Crysis 3 PC Technical Review



Product: Crysis 3
Company: EA
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Eric Amidon
Date: February 26th, 2013

Graphics options, visuals, performance

Graphics options

Crysis 2 inititally suffered from an almost complete lack of graphics options, with players only able to choose from different presets to suit their needs. This issue was quickly remedied by fans who offered up configuration tools that exposed the various options hidden within the code, and later in an official capacity by developer Crytek themselves, after hearing the outcry.

And so, it's good to see Crysis 3 avoids the whole conflict entirely by offering up an impressive 15 graphics options, ranging from basics like V-Sync to Particles to Shadows to Water to Motion Blur, and more. Especially worth noting is the included 10 varieties of anti-aliasing - among them the ever-efficient SMAA and FXAA, plus the standard MSAA, and then TXAA for NVIDIA users.

If you're still not satisfied, an official configuration tool is available here, which offers the ability to change Field of View, SSAO methods, and tons more.

Visuals

As you'd expect from a Crytek game, the visuals are of extremely high quality, and stand among the best PC has to offer. While not a massive jump over Crysis 2, there is a definitive increase in fidelity enthusiasts will appreciate, thanks in part to effects like HDR, advanced shadowing, bokeh depth of field, screen space directional occlusion, and more.

As far as I can see, textures are all top notch, with no random blurry low-quality surfaces to be found anywhere; particle effects, lighting, and shadows are all very strong and combine at some points to produce very immersive scenes, and smaller details like blades of grass are commendably impressive and do more than you'd think to add to the experience.

Performance

In single player, Very High settings -- with SMAA set to Low -- produces framerates frequently around 40, and enough high latency frames to impact smoothness significantly. It's doable if you demand the best possible visuals, but not recommended unless you have the highest end single GPU possible, or a multi-GPU setup. Dropping down to High provides a major boost in performance, with framerates typically found above 60, and gameplay feeling mostly smooth.

Using the OCZ Agility 3 as an SSD cache, load times in single player average around 10 seconds the first time around, and are virtually non-existent upon reloading saves.

Contrary to the norm, multiplayer performance is significantly better than in single player, frequently found around the 50-60fps range on Very High, with not much stuttering to be seen. As such, Very High offers a nice balance between visuals and performance, though of course those who demand constant maximum framerates can drop down a setting or two (or tweak individual settings).

SSD caching appears to have little effect on map load times in multiplayer even after multiple loads, times are still more or less about 15 seconds.