The latest engine from Crytek looks so pretty you might just cry.

By Jason Venter | 08-10-2012 | 4:30PM

Crytek has released a new tech trailer showcasing in-game footage captured from Crysis 3. The video is a treat both because it provides a fresh glimpse at an eagerly-anticipated game, and because it demonstrates so effectively the sort of projects that a capable team can produce when utilizing the CryEngine 3. The fact that everything looks so pretty is just a welcome bonus for those of us without a budget or design chops.

The trailer begins with a view of a future cityscape. What once was a dam is now a mere wall. Beyond it, the remnants of towering skyscrapers stretch upward like shattered bones, choked by moss and mist. In the foreground, a bird sits perched atop a wooden gate.

The trailer cuts to new environments, additional scenes where nature has taken over mankind’s finest architecture. Yet man is not gone entirely. An armored guard patrols, a lone sentry in a lush world that bears little resemblance to the prospering city that once would have surrounded him. Where previously there might have been smoothed walls of concrete and stone, there now are waterfalls and foliage.

From there, the video rushes through a list of features. Real-time volumetric cloud shadows, pixel accurate displacement mapping, tessellated vegetation, Dynamic Water Volume Caustics, Integrated Cloth & Vegetation Simulation, Top Secret Tessellated Toad Tech… Those are merely a few of the phrases you’ll see if you watch the video, but it’s difficult to pay much attention to them because they’re accompanied by beautiful footage that makes the world of Crysis 3 as beautiful as it is haunting. Nature and technology are both presented with spectacular attention to detail. As a helicopter lands, ferns and grass sway beneath the rushing air. A toad leaps from a river bank and his flabby skin shifts in slow-motion.

The environments in Crysis 3 are beautiful. There’s no doubt about that. If similarly detailed environments make their way to Crytek’s free-to-play projects in the future, the results would have the potential to change the face of gaming.

As for Crysis 3, the title is scheduled to arrive in February of 2013 and you can pre-order it right now. After watching the video, you’ll likely be tempted to do precisely that.

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