The island overview shot here shows some fantastically minute detailing in the vegetation. You can also see the volumetric clouds that made such a good impression in the original demo video. Crytek are using an advanced Imposter Rendering technique to allow the clouds to be illuminated in realtime and to cast shadows on anything beneath them.
The accompanying tech doc suggests that this "allows for frantic action when you are fighting aliens in the sky". Does this mean we're going to get the chance to head up in one of those crazy contraptions we saw on Page 1? Could be awesome!
Zoom out further and your jaw just drops. At a glance, this could almost be a seen from Lost
or maybe Jurassic Park
, both films in Hawaii on islands similar to this. One question we have is whether the water be just a still plane like in most games, or will it actually lap at the shores and move as water does? Only time (and maybe an AGEIA PhysX card) will tell.
Finally, we see a powerful demonstration of high dynamic range lighting as we move from late afternoon sun into a sunset. The combination of light and shadow, coupled with realtime water reflections and those amazing clouds, just takes our breath away. There is still a question mark over whether anti-aliasing will have to be sacrificed to produce amazing HDR like this - we sure hope that isn't the case!
The original Far Cry
proved that great gameplay didn't have to be traded away when a developer spends time creating cutting edge graphics as well. That Crytek did it while writing their own game engine at the same time was even more impressive. Based on what we have seen with Crysis
they're sure to do it again.
will be one of the first titles to use DirectX 10, which will be available exclusively on Windows Vista, though it is currently running on DirectX 9 and existing hardware. In a recent interview with CVG
, Bernd Diemer from Crytek had this to say:
Everything you've seen has been running on DX9 and normal hardware you can get in the shops right now. It's all normal spec and doesn't even use a dual processor or anything like that, we don't have any special graphical hardware inside these boxes. However, with DX10 and a dual core CPU, you're going to see something very special indeed.
When we compare Far Cry to Crysis we're talking about two to three levels better in terms of generations, but if you compare DX 9 to DX10 it's at least a generation better, so there's a tangible difference, visually as well as from the intensity.
The game is currently set for a Q1 2007 release, which means somewhere between 1 January and 31 March, though Crytek has said they do not
have to wait for Vista, which won't be available to consumers until January anyway. It seems that while DX10 will add Shader Model 4 effects (assuming you have the next next-generation ATI or NVIDIA hardware that supports it), it won't be a requirement.
The game will be playable at E3 in a couple of weeks and we'll be there reporting live. Personally, we can't wait!