Crytek Interview: Ryse Son of Rome PC, Ryse 2, Resolution And More

Crytek’s Brian Chambers talks about the upcoming PC version and its various new features.

Posted By | On 09th, Oct. 2014 Under Article, Interviews


Crytek has had a rather rough year, starting with the launch of Ryse: Son of Rome on the Xbox One in November 2013. It didn’t quite live up to expectations sales-wise and its middling critical reception certainly didn’t help. Then there was the matter of financial troubles at Crytek, which eventually lead to Crytek UK employees not showing up to work due to unpaid salaries. This resulted in Homefront: The Revolution being bought out by Deep Silver which was co-publishing the game and development being taken out of Crytek’s hands. That’s not counting the numerous departures from various studios and the apparent cancellation of Ryse 2.

Regardless, the studio continues to soldier on. It’s bringing Ryse: Son of Rome to PC and boasting a fair number of graphical upgrades to justify the purchase. HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age will also be arriving in the coming months and even with all the apparent instability, senior producer Brian Chambers doesn’t sound too worried. GamingBolt recently caught up with Chambers to talk about the PC version of Ryse: Son of Rome, the chances of Ryse 2 releasing and ever arriving on the PC, and much more.

ryse son of rome

"The decision to bring Ryse to PC was logical to us, not only did it allow us to respond directly to our fans, it was an opportunity for us to show off an aspect of what CryEngine is capable of."

Rashid K. Sayed: I was under the impression that Xbox One was the only place one could play Ryse on. Can you let us know what kind of exclusivity deal did you had with Microsoft regarding Ryse?

Brian Chambers: Ryse was an Xbox One Launch title. The Ryse IP belongs to Crytek which enables us to now bring it to PC.

Rashid K. Sayed: So why is Crytek bringing Ryse on PC, as opposed to the PlayStation 4?

Brian Chambers: The game’s arrival on PC is a direct response to interest from gamers. The PC community, as well as Crytek fans reached out to us and asked for it. We also feel the growing public appetite for 4K experiences makes this the perfect moment to bring it to PC.

Rashid K. Sayed: I find the decision to PC rather interesting. Crytek had layoffs in the last few months and obviously you would want to recover some of the money back. Why not launch Ryse on PS4, a console that has apparently sold over 10 million units and is leading the new console cycle, especially with Cevat stating that they are not happy with X1 sales?

Brian Chambers: The decision to bring Ryse to PC was logical to us, not only did it allow us to respond directly to our fans, it was an opportunity for us to show off an aspect of what CryEngine is capable of. The PS4 has gained a large user base in a short time and Crytek will develop titles for it the near future, such as HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age. Currently there is no announcement regarding Ryse coming to PS4.

ryse son of rome pc

"Ryse 2 was never announced by Microsoft or Crytek and therefore we hope you'll understand that we can't comment on it."

Rashid K. Sayed: Ryse Son of Rome was and is still perhaps the best looking game on the Xbox One. What kind of graphical updates can players expect in the PC version of the game?

Brian Chambers: Thanks, we worked hard to bring players the level quality that we had on Xbox One, and we continued to push it for Ryse PC. 4K resolution support enhances textures and high-frequency shading details.

  • Higher resolution shows more of the texture details, especially on Marius, as the textures contain so much detail at the top MIP levels that it’s often not even visible on 1080p res.
  • Higher resolution also means less perceived aliasing since geometry is rasterized more accurately, pixels are smaller.

Other additions, such as super-sampling AA (SSAA), make for a very clean image with minimized shimmering

  • Unlike post processing AA or MSAA (multi-sample anti aliasing), super sampling truly shades pixels at higher resolution and then combines blocks of them into an average. This produces a kind of aliasing that is hard to beat with other methods since the high resolution image information is not visible.

Native desktop resolution UI support in full-screen means the UI always looks crisp, even if it’s run in lower resolution for performance reasons

  • Desktop resolution is usually the highest resolution any display supports and thus gives a clear and sharp image. However, games often cannot run at these resolutions at full details.
  • Native resolution provides a compromise in that it allows the game to render the 3d world at a lower (user configurable) resolution if desired. The resulting image is then up-scaled to desktop resolution and UI rendered on top. This provides crisp UI on top of a smooth gameplay experience.

Rashid K. Sayed: Is there any scope for Ryse 2 in the future? And will you consider the PS4 this time around?

Brian Chambers: We do get asked this question frequently, Ryse 2 was never announced by Microsoft or Crytek and therefore we hope you’ll understand that we can’t comment on it.

Rashid K. Sayed: Crytek famously stated last year that the new console cycle is not about resolution. Now that Ryse Son of Rome will be supporting 4K on PC, will you guys still hold on to that statement?

Brian Chambers: It’s unfair in my opinion to compare consoles with PC hardware. A console, regardless of how powerful it is, will have limitations that the user won’t be able to modify. PC hardware on the other hand can be as simple or powerful as the user chooses to build it out.

ryse son of rome pc

"There are several new engine features that made it into the Ryse PC version. We added support for up-scaling the scene to the native monitor resolution and provide the option to render with super-sampling. "

Rashid K. Sayed: Are there plans to use AMD or Nvidia specific features for Ryse Son of Rome on PC?

Brian Chambers: Currently there are no plans for any specific features.

Rashid K. Sayed: How difficult was the process of porting the X1 version to the PC? Were you able to use some of Xbox One’s CPU specific optimizations for the PC version?

Brian Chambers: During development of Ryse on console, we always had a version running on PC. The main work for the PC release was adding backend support and adjusting the engine to run well on the many diverse hardware configurations (multi-GPU setups, systems with less VRAM than Xbox, etc.). Most of the general engine optimizations we did back then for the Xbox One version are valid for PC as well.

Rashid K. Sayed: CryEngine must have undergone several iterations since Ryse’s release last year. Are those changes going to affect the PC version? Can you outline them?

Brian Chambers: There are several new engine features that made it into the Ryse PC version. We added support for up-scaling the scene to the native monitor resolution and provide the option to render with super-sampling. We also further improved our temporal AA solution for Ryse PC and increased the shadow quality.

Rashid K. Sayed: Are you tweaking a few things gameplay wise?

Brian Chambers: The core gameplay experience for both single player and multiplayer will remain as they were for the console release. All the efforts for the PC version were made on the technical side.

Rashid K. Sayed: With Ryse, you are once again planning to set new benchmarks for visuals on PC. What steps are you taking to heavily optimize the game? I am sure you don’t want a repeat of the original Crysis situation.

Brian Chambers: I think Ryse PC will set a new benchmark for PC’s, rest assured that players will find that they will be able to control their settings and still have a solid experience with a very achievable minimum specification machine.

ryse son of rome pc

" The team is extremely pleased with the work that’s gone into Ryse; we’ve technically pushed ourselves in numerous different ways."

Rashid K. Sayed: Are there plans to support UGC and mod kits for Ryse?

Brian Chambers: I’m a fan of UGC and mod’s in general, but there’s currently no plan for either with this release.

Rashid K. Sayed: Ryse Son of Rome was locked at 30fps on the Xbox One. With PC, users can shoot for 60fps. What kind of advantages do you think this will bring to the overall experience?

Brian Chambers: Combat games at 60fps are a different experience, and usually preferred for the hardcore enthusiast over 30fps. The game was created for 30fps and plays solid, but I’m glad that we can now let people play at 60fps if they have the hardware to support it. Playing back more frames creates a different visual feel; you should definitely give it a go.

Rashid K. Sayed: Is there anything else you want to tell us before we take off?

Brian Chambers: The team is extremely pleased with the work that’s gone into Ryse; we’ve technically pushed ourselves in numerous different ways. To be able to pick up what we did on console and now have it running in 4k on the PC is pretty cool; you really should find the opportunity to play Ryse PC to see for yourselves.


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  • Illusive Man

    PS4 fanboy asking questions. Can’t even try to hide your bias. Shameful.

    • Guest

      $ 0 N ¥ P A U P E R Station desperation is so delicious isn’t it? It’s great to see those delicious tears of theirs.

    • Lacerz

      All a “desperate” PS4 owner has to do is have a PC to play X1 games.

    • spideynut71

      Oh, you mean like Outlast, Daylight, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, No Man’s Sky, H1Z1, The Witness, DayZ, SOMA, Don’t Starve, PlanetSide 2, SNOW, War Thunder, Secret Ponchos….and a shlt-ton of indie garbage that’s readily available on steam?

      Yeah….the PS4 is no better, kiddo. At least X1 get’s it’s console exclusives FIRST, instead of getting sloppy 2nds, months, or a year later than the PC release.

    • Lacerz

      No, I mean like Ryse, Titanfall, Dead Rising 3… all the Xbox One “exclusives”. Knack, Killzone, inFamous, Driveclub will never be on anything but a PS4.

      Don’t be bitter that the Xbox One is pointless. It’s okay.

    • spideynut71

      Son, I’m not bitter…I game primarily on my PC, while my PS4 and X1 collect dust, along with my PS3 and 360. I’m merely pointing out facts, which your small mind obviously cannot comprehend. I’m sorry if I confused you.

    • Lacerz

      If you game on your PC, why did you waste money on an Xbox One? Son, that’s stupid. I guess it’s true what they say about a fool and their money.

    • spideynut71

      I’ve got money to burn, kiddo…perks of being a retired adult. Besides, just like with the PS4, there will be some select, TRUE, exclusives that I’ll want to play…like Halo, FH2, Sunset OD…that MS won’t publish on Windows. And lol at you calling me “son”….that’s so cute.

    • Lacerz

      I do too kid. Perks of working in oil and gas. I just don’t waste money like a simpleton. Enjoy retirement. Your social security fixed income will suit you well.

    • spideynut71

      I’m 43, so I’m a long way off from qualifying…likely will never see S.S. anyway, at the rate things are going. I’m perfectly self-sufficient, through smart investing, as I’ve been since age 16.

  • Psionicinversion

    Ryse would only look marginally better on PS4, needs to be on PC for it to be a true graphical benchmark

    • Spencer

      Yeah it would basically be the same as Xbone version but at 1080p

    • Mark

      I thought I saw him say “Marginal”.

  • iMan Vious

    sounds like Microsoft still has a say about the game since the guy said Microsoft or crytek hasn’t announced anything about the game yet.
    if it was only crytek I don’t think he would’ve said anything about Microsoft and the game since he was asked about the crytek releasing on the PS4.

    • Mark

      Yeah I don’t think CryTek would pass up a PS4 port just because PS4 owners didn’t sign petitions for it. It is still their IP, but jugding how vague Phil has been on the Tomb Raider deal, all of the little details won’t always be made known to us. Phil has even commented about RotTR saying, “I won’t fund developement of a game that’s going to our rival platform”, hence, PC is their platform, PS4 isn’t.

      But I’ll say this, I do think there’s a fair shot the PS4 gets Ryse 2 with X1, considering the original’s mediocre sales. I feel Microsoft and Sony will fund a 3rd party game, see how it does, and either fall back or re-up. Tomb Raider is HUGE news for next year. Will be so fun to see who gets the better game out and more sales between RottR and UC4………advantage Drake. But Lara should amaze X1 owners………besides, they’re bringing the TOMBS back! Can’t wait to get back to exploration and puzzle solving.

  • GHz

    Great interview Ravi. It was straight up and no nonsense. 😀

    You need a Radeon R9 290 into our Core i7 3770K PC overclocked to 4.3GHz, if you want Ryse to render beautifully at native 1080p. What Digital Foundry discovered when running the PC game in a side comparison to the XB1 ver., they needed to move to 2560×1440 and 4K to see a truly game-changing difference – and that requires some serious GPU power.

    Remember when Crytek said, that they could’ve went the 1080p route on the XB1 but decided to improve upon the overall look of the game? They instead improved on the quality of pixels using a variety of modern techniques. The result was better looking game. So now we get the proof. 1080p on the PC brought about diminishing returns. So what DF discovered was that the overall look and feel of the Xbox One version of the game is a very close approximation of the top-end settings on PC, and that for the most part, major rendering components
    appear closely matched with PC improvements brought about mainly through sheer computational brute force.

    This left DF with the impression suggesting that the PC version of Ryse is all about making the most of the existing work Crytek created for the Xbox One game – any nips and tucks are ironed out, resolution and performance is customizable, and so they fundamentally suspected that the same raw materials are at play. The
    conclusion they thought, if you want the most out of the PC ver. Of Ryse, you’re going to need exceptional hardware. DF said not even the R9 290 was able to do the forest scene w/o problems and the GTX 980 could not sustain 1080p60 at the
    highest presets. In the end they discovered that Xbox One does indeed appear to
    match the top-end PC experience.

    Remember when Guerilla Games 1st saw the game, they didn’t believe it when Crytek told them that it was running on an XB1 and so they asked for proof?

    Keeping in mind that they are still optimizing the game for PC and definitely in the end offer a superior experience, it is quite something to know that a GTX 980 in
    combination with a 4.3GHz Core i7 isn’t consistently blitzing this game at
    1080p60. Not bad for an XB1 launch title created with a Bloated API and bad
    graphic drivers. Imagine what Crytek can do today on the XB1 since the drivers
    are better.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-hands-on-with-ryse-pc

    • Mark

      I know dude. That 4A Games interview with Oles opened my eyes a bit more on why the X1 is really meant to use DX12. Dude said DX11 is a “flop” lol. Super anxious to see RottR and Halo 5……….ScaleBound the runner up!

  • S-L Million

    Lol honestly u can tell he wanted so bad on ps4. If it was Sony pony fans n yes this means u if u took that personal say they want order 1886 n bloodbourne if this was on ps4 n not on Xbox one they would say it was 10/10 great game great game.


 

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