METRO INTERVIEW FROM xbox360iso.com Hey, I'm now a member!http://www.xbox360iso.com/crytek-crysis-3-t582038.html
It didn't really matter that EA accidently confirmed Crysis 3 last week. Not only have believable rumours been circulating for months about the game but last year's Crysis 2 marked a successful expansion of the series from PC only shooter to a joint console-led franchise. The download-only port of the original game further cemented the series' multiformat credentials.
All of this made another sequel inevitable, but the first sequel was not without its critics and now German developer has the difficult task of placating not only new fans but older ones who remember the series as a PC-busting technical tour de force.
Although Crytek are still holding back a lot of information the new game is primarily set in a post apocalyptic New York City, that has been artificially turned into a rainforest. This allows for a mix of both the original's jungle setting and the sequel's urban environment, and Crytek are already hyping their 'Seven Wonders' concept that simulates all the various types of natural and unnatural environments within the game.
As a result GameCentral had plenty of questions for senior creative director Rasmus Hojengaard about why Crysis 3 is still set in New York and what going back to basics means for such a high tech series as this…
GC: What is the setting and basic plot behind Crysis 3? Weren't the alien Ceph defeated at the end of the last game?
RH: The game plays out several years after the end of Crysis 2. Cell has built incredibly huge Nanodomes over several capitals around the world to protect the Earth’s population from Ceph remains – as well as cleaning up the environment and rebuilding the cities. Or at least that’s what they say they are doing…
You play as Prophet who is getting seriously fed up with being kicked around and he wants to do what is right. He’s taking matters into his own hands and he has a strong goal – one I cannot talk about now. But as part of succeeding with this, he will take on Cell as well as the Ceph and avenge the past. In doing this he partners up with a usual suspect of the Crysis franchise – Psycho aka Sergeant Michael Sykes, who we all remember from Crysis 1 and Crysis Warhead.
Crysis 3 - Prophet unleashes his inner Rambo
GC: After the success of Crysis 2 how did you set about reassessing the franchise and what did you feel were the most and least successful aspects of the last game? And how in turn has this informed Crysis 3?
RH: With Crysis 3 we wanted to combine the best aspects of Crysis 1 and 2 and add on top of that. You can certainly say that it builds on the foundation of the series - we have a lot of the wide gameplay from the original Crysis and a lot of the verticality of Crysis 2 and that we combine in a really stellar and beautifully unique setting – the New York City Liberty Dome that introduces the Seven Wonders and creates a real urban rainforest complete with jungles, swamps, grasslands, canyons and more.
GC: The console port of Crysis 1 was also received very positively, with many gamers appearing to prefer its more open-ended approach. Has this feedback influenced the design of Crysis 3?
RH: Well, yes and no. We always listen to our fanbase and even before we shipped Crysis 1 for console, we wanted to address some of the feedback from Crysis 2 – and included in that was the more horizontal gameplay as you know it from the first Crysis. In other words – we were already thinking about this prior to shipping Crysis 1 for console. This being said, I can assure you that Crysis 3 will benefit from an exciting sandbox environment that reverts to the origin of the Crysis franchise.
GC: Crysis 2 became something of a poster boy for 'New York fatigue' last year, where seemingly every second game was set in the city. Is that something you acknowledge and how has it affected the setting and art design in Crysis 3? It seems to be influenced by the Life After People/The World Without Us aesthetic favoured by games like Enslaved and The Last Of Us. Is there not a danger that this also will quickly become overused and what attempts have you made to ensure Crysis has a strong visual identity beyond just the nanosuit?
RH: We’re not so worried about that. New York City is a landmark city and that’s the reason many games and movies play out there. To be honest it’s one of the richest and most diverse locations in the U.S.
We’re pretty confident that our execution and interpretation of New York City as a rainforest will not only be very different from how others do it – it will also look above and beyond most other attempts to do a 'post-apocalyptic' New York City setting. Our Seven Wonders concept that executes on seven particular rainforest themes will create a diversity and richness not seen thus far in a game – or even in a movie.
Don’t forget that our setting is not just a city left to its own demise – it’s a city that has been artificially grown into a rainforest by help of the Nanodomes.
GC: Will Crysis 3 use CryEngine 3 and if so does that make it the first time a new numbered entry in the series has not also debuted a new engine? How much of the original game's appeal was the technology and how much do you feel you have been moved beyond that with Crysis 2 and 3?
RH: For Crysis 3 we’ll be using the newest edition of the CryEngine 3. We’ve developed a lot of new stuff since the version of the engine we used for Crysis 2 though. From individually-rendered blades of grass to scalable detail on huge, towering skyscrapers wrapped in unique real-time illumination – Being Crytek of course we’re iterating on tech constantly and with Crysis 3 it’s no different. But it’s no secret that today you’ll not blow people away with tech the same way as when we released Crysis 1. Iterations on visual today are a lot more subtle and not the quantum leaps that the original Crysis took back then.
Crysis 3 has matured the franchise a lot – we have a much denser story with rich and interconnected characters. We’re basically trying to tell a simpler story in a bigger way in other words.
GC: The high tech bow and arrows seems to be a prominent part of the game, so what's the story behind that? Is it now the primary weapon and what advantages does it have over firearms?
RH: There is no primary weapon but the bow is a cool new addition and it goes well with the whole concept of going back to the roots which is a theme that resonates across the game. There are plenty more cool new weapons in the game – and this time, you will even be able to use alien weaponry. That’s pretty fantastic.
GC: What other new weapons and equipment will feature in the game? And what sort of enemy forces will you be fighting against? Will it still be a mix of human and aliens?
RH: There are several new traditional weapons but more interestingly is the fact that you’ll be able to fire Ceph weapons. This really adds a cool new flair to the look and feel of the game. Also as mentioned earlier there is a bow featured which you can equip with several types of arrows – both stealthy and loud as hell.
In terms of enemies you’ll be fighting both humans and aliens – with several brand new Ceph archetypes having been added to the mix as well as the oldies having undergone severe adjustments to fit them into the context of the urban rainforest.
GC: How will the artificial intelligence of opponents be improved in the game and do you feel this is an element still overlooked in action games, simply because it can't be used as a selling point in screenshots/videos? Presumably it is all the more important in an open or semi-open world game?
RH: Well good AI is hard to make – I think that’s more likely to be the reason that it sometimes fails to deliver in certain games.
For Crysis 3 AI has been improved and will dynamically adapt to change in player behaviour. As you say, in a semi-open world game, you need good and dynamic AI and for Crysis 3 both the visual behaviour and technical behaviour of the enemies have been improved greatly.
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