Crytek Launches New Free-to-Play Chess Simulator

- Lifelike graphics to revive dying genre

With a spectacular new CG trailer, Crytek has now put their plans to conquer the Chess Combat genre into motion by launching Chessface, a free-to-play chess simulator looking to take on such stalwart rivals as Chessmaster and Chess Titans.

Chessface (not to be confused with Chestface: Paizuri Champions, published by Illusion Games), has already been made available in North America and Europe, after its initial trial in Russia, where chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov called it “the second most likely thing to topple Putin’s government after RoboPutin (a new and stronger Putin).”

In the trailer, we see chess pieces being moved with breathtakingly lifelike graphics. “The unique capabilities of the CryEngine enable every single chess piece to show a range of lifelike emotions,” Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said. “We think the deep storytelling capabilities made possible by the CryEngine can really transform Chess and what it means to us.”

The trailer ends with a grey-suited businessman taking a suitcase from a dying soldier, before it’s revealed that the game of chess was, in fact, taking place in his expensive-looking car, suggesting that the new microtransaction system will allow players to purchase suits and cars that they can use in-game or purchase customisations for.

Crytek has, however, made it clear that they strictly oppose pay-to-win games. “It’s not about putting non-paying players at a disadvantage – if you have the skills, you can play without paying a dime. But, if you have the cash, you can pay to get the skills,” said lead gameplay designer Leo Stravinsky, “Still, for balance purposes, all players will be limited to two kings each.”

At the time of writing, Chessface has already been live for 24 hours. Its somewhat steep system requirements include:

  • 64GB RAM (1GB per tile)
  • 2x Crossfire / SLI graphics card
  • A sacrifice to Satan
  • Graphics delivered by nVidia, or preferably by NASA
  • Little or no regard for actual chess

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