During EA's spring showcase event in London this week, Crytek's Nathan Camarillo was on hand to demo Crysis 2 to a salivating press, and have a chat with those present.
VG247 sent Joe Anderson over to grill the executive producer on the game, and find out what makes Crysis 2 stand-out from its peers in a crowded shooter market.
What Camarillo said, just may surprise you. Read on below the break for the full thing.
[Interview by Joe Anderson]
VG247: There are many bold claims coming out of your studio and EA about Crysis 2, such as it being a Halo killer. Can you justify those comments?
Nathan Camarillo: I can comment on them a little bit. Those comments right now are coming from EA, which is good that they're supporting us in that way and they believe that much in our product.
For us, it's quite a flattering comment. You know, this is the message coming out of EA, and for us, we're Crysis 2, we're the second Crysis coming out and to be compared to Halo, which Halo: Reach is basically Halo 5, is quite a flattering comment to be compared head-to-head with [Bungie].
Our goal is to make the best game possible, and a great looking game, and if we're publishing that, then that's awesome.
VG247: There was a quote from Richard Morgan that Uncharted 2 was the perfect example of a compelling story. Will Crysis 2 also be a perfect example?
Nathan Camarillo: You should ask Richard that. He's our writer, that's his area and he'd give you a better answer than I would, but we're taking our story very seriously.
Is that something you worked hard on?
Nathan Camarillo: Yeah, really hard on.
Considering Crysis has never been a console game before, are you worried that you maybe slightly overconfident about its success?
Nathan Camarillo: No, not at all. [laughs]. People probably thought a game like Crysis couldn't even be made, and three years later, it's still the benchmark for PC gaming and visual power. If we didn't live up to our ambitions, that never would have happened.
I think it was someone at Epic that said they were a bit worried about how CryEngine 3 would actually work on consoles?
Nathan Camarillo: They can be worried about it, we're not. You know, that's Epic. [laughs]
Do you feel that Crysis 2 could be one the biggest selling titles of all time on the console?
Nathan Camarillo: That would be awesome. It definitely has the potential as a great game. It looks awesome, it's a lot of fun to play and we're having as much fun playing it internally as we are making it, which is sort of a good sign for a successful title, so I'd love for that to happen.
Also, how would you feel if your Metacritic ranking didn't quite live up to your expectation?
Nathan Camarillo: Ya know, until they increase the Metacritic score to about 110 percent, or a Metacritic level to our expectations, we'll only release a game when it's to the quality bar that we want it at, so we won't be surprised with whatever score that we get.
Okay. You going to tell me about the multiplayer at all?
Nathan Camarillo: All I can tell you is that we're making the multiplayer and that Crytek UK is working on it, but I can't talk about modes or maps. But we have a dedicated team working exclusively on multiplayer.
Okay, and how long, roughly, will the single-player last?
Nathan Camarillo: That I can't comment on. We're not talking about length or duration or locations. It's all easy to back out when I start talking about that stuff, you know it's like 'oh, so you go to this many places, it takes this long', etc. We'll talk about that in the future.
Will there be any replay value to the game once you finish it?
Nathan Camarillo: Yeah tons, because even in Crysis 1, there were different ways that gamers approached the same space, so you could play through one time playing as like the predator or later switch to be an assassin or an action hero.
Crysis gives you the ability to play the game over and over and have a really unique gameplay style each time you play it.
But beyond that, we also have, like in Crysis 1, weapon customization and we'll have that in Crysis 2 as well, so you can take a different arsenal into the gameplay space. And in Crysis 2, we're gonna allow players to customize the Nanosuit as well, and it's not like paint schemes or colors and stuff like that - it's having different models you can activate and unlock which extends the gamer's style even further.
So, if you want to play stealthy, there's modules that enhance that style of gameplay, and if you want to be the armor guy, it pushes it away even further from the core of just withstanding more damage. This makes it just one of the reasons players will want to play it over and over again so they can try new styles and new combinations.
Did the single player have as much time and love spent on it as the multiplayer?
Nathan Camarillo: Oh yeah, like I said, we're taking it seriously. You know, we have the single-player team and the multiplayer team working on both aspects simultaneously. So yes, we're taking both very, very seriously.
Will the console version support Natal or Move at all?
Nathan Camarillo: No, we're not talking about that right now.
Just from a personal point of view, how do you feel about these devices? Do you think they'll bring anything new into gaming at all?
Nathan Camarillo: They always have the potential to bring great things to gaming. Like with Wii, people probably thought that was insane when it was first pitched, and then when people started using it, it changed the face of gaming. So, all these new technologies always have the potential to do it, but it's up to the software developers to come up with really innovative ways to change the way people interact with those games.
So, yeah, I think the potential is there, we just need to see the proof, basically.
What are your thoughts on Crysis 2 and how it fits in with all the other console shooters, as there's quite a lot of them and they're obviously quite popular.
Nathan Camarillo: We're in a really comfortable space that, really is our own, because we're close to modern military shooters, which are kind of a dime a dozen right now. You know, there's a lot of titles out there right now that are kind of like the modern combat sort of games.
But, while we sit near that - we're not on top of it. There's also science fiction and science fantasy like Halo is, all the way at the other end of the spectrum, and there we are sitting right in between.
I mean, we have this Nanosuit which is really great technology and that's more than what a normal soldier would have, so it pushes it more towards science fiction but we still offer very conventional arsenals and very conventional enemies, like humans. But we also fight aliens, so, we're in a really unique space where it'll appeal to both markets - it will appeal to fans of military shooters, it will appeal to fans of games like Halo.
We're in a really comfortable spot that no one else is really in right now.
When's it due for release?
Nathan Camarillo: Holiday 2010.
Obviously, there's a lot of games coming out then...
Nathan Camarillo: There's always a lot of games coming out then, right? There's always first-person shooters coming out...
What would you say to fans, I mean, why would you say that your game is better than all the others?
Nathan Camarillo: Yeah, well, you have the awesome powers that the Nanosuit gives you, and you have a first-person shooter experience like no other - you're not just a soldier with a gun. That's just one reason.
Then there's the setting of New York and this urban combat space that is unique as well which will be a new experience for gamers.
On top of that, we have CryEngine 3 which will provide unparalleled visuals on all platforms - PC, PS3, and 360, it's the total package. Which with single-player, and multiplayer and these factors added in together, it's a good game to buy.
Just one last thing. Do you have anything controversial to say, because I would love the headline [laughs].
Nathan Camarillo: [Laughs] No, I have nothing controversial to say [laughs].