New Crysis Screenshots (TechEBlog)
Clearly, it looks stunning. The full array of next-gen graphical whizzbangery is on display, as you’ll see in the video: real-time soft shadows, motion blur, advanced pixel shaders, volumetric clouds, and destructible environments. While everyone’s wondering whether it’ll be the Xbox 360 or PS3 which ushers in the next gen, the PC is quietly pushing the boundaries of technology to the limit. As long as you have a bleeding edge graphics card, of course.
Now, I’m just hoping that it’ll make significant gameplay advances to match the obvious graphical ones. Far Cry was a solid shooter, but what made it stand out from the crowd wasn’t the incredible visuals (although they were nice): it was the freedom that comes with having a whole island to explore, with multiple routes to your objective. Unfortunately, it was let down by some dull, linear indoor sections and a dumb (but rock hard) ending.
It seems from the press and the E3 demo that Crysis is staying with the open-ended approach, which is good news. But the question remains: does it offer anything fundamentally new in a market already saturated with high-quality FPS games? Upgrading weaponary is a nice touch, as is being able to destroy the environment; taking out a building with grenades and making it collapse on your enemies would be undeniably sweet.
However, I think Crytek (the developers) need to bring something truly unique to the table to fight the growing sense of FPS fatigue. They also need to make sure the game is consistently entertaining, and this means resisting the temptation to drag out the playing time with ludicrously difficult sections, as they did in Far Cry.