The original Crysis game is touted as one of the best shooter of all time. The island setting provided all the right pieces to complement the gameplay. Lush jungles and rocky outcrops were rendered to perfection and set against ludicrously long draw distances. The environments, while gorgeous, were also fairly open, allowing you to decide how to approach each encounter. In the famed Nanosuit, you were transformed into a super-soldier who now controlled the battlefield and set your own course through the game.
The setting of Crysis was so perfectly balanced against the gameplay that when the sequel arrived, the shortcomings of the New York backdrop became quickly apparent. While you maintained the role of a super-human soldier, the level of control dropped significantly. Towering skyscrapers and city streets funneled the gameplay from one skirmish to the next. The Nanosuit still allowed you to dominate these encounters with your enhanced abilities, but you were forced to do so at the game’s discretion, not your own. The core gameplay elements were still in place, but without the complementary perfect setting, the whole puzzle just didn’t quite come together.
While Crysis 3 is still set in New York, developer Crytek has found a way to take us back to the jungle. CEO Cevat Yerli explains how they will achieve this: “We can flatten buildings, pull them apart with tectonic shifts. We’ve moved geometry around and opened up these new expanses. Crysis 3 will be a mix of limited, very vertical sandboxes, and much more open locations. Definitely, though, we’re going back to our roots and making you feel part of a larger environment.”
Fast forward 20 years and Manhattan is a very different place. The entire island is contained within the confines of the Liberty Dome of 2047. This enormous structure was built to protect humanity from the last vestiges of the Ceph – the hostile aliens that you attempted to destroy at the end of Crysis 2. Within the dome, the city is undergoing a significant overhaul. As the creations of man crumble and succumb to the elements, Mother Nature is moving in to stake her claim. Trees grow up through the rubble. Rivers run through city streets. Thick vines cover the empty shells of the buildings that remain standing. Welcome back to the jungle.
The potential for these two very different environs to play off one another and have substantial impact on the gameplay is an exciting prospect. I can’t wait to don that Nanosuit again and explore what Crytek has dubbed an “urban rainforest”.
Crysis 3 will release next year for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. Until then, stay tuned to OnlySP for more news on the game.