Crysis 3 Interview with Producer Mike Read


At the recent EA Showcase, Clare had the opportunity to interview Mike Read, the Producer of Crytek and EA’s Crysis 3, where they spoke about level design, weapons, environments and multiplayer. The full transcript is below.

The first Crysis was considered revolutionary in terms of its graphics. Do you feel pressure to raise the bar once again with Crysis 3?

 We’ve done a whole lot of work on Crysis 3, we’ve definitely raised the bar.  We’ve leant a lot from Crysis 1 and 2, especially Crysis 2. We’ve worked on the engine and tools that our designers used so they could spend more time working with and implementing the technology as opposed to fighting with the technology.  It really shows in all the videos and game play stuff. I have confidence that they we have raised the bar this time.

 Crysis 2 traded the first game’s wide open spaces for a more vertical level design. How did those two games affect the design of Crysis 3?

Rolling back to Crysis 1, some people came over to me and said ‘its so open world’ but I dont think that is the right way to put it.

You have these vistas that you were on an island, you could see the ocean and the trees and the villages and all of these wide open spaces and you did have a lot of area that you could move around. There wasn’t a lot of vertical space though.

Coming into Crysis 2 you were dealing with a lot more urban environments with tall buildings and a greater urban view of the city. We were very confined in what we were able to do but there was a lot more vertical game play.  So coming back to Crysis 3 in terms of game play and the environment we thought hard about combining the two together and finding out a really great middle ground that players can enjoy.

Crysis 3 features the addition of the compound bow – this seems almost counter-intuitive given the high tech gadgets in the series. What prompted you to include it?

There were a number of thing that prompted us to do it.

Well the hunter is now the hunted, what was formally hunted in the game (Crysis 1 and 2) you are now becoming the hunter so tie-ing in with the suit mechanisms being the cloaking mechanism we were just like, ‘wow, this fits in really well’. There were a number of different re-iterations we could have hit on but our design team decided that our bow was the best one and of course became the forefront piece for Crysis 3.

And who would win in a bow fight – Hawkeye or Prophet?

Prophet  of course, no doubts about it.

One of the focuses of Crysis 3 that has been teased so far is the Seven Wonders – seven distinct environments within the New York City Liberty Dome. Can you tell us a little about them, what distinct differences they offer game play wise and which of the wonders is your favourite of the seven?

Of the seven wonder we’ve shown 3 so far. We’ve shown swamps which is actually based in China Town; we have canyons which will be based in down town Manhattan;  and then we also have fields, which you played a little bit of earlier, which is set in Mid Town Westside Manhattan. That’s really been one of the biggest challenges from the design of the game has really been these distinct environments. And if you take these environment shots and put them up side by side to one another you’re like ‘Wow, these are seven games you’re playing,’ becuase they are so different.  There is a style that definitely ties all of them together but finiding each of these seven disitinct areas has really been quite a challenge.  It’s fewer areas than we were dealing with in Crysis 2 but it’s more challenging. There is a lot more vertical game play.

 In terms of my favourite environment? I can’t go into why but my favourite area is called ‘River’ ….I can’t tell you why.

With respect to multiplayer – Crysis 3 introduces the Hunter Mode – which supports up to 16 players (on PC)  at a time. What can players look forward to experiencing in this mode? The trailer for the mode made it look like both a tactical and action-packed experience.

Well for hunter mode specifically – hunter mode is one of 8 modes that will be in the final game and will have 12 maps which is quite robust as far as mutliplayers go these days. So  in hunter mode we’ve really put on a showcase and added something different, something unique and it offers a real hightened tension style of game play. 

Console specifically – you have up to 12 players and of those 12 players 2 of them are randomly chosen in the system to start as hunters;  they’re permanently cloaked and only have the bow and so they can basically run around and take out all these call troopers and they only have two minutes to do it. Every time a hunter takes down a trooper they themselves (on their next respawn) will turn into a hunter so slowly the balance tips. People don’t like me using the word infected … you know people will come over to me and ask ‘did you get the inspiration from this or this…’ but it was honestly, from a lot of things and we’ve wanted to do this for some time. It’s a unique balancing challenge.

What is it about Crysis 3 that sets it apart from other games in its genre? In a genre that already features a lot of heavy hitters, what’s going to make me want to pick up and play Crysis 3 over them?

So we’re on the 3rd game now and people are familiar with the franchise but we also wanted to make the game available for people who hadn’t played before, so they could just jump in and get on it. We made a lot of little tweaks to the systems in the game to make them a lot more fun and make it flow better, and more importantly the ability to customise the nano suit, customise the weapons and play it the way you want to play it.

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Save Game would like to thank both EA and Mike Read for taking the time to answer our questions.

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