Ryse: Son of Rome was the best-looking game at the Xbox One launch and it's all thanks to the maturity of the CryEngine, the game's design director PJ Esteves has told Develop.
"Honestly, the engine has been one of the smoothest parts of the whole project. From the time of Crysis 2 we were working with DX11 already. We were two games deep with DX11 and working with a 360 game learning about how the ecosystem works. So that all helped," explained Esteves.
"I think it was about a week to get up and running on Xbox One from the time we got the first kits. Having a great partnership with Microsoft helped, to prepare us as the platform developed alongside our game. Any launch game lands hot; it doesn't matter who you are.
"But having a mature engine really helped, and getting to harness things like physically based rendering was incredible. Improvements in facial animation pipelines are great too. It's a terrible way to say it, but CryEngine and the Xbox One have let our game be the hot one at the launch prom."
Esteves also noted what the processing power of the Xbox One allowed the development team to achieve.
"One of the most important things about the Xbox One is pure processing power. The amount of RAM we had available to us helped a great deal," he said. "The NPCs in the game all have cloth, facial expressions, and the same fidelity as a character in the cinematics. We were able to give the AI characters the same detail as the player characters, and they express a lot more emotion than is seen in other games.
"The Xbox One gave us AI that really feels just human enough. You can see pain as you slice at a guy, or you see surprise. It's always hard work, but the Xbox One let us give the game more emotion as we took Ryse forward."
Ryse is out now for Xbox One.