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Crysis 3: Why The Visuals Matter

/ Feb 12th, 2013 2 Comments

Crysis 3
Crysis 3

I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Crisis heavily relies on it’s stunning graphics

“But can it run Crysis?” has been an internet slogan for all PC gamers since Crytek released the technologically demanding and system destroying first-person shooter in 2007. On Feb 19, gamers may relive that burning question with the release of Crysis 3. Crytek’s CEO Caveat Yerli even went as far as stating that Crysis 3 would melt gamers’ PCs. With much excitement and anticipation for this melting of silicon, message boards are bound to explode with non-stop compatibility questions and frame per second debates. These kinds of discussions alongside Crytek’s reputation for pushing the envelope in terms of graphics and hardware reverberate within the community. So it’s not hard to argue what the Crysis series means to PC gamers. It doesn’t matter if the gameplay is not enjoyable, (which it is) Crysis 3′s impact in the industry will be felt based solely on its graphical merit.

A game like Crysis 3 is what excites the PC gamer base the most. Gaming computers are not wallet friendly, and those with the highest of the high end components easily sink more than $1000 into them. Games are mostly console ports and as such, are developed with the dated technology inside the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. So when a game like Crysis comes around, PC gamers are ecstatic that they can finally take their expensive systems for a nice walk. Even if the game fails to run smoothly on the system, it is considered a success. Crysis 2, despite being a good looking game, caught flak with the PC community since it was built to be friendly with consoles. So when computers did not outright explode once launched, PC gamers felt cheated. Crytek took notice and is now aiming to return to their roots and demand high-end hardware.

Whereas Call of Duty is the measuring stick when it comes to multiplayer online gameplay thanks to its exhaustive ranking system and well-worn formula, Crysis 3 is the analogue when it comes to what a shooter can and should look like. If sneaking around densely packed foliage in post-apocalyptic New York with blades of grass whipping along to the wind isn’t enough for sensory overload, then frenetic fire fights amidst crumbling set pieces against a backdrop of screen shaking explosions should do the trick. The visual shock that the Crysis series does to gamers cannot be argued against. This alone is why every developer in the industry takes note since games like these raise expectations for how their games should look.

Crysis 3 Preview

Crysis 3

Another reason why the newest Crysis will affect the industry is the rise of mobile gaming in smartphones and tablets. Many companies, such as Nvidia and its Tegra 4 processor, have shifted their gaze towards the mobile market since that is where all the consumers are going. It is also attractive for developers to create games for these smaller platforms since securing enormous budgets that games like Mass Effect 3 command is simply not possible. If the gaming industry becomes too focused on developing for the booming handheld market, it wouldn’t bode so well for gamers and developers of triple-A titles. So this is where a game like Crysis 3 is needed. It reminds gamers of what experiences can and cannot be had on handheld devices. A game like Crysis 3 recreates the buzz that gamers die for by stating, “Dude, have you seen this game?”

The stigma that surrounds the Crysis series will always be about how amazing the visuals are. Crysis and Crysis 2 were well received and early indicators seem to put Crysis 3 in the same regard. No gamer really expects Crysis 3 to reinvent the FPS genre in terms of gameplay. But it doesn’t have to do so. However, they do expect Crytek to deliver cutting edge visuals that accentuate the overall experience. If there is no one willing to push the gaming medium further in this direction, it would be hard to imagine living in a world where every shooter released strives to remain on par with Call of Duty-like visuals. Competition in the hostile first-person shooter landscape pushed Crytek to distinguish themselves from all the others. In this case, Crytek is pushing the industry to come along with them.

Mark Gonzales

Mark Gonzales

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Mark is a contributor to Gaming Illustrated and part of the editorial team. He always has had an intense love for gaming and of the spoken word. During conversations, he is known to create elaborate anecdotal references to popular 90's phrases with varying levels of success.
Mark Gonzales
Mark Gonzales

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  • campdude

    I’ve always favoured the Far Cry series since Far Cry 2 was better optimized (more fps) than Crysis 1. Crysis 2 came out and I was not happy with its console favouritism. So I never got into the Crysis series. Far Cry 3 looks like it was a killer on the Graphics cards at 1080 p and 4xmsaa. Is this slow performance justified?

    BF3 was graphical and optimized at launch… But I cant find an in-depth comparison of FC3 with BF3 graphically. I’m guessing FC3 must be better..so the lost in performance should be justified…

    But this time around Far Cry 3 was released before Crysis 3. So how much better will Crysis 3 “preform” (fps wise). Kindof interesting since they said it will “melt” the pc. Only time will tell.

    All I know is, the only reason I am questioning this stuff is because of other games that were poor “preforming” console ports. They kind of wrecked the reputation of PC games. Now these games have to fight to prove that they are not console ports. Or maybe the “good optimized” games are the ones to blame. If we didn’t know any better then they all could be poor…. no someone has to prove them all wrong… oh wait im off topic.

  • Mark Gonzales

    I do agree, BF3 had great gameplay during its open beta phase. Crysis 3 has been good so far in multiplayer as well but cranking up the visuals does cause a performance hit.

    Sadly, Grand Theft Auto 4 definitely sticks out since it leaves a sour taste for PC gamers and console ports since it really struggles on PC.

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