Five years ago this week, in partnership with EA, Crytek released Crysis: an innovative and futuristic action FPS which combined open level designs with stunning and realistic visuals. The game proved successful in multiple ways, and in celebration of its 5th anniversary, we’d like to take a moment and revisit the Crysis excitement of the past five years.
Crysis was the first game to run on CryENGINE 2 and used DirectX 9 and 10 to run on both Windows XP and Vista. At the start of development, the mission was clear: to deliver a high quality FPS game that would change industry standards. "The team was working incredibly hard to deliver the best experience to the player," says Michael Endres, Art Production Manager during Crysis. "The whole three years were a crazy rollercoaster ride, but we wanted to set the standards for a few years."
Just to refresh your memory: the game is based in a future where evidence of an ancient alien presence has been uncovered on an island in the Philippine Sea. The player enters the fray in the role of Nomad, an elite soldier who soon finds himself on the frontline of a three-way war. Together with his teammates and equipped with futuristic weapons and equipment, most importantly the Nanosuit, Nomad must prevent a global catastrophe. The Nanosuit provides several player modes, namely Armor, Strength, Speed, and Cloak.
The combining of an advanced graphics engine with innovative gameplay proved highly successful. After the game’s release in November 2007, it was met with critical acclaim. Review aggregator Metacritic has the game weighing in with a score of 91/100, with typical comments praising Crysis as; “…an immensely satisfying and richly detailed experience.” In publications including Edge, Eurogamer, and Game Informer, Crysis received a score of 9/10, and was described by GameSpot as “…easily one of the greatest shooters ever made.” Furthermore, Crysis was – most notably – awarded “2007 Best Shooter” by GameSpot, “2007 Game of the Year” by PC Gamer, and “2007 Best Action Game” by Gamereactor. By May 2010 the game had sold over three million units, making it one of the best selling PC games of all time.
Crysis was also highly praised among players, with many user reviews admiring the graphics and gameplay, and calling it a must-have game for FPS lovers. Since the release of Crysis, its fan base has been steadily growing – with fans spread all across the globe and dedication going as far as honoring the game with a tattoo (check it out in the gallery below along with pics from our anniversary celebration). "Crysis has an amazing global community," says Pascal ‘Kolga’ Meiβner, who helps run Crysis-HQ.com. “One of my personal favorite moments was the Crysis Beta, where I got my hands on the game right before its release. We planned some Beta events with the community as well, where people could challenge each other and discuss the game on the forums.”
Thanks to its quality and devoted fan base, Crysis has spawned into a well-known franchise within the gaming industry. It paved the way for its sequels Crysis Warhead and Crysis 2, comics and books, and the upcoming Crysis 3, which is due in February 2013, and in which the fans can continue the story with Prophet in an action-packed game bearing Crytek’s distinctive stamp. Crysis 3 will even come with the original Crysis as a free download for players who pre-order, so everyone can relive the first chapter of the series.
After five years, many of the original Crysis development team have stayed at Crytek to continue working on the series. They are currently working hard on Crysis 3, and many still have great memories from the first release. “I loved, and love, working with such a small but talented team," says Christopher Evans – then Lead Technical Artist, now Technical Art Director. “We were the underdogs, we attempted things we’d normally never do, and we shot for the stars in terms of quality.”
Happy birthday Crysis! Here’s to many more years of ousting alien invaders and combating corruption wherever it arises. For now, take a look at the next chapter in the series with the new Crysis 3 Hunter Edition trailer.