Crysis 2: Everything about DirectX 11, 3D without perfomance-drop and 8-core-optimization
At the Gamescom 2010 PC Games Hardware was given the oportunity of gathering detailed information on the CryEngine 3 which will be used in Crysis 2: DirectX 11 including compute shader and tessellation, multicore-rendering, stereoscopic 3D, cineastic effects und more.
Please keep in mind: The details following details are referring to the CryEngine 3 (CE3) in general and can't necessarily be linked with Crysis 2!
At the gamescom 2010, Crytek's field applications engineer Sean Tracy showed to PC Games Hardware a live demonstration of the CryEngine 3 in stereoscopic 3D. Of course in real time ("What You See Is What You Play") within the poweful editor Sandbox 3. Instead of rendering each picture twice (half the framerate!) and projecting it on a dedicated 120 Hz LCD monitor, Crytek simply uses the back buffer and the depth information in the graphics card: The renderred frame is practically being cloned and the fractum shift procedure makes two out of it. Thus, on the one hand there is nearly no performance drop and on the other hand stereoscopic 3D might be possible on any display - no matter if it's on PC or consoles. Crytek calls this technology "Screen Space Re-Projection Stereo".
Crysis 2: Technological fireworks
On an XBOX 360 or a PS3, Crysis 2 runs at 1.280 x 720 (720p) without anti aliasing with 30 fps (vertically synchronised; wether double or triple buffering was enabled Sean couldn't tell us). The CryEngine-3-maxim corresponds with what John Carmack said about the id-tech-5-engine (rage): Due to the consoles the engineers had to massively optimize the engine. Deferred lighting for example demands lots of input performance but it allows displaying very many light sources plus dynamic shadows. One can also expect the CE3 to use multi-core-CPUs to full capacity. In short: At comparable graphics the game will run more smoothly than its predecessors based on the CE2. The presentation was done on a Core-i7-920 with 6 GiByte RAM and a Geforce GTX 260 with DirectX 9. As far as we've seen it, the demonstration ran smoothly - despite some toying around with the effects in the Sandbox 3.
So, Sean showed to us the implementation of many light sources in deferred lighting plus real time shadows, particles, the AI, the reengineered physics and some other cool features such as the scripting system. As already mentioned, the demonstration ran on DirectX 9. But the Cryengine 3 also packs DirectX 10 and 11and in a few months it will be delivered to the first licencees. The most important feature are the compute shaders who will accelerate computing deferred lighting and post effects. The engineers are still experimenting on tessellation but we expect it to be seen in Crysis 2.
Crysis 2: Up to 8 CPU-Cores can be used
When it comes to cinematic effects, the CE3 includes everything there is: ambient occlusion, depth of field, (object) motion blur, even the bokeh filter. In addition it is highly optimized for multi core systems: rendering, audio, AI, physics and so on are parallelised and accelerate the game - up to eight cores would be used. Sean assured us, that the Cryengine 3 would render nearly twice as many fps as the CE2 at comparable graphics quality.
The PC-Version will probably support Multi-Sampling-AA as well as the so called Morphological Anti-Aliasing. When we asked if the textures would have a higher resolution, Sean shrugged - which can be interpreted as a "yes".
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