Crytek Brings the Tropics to New York City in Crysis 3

The new shooter from Electronic Arts and developer Crytek are bringing a very different version of the Big Apple to gamers in 2013. Crysis 3 introduces the New York City Liberty Dome, which introduces seven distinct and treacherous environments become known as the Seven Wonders. This dangerous new world demands advanced weapons and tactics. Players take control of Prophet, who has an arsenal that includes a lethal composite bow, an enhanced Nanosuit and devastating Seth alien tech to become the deadliest hunter on the planet. Rasmus Hojengaard, Director of Creative Development at Crytek, talks about the new shooter in this exclusive interview below.

What were your goals heading into this game after the success of Crysis 2?

We wanted to push the quality of everything because that’s just a given with Crytech. From a story perspective, we wanted to make something that was tighter and revolved around fewer characters, so that you really get an understanding of what’s going on.  We wanted to simplify it a little bit and create depth in the story. We wanted to combine the best elements of Crysis 1 and 2 and then crank things up to 11.

Can you talk about the environments that New York circa 2047 brings to Crysis 3?

The concept of the Nanodome was introduced quite early in development and everybody liked it. This allowed us to add a sci-fi element with an urban rainforest theme. We didn’t have to adhere to what’s a tropical island and what’s New York City. We could really push things. We were able to create seven unique environments within this dome and offer diverse gameplay opportunities to the players. It all developed very organically.   

What’s new in the gameplay experience this third time?

We wanted to utilize what resonated well with both of the previous titles. We wanted more open sandbox areas with a lot of horizontal gameplay. We thought that there were strengths in having funnels where people will know where they’re going to be at a certain point, so that we can create these epic moments where a building collapses or a generator explodes. We wanted to have an environment that supported all that, which is where the seven wonders came in. These very different environments encourage very different gameplay and each has a unique feel and mood to it. We have everything from the open spaces and sandbox areas, as well as the more claustrophobic and terrifying environments. We’re creating a game that features a bigger dynamic range both in terms of gameplay and variety, as well as in storytelling and pace.

What role is CryENGINE 3 playing in bringing Crysis 3 to life?

We’re really pushing hard to make an amazing looking game and CryENGINE 3 is helping us push things further than Crysis 2. There’s going to be lots of new stuff in the game, but what exactly is going to be there is a little hard to tell yet because we’re still working on it.  It’s still pre-alpha, so it’s not completely locked down. But you can see through the environments and the levels that we’re showing where we’re heading with this engine. It can do these completely detailed, super-condensed and claustrophobic-feeling environments, as well as these much more open areas with really long draw distance. We’re really utilizing all the stuff we learned technologically from doing the first Crysis games and taking things even further.

How does this tech impact the gameplay experience in this shooter?

All of this new technology, from both the engine as well as the new tech in the game like the bow and stealth and alien and Cell Corporation technology, conceptually fits in a tight package. We could have added a bow at any point in the franchise, but now is the time where it fits the character and it fits the setting. We could have added the ability to shoot Seth weapons at any point, but now because of what the story is really about, it makes sense that Profit is now so infused with this Seth technology that he might not even really know what he is anymore and that fits with the story.  That’s why it’s more interesting. Now is the time where Profit can shoot these things and he can also hack into new alien weapons.It all ties in and ramps up throughout the campaign as you play it, and it plays a significant role.