CRYSIS 2 Brings Novelist, Catastrophic Beauty Holiday 2010

CRYSIS 2 Coming Holiday 2010

Concept Art, Crysis 2

In early April, 2010, game journalists from around the world were gathered together in New York City for the official unveiling of Crysis 2. The game, from Electronic Arts and Crytek, seeks to build on the 2007 Crysis, hailed for its ridiculously high-level graphics and innovative first person shooter gameplay.

Crytek's CEO and President, Cevat Yerli, was amongst the representatives from the company who took the stage for a presentation interspersed with clips and teases from the game. Yerli outlined three main goals for the game, saying they are focused on improving upon the first, and developing "Catastrophic Beauty."

The event was held in New York City for a reason. Yerli said the city will be used to "create emotional ties" to events for the player.

Concept Art, Crysis 2: Grand Central Station, NYC

"New York is symbolic for the pride of mankind," said Yerli. "If the gamer cannot save New York," then no other city can be safe.

Opposed to the first game's jungle atmosphere, this one would use an "urban jungle."

"The verticality of the city" along with "rubble and destruction to use for cover" will provide an ever-changing atmosphere in the game. This plays off the "catastrophic beauty" goal for the developers.

"We want the player to see the catastrophe" of the city, said Yerli, "but for it to still be beautiful, so that they want to protect it." Keeping the player emotionally involved, and not just running through the game focusing purely on the shooting gameplay, was repeatedly mentioned.

To that end, Crytek and EA also announced that novelist Richard Morgan joined the team as lead writer for the game. Morgan is best known for his award-winning novel Altered Carbon. His style, a "futuristic noir," as described by Yerli, brought him previously to Marvel Comics for two Black Widow mini-series, and now into the gaming world.

Screenshot, Crysis 2

"I'm a novelist, but I'm also a crazy-enthusiastic console gamer," said Morgan to the crowd. He spoke of his enthusiasm at working with the team to craft the story from the very beginning of development, and of the "massive potential" in gaming as a storytelling device.

"All of the things I value in literature, all of the literary values of story-telling and creating a fiction, it's possible to import into gaming, and unfortunately it doesn't happen often."

After Morgan's introduction, a brief live demo of the game running on Xbox 360 was shown, mostly to show off the adaptive properties of the new Nanosuit 2 armor that the player will wear. With this armor, abilities such as strength, speed, defense, a cloaking device, and more can be upgraded, customized, and changed on the fly with a simple button press. The idea, said Yerli, was to allow players to "become a Predator, or become a Hulk," referring to two pop culture mainstays, the stealthy and quick hunter or the powerhouse monstrosity.

Screenshot, Crysis 2

The gameplay demo, in addition to showing off the cloaking device and super-human jumping and speed, showed off how the AI of enemies will adapt to your style of gameplay. Visual and audio cues are in place not just for the player, but for the computer-controlled enemies. They use cover and shoot your cover out from in front of you in the nearly entirely destructible world. They communicate and co-ordinate onto your position. And when you're fighting the alien invaders, they use super speed and super strength in addition to a full weapons arsenal to stop you from impeding their progress.

While development of the game was suspected, the official announcement was held until later stages of development so that they could also announce a release window to make anxious gamers happy. Holiday of 2010, a mere 5-7 months away,  will see Crysis 2 ship for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 worldwide.

Stay tuned for more about Crysis 2 throughout the day, including the official world-premiere trailer, and interviews with writer Richard Morgan and Executive Producer Nathan Camarillo

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