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Real time editing, bump mapping, static lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE offers. The CryENGINE comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE Sandbox world editing system.
Based on the popular LUA language. This easy to use system allows the setup and tweaking of weapons/game parameters, playing of sounds and loading of graphics without touching the C++ code.
|License Name||Price in $US||Source Code Included?|
|full source code and documentation. Direct support from R&D team.|
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The first time I saw the trailer for FarCry I seriously thought I was watching the Travel Channel. The lush forests, beautiful water, incredibly detailed terrain and the amazingly far viewing distance. Out of nowhere, Crytek, the German developers of FarCry, made a revolutionary engine and combined that with a great game. In this reivew, I’m going to discuss each of the features of the CryEngine.
FarCry can bring even the most powerful of rigs to its knees when running the game with full settings. The various detail options allow you to run FarCry on lower-end computers, but to achieve the full graphical detail FarCry has to offer while maintaining consistent framerates you have to be running a Radeon 9800 combined with at least a 2.5+ GHZ processor. The A.I. and physics of the game really puts a burden on your CPU. Even though FarCry’s requirements may have stopped some people from enjoying the game to its full extent, the decision to task even the highest-end PCs with next-gen graphics was a good one.
When you think of FarCry you think of the giant outdoor environments in the tropical setting, which is the way it should be since the outdoor engine is the best there is in today’s games. To create the vast and detailed terrain the engine uses advanced algorithms, which include an advanced heightmap system, polygon reduction methods, and mip-maps for textures. The heightmap system starts with a grayscale heightmap (Same as the ones my engine uses), but then takes the heightmap values and puts them into a polygonal network. This is the basic start of the terrain before it is split up into patches and mip-mapped. The mip-maps allow for different quality textures to be used depending on how far you are away from an object. When you are farther away the texture will be less detailed, making it a smaller file size, which allows more objects to be drawn at once. Combining these different systems allows the engine to produce an up to 2 kilometer viewing distance that captures every detail of a tropical paradise.
After you slowly come to the realization that the terrain is from a computer game the water is the next thing to catch your eye. The water’s diverse light/dark blue blending effect combined with reflections/refractions and clear visibility give you the impression it’s real. The water uses refraction, (from dictionary.com: The turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density), to give you the simulated depth and reflections. Seeing the sky being reflected onto the ocean water as the FarCry engine does really changes your view on what computer games are capable of. The real-time per-pixel lighting, which uses dynamic lighting, pre-calculated shadows, real-time shadows, stencil-shadows, vertex lighting and light maps allow the world to feel dynamic and lifelike. FarCry even has Shader 3.0 support so all of you gamers who have the new high-end nVidia video cards are in for even better graphical effects.
The way everything in the outside environments is seamlessly blended together is the strongpoint of the FarCry engine. Picking a tropical paradise as the setting was the best choice to allow for the full power of the engine to be harnessed.
The indoor renderer offers effortless outdoors to indoors transitions to allow for fast gameplay and no interruptions when moving around in the world. With such a great outdoor renderer you wouldn't expect the developers to spend as much time on the indoor renderer, well they did. Although not up to the same standard as Doom 3 the indoor graphics engine supports per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections/surfaces, volumetric glow effects, and high-quality textures. The bumpy surfaces are achieved by using a bump-map that allows for textures to be combined achieving a 3d depth perception look. This allows for tiles to appear to have set in grout, bumps in walls to stand out, and curves in the walls to appear realistic. Even though not a breakthrough the indoor engine offers what's expected from games nowadays and much more. The main compliment I can give to the indoor engine is the way that it compliments the outdoor engine by being solid and not slowing down gameplay.
Just from playing the demo of FarCry you can tell the A.I. is something very special and isn't the generic, stupid A.I. found in many FPS. The enemies are all completely dynamic and don’t rely on a script to tell them what to do as in some games, like Doom 3. Dynamic means they respond to your strategy and adapt accordingly. If you decide to try a long-range tactic by sniping from a far distance the enemy forces will grab a water boat and attack you from close range. On the flipside, if you attack from a short-range, enemies will retreat behind cover and call in additional forces to stop your attack. The A.I. is really what gives the single-player game replayability, which is a rarity for FPS. I played the demo 50 or so times, not to look at the graphics, but to try different ways of doing things and seeing just how smart the A.I. Pathfinding is another great part of FarCry with fluid enemy motions and none of the player running into the wall problems. Each enemy is dropped into the environment just like the player is so it responds to other enemies creating very realistic team-based A.I. The ability for the enemy to have to recognize and respond to the environment allows the player to feel like he/she is fighting real humans. Another interesting feature is the way the A.I. responds to the sounds of the player. This provides for very careful walks through noisy plants and forests plus the tendency to try and stealth attack a guard instead of firing your rocket launcher. FarCry's A.I. was very well thought-out and is way above par for not only FPS games, but games in general.
The sound in FarCry isn't as great as the rest of the engine, but the environmental noises help make the experience feel even more realistic. As I mentioned enemies respond to the sound you create allowing for more strategic gameplay. The foliage, weapons, vehicles, and explosions all sound as viscous or as realistic as they should. Accomplishing the job of adding to the realism of the game engine the sound is an overall success, but is unfortunately overshadowed by the other great parts of the game.
The physics in the CryEngine go way beyond being just good. The development team did the smart thing of integrating the full physics system into the game allowing for its true power to be witnessed. Supporting character-inverse-kinematics, vehicle physics, rigid body physics, rag-doll, liquid, cloth and soft-body effects the engine covers all of the popular physics techniques being used in games today. The character-inverse-kinematics allow for more realistic animations of character models by being able to move one part of the character-model and having the rest realistically follow. The rigid-body and rag-doll physics provide interesting death sequences with enemies hanging off cliffs, ledges, and stairs. From barrels to bodies the physics engine allows you to control it all.
The game engine has built-in rendering paths for both OpenGL and DirectX 8/9 allowing support for Linux, Apple, and Microsoft operating systems. The various rendering paths also allow for more hardware to be supported by the engine.
Hopefully, this review gave you insight on how the guys at Crytek achieve such wonderful achievements. The sequel to the first FarCry is in the works and new additions are being added to the previous engine to achieve almost Doom 3 quality indoor scenes. Check out the trailer and non-playable demo at ATI.com
The best engine. No other engine have the same quality as Cryengine. That´s why it´s so expensive. I don´t need to make any comments... It speaks for itself... We love it!
A different approach of review now, since we´re dealing with a PRO engine, I assume that you are a highly experienced programmer with a extreme know-how on advanced game development. But don´t cry, if you´re still a Indie Game developer, you can play around with the Cryengine Sandbox on FarCry and MOD it.
Features: I liked Cryengine a lot because many of the features, but the one that I love for sure is the Lua Scripting, It´s our Brazilian Pride on game development, the language was made entirely on the PUC university. It features also very freaking good physics (Watch out Havok!), and realtime lightning and shadowing, those last two put the flavor on the features, shoot a lamp in FarCry and pay attention, then you´ll know what I´m talking about, It´s stunning! Polybump is great also. Well, let´s jump to the other rating, because if I continue to tell ya´ll about the features, It´ll be a hundred page review.
Ease of Use: Extremely easy to use for the advanced developers. Nice set of tools, preety damn neat and organized code, DLL´s, very modular. Scripting with Lua is easy like hell.
Stability & Performance: Well, don´t expect to develop something with this engine without a KICKASS workstation. But still, the performance and stability are the greatest things of Cryengine.
Support: For a million dollar engine, you´ll get a lot of support for CryEngine. Also, it´s very well documented. For you mortals, you should dowload the Cryengine Sandbox manual to see what I´m talking about.
Conclusion: Simply as that, Cryengine is the best PRO Commercial Engine out there.
Kind of Engine: PRO
Aimed for: Ambitious and Fearless Medium-sized companies to Big ones, Large Teams.
DO NOT INSTALL THIS IT IS A VIRUS. It stops your computer from starting thats what it did to me. PLZ DONT INSTALL THIS IT WILL STOP YOUR COMPUTER FROM STARTING.