Time Crysis: CryEngine Loses Number, Gains Version

STOP THE PRESSES. The most significant thing to happen in gaming news all year just, er, happened. CryEngine has thrown out its number. No more CryEngine 3, 4, 8, 12, or XCVIII. Just a sleek, svelte, quietly confident CryEngine. It doesn’t need to boast with arbitrary digits to take on the likes of Unreal Engine 427,000. It’s gonna be just fine no matter what because Crytek has a bunch of military contracts… er, I mean, something something gun games blasto-men eye-popping weather effects yeah. There’s a trailer below that highlights some snazzy features. It won’t blow your mind or anything, but there are some gorgeous gears churning away beneath its graphical pixel beams.

Did you see the frog? I hope it gets its own game soon. FrogCry. It could be about a nanotech-enhanced, biomechanically-rebuilt Frogger crossing the street into a world of vengeance after one too many deaths at the hands of inept players. Welp, time to go get Konami on the line. Fame and incredible riches await.

In the meantime, here’s why Crytek decided to strip CryEngine of its number, leaving it boldly, defiantly naked:

“Supplying an engine is not about delivering a static piece of software. It’s about Crytek being an R&D team for our game licensees; providing the latest, greatest technology we can, all the time. As an industry, we’re all looking to deliver games as a service now – and we feel the same approach can be taken with game engines. Today’s announcement reflects this progress, as well as our ongoing commitment to making sure CRYENGINE licensees always stay well ahead of the game.”

So basically, it reflects the reality of how these things have actually worked for years. Shocking. Perhaps other engines will soon follow suit? Everyone just calls UE4 “Unreal” anyway, and Unity’s just, er, “Unity”.

I have now spent entirely too long discussing game engine naming traditions. Yes, I’m aware it was only a couple hundred words. That’s too much. THIS ISN’T WHY I TOOK UP THIS BEAT.

Ahem. Anyway, that trailer had some really nice rain. Wasn’t it nice? I thought it was nice. But which game had the best rain of all time? Ready, aim, and fire your discussion cannons… at each other.


  1. Ironclad says:

    Aaand my gpu just ran away in terror.

    • Tei says:

      cryoengine is one of these engines that can look horrible outdated if you really want to. Hell, you can probably have 2008 graphics if the urge arise.

  2. Cooper says:

    Stalker’s rain was plesingly oppressive.

    • Ross Angus says:

      (remembers that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was going to be built in CryEngine. Feels sad)

  3. bstard says:

    This means right now Warface got even better?

  4. DarkFenix says:

    Now if Crytek could just make a game as impressive as the engine it’s on…

    • fish99 says:

      Far Cry and Crysis were fine games. Sadly it’s all gone sharply downhill since then, and TBH Ryse is looking like it’ll set a new low.

  5. Junkenstein says:

    But he original Crysis was all about frogs. Those suckers could FLY.

  6. BobbyDylan says:


  7. Ny24 says:

    Ah, good old german engineering. But what will they do with it, I wonder?

  8. dE says:

    The psychology of numbers is funny in the realm of engines. If you don’t attach arbitrary numbers at the end of your engine, people will complain about it not having made any progress in the last years. It’ll be interesting how this pans out:

    Options, folks.
    a) People realize incremental numbers are pointless for modular engines anyway
    b) People will complain the engine is just too damn old, a few years from now – no matter the updates it received
    c) Crytek will backpedal on the number thing

    One of the options is extremely unlikely.

    • Tei says:

      Its a PR thing. I bet the engine will continue having a version number attached to it. Otherwise manuals and SDK would be complicated with “This feature exist in version 2.4 but it only works properly in version 3.0 and superior”. You can avoid using version numbers if you use Build numbers or date of build, or stuff like that, but is unmanageable.

      • dE says:

        Internally, yeah.
        But to the outside, it needs big huge numbers. And if they’re not there, people will assume no progress was ever made.

      • Shuck says:

        It may also differentiate it from the Unreal Engine, where, last I checked, they charge different amounts depending on which engine version you’re licensing. (Older versions of the engine are cheaper to license.) I’m not sure if this means you’ll be able to license the engine and have access to the newest developments (i.e. not having to upgrade the license if a new engine version came out mid-development), but that would be quite a big deal.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It may help if, unlike with Source, they do actually release new iterations of their flagship game to go with it and highlight the new shiny.

      • Max Planck says:

        From hell’s heart, Valve, I stab at thee!

        • LionsPhil says:

          Not really, but the parent post seemed to be drawing fairly obvious parallels to “OMG Source is sooo ollld” complaints. Just positing that people ignore its updates because they’re not matched by new Half-Lives.

          (Although it really is about time Valve sorted out better streaming/loading malarky so you don’t keep getting LOADING chokepoints in all their map design.)

  9. Gap Gen says:

    CryEngine: The next generation in puddles that dry.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Is Paint Drying 2 going to be available on Steam, apparently it’s one to watch!

  10. Clavus says:

    As long as they keep track of a version number on the developer side of things (like Unity), it doesn’t really matter.

  11. Peeveepee says:

    Heavy Rain.
    /runs away and hides

  12. Arithon says:

    Daikatana had the best rain. And frogs.

    Shame about the, well everything else.

    • DarkFenix says:

      “Shame about the, well everything else” is becoming an increasingly apt phrase to describe anything Crytek make.

  13. Liudeius says:

    I have never seen truly great rain. Hell, Minecraft probably wins because
    1) You can retexture the rain to look prettier and be heavier/lighter.
    2) It doesn’t clip through over hangs (common in other video games like Bethesda and The Witcher.
    3) It has splashes, and comes along with varying degrees of severity, including thunderstorm.
    4) Rain does have impact on the game world, resulting in dangerous mods remaining alive/spawning and creepers becoming mega creepers.

    As for the engine, is that really revolutionary? I’ve seen all that stuff in game, was it previously just in proprietary engines of specific devs? Or is it just that it now takes even less effort so there is no excuse for some lazy system like SR3.

    But the game that most convinced me with its day/night and weather cycle was Mabinogi. I don’t know why, it’s not very well done, but when playing it I always felt like the time and weather in the game was the time and weather outside.

    • Wut The Melon says:

      Fun fact: rain actually does NOT clip through over hangs in TW2. And there are mods for it (naturally) in Skyrim.

  14. SirKicksalot says:

    Stalker: Clear Sky and CoP have the best rain. The dynamic wet surfaces are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before or since then.
    Other games have good wet shaders and nice water splashes but these two are by far the most realistic. It’s all procedural and incredibly pretty. I remember rolling barrels around just to see how the water runs down on them in different positions.

    • Premium User Badge

      jpupu says:

      Finally we’re addressing the really important topics in gaming! Looks like I’ll have to buckle up and face those Chernobylian mutants.

      I remember I was really impressed by rain in the original Ghost Recon, in the mission where you had to clear the rainy village before convoy got there or something. Not sure how good it was technically, but the atmosphere really sucked me in. I just stood and walked around marvelling at it. Until folks started shooting at me, I guess.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Red Dead Redemption had great rain. I especially liked how it sounded inside buildings. Witcher was good in that NPCs would actually take shelter when it poured. AC3 had nice looking rain too.

  16. Jason Moyer says:

    As far as atmospheric rain goes, I’d go with Far Cry 2. The rain itself wasn’t spectacular but it was usually accompanied by heavy, gusting winds that blew the flora around fairly convincingly.

    In terms of gameplay-affecting rain, you can’t beat Grand Prix 4.

    Edit: Actually, Sleeping Dogs has pretty amazing rain, as well.

  17. Sir Buildbot Winslave says:

    Oooh, GPGPU procedural weather with ClutterCreep!

    • SuicideKing says:

      GPGPU weather is probably massively overdue. Favourite feature. Just need a good game that uses it…

      I *WISH* that Volition makes FreeSpace 3 using CryEngine (2013).

  18. BlackAlpha says:

    STALKER Call of Pripyat has nice rain and such, but it doesn’t have puddles that dry up, though. So I don’t know, it looks like a tie to me.

  19. roryok says:

    Oh my god PHYSICALLY BASED SHADING! About damn time is all I’ll say.

    NOW I can finally get on board with this whole gaming thing