PC and console gaming mavens Crytek yesterday officially announced the coming launch of Crysis 3, the third in their fabled series of first person shooters. As I’m sure many of you will agree, it is hoped that the follow up to Crysis 2 will do a better job serving the PC audience, although that remains to be seen. The game is scheduled for a Spring 2013 release on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. The press release lists the platforms in exactly that order.
Crysis 3 finally lets players assume the role of the indefatigable Prophet, who was in the first two games, but never as a player character if memory serves. This is quite interesting because to my recollection he died several times – including being stranded on Lingshan in the first game, and then collapsing in a heap in the second. For the third outing, Prophet will come back stronger than ever despite all of these minor setbacks, armed with an improved version of the nanosuit and a slew of new weapons. The game will once again take place in New York, although a different version of the city. Both CELL and the Ceph will still be around the give Prophet great grief and plenty of stuff to shoot at, while the city will again be divided into distinct areas, though Cevat Yerli is saying this will definitely be a sandbox shooter, so hopefully we’ll get to do more freeroaming than Crysis 2 allowed for.
The game is already available for pre-order, with several editions offered, mostly giving gamers access to exclusive multiplayer extras.
The reason we should probably be more excited about Crysis 3 than we were about Crysis 2 is that this one is being built with DirectX 11 as the native API, and should have it out of the box for the PC version (or out of the Origin more like, since this is an EA-published title).
Coincidentally, Crytek have also announced yesterday the release of an update to their CryENGINE 3, the powerplant behind Crysis 2 and the upcoming Crysis 3. Version 3.4 of the software development kit (which is free for developers) integrates many lessons learned by software engineers since last year’s Crysis 2 outing. This has resulted in a DX11-optimized engine that now implements much more detailed tessellation, better facial rendering, stronger shaders, a new glass texture shader (so shooting out windows is more fun than before), and enhancements to volumetric fog, draw distance, lighting, and much more. In short, this is a proper DX11 engine, not an upgraded DX9/DX10 build.
To drive that point home, Crytek have provided a cool and insightful video demoing the new SDK, and it looks quite impressive. I have a hunch Crytek will use Crysis 3 to get back on the good side of PC gamers once more, but of course those console versions do indicate that development resources are split three ways, at least theoretically. And naturally the two consoles are nowhere near DX11-worthy. Then again, being a 2013 game we may even see some sort of adaptation for a yet wider range of devices, including several notable mobile platforms. And maybe the dashboards of hover cars.
All tongue in cheekness aside, this is by far the biggest game we know of for 2013, and we appreciate Crytek being so candid about it and forthcoming with information. It’s especially good to have what appears to be a solid release date. We are definitely stoked.