Crysis 2's 3D tech is unbelievable

Somehow, through technical sorcery by the hands of Crytek%26rsquo;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 likeColin Firthdepends on your machine%26rsquo;s muscle. We%26rsquo;ve played all three versions of the game, but it%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;s %26ldquo;how the heck did they do that%26rdquo; CryEngine 3 also pulls off 3D so near-flawlessly we still can%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;t be up until Tuesday, but for now we just wanted to share how this may just be the best 3D tech we%26rsquo;ve seen on any game. Yes, the 3D requires a compatible TV, but surprisingly it doesn%26rsquo;t require those expensive active-shutter glasses. We wore crummy-old plastic polarized glasses, and after a comparison assessment, we think Crysis 2%26rsquo;s 3D is miles ahead of Killzone 3%26rsquo;s %26ndash; even with Killzone using those fancy-pants active-shutter glasses. With Killzone we noticed some significant jaggies that don%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;s there, we couldn%26rsquo;t detect it. So you can see why we%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;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 %26ndash; whether in 2D, 3D, or any platform of your choice. Is the game good? You%26rsquo;ll have to wait until Tuesday for our review.

Mar 18, 2011

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.