EA in Crysis mode

Megapublisher unveils first game to sprout from exclusivity deal with Far Cry developer--an all-new sci-fi shooter for the PC.

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Back in 2004, Ubisoft appeared to have scored quite a coup with the release of Far Cry. The graphically rich first-person shooter was the subject of plenty of popularity and plaudits, even scoring a nomination for Best Shooter of 2004 from GameSpot editors. Ubi wasted little time in expanding the brand to the Xbox (and soon Xbox 360) and appeared to be grooming it for a long-running franchise.

Within months, though, rival publisher Electronic Arts stole the wind from Ubi's sails by signing a development deal with Crytek, Far Cry's German developer. Billed as a "strategic partnership," the agreement was to see Crytek "create an exciting new game franchise for the PC based on original intellectual property"--not a sequel to Far Cry.

Today, the two companies announced said game would be Crysis, a first-person shooter for the PC. According to a joint statement from Crytek and EA, the title will sport "a new kind of gameplay challenge requiring adaptive tactics and customization of weapons and armor in dynamic, hostile environments as mankind struggles to survive in the face of a horrific alien invasion." Far Cry won much praise for its enemies' crafty artificial intelligence and its detailed levels, which sported far-reaching draw distances.

While Crysis sounds like it could provide the sort of game-length, Earth-as-fortress action Halo 2's ad campaign promised, little else is known about the game. EA said it would use the latest version of Crytek's proprietary CryENGINE 2 game engine, but declined to provide a release window or ship date for the game.

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