“Can your computer play Crysis?” is a question that gamers used to use to determine how powerful their PC was.
When Crysis 2 launched about two years ago, console gamers such as myself got to experience the franchise about a super soldier wearing a Nanosuit made from alien material for the first time. Its sequel, Crysis 3 launches tomorrow on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC.
I’ve already played finished it on Xbox 360, but it was worth finding out whether or not PC gamers will be happier with the game than their console counterparts. To learn more about the highly anticipated title, I recently spoke with producer Mike Read via email. Here’s what we discussed.
For those who haven't seen any of the previews or trailers, how would you describe Crysis 3?
In Crysis 3, you play a character named Laurence “Prophet” Barnes. Prophet is a former military operative that has unique powers bestowed upon him in the form of powerful hardware called a “Nanosuit.”
Crysis 3 itself is set in the year 2047 which is more than 20 years after the events of Crysis 2. A corrupt corporation called CELL has managed to harness the world’s energy resources by finding a way to draw power from an alien artifact contained inside a massive dome that they built over top of New York City.
Alongside Prophet is an old friend by the name of Michael “Psycho” Sykes who has broken Prophet out of incarceration where he’s been for many years. On one side of the story is a rebel operation that Psycho has been working with to shut down CELL and the recruitment of Prophet is to assist with their goals. On the flipside of this is Prophet having visions of the end of the world and mankind as we know it.
Crysis 3 is an emotional and powerful FPS title that puts you in control of the action. Whether its story, action, or a mix of the two, this game aims to hit all the right chords for both newcomers and fans of the franchise.
I never wound up playing Crysis, but had no trouble following the story in Crysis 2. Will newbies also be able to jump right in to Crysis 3?
Definitely! This is probably the easiest one to get into not just from the story side, but from the gameplay as well. For the first time in the series we’ve added a tutorial. For the story end we have a much bigger focus on more emotional character interactions with the help of performance capture. The story in Crysis 2 really helped us to flesh out a more technical side to the Crysis Universe and this time we’ll focus on the human elements and finishing off this piece of the story.
The new game is set more than 20 years after the previous one—why such a time jump? How has New York changed in that span?
It is a massive jump and there are all sorts of angles we needed to look at when creating this. One of the key things was the creation of the dome and creating the massive power network that CELL has put in place. We needed a time span to make these things happen.
I should also note there is a book which we commissioned to have written by a new author named Gavin Smith which covers some of the events that happened within this timeframe. Some of these events are also made clear within the game story itself.
Talk about the addition of the bow to the arsenal and how that changes the gameplay.
The bow is a weapon that you have on you right from the first mission in the game. One of the key things with the bow is that is can be fired while cloaked. It does use a small amount of energy when it’s being used. What we have seen though is players using this in more action oriented ways as well.
The flexibility combined with the 4 different arrows you have at your disposal really creates a special tool that people will always end up coming back to. Not to mention that it’s quite satisfying to use.
What other new skills and abilities can players expect?
For the most part the suit abilities have remained untouched as we wanted to maintain a level of familiarity from previous titles in the series.
Hacking, for instance, is a new piece that we added in so players could interact with the environment.
Another key thing we’ve added in Single Player is the new Nanosuit Upgrade System which is a refined system we had from Crysis 2. This system allows you to unlock and create different combinations of perks to better suit your play style and approach to challenges. There is also a similar system we call “Perks” that was added to the multiplayer system as well.
I never play multiplayer. Tell me why I should change my mind and check out some of Crysis 3's.
This time around we completely let our team in the UK go wild with the changes they could make to the multiplayer. There was a ton of fine tuning that was done from previous iterations in the series to not only make the gameplay faster, but also easier for new players to get into. That added element of having various suit modes and attack options allows the player to fine tune their approach to the multiplayer side.
If you’re a fan of multiplayer FPS games and are looking for something wildly different and challenging you might want to consider giving this one a shot.
Does the storyline reach a definitive conclusion at the end of Crysis 3? Is this the end of a trilogy? Or would we perhaps see a Crysis 4?
In some ways things are definitive in the ending and others you need to read between the lines. For the most part this is the end of this story bubble inside the Crysis universe. A new writer by the name of Steven Hall was brought on to this project and he really injected a lot more human elements into the series.
Some gamers would say to truly experience Crysis, you need to play it on PC. What would you say to console gamers – like me – to convince us otherwise?
The sad fact about consoles in the current generation is the hardware in them that is dated. We were able to squeeze that much more visually out of current gen PC hardware, so that is does take on more immersive visuals.
With Crysis 2 being our first foray into the world of console gaming we did end up learning a lot about how to develop for consoles vs. PC to provide the best experience spanned across both platforms in terms of the gameplay. Whether you use a controller or a mouse/keyboard, you will find that the controls are tailored to whatever suits your style. On the plus side with the visuals you are going to find that we utilized as much as we could out of this generation to make things look as good as we possibly could given the restrictions.