Ryse’s Armor Compared Between 130 Million Polygons Per Character and the Final 85,000 on Xbox One

During a presentation at Games Developer Conference CryTek Senior Character Artist Abdenour Bachir showcased a few pieces of armor from Ryse: Son of Rome as they were modeled in extra high resolution for pre-production, a phase during which characters easily reached 130 million polygons each, and the final version that actually made it to the game on Xbox One, with Marius’ character optimized down to 85,000 polygons.

Below you can see both versions for two different suits of armor, including two animated GIFs to let you better appreciate the evolution of the models. As usual, you can click on each picture to enlarge it, and to start the animation for the GIFs.

High Resolution


Final Model


Animated GIF


High Resolution (untextured)


Final Model


Animated GIF



And here’s another suit of armor in its high resolution version, as a bonus.

Armor2_HR Armor4_HR

The difference is visible, but you definitely have to squint, because when models are optimized a lot of the detail that is normally depicted by polygonal structures gets turned into normal maps. Of course no current console (or PC) would be able to run a game with characters counting 130 million polygons, making it a necessary process.

Yet, maybe one day we’ll be able to play games with that kind of polygon count after optimization. We might be quite a lot older by then, but good things come to those who wait.

In the meanwhile you can check out the full slides of the presentation here, or read our full recap.

Join the Discussion

  • Nicholas Perry

    Certainly a difference if you know what to look for, but the comparison seems like not a lot of effort was made to truly match the images 1:1 (Angle differences,etc. One with wireframe showing, other not). Why compare an unpainted mesh to the fully final textured mesh?

    They would just the original mesh as the basis to bake for the normal maps/etc anyway. So why not display the original unpainted mesh with the final mesh with just the normal maps?

    It’d make the comparison a bit more valid to show to the average person that the difference for average use is very minute.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      yes. You are. But if you have better materials for a comparison you’re free to provide them.

      In the meanwhile, what we were provided is plenty to see the difference.

      • Rarric Alehammer

        Little defensive there champ?

  • Beautiful! God this game is a spectacle to look at. Not the most fun I’ve ever had, but I’m more than satisfied simply looking at it. @ u @

  • Patrick Haraguti

    every triple A game models have a highres model to bake normal maps and other things!
    tell about thi is just to impress fool!! look this http://ugm.pixologic.com/registration/1307-Siggraph/

  • Xtreme Derp

    You can dedicate a lot of polys to a single model in a corridor game. Not 130 million though.

    • Failz

      It explains why Uncharted/TLOU/Tomb Raider/Beyond 2 Souls and now Ryse look fantastic. Linear games will always look better then the norm. Its a pitty games are focusing more on visuals and losing more where it counts. Look at the meta scores for Killzone, Infamous and Ryse, there nothing great to play. But have to tip your hat at Crytek. This is the best looking game on the market. But at a cost.

  • Nicholas Perry

    And Now I REALIZE after reading the presentation, that the part of the slides weren’t really about comparing them.

    That’s my error.

    I still love reading everything they have to say. It is a joy.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    Not sure why we are still talking about this game, Ryse was a testament to the fact good graphics dont make a good game, Ryse was complete garbage who cares if it was pretty garbage its garbage just the same, this presentation was meaningless, hey look at these graphics you’re never going to get on xbone, tell us something we all didn’t already know.