UE4 has more learning materials, plus it’s cheaper, and it’s improving all the time. You can also interact with the engine developers to find fixes for problems and suggest things you’d like to see.
It’s also cheaper, with Cryengine you lose access entirely if you cancel subscription, with UE4 you can pay for a single month and you still have access to that version if you cancel. Plus Cryengine requires an additional licensing fee for their audio system.
The main advantage to Cryengine I think is that their lighting system is easier to use, no baking required though you don’t get the option to have high quality static lighting.
Almost everyone who I’ve seen mention they used CE3 has complained about a lack of documentation and poor communication with the developers. Additionally, as Darthviper says UE4 has the advantage when it comes to subscription and constant updates.
I’m not sure about the latest version of cryengine3 but when I had to use it a while back for a project it was such a pain to import any of your own content in the engine. Textures had to have specific tags to even be recognised as a normal, specular map etc. I find UE4 much more user friendly and the community here can help you out on the most part if you are stuck. Plus, what the others have been saying there is a lot of documentation about the engine and so many tutorials cropping up.
I think coming to the Unreal forums and asking this question is kind of self-defeating to be honest ;), but since you asked;
I would always go with Unreal over Cry personally for any project. Better support, COMPLETE* source code that isn’t a mess, tools that come from 2015 instead of the 1800’s, PBR integration. Unreal’s blueprint could be a game engine all on it’s own frankly.
And let’s be honest, Unreal’s renderer is THE balls. For tech support and help with the Engine Epic are in a league above the other companies, I’ve seen CryEngine users being slagged off by developers on their OWN forums… but moving on.
*CryTek tell you that their engine comes with full source, it does not. Loads of stuff is still hidden away. The beauty of Unreal is that if you really need something that badly, nothing will stop you integrating it yourself.
You lose access to the github source, since they keep updating that, but you can download it beforehand and continue using it, and if you load the launcher it will still have the versions that you paid for available.
I should link this on every Cryengine 3 vs ue4 thread (rant) There i explain all the problems i had with Cryengine and why i think its a massive error to try to even look at it (unless you are just a level designer, the editor and graphics are nice, but useless for a game) i got burned real hard when trying to use it, so now i have some hate for it, even if i was a massive cryengine fanboy before.
yeah I used cryengine for many years… for making machinimas and such and it is great. But crytek is not a good company, they are closed, non helpful and often very arrogant. Also the character creation workflow is horrible plus their proprietary formats for import are a huge pain (they are finally migrating to fbx though) It looks good, but unreal and epic are a so ahead of their times. So yeah you can go and ask at their website and see what they say, but unreal is the future IMHO.
You can achieve good graphics in CE easily, but you can have better than that in UE4 but its harder to achieve.
CE is easier to use if you are looking at the general interface. It’s easy because your access is too limited. But when you get to technical stuff like A.I etc. it’s the end of your project. On the other hand UE4 takes just a little more to learn and that’s because you have access to a large number of tools and parameters. (It’s material editor for example) and when you get to technical stuff like A.I, unlike CE being a tool only it’s developers know what to do with it you can easily use lots of documentations or get in touch with developers when you want.
Both engines are easy to run IMO, but still UE4 packs your data and builds the game for you automatically, you can change your folder structures to anything you want without worrying to address everything like textures in materials again. And it’s just so convenient.
You might also take a look at the change log they release for each CE update. It’s mainly tweaking materials and whatnot and mostly fixing bugs that are caused because of their previous build. And that’s not any improvement but just adding version numbers. Improvement I’d say is renewing the said terrain system which has not changed since Crysis 1. Or working on the huge DXT compression artifacts CryTiff leaves on your textures.
You are paying the extra 9$ on UE4 for a good reason.
CE3 does appear to have better visuals, terrain, water, vegetation, road tools out of the box though. Yes, their GUI is from 2007 but out of the box you get somewhat nicer “bling.”
For example, I don’t want to be messing around with BP to make roads, I just want to pick up the brush and draw splines that will conform to the terrain. Splice them wherever I want to get intersections, etc. And default water already looks good with waves and foam, etc. The same goes for terrain and vegetation.
It’s just that it ends there, because once you need to do real stuff, it’s an ordeal to get it done. Just watch some of the tutorials on YT and you’ll see what I mean.
But who knows, maybe CE4 will have some great UI/UX, or maybe it’ll never happen. That’s why I said in another thread that Epic should just acquire CryTek, take some of these cool features and incorporate into UE4, and dump the rest.
I meant that CryEngine have a terrain-generator and more possibilities for vegetation than UE4. In UE4 we have to use World Machine (or others programs) and SpeedTree if we dont want to build the vegetation and terrains ourself.
The terrain is horrible actually, it doesn’t support splat maps by itself, if your terrain is 4k then you have to hand paint all across and things like that. You can’t also pick an alpha for your brush while painting you only have a circle to paint with. When it comes to the size, 4k is so far the maximum terrain size. All the tools you got there are Raise/Lower, Flatten and smooth. You can use it’s Terrain Generator but all you do is to define the noise and it applies it to the terrain. Completely random and unrealistic. LODs are terrible.
The road tool is one of the most let down of CE. Just increase the road width and your texture disappears. “Well don’t use the road tool and model the roads instead” is the answer I got when I asked them to fix it. And it’s still the same in the latest update I have. In UE4 you have fall off parameters which makes it so easy when you are into making good looking roads in natural environments. You can distribute geometries like with the road itself but in CE if you want guard rails for your road you have to do it with a spline distributor again, and it surely breaks the mesh again when your road is curved. And things like that.
The water and vegetation yes, but only until you make your own realistic water shader in UE4.
Lots of lots of annoying things in CE made me to switch to UE4, and to someone who has not yet tried it I’d say definitely don’t go that road because all you get is shiny graphics and that only doesn’t let you create a game. For example, no one yet in the Crytek community has been able to produce a realistic A.I except those who work closely with crytek itself. Be it car A.I, enemy or whatever.