Earlier this month, we posted Crysis 3’s official requirements. As those requirements suggested, Crysis 3 was planned to be a DX11-only title, something that was hinted by the game’s alpha beta stress test. However, and since Crytek did not officially comment on them, a lot of PC gamers believed that DX10 could be supported by the DX11 renderer, something that is happening in a lot of games. Unfortunately for those hoping for something like that, Crytek’s CEO Cevat Yerli revealed that Crysis 3 will be a DX11-only title.
This was unveiled in an interview with GameTrailers. Yerli tried to explain this by saying that the company wanted to approach PC gamers the same way they did with the first Crysis game. However – and despite Yerli throwing lots of DX11 techniques – Crytek’s CEO failed to explain why the PC version does not support any other API. Let’s not forget that a console version will be released alongside the PC version, meaning that this is not a true DX11 title, built from the scratch to take advantage of it. And we all know that current-generation consoles do not support DX11, so what is Crytek’s excuse?
But let’s get back on GameTrailers’ interview. Yerli said that in order to melt PCs and set a new graphical benchmark on the PC platform, Crytek decided to not support any other API than DX11. According to Yerli, DX11 offers tessellation, more advanced shading, reflections quality, improved ambient occlusion and hundred of things that push the visual experience forward.
Yerli then said that Crytek’s key goal was not just to add all the latest graphical featres just for the sake of it, but rather create the most intense sandbox experience players can have. Yerli also added that tall grown grass is quite demanding and that Crytek had to resolve into clever coding in order to achieve something like what we’ve seen in the ‘The Fields’ trailer, where grass is bendable.
Ironically, though, Yerli has failed to explain why the game does not fall back on DX10 as its a title that will get released on consoles too. What’s really funny is that this approach – of supporting only DX11 – seems more like a gimmick. Do not misunderstand this claim; there is definitely a performance gap between DX9 and DX11, however we can’t see why there isn’t any support of the ‘console’ renderer for those with DX9 or DX10 cards, cards that are already more powerful than the GPUs found inside X360 and PS3.
Not only that, but most PC gamers remember how gimmick-y DX10 was in the first Crysis game. Back in 2007, PC gamers found a way to enable – almost – every DX10 effect in DX9. Sun-shafts, POM, ambient occlusion and wind effects were some of those features that worked wonderfully under DX9, despite Crytek’s attempt to lock them. Given the fact that Crysis 3 runs on consoles, we can’t see why Crytek is unable lock DX11-only features (side note: by locking DX11-only features we mean tessellation, a technique that is not supported in both DX9 or DX10, and not higher quality ambient occlusion, soft-particles or POM that are perfectly supported by those APIs) and let the game run on DX10 hardware via this DX11 renderer, something that most developers do these days.
All in all, Yerli has failed to explain why Crysis 3 is DX11-only. Yes, Crysis 3 will be a beauty to behold on the PC. However, one of the biggest features of CryEngine 3 is its multiplatform development, meaning that developers can create a level and see it running on all three platforms simultaneously. And since consoles can run Crysis 3, we find it hard to believe that DX9 or DX10 cards cannot.
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards."