgrade. (I still go “WOW!” every time I see the opening sequence. Human skin has never been shown anywhere near as realistically. Even UE3 games simply pale in comparison.)

    Likewise with Supreme Commander, though for one reason or another it fails to hold my attention as well as Crysis does.

  45. Nahual says:


    What’s the point in people making racing tires when your lawn mower powered Honda can barely do 60 mph?

    I hope that illustrates how incredibly silly this argument that keeps showing up is. Either put down the cash to max out the game (an argument that was obsolete ONE YEAR AGO, now a days any decent new gaming pc or a $400 upgrade can do it) or accept you’re not top of the line and use the lower settings which still look better than most everything else in the market.

  46. mashakos says:

    I was actually surprised Crysis ran maxed out on my 8800gtx. Doom 3 and Far Cry 1 were certainly not playable maxed out on the highest end cards available when they were released (well, maybe the radeon 9800 could – barely).
    Also, Crytek achieved something incredible that even John Carmack failed at: incredibly detailed open world environments. Considering the PC’s previous milestone, Doom 3, it was a HUGE leap. Which ran properly on 2006 hardware.

    I also can’t believe that ppl with Athlon X2’s and Geforce 7800 cards complained about Crysis. That’s like some n00b trying to play Gears of War on his PS2.

  47. Zerotime says:

    Nahual: Wouldn’t the better question be “why do people keep making new racetracks when my four-door sedan tops out at 60mph?”?

  48. the probe says:

    Nobody MADE you buy the game.

    Crytek is made up of smart guys–it’s not like they were ignorant of the fact that the game pushed hardware to its limits. They didn’t lie about the minimum specs. I don’t understand why people are complaining about how good the game looked.

  49. mashakos says:

    Nahual: Wouldn’t the better question be “why do people keep making new racetracks when my four-door sedan tops out at 60mph?”?

    good question. Answer: the universe does not revolve around you

    If you want to force the notion that your 60mph 4 door sedan is a race car, you are inevitably going to face disappointment.

  50. zombo says:

    Your problem really is that 8800GTS 320, its a memory cripple and possibly the worst card out of the whole 8800 bunch.

    And I think the obsession with maxing out settings is stupid, if a game will look even better when I decide to replay it in a couple of years thats a good thing in my book.