At the EA London Showcase this year, Crysis 2 executive producer Nathan Camarillo was in town to show off the latest build of the game. But before we got to see the long-awaited sequel in action, Camarillo spent a good portion of his presentation talking about the first game. "The nanosuit came in late in development," he claims, suggesting that it wasn't implemented quite how the team would want. Camarillo explained how players of the first game fell into three different "buckets," as he called them, according to how they used the nanosuit powers. You'd have the predator guys, who would engage the speed boost and camouflage abilities and then pick off enemies one by one. Then there were the people who retracted from combat, using mid- to long-range weapons to stay out of danger. Finally, he described the superheroes, who would just head into combat and run and gun their way around.
For Crysis 2, the team at Crytek has rearranged the powers slightly, made them more accessible, and integrated the binoculars into the suit's visor. The biggest change for Crysis 2, though, is the environment--as Camarillo says, this is the first Crytek game not to have been set in the jungle. "New York represents everything possible since the dawn of industrialisation--if you can't save New York, then you can't save the world," said Camarillo. Perhaps more importantly, the city's dense population of buildings is a perfect challenge for CryEngine 3, the studio's in-house engine, and the team certainly has its sights on redefining the visual benchmark once again.
The demo that we saw was running on the Xbox 360 and started with the main character, Nomad, jumping several stories down a tall building. We watched as an EA representative played the game, engaging the nanosuit's powers to take down enemies in a variety of different ways. He switched on the power boost to jump from building to building, and used the predator camouflage to sneak up on victims and take them down silently. We saw plenty of cool stuff from the demo, such as the ability to fling enemies out of windows, sending them tumbling down to the streets below. Nomad could also rip off mounted gun turrets, Master Chief-style, and mow down enemy forces.
The first half of the demo was all about human combat, but the second half showed off the city's alien invaders. After a short break to skip over a cutscene that "would ruin the story for everyone," we saw Nomad captured by the private military and thrown into a helicopter. A nearby building was then torn apart by a huge alien creature, sending the helicopter tumbling to the ground and allowing Nomad to make his escape. However, he was soon on the ground facing the invading alien forces. Unable to fend off the attack though, he took a fatal blow, at which point the demo was over and the Crysis 2 logo appeared.
While it was certainly a short look at the game, Crysis 2 still appears to be shaping up well, especially given it's the series' first appearance on consoles. With the game due for release by the end of the year, we're bound to see more on it soon, so keep an eye out during our Electronic Entertainment Expo coverage, where we should be able to bring you even more details.