Crysis - hands-on

All of which raises the question - do they have any idea how crappy the last few levels of Far Cry were? They do. When we asked Cevat Yerli how he felt about them, he used the word “horrible” three times in one sentence. He admits they were rushed to get the game out before Doom 3 and Half-Life 2, and they were considered the least important sections since the fewest players would reach them. But the betrayal of their principles clearly still pains the developers, and they’ve paid particular attention to Crysis’ final section to make it up to us.

It plays out almost entirely inside the alien craft, in zero gravity. The challenge was to create a situation that would raise the intensity and difficulty, but without compromising the veni-vidi-vici approach. They want scares, but they refuse to script them the way Doom 3 does. If you do that, Cevat points out, the game’s the same every time you play, and completely un-frightening after the first play-through. And Crytek games are built to be replayed to death.

The solution is what Cevat calls “systematic horror.” The mothership is designed without a sense of up or down, and is riddled with nooks and crannies. So even though you can see the whole area before you float into it, you’re constantly going to be - shall we say “surprised” - by things springing out at you from angles you didn’t think to check. He says this part won’t be complete until it’s so traumatic that playtesters can’t get through it in one go without needing a break to recover. And for many, that’s already the case.

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