CryEngine is a game engine used for the first-person shooter computer game Far Cry. It was originally developed by Crytek as a technology demo for Nvidia and, when the company saw its potential, it was turned into a game.
When video cards with support for 3.0 pixel and vertex shaders were released, Crytek released version 1.2 of the engine which used some of the capabilities for better graphics. It also uses Polybump, a special way of rendering texture to make them appear bumpy. Unlike Bumpmapping this uses actual polygons instead of layers of texture; this led to games like Farcry being very performance demanding.
Later the company developed Cryengine version 1.3, which added support for HDR lighting.
The engine has been licensed to NCSoft for their forthcoming MMORPG, Aion.
On March 30, 2006, Microsoft acquired all rights to the CryEngine, and the engine now has no legal ties to Crytek.
1. CryEngine Sandbox: Is a real-time game editor offering "What you see is what you PLAY" feedback.
2. Renderer: integrates indoor and outdoor technology seamlessly. Offers rendering support for OpenGL and DirectX 8/9, Xbox using latest hardware features, PS2 and GameCube.
3. Physics System: supports character inverse kinematics, vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, rag doll, cloth and soft body effects. The system is integrated with the game and tools.
4. Character Inverse Kinematics and Animation Blending: Allows a character model to have multiple animations while looking believable.
5. AI System: Enables team based AI and AI behaviors defined by scripts. Ability to create custom enemies and behaviors without touching the C++ code.
6. Interactive Dynamic Music System: Tracks and responds to the player's actions and situations and offers CD Quality playback in full 5.1 surround sound.
7. Environmental Audio and SFS Engine: Ability to accurately reproduce sounds from nature with seamless blending between environments and interior/exterior locations in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Includes EAX 2.0 audio support.
8. Network Client and Server System: Manages all network connections for the multiplayer mode. It is a low-latency network system based on client/server architecture.
9. Shaders: A script system used to combine textures in different ways to produce visual effects. Supports real time per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections, refractions, volumetric glow effects, animated textures, transparent computer displays, windows, bullet holes, and shinny surfaces.
10. Terrain: Uses an advanced heightmap system and polygon reduction to create massive, realistic environments. The view distance can be up to 2km when converted from game units.
11. Lighting and Shadows: A combination of precalculated, real time shadows, stencil shadows and lightmaps to produce a dynamic environment. Includes high-resolution, correct perspective, and volumetric smooth-shadow implementations for dramatic and realistic indoor shadowing. Supports advanced particles technology and any kind of volumetric lighting effects on particles.
12. Fog: Includes volumetric, layer and view distance fogging to enhance atmosphere and tension.
13. Tools Integration: Objects and buildings created using 3ds max or Maya are integrated within the game and editor.
14. Polybump: Standalone or fully integrated with other tools including 3ds max.
15. Scripting system: Based on the popular Lua language. This easy to use system allows the setup and tweaking of weapons/game parameters, playing of sounds and loading of graphics without touching the C++ code.
16. Modularity: Entirely written in modular C++, with comments, documentation and subdivisions into multiple DLLs.
-All information copied from Wikipedia's page.