What's holding back Crysis 3?
Crytek founder Cevat Yerli is frustrated. When Gamasutra asks him about the fact that Crysis 3 isn't making the same kind of splash as its predecessors, it's obvious that this is a raw topic for him. The original game sits at a 91 Metacritic, while the PC version of the sequel has an 86. As of this writing, Crysis 3 scores a 78 on PC.
This, despite the fact that Yerli tells Gamasutra that the game is "so far, our masterpiece."
"It is better than Crysis 2. It is better than Crysis 1. Technical and creatively, and storytelling -- all aspects," he says.
Even if that's true -- after all, it is, to a great extent, subjective -- the developer anticipated lower ratings this time around. After researching, Crytek found "about 20 games that we analyzed that got hammered, sequels or three-quels, where number two, number three, or number four got significantly lower ratings than the previous iterations."
He lays the blame on two major factors.
One is the current console generation creating "fatigue" in gamers. "Some games have lost up to 20 percent, despite the fact that the games are quite good still," Yerli says. "That's because there's a certain fatigue level with the old generation currently. The markets are down." In his words, "people's expectations are much more radical than the current generation of games are doing."
"I think the new generation of consoles will reinvigorate that and help to elevate that again, and elevate new concepts of gaming which old platforms are right now limiting, too."
He also places some blame on the fact that the original Crysis came to the market "free of any burden."
When it launched in 2007, only on PC, it was released against first-generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. Thanks to that, "it was so different to others that the relative impact it created was so much more bigger than Crysis 2 or Crysis 3," Yerli says.
And if there's one thing you just can't compete with, it's the subjectivity of human memory. "So, for me, the relative impact that Crysis 3 has created is lower than what Crysis 1 did. But I would think at any level it's better than Crysis 2, and it's certainly still better than Crysis 1. People remember Crysis 1 much bigger than it was, because it had a high impact," Yerli says.
He notes that Crysis 3 has triple the budget of the original game in the franchise -- a budget it can only get thanks to the fact that it's multiplatform. But that creates limitations.
"The consoles are eight year old devices. Of course, in one way or another, they will limit you. It's impossible not to be limited by a limited console. By definition it's the case. So if it were PC only, could we have done more things? Certainly, yes. Could we have afforded a budget to make a game like Crysis 3 PC only? No. People have to understand that this is a journey of give and take."