One of the big games at E3 2012 comes from acclaimed developer Crytek. Electronic Arts showed off Crysis 3 at its massive booth. Coming in 2013 for PC and consoles, the game utilizes the latest CryENGINE technology. Players take on the role of Prophet as he returns to New York, only to discover that the city has been encased in a Nanodome created by the corrupt Cell Corporation. Rasmus Hojengaard, Director of Creative Development at Crytek, talks about what's in store in this new first-person shooter in this exclusive interview. UPDATE: Read our Crysis 3 review.
Game On: Can you go talk about the new gameplay environment you're debuting at E3 2012?
Rasmus Hojengaard: We're calling it the Urban Rainforest and basically it's an artificially grown rainforest within this dome. These domes have built and they're covering a lot of cities and you're playing underneath this one in New York City called the Liberty Dome. This nano technology acts as a catalyst for plant growth so they're able to hyper-accelerate this jungle and create a jungle that has a density and a variety that would normally would have taken hundreds of years. But in the game it only took 20 years to get to that level. They use all this organic material to cleanse the city from within of any kind of spore pollution and cell activity.
What types of gameplay does this open up?
The urban rainforest setting has these seven wonders themes, which are seven distinct visual themes that resonate real rainforest themes. That's everything from canyons to falling rivers to big open grasslands to mesa rock formations and structures and everything in between. Each of them encourages, but doesn't dictate, a certain type of approach to the level. We have the sandbox gameplay, so there's no right or wrong way to approach things in the game. You can employ stealth or go in guns blazing. This urban rainforest level has settings in the middle where either approach is equally viable.
What role will technology play in this game's gear and weapons?
There's the whole concept of being the hunter inside this rainforest. Profit has this signature bow. He's probably the most advanced soldier in the world, but we gave the most advanced version of this primitive bow weapon. It creates a really nice contrast. The bow also has some unique capabilities. You can use it while you're cloaked, which means that the stealth gameplay has some areas that didn't exist before. You can encrypt it with a number of different arrows that can incapacitate enemies.
What are some of the more traditional weapons in the game?
There are things like frag grenades and we have a variety and diversity in weapons. There's the cell typhoon, which is this bad ass assault rifle that can shoot 500 rounds per second. And then we have this whole range of stealth weaponry. Profit is so infused with Ceph material that his fingerprint is stealth and that makes all of these Ceph weapons available to him. He can fire these weapons and they have a completely differently flare than the regular human-made weapons. You can't reload them, so that's something that you have to think about strategically.
What's new with Profit's stealth suit?
The suit has a new ability to hack and manipulate the items in the world. Hacking them becomes a mini-game challenge. There's a turret you can hack and use to take out enemies. Some of these weapons are very powerful and difficult to use, but you can gain a huge advantage by hacking them. This one new suit ability adds a lot of color and variety to the level design challenges and opens up all new gameplay strategies. You need to think about how you're going to use all this before you go in and do it.
What enemies will players be going up against?
The Cell Corporation, the human enemies in the game, play a bigger and more concrete role than they did in previous installments. You get to understand more of what it is they really want, which is world domination. They're exploiting the Ceph to whatever extent they can to get technologies to lead them to this. The Ceph, being a race that adapts to whatever kind of environment they're in, they're alien cyberorganisms. They provide whole new challenge in the game because they mimic the environment they're in.
What's an example of a Seth enemy?
The Scorcher is like a quadruped that shoots flames at you. It has this lizard-like look to it. All the archetypes that you know from previous games have been redesigned so they're not behaving or looking exactly like they did before. There is a really important aspect to the Ceph that you're going to fight in the game that we're really not going into now, but which ties into the level that we're seeing today in this big generator called System X that you're trying to disable. It's one of your objectives.