Crysis 2 World Premiere Impressions
"Crysis 2 is the greatest product that is going to come out this year," promised David Demartini, General Manager of EA Partners. Demartini was touting Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter at EA's Crysis 2 World Premiere event last Tuesday, April 6. PSU was in attendance at the event, and while we think Demartini's statement may be a bit overzealous, we're happy to report that the sequel is looking extremely promising.
In Crysis 2, Crytek swapped out the lush jungle environments of the original for the crumbling, desolate city streets of New York City. “If the gamer cannot save New York, no other city will be able to be saved,” explained Cevat Yerli, CEO & President of Crytek. He feels New York is a place we'd want to protect in the face of an alien invasion, making it much more emotionally relevant than a nondescript island.
Now, the first Crysis is known for many things, but an emotional narrative is not one of them. Yerli himself recognizes that the original's story wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the experience. To ensure the studio wouldn't make the same mistake twice, Yerli brought acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Richard Morgan on board as the game's Lead Writer. Morgan, an avid gamer as well as a successful novelist, sees "massive potential in games," but believes that such potential often goes unfulfilled.
In Crysis 2, Morgan promises an "emotional charge from the word 'go.'" Indeed, the game's introduction -- which we won't spoil for you here -- sounds extremely gripping. Morgan's creative vision will focus around three primary narrative threads: the narrative of the player, the Nanosuit, and of the city; the three become wrapped together and intertwined in various unpredictable ways throughout the course of the story. One important thing to note is that the character is essentially a blank slate, meaning if you haven't played the original game, you won't be utterly lost if you pick up Crysis 2.
Assuming that, if you're reading this preview, you're interested in the PS3 version of the game, know that the console versions aren't shoddy ports of the PC release. The three main areas focused in Crysis 2 -- highly interactive destructibility, the Nanosuit 2, and a visual style Crytek calls "catastrophic beauty" -- are all done justice on the consoles. The technology in CryEngine 3 that they're able to run on the PS3 and 360 is pretty astounding, actually. A quick run-down of some of the features that made the jump from PC to consoles includes dynamic time of day, color grading, blend shading, procedural destruction, integrated physics, procedural deformation, a dynamic cover system, and hit reactions. They're all on display in the following tech trailer from GDC 2010, just now officially released to the public, which means gorgeous HD video footage.
After the various speakers concluded, it was time for a real-time demonstration on Xbox 360. Before we go any further, know that due to the nature of CryEngine 3, the PS3 version will be virtually indistinguishable from the 360 version of the game. Anyway, continuing on, a developer grabbed a controller and began to play. The first of two scenes on display took place on Wall Street. As the character stepped out onto the edge of a dilapidated skyscraper, Crytek's version of New York City exposed the extent of its devastation. Between the sweeping orchestral score and extremely technically advanced, but also stylistically relevant graphics, we really felt a sense of the "chaotic beauty" that Crytek is aiming for.
After gazing defiantly at the gorgeous backdrop for an appropriate amount of time, the developer switched into action mode: literally. The Nanosuit, like in the first game, has different modes, but the mechanics ... (continued on next page)
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