The first game ended with Nomad returning to the island. In the sequel he will be fighting in New York. What happened in between and how many years/months/weeks have passed?
When we began thinking about Crysis 2, we first of all tried to figure out, in which direction we'd like to go. Crysis 1 was for sure a big adventure for its players. But then we asked ourselves: How will the story go on? What will follow in this thrilling Crysis legend?
As the whole story of Crysis 1 was centered on the island and the government conspiracy, everything was pretty limited in a local sense. Basically the whole story took place on the island and barley anybody from the rest of the world recognized it. But of course after the big bang people returned from the island and so more and more people got to know about the events and spread rumors about the catastrophe.
So if you ask yourself what's coming afterwards, it was clear that everything would end in a big centre of the world - and we chose New York City. For the first time in Crytek history, a setting is no longer a tropical jungle. Instead, we chose one of the world's most dazzling and famous cities of the world, New York City.
Unfortunately I can't reveal much more about the story so far...
What are the new functions in the new Nanosuit?
In Crysis 2 we're introducing a new and improved version of the well-known Nanosuit, the Nanosuit 2.0. It enables players to express their selves in a much better way than the first version of the Nanosuit did. Other than in the original Crysis, it's more about individual play styles than about prescribed modes.
We are very aware of the fact that in Crysis 1 gamers used the Nanosuit in very specific ways and have thus refined the design of the Nanosuit to encourage this type of play. Some people for example played very aggressively, others played from very long range or stealthy, and even others used all suit powers to harass the enemy. The new Nanosuit will support those play styles with additional features.
For maximum effect, the suit combines several powers and abilities such as speed and strength for example. Even when the suit's powers aren't activated, passive features will be in place to ensure players are always in their chosen "role".
Can you tell us something about the new weapons?
They're going to be powerful - That's for sure. As much as I would love to, I cannot talk about them more specifically. But nevertheless, the most impressive weapon of Crysis 2 is in my eyes the Nanosuit 2.0 which I already described in the previous question.
What was the best part, for you, in the original Crysis?
The first time I played the close to final Nanosuit test map I could jump on huts and punch a hole in the ceiling and get into the hut. That was an emergent experience and a very fun one.
So besides the visual fidelity paired with the interactivity of our large, open-ended world, I think, the Nanosuit ended up being a very successful and fun gameplay mechanic.
What was the weakest part of the original Crysis?
This is a quite tricky question. I think the weakest part of the original Crysis is the story. In my eyes it lacks of originality and especially of details. Crytek has been criticized for that very often and we're absolutely aware that in this point we haven't done our homework properly. BUT we'll learn from your mistakes. That's for sure. Another problem was that the game felt a bit linear for gamers in the last 20% to the end. Last but not least that it wasn't on consoles.
What will surprise fans in Crysis 2?
As Crysis 2 will be released for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 I'd like to separate that question a bit. I think for console gamers especially the freedom of Crysis 2 gameplay is very interesting. Crysis gameplay is not about "go anywhere", it is about looking at a situation from a great vantage point and then formulating a plan which you proactively initiate and defeat your foes.
You have a lot of freedom in what that plan entails and what weapons and world interactions you use. This is what we call Veni Vidi Vici gameplay: I came, I saw, I conquered and it should be quite fresh to the console market. For PC gamers, I think, Crysis 2 is more fun, looks amazing, and runs well on all platforms, and no one will feel cheated by their respective experience.
The first Crysis is still the best looking game on the market. What are the visual improvements?
Thanks. With Crysis 1 we wanted to push our technology (CryEngine 2) as far as we could and the fact that Crysis 1 and Crysis Warhead are still being used for graphics benchmarks today underlines our success in doing so.
In CryEngine 3, the underlying technology of Crysis 2, the combination of scalability, efficient development (simultaneous real time editing of 3 platforms, known as Live Create, and What You See Is What You Play on all platforms) and the Crytek graphics and rendering technology has even been improved and will even in future set the benchmark for high end effects.
CryEngine 3 looks amazing. How have you made that possible on the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360?
This is good to hear and indeed, even we ourselves are impressed by CryENGINE 3's look every day anew. Crytek has been offering the CryENGINE for many years now, more than 10 to be accurate. The decision to enter the console market for engines was first driven by our desire to make console games. That's what we always wanted to do. The big challenge during the development of CryENGINE3 has been scaling the engine whilst maintaining the visual quality and performance. This is always challenging; problems occurred of course, but we're really proud that our teams have managed to solve them as we proved in line with several engine presentations and will prove with Crysis 2.
Is the choice of moving Crysis from the big, lush jungle in the pacific - to New York - a way to scale down graphics for the consoles to be able to handle it?
To be honest, the decision to pick New York City as Crysis 2's setting is based on a very long decision process and has absolutely nothing to do with scalability.
We had done 3 games in jungles and wanted to go away from this and offer a new experience, still very cutting-edge.
When we started thinking about Crysis 2, we first figured out, what we could improve and in which direction we'd like to go and what the next playground for the game could be.
In case of Crysis 2 we decided to pick New York City as setting as it's one of the world's hotspots. New York is a very import place for the entire world. In general, a city offers much more opportunities for vertical gameplay than a jungle and here's the first big difference to Crysis 1. The player can jump between different floors, jump on buses, on trucks, in crater, and jump from one building to another one. The player is much more mobile in a real city playground and can change his position more often. The gamer has a lot more freedom as he can plan from above or attack someone from above and thus gain an advantage.
What will you add and/or develop to the multiplayer-portion?
At this stage of development I can't reveal anything about the Crysis 2's Multiplayer. I guess I have to count on your patience.
What are you most proud of with Crysis 2?
That is definitely the highly motivated team that stands behind this ambitious product. Everybody is doing an absolutely great job and is working incredibly hard to get things done and to develop an action game that the world has never seen before.
What did you think of Ubisoft's Far Cry 2?
Unfortunately I did not have time to play Far Cry 2 very intensively. But I really liked what I've seen so far. It's a lot of fun to play.
Besides your own games at Crytek, what are your personal favourites in the action genre?
It is really hard to answer this as there are so many great action games out there. In general I really like the whole Call of Duty series. Modern Warfare 2 really enthralled me. This game is a lot of fun!