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Crysis 3: 'We're offering 7 very distinct gameplay experiences'

New Crytek shooter will mix the openness of Crysis with the verticality of its sequel

Announced last month and set for release in spring 2013, Crysis 3 will once again see players step into the Nanosuit as Prophet as he goes toe-to-toe with hostile alien Ceph forces and the evil Cell Corporation.

Like its predecessor the game's set in New York, but the Big Apple has changed dramatically since we last visited it in Crysis 2. Prophet's on a revenge mission after uncovering the truth behind private military corporation Cell's motives for encasing NY in a quarantined Nanodome called the Liberty Dome. The giant citywide structure has resulted in accelerated vegetation growth, creating an urban rainforest which Rasmus Hojengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, told us will allow the studio to offer a range of unique gameplay experiences set across a number of distinct areas dubbed the Seven Wonders.

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Rasmus Hojengaard

In our interview he also explained how Crytek intends to mix the most successful elements of the first two numbered games in the series with new CryEngine 3 advancements to create the best Crysis game yet, and discussed other issues such as combating piracy and his hopes for the next generation of consoles.

What was the design goal or mission statement for Crysis 3?

When you're on the third iteration of a game you don't approach pitches and design documentation prior to starting the game in the same way you do with a new IP, so a lot of it was just very small ideas which then snowballed, such as the concept of the Nanodome, which led to the idea of New York being overgrown due to hyper vegetation growth and so on, and then boom, you have the Seven Wonders concept.

That's the great thing about having a veteran team with a lot of experience of working on the franchise, because so much is understood, and when someone gets a small prick of an idea then immediately it blows up into a huge crater and it actually becomes more about controlling it and making sure it doesn't overflow and become too big of an idea.

That's what's great about having franchise legacy, because it's a completely different beast to wrestle when you're trying to generate new IP, where the pitch process is super heavy and people are very nervous about running with an idea because that's someone's head on the block right there.

So the concept of wanting to be Prophet, the concept of the Nandomes, the concept of hyper accelerated plant growth in an urban setting was really quickly established, and given the team's understanding of what was going on it was very quick to get gameplay prototypes up and running that fit the environment. The hacking gameplay [players can hack into mechanical and robotic constructs] came together very quickly and we had some crazy weather effects going on.

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Right, because Crytek said ahead of Crysis 2's launch that it already had the third game mapped out.

A lot of those concepts that resonate in the game were established before the game even started going into pre-production, but it wasn't like a fully-fledged game, it was more like we had some concepts we thought we'd really like to explore, but agreeing as a group that that's what you want to do is actually the difficult part. It's really important to Cevat [Yerli, Crytek CEO], who was the main guy pushing a lot of these things back then, that people rallied around the ideas, because if you can't ignite the passion in the people who are going to make it then most likely you won't ignite any passion in the people who are going to play it either.

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