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Trying to Play the Game Crysys 2 in Stereo 3D Mode With 3D Vision

March 26th, 2011 · 43 Comments · Stereo 3D Games

Finally got some time to try the full Crysis 2 game in single player in stereo 3D mode and I can say I’m not very impressed or satisfied with it, and that comes after my initial overall good impressions from the multiplayer demo released earlier this month. So let me get started, I’m a bit disappointed from the quality of some textures and models when viewed up close, there is no DirectX 11 support (yet), there are no advanced in-game options to control the graphics and effects levels, just a few preset modes and that is it… just like in the demo. The same thing applies for the 3D settings as well, you get no options to control depth or convergence from the in-game menu, you can tweak only the depth level a bit through the 3D Vision depth control key combination. The game uses native stereo 3D engine and thus it only outputs the 3D content through 3D Vision and does not render it through it, the engine itself automatically recognizes what 3D hardware you have and it supports multiple 3D viewing methods (the most popular ones)…

Playing the game with higher depth levels creates some possible issues, such as having problems quickly focusing on screen text messages that are being overlayed on 3D scenes in the game, although the text also seems to vary its depth positioning. Having blood splattered on the screen at the intro of the game is a bit of a problem, as the blood is in 2D and overlayed on 3D scene with some pop-out it is hard to word out the depth. The DOF effect in cut scenes may be a bit distracting in stereo 3D mode, although it works quite well in plain 3D mode. There are some stereo windows violations in the cut scenes, but they are more distracting if you try to play with higher depth, I’ve found the lowest depth level to be the most comfortable and problem free for me personally for playing with the default S3D settings. Due to the specific way of rendering the stereo 3D there seems to be a bit of a problem with the gun, you may be able to see a strange semi-transparent faint afterimage around one side of the gun that is yet again creating a weird feeling that something is not right. So you can see why I’m not way too happy with the stereo 3D in the game, at this point it is more distracting when used than to provide you with a more immersive experience when playing Crysis 2.

One more important thing for SLI owners, even if you are using the latest beta 267.31 drivers there is no SLI support for Crysis 2 with them, you need to download and install the latest SLI profile update to enable SLI support and have the best possible performance while playing the game.

For a list of Stereo 3D related console commands in Crysis 2 you can play with…

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43 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nick 3DvB // Mar 26, 2011 at 03:47

    I hate to say I told you so… 8(


  • 2 gamer odd // Mar 26, 2011 at 04:59

    Yeah, I’ve really been loving this game, but couldn’t handle the 3d for too long. It looks clean, but like you said, something just feels off. I really wish they gave the option to do real 3d for those who have systems that can handle it. While I think this method is a great idea for console games that don’t have much horsepower to work with there’s just no reason to restrict it like this on the pc side. Oh well, still a fantastic experience so far.

  • 3 baragon // Mar 26, 2011 at 07:04

    Crytek engine is generating second eye image from single image using a computationally inexpensive method of screen space reprojection.

    This method will produce visibility artifacts that the engine is trying to mask using halos.

    Nvidia and/or Crytek should just allow the native full dual image method that is normally used by 3DVision (and other stereo solutions).
    This reprojection method may be a reasonable solution for low-end PCs or consoles (4+ year old tech) but PC users should be allowed to use their equipment to enjoy this content using the best stereoscopic method: full dual image!

  • 4 Mike // Mar 26, 2011 at 08:15

    Thanks for this great review bloody, I was looking forward to trying this game in 3d but not so much now, still a great game tho.
    On another note have you heard about Visio’s new lcd 3dtv lineup ?
    it uses passive glasses and the sweet thing about it is the price..
    32″ 3d tv for 549 ! if the 3d looks well on these models they’re going to be game changers.

  • 5 DeVi // Mar 26, 2011 at 11:45

    According to this: http://3dvision-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1018 dual rendering can be set in the console: r_StereoMode 1
    I haven’t got the game yet, so I can’t try it.

  • 6 Bloody // Mar 26, 2011 at 13:25

    DeVi, yes, but apparently it does not work…

  • 7 Bruce // Mar 26, 2011 at 13:37

    well I found the 3d to be great and works smoothly on my computer and for the first time for me dose not add a disadvantage to multiplayer games. this is the first game i am playing all the time in 3d and not just the rare moment when its a cool part. Also give it time there is already ways to tweak some of the graphics and time will add more but i was also a little disappointed (no dam create server when the leak had it hopeful that will come in time) but that and other things i guess that just made it to be the same for all the platforms.

  • 8 Bloody // Mar 26, 2011 at 15:09

    An nice and useful tool for controlling the graphic options before running the game: http://wasdie.blogspot.com/2011/03/crysis-2-advanced-video-options-version.html

  • 9 Lucidkill // Mar 26, 2011 at 15:49

    I have to agree with Bruce. The 3d works very well for me compared to alot of games. You can definitely tell this game was designed with 3d in mind. 3d has me totally immersed in Crysis 2.

  • 10 tritosine // Mar 26, 2011 at 17:45

    This game is a tamtaramtamtam: trainwreck.
    “splattered on the screen at the intro of the game is a bit of a problem, as the blood is in 2D and overlayed on 3D scene ”

    theres no 3D there to begin with ;)

  • 11 tritosine // Mar 26, 2011 at 17:46

    Lucidkill, and you don’t sound like a corporate drone, not at all mate, trust me :))

  • 12 artox // Mar 26, 2011 at 18:28

    Well, for me with an AMD the dual rendering option worked just fine but didn’t seem to change a thing. The game still looked awful when compared to real s-3d. But hats down for the hud, this is the best looking hud I’ve seen to date, right there with the one from Dead Space.

  • 13 Lucidkill // Mar 26, 2011 at 20:36

    So you don’t like the game?

  • 14 artox // Mar 26, 2011 at 21:39

    Lucidkill, this is a blog for stereoscopic gaming, which makes the playability in s-3d the first issue on the table. I doubt any of the people commenting here have played through the whole game already, especially pc gamers given the problems met with playing it in s-3d. I personally would like to play it in real s-3d and therefore will wait for all issues to be resolved.

  • 15 tritosine // Mar 26, 2011 at 21:59

    somehow we ve flew out our seats , somehow.


    look how Bloody fell out of his chair:
    “trying to play the game …” :-DD

  • 16 Jacob Pederson // Mar 26, 2011 at 22:06

    This just highlights to me how much of a personal preference thing we’re looking at here. For me the game is excellent with stereo on, at full depth. Yes, there are a few issues with convergence and haloing, but compared to other so-called “3dvision ready games” there is nothing really deal breaking. I’m especially impressed by being able to actually zoom in or use iron sights without my eyes exploding out of my head. The hud and menus are also excellent in stereo, another rare thing.

  • 17 jojo // Mar 27, 2011 at 02:33

    i made a screenshot in sidebyside mode and cropped it,
    also i pointed out the most annoying flaws in the image:


  • 18 jojo // Mar 27, 2011 at 03:22

    i made this image in photoshop to “emulate” how the build in 3D rendering of the game would handle a extreme situation:


  • 19 Ryan McClelland // Mar 27, 2011 at 03:36

    Love the blog Bloody, but couldn’t disagree more with this one. I think Crysis 2 is a great game and great with 3D Vision.

    I installed the game (Steam) fired up my H5360 projector and it played perfect from the start. It runs very fast (gtx 570) and looks great, even the menus are 3D. I like the other ‘Cry’ games and I think they have raised the bar from their past efforts. I’m about 4 hours in.

    Their are some issues with the slight faked 3D, but I do not notice them while playing and I think they are worth the performance trade-off, I think this tech is very promising for 3D and would like to see it implemented in more games.

  • 20 danieljoy // Mar 27, 2011 at 07:36

    i played this game for a bit- and was seriously disappointed. Metro 2033 looks far superior to this game. hopefully someday we get DX11 and real 3d. the pseudo 3d is a big disappointment for me on my high end 3d system. im sure its great for low end systems and consuls- but it is unacceptable for high end PC enthusiasts. Many other 3d ready games look much better than this one.

  • 21 Paul // Mar 27, 2011 at 09:04

    I gotta say… I’m LOVING the game in 3D with 3D Vision on a Planar 23″. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’m playing it with graphics at Extreme with a pair of 280GTX’s in SLI. Framerate is smooth as BUTTER!

    I agree with Bruce: One of the few games that has a FLAWLESS 3D implementation. I wish everyone would use the engine to such great effect with S3D.

  • 22 Bloody // Mar 27, 2011 at 12:25

    Don’t get me wrong, it is not like I don’t like the game, I’m just a bit disappointed by the implementation of the 3D in it. There aren’t any very serious issues in stereo 3D mode, but it is full of small ones that you may or may not notice, and if you notice them they annoy you. One would expect from a game like Crysis to be perfect at least in graphics, details and even S3D, but in the end they probably did not have enough time to really do everything as they should right from the start. The game was already delayed for some time, and there was the day one patch, but we’ll probably be seeing more patches fixing things one by one…

  • 23 Arioch // Mar 27, 2011 at 13:55

    I really don’t want to see this technique used in future games on the PC. Sure, it might be better than no 3D but it’s no where near as good as we have seen with 3D Vision when used properly. I know it doesn’t effect performance much but I would rather take the frame rate hit with proper rendering. I prefer depth in my 3D and even with tweaking the game it can’t touch what true 3D Vision games can offer.

  • 24 Jimbo // Mar 27, 2011 at 15:24

    Just bought this yesterday, and it is really a bittersweet experiencce. Since I got my new hellishly expensive 3d surround setup, Crysis 2 has been one of the games I been looking forward to testing out. I didn’t think the final release was going to have only cryteks 3d tech available. The annoying halos was the first thing I noticed and I wonder how the guys at Crytec can speak so much about their stereoscopic 3d tech when it looks like this.

    However, I do like that they have taken a stab att creating 3d without rendering the complete scene 2 times, and I wonder if it will be possible to create a 3d technique in the future with a lesser performance hit, but good enough not to be able to notice the difference from rendering 2 completely separate frames. Has to be alot better then crytecs 3d though and I don’t know how or if that could be done.

    I really hope they unlock the possibility to use nvidias s3d, and quite frankly i don’t understand why the havent. I would be happy to trade of some framerate/detail/resolution etc, if I had to, for the complete 3d experience in this game.

    Oh, how I miss the wonderful immersion of BFBC2 and Mafia 2 right now :).

    The s3d issues aside, it seems like a very nice game overall, with some really pretty graphics at the highest settings.

    One last thing. How hard can it be to put the HUD elements on the center screen when playing at a 3x resolution? Even I could figure that one out.

  • 25 jason borne // Mar 27, 2011 at 15:52

    People who are use to playing with real 3d will not enjoy this game period… I could tell the difference in the demo this 3d is so flat, it doesn’t look 3d at all. Mostly all the people praising crisis 2 3d implementation have not experience true 3d.. shame on crytec for selling out pc gamers for consoles…

  • 26 tritosine // Mar 27, 2011 at 17:39

    “Additionally, the engine supports real dual stereo (also anaglyph mode for debugging), which is likely to be exposed for Crysis 2 in later patches for PC specs.”

    Can’t help but wonder how long is that waiting line :))

  • 27 Paul // Mar 27, 2011 at 21:07

    @Jason – Ummm… actually I have an enormous amount of “true 3D” gaming experience. My first pair of LCD shutter glasses was on my Amiga 500 back in 1988. I then played Quake in 3D using an H3D glasses headset. Hell, I even had an eMagin z800 HMD (ended up selling it because the lag involved made me nauseous). I then used *multiple* 3D LCD glasses on a 24″ Sony FW900 (ENORMOUS beast of a monitor… but EXCELLENT high refresh rate for S3D) with Nvidia’s first round of 3D drivers. Now I use the 3D Vision and a Planar. So…. I feel a *bit* more qualified to render an opinion than you; especially since I’m about 75% through the actual GAME and not the just the demo. I personally don’t find it NEARLY as flat as some feel. I was in some destroyed subway cars last night and I felt the view down the car was a VERY nice depth effect. In addition, the HUD and cutscenes render beautifully in 3D. IMHO it is the *subtle* things that they have done in the game that make it such a fantastic 3D experience. So… even having had a plethora of “true 3D” (as you put it) experience, I think this is a great implementation.

    @Jimbo You, I think, have the most righteous complaint; 3D Surround issues. I just switched back to 3D a month ago after a three year hiatus. During that time, I’ve been doing triplescreen gaming first with a Matrox TH2Go and then with my Nvidia 280GTX’s in SLI once Nvidia launched the drivers. The fact that devs don’t properly support Eyefinity/Surround gaming is annoying as Hell!! You are absolutely correct; it ain’t rocket science to make the HUD elements appear only in the center monitor…. or allow the USER to move the elements around ala a WoW mod. I’m still weighing whether I want to pick up another pair of Planar’s to do 3D Surround. However, I fear finding games that do BOTH S3D *AND* Surround gaming seems like an even smaller subset than S3d or Surround gaming alone. What’s you experience?

  • 28 Carlos // Mar 28, 2011 at 08:31

    Just want to point out for those that own a Panasonic Viera 3D tv (i have one) and 3DTV Play software from Nvidia, that you can enable 1080p/60 3D!! All you have to do is select the “Side by Side” method in the game’s as well as the tv’s 3D options menus. Heck, I think you could do it even without Nvidia’s software because I disabled it and it still worked. Also make sure to leave 1920×1080 as your resolution in the game.
    I’m pretty sure that other TVs can do this as well.
    Sorry if someone else has posted this up on another forum. I just noticed 26 comments and no mentions of this so thought I’d give my two cents.

    Oh yeah, is 1920×1080 Side by Side 3D true Full HD 3D? Or is it half resolution, “squashed”? Just seems to good to be true when i tried it out and it worked.

  • 29 Bloody // Mar 28, 2011 at 09:45

    Carlos, the game engine can directly output Side by Side for 3D HDTVs, so you don’t need 3DTV Play, however it is a squashed 1080p output, meaning the actual output from the game is in 1920×1080 and both left and right frames are packed it in, instead of a full resolution SbS – 3840×1080.

  • 30 Carlos // Mar 28, 2011 at 10:46

    Too good to be true, i knew it. Thanks for clearing that up, Bloody. However, with that being said, which would you recommend better for this game. 1920×1080 SbS squashed or Nvidia’s 1280×720. I seem to like the squashed format better, more clear and less jaggies even with AA and transparency AA enabled.

    I still can’t get over the fact that everything else other that the HUD and weapon are in the exact same depth. I would still like your opinion though, thanks!

  • 31 Bloody // Mar 28, 2011 at 11:36

    I haven’t tried 3DTV Play yet, some people complained of having trouble making Crysis 2 work with it… I need to check out how both modes look to be able to compare.

  • 32 Waldi // Mar 28, 2011 at 17:59

    I play this game on my hign end pc in 3D on a Zalman 3D LCD and have only the GeForce 7950 GTX graphic card. Ofcourse not in full hd, but it´s ok

  • 33 Jason Borne // Mar 29, 2011 at 04:26

    Paul I no need to take offense, You dont know anything about my experince with 3d, Which is basically the same as yours , I’ve been fooling with 3d on projectors and CRT the same amount of time as you, so dont assume my friend. I had several people over and showed them Crysis 2 in 3d and compared it to COD black ops in 3d, 3d experince on a sub par game like black ops, was way better, because it uses two views, Left and Right.. ITs totally noticable if you are use to playing with REAL 3d. Just like what bloody stated in the begining of this article. This Fake 3d has flat objects with subtle depth

  • 34 franco // Mar 29, 2011 at 05:18

    Jason, I totally agree with you, the objetcs are flat, there’s no real volume, it’s a 2D enviroment with subtle depth, period.
    This is not real 3D in a million years, it’s like a 2D-3D conversion, it’s fake 3D, there’s no way someone can call this true S3D, it’s not. it’s flat enviroment with added depth.
    Game is awesome, let’s now pray for a DX11 and S3D/nvidia patch

  • 35 Cezar // Mar 29, 2011 at 10:39

    On page 29 of this pdf: http://crytek.com/news/achieved-with-cryengine-3 we can read:
    “Additionally, the engine supports real dual stereo (also anaglyph mode for debugging), which is likely to be exposed for Crysis 2 in later patches for PC specs.”

  • 36 Jimbo // Mar 29, 2011 at 12:26

    I have now almost finished the campaign, and I have to say, when you start getting into the game, and learn to live with/stop notice the halos (which I did after a couple of hours), especially around your gun, the game is beautiful, and I can understand why crytec has chosen this method of rendering the s3d. To have full control over the end user experience. There is a lot of depth and for me it adds alot to the gameplay and immersion compared to playing it in 2d even if it isn’t quite as impressive as real 3d vision rendering.

    I have 2xgtx580’s@900Mhz and a i5 760 @4ghz and I don’t think I would be able to play the game at extreme settings at 60fps in real 3d surround (5760×1080). There was one specific part of the game where the framerate dipped under 60fps and I noticed some incredible input lag as soon as this happended, which seems to indicate that they are using some sort of frame buffering that would make it hard to play at low framerates.

    However I would like to try it in full 3d vision and fiddle around with lowered graphics settings and see if I could get a better overall experience then with their 3d rendering.

    Paul, regarding your question about finding good titles that work both with 3d vision and at surround resolutions. I think that is kind of hard one to answer. It depends on your game preference. Since I got my rig I seem to pick games that are known to work well with this setup – titles from big, well known, established devs with either an “excellent” or “3d vision ready” status from nvidia. Luckily most of the games I have been interested in until now, have worked very well with the setup, but it could also surely have been much worse had I been interested in other titles. It’s also impossible to say what future titles will bring. Then there have been a couple of games that I just skipped because of the bad 3dvs experience (Dragon Age 2).

    Damn you 3d vision. Now I cant/don’t want to play in 2d anymore! ;)

  • 37 Paul // Mar 29, 2011 at 19:31

    @Jason – Sorry… didn’t mean to come off that way. The perils of the written over the spoken word. :) I get your point and I don’t entirely disagree. Compared to, say, BFBC2, the 3D is “flatter”. However, I attribute that more to Crytek maxing out the depth setting on default more than it being “fake 3d”. In fact, in all honesty, I’m not quite sure what people mean by “fake 3d”. 3D, I think, is 3D. For example, take of your glasses, and objects seem to be rendered at many different depths based upon their distance between the double-vision growing in the distance. Is this not how all 3D works? And as I mentioned, it is the many subtle things they do that I think make it one of the best 3D games I’ve seen. I love the way the HUD overlays, especially during the mission briefing scenes between levels. I think it just looks great… which of course… is a subjective statement. I guess I just basically disagree with your statement that anyone who believes otherwise hasn’t played in “real 3D”. That is the one thing you said that I continue to disagree with. However…. we’re all in this together as 3D fans… so no harm, no foul. :)

    @Jimbo – I guess I’ve been reading about lots of problems with 3D Vision Surround just being broken; i.e. get frames in the sub-teens *not* because of hardware stressing, but because of driver issues. The comes from the Nvidia forums… so who knows if it is correct. I’m just generally disappointed with Surround Gaming implementation by developers overall. Bad FOV’s, HUD issues, and just plain not working. The tech has been around awhile (starting most recently with the Matrox box about 3-4 years ago), but since Unreal Engine 3 still seems to be the main engine in games, it considering it does NOT play nicely in Surround resolutions without hacks, I remain unhopeful.

  • 38 Frédéric Lopez // Mar 30, 2011 at 01:31

    @Paul “In fact, in all honesty, I’m not quite sure what people mean by “fake 3d”. 3D, I think, is 3D.”

    It’s just like with movies, 3D consists in rendering two images from two different and correct viewpoints, fake 3D consists in recreating two images from monocular images with incorrect viewpoints.

    Crysis 2 renders only one monocular image and uses the depth buffer to calculate the two images for both eyes, so it’s fake 3D.

    When objects are seen by both eyes, lighting is incorrect because it should depend on the viewpoint, which is not the case here.

    When objects are seen by only one eye, there is missing information that must be recreated, in this case with textures repeated from the background, hence fake 3D and halo effects.

    That’s also the reason why the separation is so low, if it was higher there would be less parts visible by the two eyes and it would produce even more halo effects.

  • 39 Paul // Mar 30, 2011 at 03:34

    Ahhhh…. Ok…. Thank you for that explanation. I didn’t realize that they were not, in fact, two images rendered from unique eye-points.

    I guess that explains why it costs so little in computing resources to do it this way.

    I still find it pretty impressive, understand why they would do it that way, but can see why people would prefer an eye-view rendered independently for each eye.

    Funny thing is, I don’t really notice the “halo effect” (assuming that is what is meant by the translucent outline around the gun) when playing the game. At least not enough to be distracting.

    Thanks again!

  • 40 Franco // Mar 30, 2011 at 18:25

    Frederic Lopez said at all. Congrats on his explanation of the differences between real 3D and fake 3D. Most folks don’t get this, but it’s nice to read such good explanation.

    Crysis uses Fake 3D, it’s like I said, a 2D enviroment with subtle depth, so the big differecen between real 3D, is that the scenario is not actually in 3D, it has depth, but it still 2D. The objects have no volume, they’re still flat despite the added depth.
    Its really easy to see that, once you’re used to real S3D games, like Batman, Just Cause 2, Dead Space 2, Left 4 Dead among other games that I’ve played that look stunning in 3D. Those games when played in 3D they almost gain life, the resolution seems like 2x better, it’s like playing in 3080x1080p. The objetcs and characters gain volume, it looks so real that you can almost touch them, like a digital hologram.

    That’s definatelly not the case with Crysis 2 in game 3D, due to the explanation made by Frederic. I coudn’t think of a better one.
    Game is awesome and I’m playing it in 3D, it still better than 2D, but it doesn’t compare to real S3D and I prefer better quality and less frames. Don’t care about the frame hit, I like the eye candy S3D.

  • 41 Nassos // Apr 2, 2011 at 10:35

    I am a little bit frustrated! What exactly is that you don’t like in this game with 3D Vision enabled?? The first thing that I said when I tried playing the game on 3D was “That’s a REAL 3D game!”. The depth is perfect, the HUD looks like surrounding your vision, and all the texts are layered in different depths without creating a mess.
    It’s not as good as Batman Arkham Asylum when it comes to pop up effects, but though Batman AA provides perfect 3D Vision, some of the texts are messed (subtitles seem to be inside Batman when he is close to the screen, and when you use some gadgets, the text which shows the controls looks messed up and you have to close one eye in order ti see what is says).
    The whole experience gives me a very nice feel, without even making me feel dizzy or something. You can really feel like looking through a window rather playing on a flat surface. Is it only me?

  • 42 cybereality // Apr 3, 2011 at 03:24

    Guys, the 3D is bogus. Its all a sham. They are just basically duplicating a 2D image and adding an offset. The only 3D comes from the fact that the gun and HUD are on different layers. Totally bogus.

    Don’t believe me? Watch this video:

  • 43 bl1nds1de13 // Apr 10, 2011 at 03:49

    I am firmly in the “fake 3D” camp here. Now I do like implementation and was less bothered by the menus and Hud overlays and such than Bloody was, but the haloing is the real deal breaker and to me was especially noticable around the gun.
    I won’t run over current games others have mentioned since they all look better than Crysis 2 in 3D… hell, Far Cry is near perfect with 3D Vision.
    I pulled “El Matador” out of a drawer the other day and blew off the dust ( circa 2003, sice I am sure everyone is saying, what the hell is “El Matador”)… point is I loaded it out of bordom the other day and to my surprise it ran 1080P and ran perfectly with tridef in “real 3D ” mode and looks absolutely perfect with soft shadows, post processing and whatever else the engine can muster.
    Point of all this is it is shameful for Crytek to boast about the 3D in this game prior to release and deliver what they did.
    Anyone else out there who can not figure out what fake 3D is, even if you have a PS3 or xbox, which is why most people can not tell the difference, you should buy Avatar the game, since as far as I know run a real native 3D engine on every platform, and despite the mediocre gameplay, is the most immersive 3D I have seen to date in any game.

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