The folks at pc.ign.com have an article up on Crytek’s upcoming CryENGINE 3D game engine for use in first person shooters and other games. Crytek themselves will be releasing a FPS called Far Cry using this engine. If this engine delivers half of the features it’s promising it could end up blowing all other game environments out of the water.
The first thing that will catch your eye about the CryENGINE is the size of the maps and the draw distance. The engine allows for a maximum draw distance of about 2km (1.3 miles), which means you can see for much longer than in most first-person shooters. That’ll be a good thing in Far Cry since the maps look absolutely monstrous. In one fly-by in the demo you get a sense of what one of the island paradises you’ll be maiming and killing others on looks like, and it just keeps going and going and going and going.
The CryENGINE is certainly looking good at this point, with real-time dynamic lighting, bumpy reflections, volumetric glow effects, animated textures, transparent computer displays, windows, bullet holes, pixel-shaded transparent water and all those lovely extras that are so easy on the eyes. All of the game’s 3D objects cast real time shadows so you’ll even see your own character’s shadow cast on your weapon in front of you. Lightmaps will even be specific for particular substances such as metal, wood, and plastic. The natural jungle environments themselves are full of interesting things to look at, and are some of the most realistic we’ve ever seen, with thick underbrush and a lush covering of trees and shrubs over the entire landscape. CryENGINE also supports seamless indoor to outdoor environment changing, so you can go from the lush jungle right into a building or mine without having to wait around for the indoor level to load.
The article goes on to describe the realistic physics model the engine uses and even provides a link to a Blink video demo of the engine in action. Definitely some exciting game possibilities with this new engine. I can’t wait to see it in action first hand.