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Crytek CEO: "Graphics Drive Gameplay"

Considering the very pretty Crysis games, it's no wonder that the developer puts a premium on graphics.

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli told X360 magazine that graphics actually drive gameplay, and better visual fidelity lets developers create more realistic and engaging experiences. In other words, Yerli is railing against the theory that "graphics don't matter."

"People say that graphics don't matter, but play Crysis and tell me they don't matter. It's always been about graphics driving gameplay. Graphics, whether it's lighting or shadows, puts you in a different emotional context and drives the immersion. And immersion is effectively the number one thing we can use to help you buy into the world."

Yerli used his team's recent Crysis 3 as an example, and added that graphics actually comprise 60% of a game. That's an interesting number to choose and some may disagree, but Yerli's explanation is as follows:

"The better the graphics, the better the physics, the better the sound design, the better the technical assets and production values are--paired with the art direction, making things look spectacular and stylistic is 60 per cent of the game."

There's no doubt that saying "graphics don't matter" is incorrect. They've always mattered because this is a visual medium, and it's also true that better graphics can add to the overall immersion factor, which is a big part of interactive entertainment. But at its core, this is about interaction, not watching, which means it can't really be 60%; perhaps more like 40%.

And as for graphics driving gameplay, I'm not sure I agree with that, either. Crysis 3 looked great but the gameplay felt like a step back. Is that because the graphics took a step back? No, not really. So what do you have to say to that, Yerli?

Tags: crytek, crysis 3, video game graphics, game graphics

4/12/2013 11:27:51 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

Beamboom
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:56:17 AM
Reply

/me just points at Minecraft and shrugs


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/12/2013 11:59:05 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 1:37:25 PM

As much as I dislike Minecraft, you're absolutely correct. :) Heck, I would point to Tetris, too.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 4:19:48 PM

But would you consider those immersive experiances? They're fun - no question - but this guy's talking about graphics driving the gameplay through immersion.

We all think with images. We take information, be it sound, visuals, gameplay and/or the general feel of a game, and usually create an image in our heads. If you create a strong enough image though these senses, people can allow themselves to be immersed much better in gameplay.

This is what I think he means when he says "graphics drive gameplay", because sight is our foremost sense when creating said 'image'.

I also disagree about it being "60% of the game" however. I feel it does take precedence over many things, perhaps even gameplay (:o), but at the end of the day graphics don't make a game - they only attribute to the image.

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frylock25
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 4:50:13 PM

i dont agree. i am playing spec ops: the line right now. i love the game. i am having a blast playing it. the graphics are not the greatest in it but it doesnt make it worse for me. it is not the reason i am playing the game. the gameplay is what hooked me into it. along with the story. it helps that North is the voice actor so i may be partial to that as well. graphics make me go "ooohh" but story will entertain me or make me bored and gameplay will seal the deal or turn me away. then you also have to factor in audio and other such things. bad audio can ruin a game for me just as much as lousy graphics.

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Comic Shaman
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 11:57:22 AM
Reply

This is pretty much the kind of thinking I would expect from Crytek. I suppose somebody has to fill the niche for pushing the edge of graphical fidelity, but it's not too interesting to me personally to see what is basically a very well-rendered version of the same old shooter.

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Temjin001
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:51:09 PM
Reply

I say Yerli's sentiments should be taken with a grain of salt and acknowledged only from a narrowly focused perspective.

I decided to impulse buy Primal Carnage from Steam the other day for real cheap. The game is basically an online team based FPS. The twist however is that it's dinosaurs vs man. That's right. You can be a raptor, or flying bird dino or whatever. It's a really interesting twist on a very familiar genre. The game really doesn't look anything special but I couldn't help but feel engaged because the GAME PLAY felt unusually interesting. THere something cool about flying in and grabbing a dude in your talons and then ascending real high to drop them a few hundred feet.
Furthermore, other high profile devs, like Rockstar, placed PS4 GTA5 rumors to rest by claiming that they aren't that 'married' to the technology to do something like an HD port, suggesting that the vision they have for their project fits within the boundaries of the current gen and they just don't care enough to re-engineer it as a port for higher end hardware.

I also think, to an extent, that all of this realism in gaming begets higher production values, which in turn narrows creative freedoms. I'm sure if Primal Carnage was pitched to EA as a 'big budget' game, complete with incredible visuals the interview process would go something like this:
EA: Tell me about this game.
Primal Team: It's dinosaurs vs. man in an online FPS setting.
EA: *looks at past dinosaurs vs man sales of prior gens.... considers expense of server hosting* .... go on.
Primal Team: Well, if you're a human you can be an indian, a female sniper, a shirtless commando, and some other comical stereotype.
EA: So no military fatigues or modern warfare likenesses?
Primal Team: No. That's a bit overdone.
EA: Look guys. It sounds interesting. But it's a big business now. Big games need big audiences. You just don't have enough mass appeal to be marketable at the scale we need to be at and still be profitable.

ANyway, I'm pretty much glad we're reaching a point where graphics realism is obtainable with the sort of power we've got coming with the PS4. I now hope these more low profile devs can take their ideas and easily place the visual muscle behind them to make them a bit more identifiable in the market place going forward.

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xenris
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 4:08:07 PM

I was thinking of getting that game Temjin. Do many people play it?

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Temjin001
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 8:40:35 PM

The one time I've played, which was yesterday, I joined a fully loaded session without any hassles. Good thing too because my stats were so terrible other team members needed to pick up my slack. I had fun with the dino that spits poison in humans eyes, blinding them temporarily. I also liked the human with the net ensnare gun. You'd capture the dino in your net and then nail it while it was stuck there. Oh, and the Flame THrower guy was a lot of fun too.
It's a cool game. Nothing spectacular, just different and fun.

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deadmanwithin
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 12:57:03 PM
Reply

That is complete BS. I'd take Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, Max Payne 1 & 2, Bioshock 1&2, X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse over any Crysis any day of the week, and it certainly isn't because of the graphics. Fahrenheit has last-gen graphics and it was still much, much more interesting to be than any of Crytek's games so far. Give me better writing & gameplay over graphics and I for one will be very happy.

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Crabba
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 6:33:27 PM

All great-looking games for their time though.

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Hoagie324
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 1:14:39 PM
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I disagree big time. Sure, great graphics help add immersion to a game, but it doesn't 'make the game' like Mr. Yerli is trying to imply.

I enjoy games like Terraria, Minecraft, Retro City Rampage, etc.. with simple graphics more so than games like Crysis with amazing graphics. I do completely agree that great graphics can add immersion (look at the epic, great-looking set pieces in Uncharted, Tomb Raider, God of War) but to say that graphics are the most important thing is ignorant from a creative standpoint.

This pretty much boils down to Crytek being Crytek and opening their mouth when they shouldn't. Maybe you'll have a better game than Crysis 3 if you stopped worrying about graphics so much :)

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booze925
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 1:15:05 PM
Reply

Negative. The Walking Dead. Not very realistic, one of the best games of last year.
While it's true graphics are important, they aren't the true driving force behind a good game.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 5:23:28 PM

yup

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Knightzane
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 1:33:36 PM
Reply

And engines move cars. And guess what, not all cars are "good" This guy annoys me "Without graphics theres no game" Been playing FF6 and i can tell you now, one of the best FF's i've ever played and the graphics are horrible (to me anyway but i grew up with polygons...)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 2:34:01 PM
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Disagree. Bioshock Infinite isn't a graphics powerhouse but it's wonderful and would have been wonderful even as a downloadable title with generation old graphics and the same gameplay.

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Crabba
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 6:35:25 PM

Not sure if that's a good example considering the PC-version of Infinite is a spectacular looking game...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 7:22:59 PM

I wouldn't put it on the level of Crysis 3.

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BTNwarrior
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 3:28:10 PM
Reply

Isn't this the community that continually rips COD for not updating its engine? And isn't this the community that constantly points out how beautiful Uncharted is?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 5:23:13 PM

It's a little different, CoD commands a huge chunk of change from fans, the very least they could do is make it look halfway decent.

As for Uncharted, I think the support for that franchise here is more on the content than the graphics.

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oONewcloudOo
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 3:29:47 PM
Reply

Well I guess that's way Crysis outsells Mario /sarcasm

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xenris
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 4:12:28 PM
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I never take anything this guy says seriously. He honestly doesn't have his head on straight.

Journey certainly doesn't have the best technical graphics but it gets the job done with amazing art direction.

Now maybe this guy is be misinterpreted, because I believe artistic direction is super important but it doesn't need to have all the technical bells and whistles and physics to be appealing.

On top of all of this gameplay comes first, and graphics certainly don't drive gameplay at all. You can have styalized nice looking games that look like ps2 era games and have them still be amazing.

NIER is a perfect example of this. That game had dated graphics but a really cool style to it, amazing music and a killer story.

So in a nut shell this guy is a freaking wacko :)

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Axe99
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 7:14:36 PM

Aye, +1! Yerli's big at making grand statements, and not so great at backing them up (although at least in this case Crytek are actually good at great graphics :)). Even from his narrow perspective, the things that appeal about Crysis as a series to me are the different tactical approaches to taking on a given gameplay situation - if the graphics weren't quite as good, I'd still be happy. Hell, if I play Crysis 3 it'll be on my PS3, despite having a PC capable of better visuals, becausee I'm confident I'll enjoy it more on the Dualshock. Noting that the graphics for the Dualshock are pretty sharp, as long as your eyesight isn't going :).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 5:26:18 PM
Reply

Gameplay drives graphics methinks. The more involved (or more realistic) it is then the graphics have to keep up.

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Douchebaguette
Friday, April 12, 2013 @ 6:10:18 PM
Reply

Oh, is that why Crysis 2 & 3 were medicore? That makes sense.

In fact I find that in eras where realism wasn't hugely considered due to less evolved graphical capability, that gameplay payed attention to deliver material that could immerse the gamer in other aspects - a heavy aspect actually being the gameplay itself. But one funny thing I find is whilst graphics were never close to the real thing, nor was the action ever eyeblasting like Hollywood movies, or that music blatantly had soundcard generated instruments, I find that game developers put an effort into making all the features unique, and as a result, I still remember them to this f**king day.

And that is also why I can't remember jack all from most games that try and imitate realism (or simply put it: the games today). I know it's the path that the videogaming industry has strived for since the introduction of 3D, but we see real things everyday. We also have seen too many crappy generic action CG movies to the point that we'd heavily rather see movies with a decent plot and dialogue again (or at least a healthy mix). Gaming is the same. I find that developers such as Crytek are evolving power, but dumbing down the brain of gaming; in the end, the latter (or older games) could captivate and entrance the player much more than current videogames ever can.

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Rogueagent01
Saturday, April 13, 2013 @ 1:27:05 AM
Reply

Ok so he is trying to say graphics drive gameplay, correct? Then why did so many games of yesteryear grab us so much, it surely wasn't the graphics. Gameplay this gen has taken a backseat to graphics with many games and as such they aren't selling as well, considering there is a lot more gamers now then there were in previous generations.

MAG was a game that was bashed consistently for having inferior graphics, yet I can tell you from first hand experience that the emotion you would here through your mic was more intense than any of the better looking shooters on the market. I wish I would have recorded some of the audio from our clan matches, you would be able hear real fear, paranoia, and disappointment from those clips. And this coming from a game that
1. scrubbed the stroyline before the game even launched
2. had slightly better graphics than a PS2 game
3. didn't get the support it deserved
Yet somehow those that put enough time into that game will certainly say it was one of the better shooters on the market, why? Because it had remarkable gameplay that immersed you into a hectic/epic battlefield.

Can a games graphics immerse you further into a game, sure it can! However graphics are not the key to immersion. Many people will simply point out it is the whole package that brings together an unforgettable game, not any one part, but the sum of all the parts together. If Crytek ever realizes this then they will be able to really bring something special to the table, but with Yeri in charge they'll most likely keep pushing mediocre games that have great graphics.

You know I honestly wonder if he and Wada know each other in real life because it sure seems like he is on the same path that Wada took and look where that got him.

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___________
Saturday, April 13, 2013 @ 6:22:46 AM
Reply

eh, not quite.
graphics drive immersion, and immersion enhances gameplay.
wouldent go as far to say it drives gameplay.
and how do you put a percentage on it?
if the technology part, sound design, graphics, physics, art design, ect, ect.
if there 60% of the game, then that only leaves 40% left so how would you split the rest?
20% for story and 20% for gameplay?
not even close!
more like 30% technological, 30% story and 40% gameplay.

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Caanimal
Sunday, April 14, 2013 @ 11:02:21 PM
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I have zero interest in the Crysis games, I tried to play the first and second one, thank the gawds that I only borrowed them otherwise they would just sit and collect dust(if not joining the VERY small group of sell backs) on a shelf or in a box somewhere. The gameplay/story just didn't do it for me, and THAT is far more important to me than a pretty picture. The graphics in Dishonored aren't the best, but the story is damn good and has had me hooked from the start(yeah I know, it's been out for a bit, but I got a bit of a back-log in games right now...) and I'm enjoying playing it still.

What makes a book a good read? A well writen story, NOT any pictures. What makes a good game to me? If it's fun to play and tells atleast a half decent story, that will keep me interested.

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