Crysis will long be remembered for being a truly great technical achievement for video games. Only problem is, most of you didn't play it.
Developer Crytek's decision to only release the FPS on PC meant that it wouldn't have found its way into the hands of many console gamers.
That's where Crysis 2 comes in. Driven by the mammoth CryEngine 3, the title is coming to 360, PS3 and PC later this year.
We saw it in New York last month and were astonished by the way it looked on 360. While there, we sat down with Crytek CEO Cervat Yerli to get the inside track on its creation...
Given Crysis 2 was shown on 360 and given the way the internet is, were you worried about the reaction from PlayStation3 owners?
I can tell them that 360 and PlayStation3 versions will be just about the same. There's no difference.
Why did you decide to show it on 360 rather than PC? Because, I presume, the PC version looks best?
PC is the best looking version, yeah. But if I had shown it on PC, it would have been like... okay, Crysis 2 is on console, but they're not showing the console version. So we wanted to go with console.
Most people obviously remember Crysis for its technical prowess and it's now remembered for that more than it was for being a great game. Does that frustrate you?
Yes it does frustrate me. I almost get hurt about it. It's like hey, we made a great game there as well.
The people who had the rig said it's an awesome experience but the people who didn't have the rig, they either didn't bother to install Crysis because they wanted to wait until they got the right PC or they said they'd buy it when they had the right PC. What frustrated me was even within my own family, within French families, there wasn't a PC running there. It was about 360 or PS3.
My nephew had a PS3 and he said 'uncle, why don't you make a console game?' And I thought, that would be a big drive to bring this kind of experience to consoles. It's not really about selling more units. It's really not. Otherwise I would done console right away as well as PC. I didn't want to compromise quality. And frankly, I think if we had done it for Crysis, it would have looked different.
Is that why the original never came to console?
Yeah. Exactly. I think back then, we would have been limited with our knowledge of 3D and experience with CryEngine. Today, we have much more experience with the technology and the bleeding edge experience on PC helped us to trickle down the engine, step-by-step.
So we were looking at every high-end feature and said, how can we bring this to console? I said to our technology guys, we have no choice. It has to come. How do we do it? Instead of telling me which ones you can and can't do, whenever it looked impossible, I said find another solution. So that forced a lot of optimisation and rethinking. Ultimately, that made for an even better PC title.
How have you found working on console compared to PC?
We've focused on it from a consumer and technical perspective. I simplified it for our guys by saying there is one difference between the PC gamer and console gamer. I said the single most important difference is a PC gamer forgives you for about a minute.
A console gamer gives you two seconds. It sucks or it fails and you're either the top or a flop. They don't respect any value you put into your development, either it works or it doesn't work.