Crysis 2's 3D tech is unbelievable

Somehow, through technical sorcery by the hands of Crytek’s super-nerds, Crysis 2 is not only possibly the most amazing-looking console game ever, but it even does so without creating a reality-sucking singularity inside your PS3 or 360. It looks even better on PC, but whether it will stutter like Colin Firth depends on your machine’s muscle. We’ve played all three versions of the game, but it’s hard to say how the average PC will handle it since we played on a mysteriously-specced mega-machine, but wow was it crisp and luscious. So Cryisis 2, any way you play it, looks stunning in 2D. But hold your nanosuit-clad horses, because Crytek’s “how the heck did they do that” CryEngine 3 also pulls off 3D so near-flawlessly we still can’t believe it works the way it does.

Above: Ze goggles, zey do... something

How do we know this for sure? We have played through roughly 90% of the game in 3D on the 360. Our review won’t be up until Tuesday, but for now we just wanted to share how this may just be the best 3D tech we’ve seen on any game. Yes, the 3D requires a compatible TV, but surprisingly it doesn’t require those expensive active-shutter glasses. We wore crummy-old plastic polarized glasses, and after a comparison assessment, we think Crysis 2’s 3D is miles ahead of Killzone 3’s – even with Killzone using those fancy-pants active-shutter glasses. With Killzone we noticed some significant jaggies that don’t seem to synch well with the 3D, as well as some not-insignificant ghostly double images around much of the environment. It also hurt our eyes something fierce after only a couple of minutes.

With Crysis 2, while the 3D isn’t utterly free of flicker or a slightly darkened screen, the effect is much, much cleaner. We were able to play the game continuously for hours with only slight eye discomfort (of course this will vary from person to person). The shocking thing is that the game seems to suffer next to zero image or framerate degradation. If it’s there, we couldn’t detect it. So you can see why we’re in disbelief: Crysis 2, running on a 360, with a smooth framerate, in 3D, with the same (as far as we could see) graphical fidelity as 2D. It’s astonishing. During the brief parts of the campaign that we played in 2D, we found ourselves jonesing to put it back in 3D like some heroin addict that needs to inject Horse straight into his eyeballs.

Above: The sense that your gun is floating in front of you is uncanny, and the depth going back into the screen is enormous. If you want to picture what this looks like in 3D without the glasses on, take a shot of Jager, punch yourself in the temple and squint

So there you have it: the game looks unbelievable – whether in 2D, 3D, or any platform of your choice. Is the game good? You’ll have to wait until Tuesday for our review.

Mar 18, 2011


  • RotBot - March 25, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    I have to agree that this article is incredibly misleading. Why is the better experience of playing Crysis 2 on a 3DTV that uses polarized glasses compared to the experience of playing Killzone 3 on a different 3DTV that uses active shutter glasses being attributed to the game and not the TV? Shouldn't you be playing both games on the same TV if you're going to make that comparison? I assume you were playing on one of the new Vizio or LG passive sets. While the glasses are significantly cheaper, the passive TVs themselves are currently more expensive than those that use active shutter glasses, so simply comparing the cost of the glasses without factoring the cost of the TV doesn't help the readers. The lack of eye discomfort, ghosting, and framerate degradation can also be attributed mostly to the 2D to 3D conversion method Crysis 2 uses, as explained in the DigitalFoundry article. The effect may be easier on the eyes, but someone who wants a true 3D experience will see it as a negative.
  • newgames128 - March 25, 2011 1:28 a.m.

    It's not true stereoscopic 3D though- Hence the reason GamesRadar was able to play it without those fancy-pants active shutter glasses. Maybe it looks better than Killzone 3's 3D, but to say it's "miles ahead" is deceiving seeing as how it needs to be faked to get there.
  • foo - March 23, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    Wow Matt Keast. Are you the world's least tech-savvy video game reviewer? Your article makes it sound like even if you have a common 3D TV with active shutter glasses, that you can play Crysis 2 with better quality 3D when using passive glasses. Don't write articles on technology you aren't smart enough to understand. I wonder if all your articles are this stupid.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - March 21, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    Yes, you need a 3D TV for it. Yes, I know that it can also be watched with active shutter glasses - my point was simply that it looked great with the cheapo polarized glasses I had on hand.
  • Rotten2dcore - March 20, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    OHH thank you for clearing that up
  • Traymaster - March 20, 2011 2:54 a.m.

    @newgames128 and Rotten2dcore: 1. You are able to use a tv with shutter glasses for playing Crysis 2. 2. It isnt analglyph 3D. 3. The GR Team played Crysis 2 on a tv with Polarization 3D, this is the technology used for 3D movies you watch at the Movie theater these days.
  • Rotten2dcore - March 20, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    my point exactly i bought my tv so that i could play games with those glasses because that is the best 3d exsperience out there, i don`t know if i want this game now..
  • newgames128 - March 19, 2011 8:04 p.m.

    "Yes, the 3D requires a compatible TV, but surprisingly it doesn’t require those expensive active-shutter glasses. We wore crummy-old plastic polarized glasses..." Uh, if it doesn't require "those expensive active-shutter glasses", that means it's not actually digital 3D playback. Nothing impressive about Crytek using anaglyph 3D.
  • Rotten2dcore - March 19, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    I have a Sony Bravia 3D tv and a pair of shutter glasses will i be able to use those glasses with this game?
  • Balaska - March 19, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    @Vitreosity, nVidea have been doing 3D drivers and 3D tech for about 5 years now, yeah there are plenty of 3D screens for the PC, long before Sony jumped on the crappy glasses bandwagon.
  • Kage_No_Shi - March 19, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    Hoping the PC 3D Vision will be really good as well, and also suffer little in the way of frame drops. I've been playing the Crysis 2 Multiplayer demo with just one card (Haven't updated my drivers yet ~_~), and it's still very smooth, so I can imagine I'll be able to play in 3D with similarly smooth experience, once I get around to updating my drivers and SLI profile.
  • Cleanser247 - March 19, 2011 6:21 a.m.

    Looks beautiful!
  • reaperman22 - March 19, 2011 5:11 a.m.

    i was playing the demo in 3d on the ps3 before they took it down and i have to agree with you, it was probably the best looking 3d game i have played so far
  • conn30r - March 19, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    I remember playing the demo for 3D at PAX East. It was great.
  • darnell7979 - March 19, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    I played MW2 in suedo 3D at a friends house and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a cool toy, but not worth the costs just to go 3D.(TV and receiver in my case) Plus those glasses start to hurt my cranium after awhile:(
  • D0CCON - March 19, 2011 2:39 a.m.

    Surprise surprise, the best looking game out there looks best, even in 3D. I'm still not going to get a 3DTV, it's basically a really expensive gimmick, but it's nice to see Crytek's still got it.
  • Vitreosity - March 19, 2011 2:30 a.m.

    There was an option for 3D on the PC demo, as well. Is there 3D PC monitors out there?
  • Galgomite - March 19, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    jhabb007 I think you've got it right. Vizio, and I think Samsung is coming out with them. Odd thing is, I never heard a positive analysis of those TVs... everything I read said they halve the resolution to accomplish the effect and are inferior to those awful shutter glasses.. So what's the deal, GR? Care to elaborate?
  • jhab007 - March 19, 2011 1:52 a.m.

    sorry. Again :P The 3D TV where you are playing crysis doesnt need the expensive glasses because the TV is made that way, you just need a pair of polarized glasses. They are a different kind of 3d TV's Its not the game that offers that option. Is what I know, if I am wrong please tell me so. --Should be an edit button :p

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