Portraits of Crysis
Quite a few good looking games came out in 2007. Bioshock, Half-Life
2: Episode Two, Gears of war, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. But one pushed graphical
fidelity beyond anything seen up until that point (and made most
videocards beg for their life in the process). That game was Crysis,
developed by the German studio, Crytek.
At the time, it was one of the most technically complex games ever created, boasting over a million lines of code, 1 GB of texture data and 85,000 shaders. It brought a ton of great visual features to the table like, HDR lighting, full water reflections and refractions, dynamic soft shadows, a complete day and night cycle, soft particles and parallax occlusion mapping, just to name a few. There is actually more technology behind a single tree in Crysis, than the entire game engine (Cryengine 1) that ran the original Far Cry.
One thing that helped give the game even more longevity was the ability to tweak and mod almost everything in the world. Thanks to some talented and innovative modders, it lifted Crysis to even further graphical heights. One of the most notable mods was Hawkeye|Puppy’s RELI2, which is a lighting overhaul for the Time of Day system. It was so good, it got him a job at Crytek! Other fantastic mods include Rygel’s texture pack, Silent’s high-res foliage and Xzero’s pom/af shader pack. My screenshots are using a combination of all these and more (with numerous settings and texture changes over the years as well). The incredible design of Crysis’s powerful game engine, plus the communities great work, makes it one of the most gorgeous looking games ever to be released.