Crytek Head: So Far, Crysis 3 Is Our Masterpiece

Crytek Head: So Far, Crysis 3 Is Our Masterpiece

Crytek head Cevat Yerli has come out in defence of his studio’s latest game, Crysis 3. In an interview with Gamasutra, Yerli says that the game is “so far, our masterpiece”, and that he feels it’s better than both Crysis 2 and the original Crysis in all aspects.

He blames the game’s tepid reception on the fact that gamers have fatigue with this console generation and with sequels, and says that because the first Crysis was such a different sort of game for its time, it had a bigger impact, which has caused gamers to remember it more fondly than it deserves.

While I agree that history has warped our view of the first Crysis a bit — it’s a fun but uneven game with some glaring flaws — for the most part I just don’t agree with Yerli’s assessment. I found Crysis 3 to be mediocre in almost every way, a short, unfocused, un-engaging game that fell short of both of its predecessors. Crysis 2 was a well-constructed quasi-linear shooter that made up for its personality deficit with enjoyable, balanced combat and polished production. Crysis 1, while uneven, at its best was yards beyond either Crysis 2 or 3. Though I do agree that the first Crysis had a lot of problems that are easy to ignore in favour of focusing on those great opening chapters.

Yerli goes on to say that while Crysis 3 had triple the budget of its predecessors, the only way it could secure that budget was by going multi-platform. But developing for the Xbox 360 and PS3 along with PC held them back.

“The consoles are eight year old devices. Of course, in one way or another, they will limit you. It’s impossible not to be limited by a limited console. By definition it’s the case. So if it were PC only, could we have done more things? Certainly, yes. Could we have afforded a budget to make a game like Crysis 3 PC only? No. People have to understand that this is a journey of give and take.”

That must be frustrating. Visually, the PC version of Crysis 3 is miles beyond the console versions, but the core of the game — the size of the levels, number of enemies, and basic design and artificial intelligence — remains the same. While a PC-only version of the game may indeed have been cost-prohibitive, it’s not hard to imagine what Yerli and his team could have done had they been able to make Crysis 3 for the PS4 and the next Xbox, rather than the current generation of consoles.

As it stands, the game is still technically impressive in a lot of ways, but it’ll likely be remembered as an end-of-generation footnote as we make the leap to new, more powerful consoles. Timing is everything, I guess.

Go read the full interview at Gamasutra.


  • Gamers are prepared to put up with plenty of flaws if, when everything else is stripped away, the core gameplay is genuinely enjoyable. The first Crysis was like that for me. Surveying enormous living landscapes, developing a plan and then executing it, against what I thought were quite challenging AI opponents; there’s a freedom there that hasn’t really been matched in any other game. (And it was clearly the power of the engine – particularly the epic draw distances – that made that possible.)

    The first Assassin’s Creed is another example: that core mechanic of scaling buildings, plotting an assassination and then carrying it out was brilliant, despite the repetition of the investigations.

    I don’t buy Yerli’s indignation here. They made a business decision to develop for consoles in addition to PC, because they can make more money that way, as of course they are entitled to do. But I doubt that they could not have afforded to make a game just for PC if they chose to. Crysis obviously made enough money to enable the development of Crysis 2, and surely Crysis 3 would not have required triple the budget of the original had it not been targeting three platforms.

    Quite obviously the sequels haven’t had the same impact as the original, but that was a product of Crytek’s business decision to publish on consoles, not of gamers’ misplaced nostalgia.

  • I’d say Crysis was their masterpiece.

    Crysis 2 and 3 have broken, erratic hacker AI that see you from spastic distances sometimes even when you’re behind things, and turrets that will 180 and shoot you as soon as you de-cloak even though its laser has no idea you’re there… coupled with somewhat stale gameplay and more of a focus on ‘action’.

    The levels and areas aren’t fun to explore, there’s not much room for tactical attacks and using your suit to its full advantage like the first game.

    Shit, I can still play the first game and have good fun… Crysis 2 I blasted through but found it kind of dull and lifeless in comparison… Crysis 3 I’m only really playing because it’s nice to look at and I have nothing else interesting going on.

    Hopefully if they continue to create new single player (or Crysis sequels? I don’t know how 3 ends) games instead of going down the free-to-play/pay-2-win route on the new consoles it will give them more technical freedom to open things back up again instead of creating another boring linear game with pretty visuals and sections with the ‘illusion’ of freedom.

  • Just because it’s slightly better than it doesn’t make it the best release. I judge these in terms of which the best release is. For example, with the Assassin’s Creed series. The best release was AC2, it completely blew away everything in the previous game, and added a staggering amount of variety and fixed a lot of problems. Then you have Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. This game was essentially a more refined version of AC2, and thus you could argue that it was slightly better than AC2. However it was really very similar and didn’t surprise us as much, and so I deem it a poorer release while it is technically a better game.

    Also, Crysis 1 was definitely better than Crysis 2. 2 was incredibly linear and lacked variety. The only thing it had going for it in my opinion was the story, which I loved.

  • Crysis 3 is pretty polished and I can see in some ways why he’d say it’s their masterpiece. It’s improved version of Crysis 2 but with a lot less game.

    They still haven’t quite captured the open world feel of Crysis 1. Although game play was getting closer at parts.

    I thought playing stealth with the bow was really great in Crysis 3. I just wanted more of it. Some of those levels were so much fun, really solid stealth play. I also wanted more of those long grass levels, with those cool aliens attacking you like raptors from the lost world. The game just leaves you wanting more. Especially some of the really great levels. Which there are some amazing ones. You just want more!

    Also, the AI was great in Crysis 3. I suspect people have different interpretations based on what skill level they played on. I recently replayed Crysis 2 on the hardest level and the AI was no where near as good as on whatever level I played Crysis 3 on.

    Another side effect of how short and how changing environments were in Crysis 3 is you never got to feel part of the world. In Crysis 1 you get to feel like you’re on the island. Crysis 2, you get used to the feeling of the city. In Crysis 3 you never got to soak it in really.

    Also someone needs to mod the bow into Crysis 1. I’d love to play that game again with it!

  • I don’t get the haters. Look I love the entire Crysis series. Crysis 1 I almost couldn’t finish due to end game bugs, but before that I stopped about half way because I found the story convoluted and the power options necessarily complicated. Crysis 2 was great when they incorporated the powers, streamlining isn’t a bad thing. Also people moaned about the lack of open world, I for one didn’t mind it. It wasn’t call of duty linear, you still had options. Crysis 3 is a beautiful game and I find the story is a little more directed. I think they made a lot of good choices.

    No open world gamer is ever gonna be happy with the constraints in Crysis 3, but maybe next gen with bring a Far Cry/Crysis hybrid or something. I don’t play the Crysis series purely for the looks, I love the combat, and think that the multi has more depth then call of duty. But this is all my opinion.

  • Eh, they’ve burnt their bridges as far as I’m concerned. The graphical cuts I could maybe forgive in Crysis 2, but the gameplay and environments were downright boring. I remember getting to the part on the highway where I’m expected to literally travel in a straight line down a road and just thinking that Duke Nukem Forever was more entertaining, and longed for the freedom of Crysis. I bought that game and loved every moment of it, even when my PC started to shudder thanks to particle effects and physics going overdrive in the ending. If you can’t steal a goddamn boat and ride it a mile down the coast on a whim when your high-up’s suggested sneaking in quietly, it’s not Crysis.

    Besides, their bipedal redesign for the aliens was just a clear rip of Metroid Prime’s space pirates.

  • What are these flaws with the original Crysis that you keep alluding to?

    It’s still my favourite single player FPS. Just above HL2.

    Crysis 2 was ok but the story sucked and the level changes were lame. Crysis 3 feels better, bigger, but it’s still an enhanced version of Crysis 2. I am enjoying it though. I don’t think it sucks. In fact I think it’s pretty good.

  • i played Crysis as a stealth, it was boring as hell. cloak , walk for 10M, wait for the suit to recharge and repeat for the rest of the game. u you cannot strategically take down or knock out enemies and the whole stealth gameplay design was just bland. i didn’t feel like a super solider taking out enemies one by one. i don’t about crysis 2 and 3 though.

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