It’s Real Time: CryEngine 3’s Real-Time Tools

Trees. Treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

Here’s something excellent that we missed last week. Along with Epic showing off the new Unreal improvements, Crytek had a remarkable tech demo for the latest features in CryEngine 3. It’s mystifying. I’m currently contacting alien lifeforms to arrange the delivery of my next PC from the future to make sure I’ll be taking full advantage of it. Those trees!

I love the sure knowledge that in a few years time I’ll be looking at these graphics and wondering at how I can have thought they were any good. I remember the first time I saw Far Cry and thought, “But it’s like a photograph!” The brain is enormously generous. But for now, wow, those trees!

Gametrailers have an interview with Crytek’s Sean Tracy which explains lots of the mysterious words in the video.


  1. Moni says:

    If Ubisoft license CryEngine 3 for Far Cry 3, will the world collapse into a gravitational singularity?

    • HeroJez says:

      Let’s hope not!

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      I have it under good suspicion that if they do embark on this, Ubisoft will collapse into itself and disappear up it’s own asshole, which being all of it, will create either a black hole here on earth, or a portal to either The Nether or Imaginationland.

  2. Hoaxfish says:

    Mightily impressive… but can it make a good story

    • P7uen says:

      The stories will likely still be pre-rendered, otherwise they have trouble describing them on the box.

    • Harkkum says:

      I was mightly impressed by the amount of abbreviations that made no sense to me.

    • Benny says:

      Indeed there’s alot of jargon in there, but i think it’s aimed more at developers/modders. The simple answer is what they’ve put in that editor, in real time, is truly stunning.

  3. KauhuK says:

    Not bad but in the end the console version of Crysis 2 is heavily blurred and bloomed to hide the weak draw distances and lower res textures. PC might get better looking game but I think there will be “console dumb downs” in it no matter what.

    I also tried to play the multiplayer demo of crysis 2 on pc but I couldnt get into any game. I’m not interested in crysis 2 multiplayer but will the single player be good enough to buy the game? This is what I want to know. Why cant developers/publisher make it so that they sell single player and multiplayer individually and of course in bundle like normal?

    • Nallen says:

      Shame, the multiplayer is good fun and while the game looks a little blurry in that CryEngine way the levels are very rich in texture. I’m a lot more interested in the game having played the demo.

    • Ovno says:

      I had problems with the multiplayer demo untill i stopped trying to join ping 0 servers, it seems 0 means not working not really fast….

    • Hendo says:

      When I was playing the multiplayer demo on the PC, it seemed blurry on every setting other than 1920 by 1080 (my screen’s native resolution). I can’t run it at that resolution! Anyone else get this problem?

    • ibloat says:

      hendo, that’s probably just your LCD being shit at scaling. mine is.

  4. Batolemaeus says:

    I’m kinda amazed how they focused on all the blurry blur shit, when easily the most interesting part, the trees, are only shown as an afterthought.

    I GET IT, you can make stuff blurry. Great. Good for you. Now please show me how you made trees that actually look somewhat convincing.

    Without the blur.


    • fearian says:

      essentially the nice looking trees are exactly the same as all the nice looking trees in any game, its the nice lighting post processing and shader effects that add the subtle qualities that push it to realism.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      On the contrary, the trees look to be a bit more believable than the bog standard poles with random polygons protruding in weird directions and sprite foilage added.

      It’s just so hard to see since all of it is obscured behind a fog of terrible post processing.

  5. StranaMente says:

    Well, if only we had computers with black holes as processors…

  6. kyrieee says:

    I was puzzled by the lack of a post for this video, but here it is!
    It does indeed look nice and shiny

  7. MrEvilGuy says:

    “it’s real time data”

  8. My2CENTS says:

    Sorry Crytek, but Epic’s tech demo is far more impressive. I mean the next generation of consoles im sure will be launched with UT3.X

    • Tori says:

      Is there a video of the Unreal Engine presentation? I’ve only read about it, and if it looks better then this, then I MUST SEE IT.

    • SprintJack says:

      link to


    • stele says:

      The difference of course being the Crytek demo was rendering in REAL TIME. The Epic demo was obviously pre-rendered.

    • Derpentine says:

      Not sure why it being ~Real Time~ makes all that much difference, it’s still Crytek and it’ll still come out as some horribly performing, full of try-hard trick features (all of which are purely graphical, who needs gameplay?). In regards to them being the new id… that’s a pretty low blow to id since they actually looked at software robustness rather than hardware limits as their goal line.

    • Phydaux says:

      I’m not a fan of the Unreal Engine, everything in looks like it is made of plastic with a film of water over it. This new one looks just the same, and they’re masking it by setting their tech demo in the rain.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I agree. I can’t stand the Unreal look anymore. Everything looks the same. Exactly the same shaders. The same lighting style. And to top it off, all sci-fi stuff seems to use the same stock “black metal plate” textures.
      How about a totally different visual style for a change?

    • Big Murray says:

      I looked at that Epic tech demo … and I don’t see anything in there that I haven’t seen before. Seems to me like you can make a lot of stuff look impressive if it’s pre-rendered …

      This demo is rendering in Real Time, and looking like that. That impresses me.

    • Cognitect says:

      Epic said their tech demo also runs in real time (on three GTX580 cards).

  9. kikito says:

    Opportunity lost for displaying the shiny car thing smashing against those tree things.

  10. Olero says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure about this engine. It looks great, but if I look up all the (bad) references about the director, a certain Alan Smithee (see 1:58), it really can’t be good, right? Right?!

    • Premium User Badge

      Evil Timmy says:

      Not sure if you’re joking or not (thanks text-only communication!), but in case you or anyone else doesn’t know, Alan Smithee is kind of a Hollywood in-joke. When a director gets screwed by studios so badly they don’t want their name on the movie, because they lost creative control, had their budget yanked from under them, had major talent or crews leave the project midway through production, or similar catastrophic events, and the film ends up a big steaming pile, Alan Smithee is the name they put on the project. Why they’d put that rather than Cevat Yerli or someone else from Crytek, I have no idea.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      The use of “Alan Smithee” as the director has also piqued my curiousity. I wonder if there is a story out there that needs to be told? Did EA shaft Crytek? Are they unhappy about now having enough time and budget to to treat PC gamers properly? Enquiring minds would like to know. RPS, please get out there and uncover this story for us.

    • Olero says:

      I was joking indeed Timmy, but I refuse to use smilies ;)

      But I’m as intrigued as Bobs and you on the useage of the infamous Smithee, if I made an execellent engine, I’d be proud of it. It’s some weird sense of humour to use a pseudo that no-one likes to use to show your new engine.

  11. Pie21 says:

    One question remains unanswered: can CryEngine 3 deliver real-time weapon change?

  12. liq3 says:

    Maybe I’ll start caring about their eye-candy engines when they start using them to make good gameplay and storylines.

    • StranaMente says:

      I agrre with that. Just when the plots could have the chance to make sense again, here we are making new “pwetty” engines that cost millions of dollars.

    • Bhazor says:

      Ever played Crysis? It’s pretty good.
      It would be nice if you’d actually played one of their games before passing judgement on the company.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Crysis before the stupid alien stuff was actually a great game.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Except for that this is a graphical engine, not a “story engine”. Just what do you expect them to show off in a graphical engine, exactly?

  13. Jabberslops says:

    Fuck Crytek and their stupid fucking motion blur and all blurry bullshit in everything they have made. I am so sick of it! Just show your beautiful work and stop putting in your stupid shitty blur because you think it looks “cool” and “next gen”. Fuck you!

    Sorry, it needed to be said. I know I am not the only person thinking it.

    Anyway, the scenes of the fields and the forest are quite lovely. I am more interested in playing games with “natural” environments like that.

    • skinlo says:

      You might be in such an immature way.

    • stele says:

      People would probably pay more attention to your opinions if you didn’t present them like a 12 year old throwing a tantrum.

    • jamie144 says:

      i love all that bloom and motion blur its like being drunk and stoned in the summer. Yeah that field would be so cool for a game!!!

    • Alaric says:

      Hold your breath until they remove the blur. No, seriously, do.

  14. Monchberter says:

    Sorry Crytek, but Avatar’s already been made.

    • Joshua says:

      But Avatar won’t run on our computers :P.

      This one will… mostly.

  15. Spacewalk says:

    Those are nice trees but I’m more interested in knowing the mileage of that all-terrain vehicle and when it will be available on the market.

  16. CMaster says:

    Honestly, the most interesting thing about CryEngine 3 are these realtime elements and how much effort they’ve put into the development tools.
    When you consider that Unknown Worlds (Natural Selection devs) ditched Source and switched to their own engine because the real-time editing, as opposed to Source-style make, compile and check was because of the amount of time and money it saved them.

    They key to better-looking games lies as much in reducing the effort to make them look good as it does in higher-definition engines.

  17. Teddy Leach says:

    In 10 year’s time, this will look terrible and our future selves will be laughing at us for thinking it looked good. Although, speaking as a modern man… Oh my god, it’s beautiful!

    • Batolemaeus says:

      No, they’ll laugh at us for horribly overexposed lens-flare ridden images that look like someone smeared vaseline all over the camera.

    • kyrieee says:

      Wrong! The future is always shiny

  18. tomnullpointer says:

    Real Time!

  19. Novotny says:


  20. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    That guy in the ping-pong suit is never over 40.

  21. tanith says:

    Alyx Vance from Half Life II still shows more emotion than any character from any of Crytek’s engines.
    Crytek lost.

  22. itsallcrap says:

    This looks just lovely. I wish they’d tell us what they were running it on, though. Or better yet, release a video of it running on a dual-core Pentium with 4GB of RAM.

  23. Anthile says:

    If only you could talk to those trees.

  24. xcession says:

    Can someone explain the point of this video to me?

    Is it just that Cryengine 3 allows you to record stuff in-engine, in real time? Well whoopee, but who’s it aimed at? Modders? Movie producers? Engine licencees? Gamers?

    Engine manufacturers these days seem to spend a lot of time advertising things that jo average doesn’t want or need. Its a nice showcase for the quality of the game graphics I guess, but if there’s one thing every game that isn’t by Crytek or Epic seems to have a habit of proving, its that everyone is perfectly happy to overlook graphics in favour of gameplay.

    • stele says:

      It’s obvious if you watch the whole video. They’re rolling out their engine and a production pipeline for use with movie post production.

    • fearian says:

      It’s aimed at Engine licencees and developers. Showing mocap date in engine in real time is huge for animators, as is that magical looking one button animation export from maya. All this real time lighting and animation makes the development process faster and easier for the devs, while the shader technology brings the visuals in line with what games will look like in the next 5 years. It seems like a fancy tech demo now, but sooner than you think this will be the graphical standard.

  25. jamie144 says:

    I’ve got the leaked version and I was trying to use the editor that came with it last night but it crashed before i could work anything out. But looking at this deffo makes me wanna try it again that field looks so amazing! I’d love to know whats possible with the editor.

  26. cpy says:

    I have 1 question: What the hell have Far Cry common with Far Cry 2? Except name.

    • mrwonko says:

      The publisher. Ubisoft got to keep the IP when Crytek left for EA.

    • cpy says:

      So they used Far Cry to create incredibly BORING far cry 2 and everyone expected mutant shooting awesome FPS right? Damn marketing!

    • Urthman says:

      They’re both big outdoor sandboxy semi-realistic shooters. Far Cry 2 is a lot more like Far Cry than it is like Call of Duty or Half Life 2 or Serious Sam or Rainbow Six or Bioshock or any other recent FPS. Crysis is the next closest, but it has the whole nanosuit that makes it play very differently.

      Also, Far Cry 2 started out using a version of the Crytek engine, although it ended up being changed so much that Dunia is really a distinct engine, but it does have that connection to Far Cry.

  27. Richard Beer says:

    I think a lot of these comments are missing the point because they’re too (and I guess this is forgivable seeing as we’re on RPS) focused on video games.

    If you watch the video, it’s constantly saying it’s about real-time rendering for cinema. If you think about the applications for this kind of real-time rendering, it’s truly amazing. Imagine, for instance, going to the theatre to watch an interactive play/movie where the characters turn to look out the screen and talk to the audience. Or imagine how quick it would be to create a low-budget CGI movie if all your acting was done in your friend’s basement on a rig like this.

    The other thing to remember is that this is a TOOL. If you’re commenting on this post about plot, characters and story lines you’re missing the point. It’s what this tool allows people to do that’s amazing, not what Crytek is going to do with it for their next Crysis game.

    And on that basis, it’s deeply impressive. I hope they make a lot of money out of it.

  28. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Shame Crysis 2 won’t look anything like that now it’s been revealed we really are just getting a straight console port on release…

    • fearian says:

      Crysis 2 will look alot like that, its the same engine. Alot of the new features being demo’d are either developement tools and crytek have said they will patch crysis 2 up after release with DX11 and Tesselation support.

      I assume you haven’t seen the demo or leaked gameplay on a high end PC because it looks fantastic. (some would say at detriment to the gameplay; looking at you, insane motion blur) Sharing a console release has not harmed the visuals at all.

    • Torgen says:


  29. Muzman says:

    It’s weird they’re talking about ‘for cinema’ like that. I mean, it looks good but it’s Game-good not Movie-good.
    Betting on a big machinema explosion perhaps? Might make sense.

  30. The Magic says:

    There’s been a lot of build up about game engines being used in film and tv over the past 5-10 years, and there’s even been big examples of a few (Battlefield Britain and Time Commanders used Rome: Total War.)

    It looks like the big push has finally started. Indies have already started picking up the CryEngine 2, and I can’t wait for TV companies to use this new engine for all sorts of crazy stuff.

  31. HeroJez says:

    “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a DRM!”…

    Ha! I just wanted to say that… I know it doesn’t work that well, but it was fun… for me.

    ANYWAY… this looks awesome. Hopefully it’ll draw some visionary directors and film heroes to the gaming scene so we get more awesomer cut-scene thingys.

  32. Sunjammer says:

    All that tech and so little creative vision. I’m so disappointed in Crytek as a game developer. Shoot bang biff.

  33. Love Albatross says:

    It gets overlooked when we’re all dazzled by the visuals, but CryTek have some excellent sound guys. The music in Crysis 2 is great.

  34. EthZee says:

    Hm. I won’t be impressed until I can see BENDY LEAVES.

  35. Davie says:

    I do wish they had spent more time on the forest and forest-traversing hipster, rather than the shiny jeeps and space marines. We’ve been able to do shiny jeeps and space marines since at least 2002, Crytek. I would rather focus on the relatively unexplored territory of beautiful trees and hipsters. Games need more hipsters.

    • Urthman says:

      Games need more hipsters.

      …for me to shoot.

    • Grape Flavor says:


      YES. Oh god yes. Shoot them right in their smug, douchey little faces.

      Someone please make this game!

  36. Wonko the Sane says:

    “Crytek had a remarkable tech demo for the latest features in CryEngine 3…”

    …called Crysis 2. C’mon, you were thinking it, right?



  37. phenom_x8 says:

    Wow, nice picture! But, for cinema? What does that means? for game cinema or movie cinema? One more thing, does it have free version (like UDK)?

  38. wazups2x says:

    Well Crysis 2 looks nothing like that.

    Console port!