Crytek's Frank Kitson talks Crysis 2 with PSU
During EA's world premiere Crysis 2 event this past Tuesday, we had the opportunity to talk to the game's Senior Art Director, Frank Kitson, about all things Crysis. Some discussion topics included CryEngine 3's cutting edge technology, Crytek's cooperation with sci-fi writer Richard Morgan, the Nanosuit 2, and even Crysis 3. In short, it's jam-packed with valuable details about what is shaping up to be one of 2010's top titles. Check out the entire interview below.
PSU: To begin, what's your name and role at Crytek?
Kitson: My name is Frank Kitson and I'm a Senior Art Director at Crytek.
PSU: In the presentation we were told a bit about the "urban jungle" aspect of Crysis 2. Can you elaborate on that? What exactly does that entail?
Kitson: On a low level it is primarily a visual thread that we took from the first game, which had dappled lighting, and a lot of the visual style that came out of the jungle environment. We wanted to carry that forward, and the reason behind that was to make what could be seen as a quite limiting environment -- rectilinear buildings that could be perceived as slightly boring -- into a more visually interesting environment. We wanted to present more influence of the environment, to produce dappled lighting within an urban environment, and so on.
On another level we wanted to take the vertical gameplay side of things and make a city like a vertical jungle environment, so we could literally tear things up, shoot lampposts up -- just like you could shoot trees up in the first game -- [allowing for] a much more dynamic and complex approach path through every level. Every action bubble will have the same sense of being like a jungle gym; you can move around, destroy things, and blast through poles and walls ... it was just a visual thread that we wrapped up into something called "urban jungle."
PSU: Will players still have the same amount of freedom that they had while tackling objectives in the first Crysis? Will it be primarily a 'sandbox' experience, or are some areas more linear?
Kitson: Yeah, definitely. I think [within the] the levels you'll see every attempt has been made to give the player the option to come in low, medium, [or] high, jump into the scene [or] play stealth, [or even] come around the back and have the AI adapt as much as you had in the first game. It's a core part of the DNA of the whole experience.
PSU: What new weapons are featured in Crysis 2, and do you have a particular favorite?
Kitson: I can't really go into that. The whole weapon line-up is something that they're going to roll out probably in a few weeks. I know that they want to make the player experience and the shaping of your weapon much more integral to the experience. So, yeah, there are things to come, but I can't tell you too much more at the moment.
PSU: Can you explain the Nanosuit 2 technology? How does it improve over the original suit?
Kitson: It's actually just a reshaping of what you had in the original game. In the first Crysis, there was not much clarity given towards what advantages you would have to use the suit's modes in shaping your gameplay style. To remedy this, what's happening is the designers and Cevat Yerli (co-founder, CEO and President of Crytek) said, "Ok, we think the two clear cut winners are a stealth mode that has a really robust mechanic wrapped around it, [in contrast to] an armor mode." They've hung most of the gameplay around the two, pushing those features out a little bit more. You still have the other ... (continued on next page)