Release Date: Holiday 2010
Format(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Released late-2007, the original Crysis by Crytek was a monumental achievement for a video game. Not only did it perform exceptionally well critically, the game was so technically demanding that to run at its highest resolution was unfeasible, even for the most high-end of rigs. Still the most graphically demanding video game for PC hardware, Crysis continues to be used to test PC efficiency.
A little over two years later, the sequel is well on its way to release for a 'Holiday 2010' launch for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Not to beat about the bush, Crytek have been treading the fine line between hype, 'PA' talk, harsh appraisal and extreme gloating or arrogance.
Lead programmer for the PS3, Michael Gluck, has been raising awareness of the game's graphical output, stating that it will set a new benchmark in terms of visual quality. Speaking with 'Play Magazine' he proposed, “I think with Crysis 2 you will see the quality bar being set at a very high level that games will struggle to excel”.
Similarly, in a remarkable display of one-upmanship, award-winning novelist and lead writer on Crysis 2, Richard Morgan, in an interview with 'NowGamer', has been criticising the most successful video games of recent years, including last year's BAFTA-winning Batman: Arkham Asylum and fan-favourite Halo- to which he says includes “bull*h** characters” and having “no real emotional impact”. Morgan went on to claim that his involvement in the latest Crysis has meant characters have been crafted “with weight and gravitas”.
Crytek have announced that the second in the series is somewhat a “resetting of the franchise”. Set in New York City, evacuated due to alien infestation, 'Nomad' returns to his role as lead protagonist. In addition to a broader freedom provided to the player, the 'urban jungle' setting also allows for improved tactical manoeuvrability and, due to the technical excellence of its game engine, CryEngine 3*, will feature destructible environments- like that seen in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Crytek have also stated that combat will be “beautiful” with the new and improved 'Nanosuit 2' taking centre stage.
With so many first-person shooters already on the market, and with the weight of such huge releases as Modern Warfare 2 just past, can we really expect so much from Crysis 2? The talk may reek of arrogance but perhaps the current climate in where first-person shooters over-saturate the market, Crytek have had to stand their ground and be as aggressive. One thing's for sure, if it doesn't live up to the hype, they're sure going to know about it. I, for one, am not overly excited about the game. With little announced in terms of actual game play and still a long way off release, I'm hoping it is something more than a visual feast for the eyes and a press release comes along that announces a new game mechanic that will separate this from the competition. Until then, I couldn't really care.
(*Take a look at the 'CryEngine3' demo video on the 'Game Videos' page that showed at this year's GDC to get a feel of what the engine is capable of.)