The Newest Shiny-Shines Of CryENGINE 3

That's totally Abe Sapien

Yesterday brought official word that a profitable videogame would see a follow-up. Surprise! But while we got to ogle a few Crysis 3 screenshots, we didn’t get to see it in motion. We still don’t, because life is harsh and cruel and that’s a lesson that we all need to learn at some point. Now go to bed without having any dinner. Once you wake up tomorrow, starving and miserable, we might just let you watch this footage of the latest update to CryENGINE 3, which might just offer some visual hints about what to expect from Thrysis. Included – more ear-shaped ears, diving fish-guys, a man with multi-coloured stubble, the kind of fantasy castles that we all wish Skyrim had, a lovely waterfall, a man taking out his existential rage on a window and a shed.

This all comes as part of a free DirectX 11 update to the CryENGINE 3 SDK, the whole lot of which can be had for no-pennies up front for developers who agree to a revenue share on any resulting game. These are the major additions, but if you’re of a mind to you should read the full update notes here.

Revamped DirectX 11 Tessellation
DX11 support and tessellation has come a long way since Crysis 2. Phong, PN triangles and displacement maps, along with no need for pre-tessellated assets, makes CryENGINE’s DX11 support among the best in the industry.

Multi-layer Navigation Mesh
The multi-layer navigation is a powerful new and easy-to-use navigation system that AI agents utilize to path-find through game maps.

Improved Skin Rendering and Eye Shader
New scattering approach gives more realistic rendering with fewer artifacts. New settings, checkboxes and sliders for things like oiliness, iris control, colors, pupil dilatation, tessellation and parallax support make CryENGINE character rendering more advanced and customizable than ever before.

Advanced/Improved/Extended Glass Shader
The glass shader is a specialized tool for rendering glass-based surfaces. It can represent a wide range of glass types, including regular windows, stained glass, leaded glass, beveled glass, some crystal types and some types of transparent plastics as well. The improved glass shader now also boasts features such as a dirt layer designed to produce extremely realistic-looking glass surfaces complete with dust and dirt, differential fog and refraction blur.

Great! Probably. Does that make it better than the Unreal engine’s latest derivation? Don’t ask me, I just work here.


  1. CaLe says:

    My socks remain firmly on my feet. I’m hoping foe something big with UE4.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Yep, I’m more of an Unreal supporter too. Apart from technical stuff, EpicGames gives more support to the community.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think maybe you need your eyes tested then sir. Because those videos looked gorgeous and were actually running on a computer rather than what we’ve seen from Epic.

      It seems Epics tech is stable and smooth, but doesn’t match CryEngines graphics by a long way. I’m sure Unreal Engine 4 will be pretty, but considering their console slant I really doubt it will be significantly more pretty than this.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Even if it CryEngine has/had the upphand in graphical realism, Unreal Engine is still far more versatile in design and gameplay-wise.

        Plus, I’d really like to see how many GPUs uses that computer; and last time I checked the Sagitarian could run on 6fps with the latest nVidia monstruosity.

    • ArtyFishal says:

      I for one hate the look of Unreal Engine. CryEngine seems more sim-based and dynamic, and I appreciate that.

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      They should stop calling it Unreal Engine at this point. Call it Gear Engine or something.

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    I still find it kinda rare that their CryEngine 3 logo isn’t achieved with the CryEngine 3.

  3. DarkFenix says:

    Yes, yes, very pretty. Now can Crytek get around to making a decent game?

    • Zyrusticae says:

      Strange, I find the first Crysis and even the sequel to be very decent (if not outright good) games, myself.

      No accounting for taste, an’ all that…

      • QualityJeverage says:

        Oh, were you not aware? If you liked Crysis 2, you are wrong. Your enjoyment is invalid and you should feel bad about yourself.

        • Arglebargle says:

          I enjoyed Master of Orion 3. Does that make it a good game?

          • syndrome says:

            Well, ’twas semi-ok I guess
            I had high expectations, tho

      • Xzi says:

        The first Crysis I thought was BRILLIANT, and not just for its graphics. The second one I thought was very meh by comparison, but still worth playing if only for the DX11 shinies.

        The disappointing part was that I bought Crysis 2 on day one and had to wait several months just to get those shinies, which I expected to be part of the release package. Didn’t play the single player campaign until then, so it felt like a LONG time.

  4. GallonOfAlan says:

    Just imagine 5 years time when the successor to Skyrim looks like that.


    • fish99 says:

      Trouble is in 5 yrs time Bethesda will still be using (a slightly more updated) gamebyro.

      • crumbly says:

        They didn’t use GameBryo for Skyrim, they created an internal engine which was reported right here on RPS. From the killcam’s it could be assumed it’ll be the one they use for the next fallout as well… Sooo yea.

        • fish99 says:

          Sorry but you’re wrong, go read the quotes from Bethesda, on the day Skyrim was announced no less, where they said quite specifically that it was the same engine with some rewriting of the renderer. Also you will note that almost every Oblivion console command also works in Skyrim and has the exact same syntax. It was nothing more than an upgrade, and Bethesda admitted it.

          The details of this – Bethesda did tweet ‘new engine’ (whether you call that marketting or a plain lie is up to you) on the day they announced Skyrim but there was also an in-depth interview with them on the same day where they went into details on what they’d done with the engine, and there they said specifically that it was the same engine with a rewrite of parts of the renderer.

          Hell you can *feel* it’s the same engine when you’re playing it. You think you would write a new engine that has almost all the same limitations and problems of the Oblivion engine?

    • Zulthar says:

      And it will still be ruined by atrocious animations.

      • eks says:

        “Ruined” is a bit heavy. Skyrim has *a lot* of flaws, writing and dialogue is atrocious, animation is bad, voice acting is laughable and for the most part the visuals are not up to scratch for a modern game. Despite all it’s flaws though it’s still the most fun I’ve had with a game over the last couple years and I sunk 200+ hours into it.

  5. Tridae says:

    Sure the new Unreal engine looks good BUT it’s instantly noticable when something’s been made with Unreal tech, it all has the same look (intense bump maps, too much specular and high contrast lights – the first tech demos looked nothing more than just a high resolution version of the old engine with some reflections thrown in) The are so many identical looking UE games out there I’m glad the CryEngine is being used more and more.

    I’m all for the CryEngine at the moment . . . anyone care to argue why UE is better?

  6. susejchristo says:

    Downloaded it the other day. Safe to say that you should stay away from the DX11 SDK, as it will crash your drivers with an AMD graphics based system. AMD and their shit drivers… NVIDIA on the other hand seems to be doing just fine. Unless you want a bunch of driver crashes and instability, don’t bother with this yet.

    • DrGonzo says:

      No. I’m running a DirectX 11 AMD card and DirectX 11 works absolutely fine, in fact it looks quite stunning and runs even smoother than DirectX 9 does.

      I’m reading more and more crap about AMDs drivers on the net yet I’m still to witness any of it. I had an Nvidia a few cards back, an 8800 but it ran hot, slow and after a driver update one day it went pop.

      Not that I feel any strange loyalty either way. Whichever card is best for £150 or less.

      • susejchristo says:

        Recently, i’ve just been more pleased with NVIDIA and their constant push for drivers and revision. I’ve never owned an NVIDIA card, but i guess everyone has their own experiences and different systems. I love AMD, don;t get me wrong, but i just feel NVIDIA is much more stable. This is all just from what i’ve experienced and based on reading though, so i could be wrong.

    • Shortwave says:

      I’m using two 6950’s and the only time the SDK crashes is when the SDK crashes cause I thought it’d be pretty to leave the grass at 0 density, lol. But man, does it ever looks pretty.. >.<

      • susejchristo says:

        I am also running 6950’s in CFX and cant get it running in crossfire mode, or in DX11. DX9 on the other hand, does work and it does look pretty, but DX11 would be a nice feature. I can get it running in the editor for a second, then it crashes. The only thing ive got running in DX11 that i’ve downloaded is this character model link to (link for DL in desription). But only in the editor.

    • Bremze says:

      I love the meme that Nvidia has far superior drivers, when they couldn’t get a Vista driver out that didn’t constantly BSOD for about half a year and have released drivers that fried GPU’s twice If I recall correctly. Nvidia’s and AMD’s drivers are more or less on par in stability since R700. Nvidia does have a nicer control center, but you still have to do most things through Inspector so that’s kinda moot.

  7. Zaboomafoozarg says:

    New in Crysis 3 – a full 5-second lag between when you hit the jump key, and when you actually jump. Because the 1-second jump lag in Crysis 2 wasn’t bad enough.

    • Tridae says:

      Think the jump lag is there for the system to detect if you want to power jump or just hop. Holding down jump or just tapping. . . Don’t think that process can happen instantly. I played my fair amount of multiplayer and I can say I’ve never had a problem with this.

      • efstajas says:

        No. This would happen if it would be waiting for a double tap. Think about it.

        • Tridae says:

          guess that’s true. . I was just taking a wild guess. . .but I still didn’t really notice any lag. Dead Island has lag between movements but that’s for realism as no natural motion is instant. . That’s how I see it. .

          Come to think of it – as weird as Dead Island’s movement may be I think more games need it. I love being more than a floating head and moving as if my body is actually attached to my eyes. Skyrim, I’m looking at you

  8. SirDimos says:

    Not to piddle on anyone’s parade, but every time I see these tech demos I can’t help but think we keep reaching for better graphics as a way to refresh stale gameplay mechanics and poor storylines.

    Maybe I’m barking up the wrong genre entirely, but I’d much rather have more quality gameplay and storyline than graphics. I guess it’s unfortunate that such things aren’t as immediately apparent as graphics or they would be easier to market.

    • Squire says:

      Graphics can get stale too though, we’ve haven’t really advanced graphics as much because of consoles and its starting to be noticeable alongside the crap gameplay mechanics. If there weren’t any graphics we wouldn’t even be able to perceive what the game was so they are pretty important if not more important. Example in other walk of life being – If you went to the cinema every week to see the latest blockbusters [In this case, films with SFX/CGI] and you saw King Kong [2005] and the CGI was the same quality as the Lawnmower Man you’d probably ask for your money back.

  9. feoinc says:


  10. Meat Circus says:

    The new shiny, the same as the old shiny.

  11. Shortwave says:

    I’ve been slowly learning the Cryengine for a while now, it’s been a huge learning experience.
    But honestly the program is simply amazing be it slightly buggy, but you learn to work around that.
    All I need to do is learn how to work with AI a bit more and hopefully one day I can make my own bloodbath simulator.

  12. Blackcompany says:

    Looks gorgeous. Which would matter, if someone used the engine for something other than corridor shooters.

    Would love to see an open/semi-open world in this engine. Doubtless a spectacle.

    And maybe its thanks to Bethesda, but every time I see the words “Navigation Mesh” I shudder a little, and wonder whether it actually works as intended.

  13. Craig Stern says:

    I made an engine cry once. I felt bad about it afterwards.

  14. Squire says:

    This looks really lovely, especially the silhouette ear de-sharpener but when is the last time you played a game that Really looked like this that wasn’t a PC exclusive? I’ve been staring at those jagged ears since late 2005 when the 360 came out and froze graphics technology in place. I know there’s no use crying over the radically-changed-manufacturing-process of the milk, but I sometimes think all games could look as good as this nowadays if the Xbox never existed ha.

    Hitman: Blood Money seems to be one of the last well-done multiplatform games, it looks amazing on the PC, so sharp and detailed, shadows and lighting are excellent too, the Mardi Gras level has literally hundreds of npc’s littering the streets with no fps change whatsoever. Meanwhile on the PS2, the weakest of the platforms it was released on, they managed to keep nearly the same number of npc’s but with less shader detail and lower texture res to compensate. Side-by-side the versions aren’t massively dissimilar, they actually look comparable.

    Nowadays, make the game look perfect on 360 ie 640p resolution, loading screens, controller support, etc. Then for PC just scale up the assets to higher res’s and hope the code still works, I mean they can’t even be bothered to add KB&M controls anymore, the fudds. I take it the reason for this change is purely money but does anyone else care to contribute other factors? Whatever the reasons are, they can suck-a-fuck.

  15. Ginga121 says:

    Now someone MOD Skyrim or a similarly awesome game that runs on this engine

  16. LionsPhil says:

    Almost all of the footage in this is just a recut of parts of the previous trailer.

    Hmm. That dynamic AI pathing thing looks like what Overgrowth does using open-source libraries.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      Yeah, I noticed that, and my mind immediately wandered into the realms of confusing monetary agreements. Except, I forgot it was open source. And now I’m more confused.

      And thanks for reminding me to read their blog updates. :)

    • dee says:

      Wasn’t Recast/Detour a project of some Crytek employee?