Crysis 3 Alpha key giveaway extravaganza!
Crytek is back with a new installment in the Crysis series – and one generous site has 3000 alpha keys up for grabs!
"The award-winning developer Crytek is back with Crysis 3. Return to the fight as Prophet, the Nanosuit soldier on a quest to rid the world of the invading Ceph; eliminate the corrupted CELL Corporation. Adapt to any situation with the stealth and armor abilities of your unique Nanosuit as you battle through the seven wonders of New York's Liberty Dome. Unleash the firepower of your all-new, high-tech bow and alien weaponry to hunt both human and alien enemies. And uncover the truth behind the death of your squad while establishing the power of human will in a rich story full of exciting twists and turns."
..Or so the story goes.
If you just want to jump in to the game, go here and follow the instructions: http://www.gamingdeluxe.co.uk/crysis-3-giveaway.html.
For those of you still here, let's discuss Crytek's latest endevour in depth shall we? But first a little on Crytek's background:
Crytek started out not as a games company, but as a small German graphics company in 1999. Founded by two Turkish brothers with the last name "Yerli", Crytek wowed participants of the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) in 2000 with a tech demo they made for NVIDIA. Several years later this tech demo evolved into Crytek's first venture into the games industry – Far Cry.
After Far Cry
Soon after Far Cry, Crytek released their game engine into the wild. Dubbed 'CryEngine', the new engine was showcased at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2003 trade show. Back in those days, the stunning physics and polybump visuals of the engine were a huge leap ahead anything out at the time – even Crytek's arch enemy Epic could not compete with their Unreal engine.
In Februrary 2004, after allegations of using pirate software in their offices and being raided by the police, Crytek coincidentally (?) joined hands with EA, and started work towards a new plateau of graphical superiority that would even blow Far Cry out of the water.
In January 2007, Crytek for the first time revealed to the world the fruits of their labor over the past few years – CryEngine 2. Evidently their engine wowed not just would be consumers of their next game, but also other developers, as multiple studios rushed at the chance to get their hands on the engine for use in their own games. In November of the same year, Crysis was unleashed on PCs worldwide, and gamer's machines would simply melt in contact with the game, such were the system requirements for playing it so high (OK, I made that last bit up).
After what seemed like an endless flood of 'but can it run Crysis?' jokes, the rest of the world finally caught up to Crytek's digital prowess and played the game long enough to get to the part where the aliens arrive.. and it went all downhill from there really.
Hurr look at me I'm a bad ass nanosuit dude!
Crytek were mad. Really mad. They had made a decent profit with Crysis, but it wasn't the multi-million dollar hit they had anticipated for all these years as they toiled over perfecting their monstrous CryEngine 2. The reason for this, they figured, was not the alien levels in their game, or lacklustre multiplayer mode. No, no, the reason for their mediocre sales was of course.. piracy!
Vowing to never again trust the filthy scum of the PC gaming world, Crytek secretly started work on a new project … one that would be a blockbuster hit … one that would run on all systems… one that people would have to pay for this time. Crysis 2 was going multiplatform.
Nerds everywhere were outraged. How dare Crytek, the last bastion of PC gaming, the flag flier of the PC master race, betray its own kind like this! How dare they develop for Xbox360 and Playstation 3!
"It won't sell anyway"
"It will look like crap"
"I bet the alien levels are back"
Such were the sounds of sour grapes which emanated from masses of PC gamers around the globe. But Crytek didn't care, because they had a hit on their hands. They were going to beat Gears of War. They were going to beat Call of Duty. They were going to beat Halo!
To Crytek's credit, they did try pretty damn hard this time. Employing professional sci-fi writer Richard Morgan for the story, and the legendary Batman Trilogy/ Inception composer Hans Zimmer to create the soundtrack, Crytek were sure they were going to blast the world away. But would they. Would THEY be the ones to finally run Crysis?
..A jungle guerilla warfare game set in.. New York?? Seriously, Crytek?
The short answer is no. Crysis 2 did OK considering it was Crytek's first ever multiplatform game. But it's total 1.6 million sales were miniscule in comparison to the 3 million sales of Crysis (4.5 including sales of Crysis: Warhead). Something was missing. The graphical prowess had been toned down a lot in order to get the game running on the consoles, and the PC version suffered a lot because of it. The most important factor here was that Crysis 2 was natively a Direct X 9 game, and at the time of its release Direct X 10 games had already begun to dazzle PC gamers with their new sparkly features. This did nothing but further aggravated PC gamers who were already feeling betrayed by Crytek. It also didn't help that the game had no graphics settings menu, and the PC version merely came with the console version of the menu, complete with 'press X to continue' style console-centric help messages. To use the parlance of the Internet, it was almost like Crytek were 'trolling' its audience.
Return of the Prodigal Developer
After being slapped in the face with their console iteration, Crytek finally got the message and decided it was time to bring back the tired 'but can it run Crysis?' meme, by developing Crysis 3 with PC as their main target audience. (Yes, the CEO himself actually used that stupid phrase). However, only time will tell whether or not this will prove to be an effective strategy. For one, the game is still going to be multiplatform with current generation consoles, which means that it is debatable whether or not the next iteration of CryEngine will even be that impressive. (At this stage of the console lifecycle, it is doubtful). Some demos were thrown about during E3 this year but personally they didn't really impress. It seems like Crytek wants to have their cake and eat it. Will PC gamers buy into their so-called 'return' to the PC arena?
It's free, just take it, PLEASE!
And so what this all boils down to is this: Crytek probably BENEFITTED from all the popularity they got when benchmarkers around the globe tested out their beefy rigs with pirated versions of Crysis. Without people testing the game and showing their results to the world, it is dubious whether or not anyone would have really cared about the game to begin with. And then it wouldn't have sold much at all. Kind of like another game with the word 'Crysis' in the title *ahem*. But this time around, its not certain that pirates will use Crysis 3 as their new benchmarking tool du jour. So what are Crytek to do? Well give the game away for free of course. Well.. kind of.
Well, that's my theory behind Crytek's decision to throw out free copies of their (albeit alpha-stage) game. What do you guys think?