Most of us here at IGN remember seeing the original Crytek engine for the first time. Not only were we blown away by the incredible visuals, we were also impressed with the convenient and intuitive tool system. And every time we get a look at the even more beautiful, even more flexible Cry Engine 2, we have to ask ourselves, "Why aren't these guys licensing this stuff?" Well, we can stop asking. CryTek is out at GDC showing off their latest engine and offering other developers the chance to use it for their own projects.
The new engine is freaking incredible. If you were awed by the one kilometer view distances in the original Far Cry, you'll be blown away by the 16 kilometer views in this version. Wispy, moving clouds and time of day lighting models give just as much realism to the sky as the brilliant vegetation and ground textures do to the land around. A wide range of pre-defined and contextual break points combine with a full physics system to let you demolish pretty much everything you see. Dynamic, real time shadows lend an air of realism to everything you see while motion blur and depth of field effects soften the crisp lines that tend to make most games seem a bit fake. Full on facial animation and motion blending give the characters some of the most lifelike and natural movements we've ever seen.