The latest release for Crytek’s CryENGINE, which is now at version 3.4, brings with it a look at what the future of gaming might be. While a lot of what makes this graphics engine pleasing to the eye is easiest explained through technical jargon, I’ll try and keep things as straightforward as I can. Basically, what the engine is bringing with it in the next update is a lot of features to make 3D objects render much more realistically than what we’ve seen previously, including human faces, which should now look extremely good even close up. I’ll throw up a list of what the engine is really doing differently, but if you’d rather see for yourself, just scroll down and check out the short demo video that Crytek has released.

Features (Straight from Crytek’s website):

  • Revamped DirectX 11 Tessellation

DX11 support and tessellation has come a long way since Crysis 2. Phong, PN triangles and displacement maps, along with no need for pre-tessellated assets, makes CryENGINE’s DX11 support among the best in the industry.

  • Multi-layer Navigation Mesh

The multi-layer navigation is a powerful new and easy-to-use navigation system that AI agents utilize to path-find through game maps.

  • Improved Skin Rendering and Eye Shader

New scattering approach gives more realistic rendering with fewer artifacts. New settings, checkboxes and sliders for things like oiliness, iris control, colors, pupil dilatation, tessellation and parallax support make CryENGINE character rendering more advanced and customizable than ever before.

  • Advanced/Improved/Extended Glass Shader

The glass shader is a specialized tool for rendering glass-based surfaces. It can represent a wide range of glass types, including regular windows, stained glass, leaded glass, beveled glass, some crystal types and some types of transparent plastics as well. The improved glass shader now also boasts features such as a dirt layer designed to produce extremely realistic-looking glass surfaces complete with dust and dirt, differential fog and refraction blur.

 

And, as promised, the short demo video, giving a visual representation of the new features:

Oh, but I forgot about the best part. For anyone who wants to give CryENGINE 3 a try, the download is free from Crytek’s website. If you’re looking to wet your toes in the game design business, this might be your best bet.