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Can it run Crysis 3?

Crysis 3 Performance Analysis


While Crysis 3 might have slipped between the cracks during our change of Games Editor, it’s not missed our attention when it comes to its potential as a performance benchmark. Crytek’s CryEngine3 is one of the most scalable, and as a result, demanding engines out there, allowing the game to run on the current crop of consoles and still bring top-end GPUs to their knees. Crysis 2 might have been disappointingly easy to run at launch but with the subsequent DX11 and high-res texture packs it became extremely demanding. Crysis 3 has these features built in, so let’s waste no time in putting it through its paces.

*Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance
Psycho demonstrating our expression when seeing Crysis 3's low-detail visuals for the first time

Despite its reputation as a performance monster Crytek has, bafflingly, failed to implement an inbuilt benchmark in the game. It’s even gone so far as to fully remove the ability to record time demos within the engine, so we don’t hold out much hope of a distributed benchmark tool anytime soon. As such, we’re limited to in-game manual play throughs (at least for now) to gauge performance. We’ve selected a challenging open environment section of the game from the mission Red Star Rising, starting from when Prophet exits the ruins of the Brooklyn Bridge.

To ensure benchmark repeatability (and our own sanity) we’ve recorded a custom macro to repeat the same sequence of movements for each benchmark run. Average and minimum frame rates were recorded with FRAPS during a 60 second sequence of gameplay, with the test repeated three times for each tested setting and the average result taken.

Judging Detail

Crysis 3 is a phenomenal looking game even in its lowest detail preset, with the ability to scale onwards and upwards with additional post-processing and effects to become a real system melter. Below are pair of comparisons between the low, medium, high and very high system spec presets.

*Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance
Click to enlarge - Crysis 3's Low, Medium, High and Very High detail presets

Some of the differences can be extremely subtle, but particularly obvious is the increased complexity of shadows. At low and medium they are stark and clear, but at high and very high they become increasingly complex and smooth, with ambient shadowing and the addition of shadow effects from clouds. At higher settings there’s also increased detail in vegetation and object detail at longer distances, as well as improved water detail, more particle effects and more post-processing. Open the low and very high presets in a pair of tabs and switch between them and you'll see the differences clearly, particularly when it comes to shadow detail and object draw distances.

*Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance *Can it run Crysis 3? Crysis 3 Performance
Click to enlarge - Crysis 3's Low, Medium, High and Very High detail presets