CPU-Melting games Crysis 1 and 2, while similar in gameplay, were worlds apart when it came to locales. The first game busted heads in a thick jungle, while the sequel went urban, taking on an alien invasion in the heart of New York City. With Crysis 3 on the horizon, it looks like the term “concrete jungle” gets an all new twist, as Crytek looks to combine the best of both worlds.
Speaking to OPM, Crysis 3 producer Michael Read explained that locations of “Crysis 1 and 2 were different extremes and each with their own merits and faults”.
“I still believe that some of the ‘linear’ comments we get regarding Crysis 2 have to do more with the visuals that people were presented with in the game using a closed off space like NYC urban grid”, Read said. “The freedom element was still there to some extent, but presented in a different way.”
We really have a solid middle ground between the two games that allows the player to approach challenges in dynamic ways while still keeping them focused on the endgame goals. The ability to replay the action sequences in different ways really added a lot while still keeping the player focussed on a goal.
The environments are definitely one of the biggest changes. We were really able to identify a lot of the merits from the first two games in terms of the environment and capitalize on those for Crysis 3. The mix between broken down urban, lush rainforest, and more open spaces only helps to reinforce this experience.
There’s a benefit to having more enclosed sandbox environments, as it can force developers to come up with new challenges and scenarios for players, to make full use of that tighter space. Likewise with full scale open world areas, focus can be lost, and things can get messy. Still, it all comes to preference at the end of the day.
What say you? Disguised linearity in focused levels, or large scale freedom and exploration?