Not only did Crytek answer their questions, but all five readers have won themselves a copy of the game. Although they'll have to wait for Crytek to finish them game first. Crysis 2 is due out in February 2011 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Thanks to Crysis 2 lead producer Nathan Camarillo for taking the time to answer your questions.
rturtle asks... "Obviously, Crysis 2 has amazing graphics. But what does Crysis 2 offer the gamer who doesn't have a HDTV or a high-end PC? In short, what sets Crysis 2 apart from the rest of the crowd GAMEPLAY wise, and more importantly, what does it offer someone like me, who has grown somewhat weary of the FPS genre in recent times for its generic-ness? How does Crysis 2 innovate on the gameplay front?"
In all Crytek products we are always providing gameplay systems that enhance the first-person experience and push maximum player expression. The gameplay of Crysis 2 can be called "choreographed sandbox" since it combines the intensity of a linear FPS experience with the open sandbox gameplay and spaces Crysis is famous for. This is important because we do not tell you how to play. We give you the tools and you figure out the rest. You need to save New York and the Nanosuit allows you to be the weapon.
The Nanosuit is the key to this kind of gameplay in Crysis 2. It makes you into the ultimate super soldier. By default, the suit makes you more powerful and gives you the ability to move quickly throughout the environment. On top of this you can activate and layer either armour which protects you and makes you very tough, while stealth turns you invisible and hides your movements from enemies. It is very cool! The suit allows you to combine several actions and abilities such as speed and strength with stealth and armour!
Other than that, the setting itself makes the Crysis 2 gameplay very special. First of all a city definitely offers a wide range of new experiences and offers many different areas that players can use as playground. The increased verticality offers the players many opportunities to change height and approach the gameplay space in layers. You are not just confined to the ground and streets. It is very easy for a city to provide these opportunities, especially one like New York. A city in general offers many more areas for vertical gameplay than a jungle for example. The player can jump between different floors or onto buses or trucks, drop down into craters and fissures in the streets and leap from one building to the next. As a result the player can be much more mobile and can change his position more often.
Korwin asks... "I would like to know that with the advent of Windows 7 how heavily does Cryengine 3 focus on leveraging the advantages of DX10/11 as a platform. With the positive reception of Windows 7 among the PC enthusiast community people are finally looking to move beyond the limitations of DirectX9. Cryengine 2 still relied heavily on DX9 technologies however with Crytek's general moto of 'pushing the limit's of technology.' Does Crytek have any fun tech details or performance figures to show us how Cryengine 3/Crysis 2 will benefit from these newer technologies?"
At Crytek we are always pushing the limits of technology as you so adeptly point out! We have not announced any specific details regarding DX11, but you can imagine we are very proud of CryEngine 3 and we have quite a number of tricks up our sleeve we have not revealed yet. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer your question in more detail at this time, but over the next few months we will provide more details to everyone. (Editor's Note: We only sent the five winning questions to Crytek, and they did not vet any of the questions. So sorry, Korwin, if your question remains unanswered for now, but you still win the prize.)
Jason Oliver asks... "As a console gamer who has never played the original Crysis, I am aware of its reputation as the premier PC title from a graphics and presentation standpoint. With the sequel being cross platform, given that console gamers may not have experienced the original, what will set Crysis 2 apart from the competition in a crowded console FPS market?"
The real key is the choreographed sandbox I mentioned earlier. We are seamlessly handing back and forth between scripted events that engage the player and move the story forward, and realtime systemic sandbox gameplay found in all Crysis games. Additionally, the increased player expression of the Nanosuit lets gamers play how they want to play. Multiplayer gameplay with the mobility and the powers and the Nanosuit are really so much fun. Even when you are looking for your next target you see all these great opportunities to move across the gameplay space in ways a normal soldier cannot. Finally, the game’s excellent story, written by renowned science fiction author, Richard Morgan, sits us in a cozy space between modern military shooters and near future science fiction. All combined there is nothing else really like it!
GoMad asks... "One of the fun things about Crysis was your ability sneak and fight against the reactive AI of the North Korean soliders. How did you go about in updating/writing the AI in Crysis 2 so that players will have as much fun as the first?"
In Crysis 2 we have two different kinds of enemies: human ones and aliens. The aliens in Crysis 2 feature deadly weaponry, enhanced senses and intelligent team tactics, making them the most challenging enemies in the FPS genre. Players will meet a bunch of demanding encounters with unprecedented AI in the game and the AI will react to player actions while simultaneously navigating the game environment in interesting ways. I think our fans will be pleasantly surprised and challenged! We fully expect Crysis 2 to feature the most intelligent AI ever seen. Our aliens need to traverse the gameplay space in the same way as the player, and in some cases they are even more mobile than you are! Our game is completely systemic, so this means we cannot rely on repetitive, scripted events to make our AI behave in a certain way. The artificial intelligence in Crysis 2 must dynamically react to all of the player’s decisions and positions. The Human AI is even more challenging and reactive than already great AI we had in Crysis so I think you will have lots of fun hunting and stalking the AI.
Brian Quick asks... "In what ways have technological advancements (particularly around CryEngine 3) influenced your ability to tell a compelling story through the video game medium?"
Delivering a great story is not just the narrative and exposition told to the player through dialogue and cutscenes. It is the entire package of the player’s experience, and of course every aspect of CryEngine 3 therefore helps us to deliver that great story. We have an amazing setting of New York City and it has to look and feel like you are really there. Part of this is done through detailed research, trips, and the production of assets, but it is also how the engine renders those assets. We use time of day to evoke emotion, and we can dynamically change the mood with color grading to completely change the feel of the location without recreating all of the assets. An area can go from being sunny and hopeful to ruined and despair in realtime as the story progresses. Deferred lighting makes our night time come alive with moving and dynamic lights. And of course our great tools allow us to iterate quickly and see results in real time, allowing us to quickly fix things that don’t work for the story with a new approach. Everything CryEngine does well from A to Z is important: AI, Animation, Characters, Cinematics, and on and on... It is a great and very powerful engine.
Thanks once again to Crytek and EA for arranging this interview and the game giveaway. Winners, I'll be in touch shortly to collect your details, but you'll have to wait until early next year for your prizes. And Brian, you'll have to change your Facebook settings so I can send you a message.