by Justin Snyder
previewed on X360
Alien-invaded New York City
The original Crysis was, and still is, considered the pinnacle of graphical beauty in a video game. Not only that, but the physics engine, and therefore destructibility, had reached their peak within recent games. With enough destructive power, you could destroy pretty much everything on the island. This title was about creating engaging, freeform gameplay and Crytek succeeded. But with Crysis 2 they are looking to bring the destructibility to a whole new level.
Crytek have decided to take the setting to a completely different place. We will be wielding the power of the Nanosuit in a desolate, decrepit, alien-invaded New York City. This is the first of many shifts that are being made to address the areas that many thought were lacking in the first. Another new change is the much greater focus on narrative. EA has hired sci-fi novelist Richard Morgan to come on as Lead Writer, who has published several acclaimed novels and managed to snag a Philip K. Dick award. He is also been an avid console gamer for a few years now, which is a factor that brings a much-needed perspective for a game writer. EA has said that the new focus on narrative will not require players to have played the original Crysis or its prequel, Crysis: Warhead. With this title releasing on Xbox 360 and PS3, many will experience Crysis for the first time.
Last week in New York City Crytek gave us an eyes-on demo of the changes made in Crysis 2. We were shown two different scenarios, which were played through by someone on the dev team on the Xbox 360. A bit strange but probably to show that CryEngine 3 is really as powerful as they are touting it is on the consoles. We already know what they are capable of on the PC.
When they booted up the demo for us, things started off on Wall Street. The player stepped out to the edge of the roof that he was on and panned over the landscape, showing us the thoroughly battered and bruised cityscape. It was easy to see why the guys at Crytek have been throwing around the phrase "chaotic beauty" so much. I can say that the view actually was a little emotionally striking. Looking out at the city I've been living in for almost a year now, and seeing it in such a destroyed state made me really want to kick some alien ass. But, that part comes soon enough.
When it became time to show us the meat of the game, the dev started off with a bang. He switched into one of the Nanosuit's two primary modes – a "Tank" mode – and jumped down what could easily be 150 feet, only to land on the ground mostly unharmed. The Nanosuit2 has been simplified and streamlined this time. The devs noticed that in the first game many people used the suit's abilities to run in guns a-blazing to take down everyone in a large firefight, mixing heightened power and armor, or preferred to sneak, using the cloaking. All the while the heightened speed was used for escaping tough situations and getting from point A to point B faster. So, for Crysis 2, the suit has the two primary modes. One is the "Tank" mode that mixes use of the first's power and armor capabilities, and a "Stealth" mode, which utilizes the cloaking abilities.
Upon hitting the ground, the player engaged the human enemies of the game, Crynet Security. Crynet is the fictional corporation that created the Nanosuit technology, and Crynet Security is essentially a Private Military Corporation. Crytek wouldn't tell us why we are battling them if we are also using their tech, though, that could be why. I'm going to hazard a guess that the Nanosuit2 is stolen technology.