Post feature RSS Exploring development of Far Cry 1: part 9

This is the ninth part of my article dedicated to telling you about Far Cry's cut content.

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Well, hello once again, dear readers. Like I said in the last part dedicated to Far Cry’s E3 2002 demo, we already have unearthed some content worth sharing. It’s not something as groundbreaking as a working build of the game, but still very much worth your attention. For example, you'll see what seems to be the earliest screenshots of X-Isle as a game rather than the Dinosaur Island demo.


As usual, there's a lot of images.
Nothing more to explain here, let’s dive into our finds.


I’ll start with what I originally intended as a bonus for the last part — a pretty interesting batch of images related to the level editor, called CryEdit at the time.

Most of these images are related to the Spacedock level, a relic of the X-Isle era still kind of present at the time of E3 2002 demo, around May 2002.

First, a little recap — these are the images we already have.

Terrain and an in-editor screenshot:

cover low spacedock

The main building:

engine 04

The indoor loading bay:

The outbuilding:

Clipboard3 copy

And here are the new screenshots we found.

Take a look and compare with what we have.

Interface of some terrain editing program with Spacedock’s heightmap (that can be easily imported into the editor, by the way):

editor1

Terrain editing window inside CryEdit:

editor2


Layer painter window:

editor3


Layer properties:

editor4


Lighting properties:

editor5


And environment settings:

editor8


All of these can help us recreate the level quite accurately.

I know because I tried it

But that’s not all.

Here is a couple of images showing some actual screenshots of the level:

editor6

These two also show a 2002 era mercenary

editor7

editor9

And here are some screenshots showing level-editing mistakes, probably deliberately just for these screenshots, and not normal features of the level:

“No Objects should intersect with each other”

editor11

Similar objects with the same scale should be avoided near each other”
(by the way, notice the flying silhouette of what seems like a t-posing Warm alien in the distance)

editor12

“Flying Objects (partly on the ground) should be avoided”

editor13

Now there are more details to how Spacedock actually looked like. It’s worth noting that there were different skyboxes on different screenshots.

There are no more Spacedock-related images in this particular batch of images, but we did find some more for you — they are further down the article.

Going back to this group of images.

A screenshot of e3map made inside CryEdit, showing us an AIPath:

editor10

And two more miscellaneous in-editor images:

editor14

editor16

And that’s all for this batch of images made in 2002 CryEdit.

But we are only getting started.


Another interesting thing we have found is a group of concepts from around the time the E3 2002 demo was made.

Firstly, there are concepts of various characters.

Concept arts of the player character - Jack Carver.

Some of them we have already seen, some will be new:

Carver1

hero

Carver2
hero civilian

hero final2a

hero finala

hero final3a

Concept arts of 2002 mercenaries

They look somewhat differently in comparison to the 2002 models

Mercs

On this otherwise even less familiar-looking one we can see that distinct 2002 boots design:

Merc

Remember how we posted an announcement in our Discord server? That you would find out who this character from part 6.5 really was:

10714

Well, it turns out it is an unnamed mercenary commander. It might have been a generic enemy, but he looks somewhat similar to Crowe, so he might be a basis for Crowe's design:

merc leader

A concept of night vision goggles model from objects/characters/mercenaries/accessories:

Merc Goggles
Secondly, there are various concepts of E3 2002’s outdoor section

Cliff at the start of the level:

Cliff1 copy

cliff2

rocks

Statues made by the original inhabitants of the island:

Headstone

Marker Rock

However, some of these statue concepts don’t look familiar at all:

headstone2

Stone Statue

Merc outpost (a familiar rock camp from Objects/Outdoor/HUMAN_CAMP):

Merc Outpost

Various versions of the entrance into the e3map's indoor section:

Tunnel Entrance

Tunnel Entrance2

The version that made it into the E3 2002 demo:

Tunnel Entrance3

Ditto, coloured:

Tunnel Entrance3a

A concept of a waterfall.
By the way, waterfall particles are hidden on the e3map’s level file, so it was probably planned to be added, but wasn’t in the end:

Waterfall

Concepts of indoor stuff.

The E3 "tunnel" was probably originally intended to actually be a tunnel
(notice a familiar wagon from e3 2002 demo's files):

Main Tunnel

A lift:

lift

The familiar concept of the lift entrance from part 6:

lift entrance

Some pipes:

Pipes Demo

Note that most all of these concept arts are made by a certain Ray Leung.

Concepts of the old binoculars and sniper scope:

Binocular Concept

Binocular Concept 2

Sniper Scope2

Sniper Scope3

Concepts of the 2002 HUD:

HUD Icons

The flowery tree models on the top screenshot here are possibly the very models on flower_forest that gave this level its name and didn’t make it into the E3 2002 build.

HUD Test Screen
HUD Test Screen2

These two images seem to be taken on Spacedock:
HUD Test Screen3

HUD Test Screen4

HUD Test Screen5

So, that was it for this batch of concept arts.

But we have one more!

Again, it's a group of concept arts from 2002. However, this time they seem to be from a later period (July 2002, judging by one of them). In addition, they are made into loading screens.

The first image is a loadscreen for "Mission 4" on "Island 2". On the concept art we can see some village, perhaps one made by the villagers (that are gone from the final version, but seem to play a more significant role in older versions of the game)

mission4screen

The second loadscreen is for "Mission 5" and shows us a command centre of some sort.

mission5screen

The third image happens to be the most interesting. It's a loadscreen for "Mission 6". Unlike the two others, it's dated (03.07.2002). It shows the layout of the "Harbor facility". There's also a note made by the author, Ray Leung:

"This is the original concept for the Harbor in the Prototype Level 5. There have been some changes made by Level Design and Modeling, so it should not be used in future as an exact guide.

Various buildings and structures from this concept should be reusable in other locations"

mission6screen

One thing should stand out to anyone who spent some time looking at Far Cry's resources. This is the harbour.cgf that can still be found in Objects/Outdoor/harbour!

Editor 2021 09 06 00 44 15 202

Besides some objects used in the game, this folder contains a lot of unused ones, mostly some individual objects related to this "harbor facility".

I personally really like the conveyor.cgf objects. It has a cool animated texture. Evidently, it would belong in this harbour's warehouses.

Now we are going to show you some very early screenshots — most of them being from X-Isle

This other screenshot from Spacedock (with a skybox absent from the E3 2002 build), showing the outbuilding and the main building:

Clipboard2 copy

Next are several images with first-person view and a now familiar-looking HUD, which were likely done at around the beginning of 2002, during January/February.

This one features the familiar-looking MP5 model, albeit differently animated, - another weapon that was definitely implemented at the time.
The skybox, the environment, the towers — all point to the conclusion that this screenshot was, too, taken on the Communications level:

Xisle07

This screenshot, on the other hand, was taken on Testbed/Sandbox level. You can see that some of the stuff that didn’t make it into the E3 2002 build (M2 machinegun and some walls, for example) are present here. Also, notice the familiar fictional rocket launcher and ammo indicator becoming yellow when the magazine/clip is almost depleted:

testbed

Next are images of outdoor sections that look rather impressive, even given the now dated graphics. You have actually already seen some of them in our videos or as sneak-peeks in our Discord server

(this one was also taken on Spacedock, if we are to believe the file name (that got clipped by moddb) — 18_sun_set_at_the_sound_coast_of_the_spacedock_island.jpg):

18 sun set at the sound coast of

Untitled 12 copy

Clipboard5

Just look at the fog here!

Clipboard7 copy

screen1

Clipboard5 copy

Next up we have a couple of noteworthy screenshots that appear to be made on E3 2002 demo’s earlier versions.

These three tell us that the E3 2002 map featured fog on the map at some point in development, which is now gone (but the fog entity is still present in the e3map’s .cry file)
(Also, notice the slightly different HUD):

Xisle00

Xisle01

Xisle02

And these three show a slightly different binoculars design:

Xisle10 1

Xisle16 1

Xisle18

Next up we have the first draft description of what the E3 2002 mission would be, along with images that were only done as rough illustrations.

It’s worth noting that all human models here seem like X-Isle player models, and the HUD, judging by its fragment, is just like the images from January/February of 2002. So, the E3 2002 mission was probably being envisioned at around that time, give or take a couple months.

“GOAL: To capture the essence of the game in a one 5 minute mission. Any art assets produced should be used in the actual game – not dumped. This is a controlled walkthrough which we will “demo” at E3 – at no point shall we give control to the viewers.”


There will be a labeled, Saved Game before each section (e.g. 2b, 3) so that the demonstrator can skip straight to it.

NOTE: The images in this document are for ILLUSTRATION ONLY! They are intended to act as a rough-guide, not as a precise-specification.

General overview-map

e3demo draft map


PLAYER-GEAR: Player is armed initially with a P90 / MG11 SMG, backup pistol (Desert-eagle), HE hand-grenades, and will be able to find/use an assault-rifle (AG36 / OICW?). These are picked-up from enemy forces (the dead) and locations (eg enemy tunnel).

  • Objects: all weapons and should be available at all times with unlimited ammo. Allow we may try to stick to using some weapons at certain sections to show of special features of the game, such as AI.
  • -This mission is representative of the entire game. Anything that is found / used in the mission should contribute towards creating this essence / atmosphere that is our game – next-generation technology.

ATMOSPHERE: The sun is setting and the stars are starting to come out. It is a picture perfect scene of a tropical island paradise. The waves are gently rolling in onto the white-sand beaches, and, we hear the calls of the birds-of-paradise radiating out of the rainforest and the sound of seagulls at the ocean-shore.

MISSION-OUTLINE

LOCATION: Beach / inlet (1) – Start-point – ESTABLISH THE PLAYER

SCENE: The player starts standing on the beach facing the rainforest / jungle – beach runs right up to it. Behind them is their ride, a moored / anchored boat.

  • Boat: wartime patrol boat that is ocean worthy; outfitted with gear, it sways about slightly in the water.
  • It may as we fly-by it at the start fire of a couple of mortars.

GAME-PLAY: Player starts at the beach with a P90 / MG11 and hand-grenades; moving forward in the most obvious direction, the rainforest. There is an obvious tight-trail leading into the dense forest.

ATMOSPHERE: See previous section.

  • These sounds will gradually fade-out as the player advances from the beach further into the forest, it will be taken over by the ambient sounds of the forest instead - to set the atmosphere of the next location.

DURATION: 5 seconds.


LOCATION: Rainforest trail/s (2a) - SKIRMISH COMBAT – surprise attack

SCENE: the tight thick brush loosens up into an open trail/s within a section of rainforest. The player is in the shadow of the rainforest canopy.

GAME-PLAY: We encounter initially two guys on their own, with assault-rifles, the player has the element of surprise in the encounter, but, the gunshots should be heard and draw attention to the player. It is a basic firefight – sporadic bursts of gunfire! Their deaths will arm us with an assault-rifle with a few auxiliary grenades to go with the launcher, and, possibly gives us health to pick-up.

  • These enemies are not immediately accessible – they are dug in behind sandbagged positions, with camo netting. It will be necessary to ”flush them out” with hand-grenades.
  • We take care of the opposition by riddling one with bullets, the other we finish off with a grenade or two (maybe to flush them out), and with the SMG, if necessary
  • It may be possible to have dead bodies reacting to explosions, but this is not guaranteed for E3.

ATMOSPHERE: See previous section – Modify with sounds of sporadic bursts of gunfire and the fading out of wild life noises as things become uneasily quiet.

  • Soft radio chatter from their radios gives the player some warning. The radio chatter is not just gibberish (well, to a degree), but, is a story hint element. The chatter should give the viewers the impression that there are more of these men on the island, and, that they are in the middle of a hasty evacuation of the island. This plays out even if they are dead.
  • Ambient sounds of the rainforest animals around the player as they move onwards, these will fade out as the first burst of gunfire erupt."

DURATION: 10-15 seconds.

e3demo draft1

The player encounters fast action firefights.

e3demo draft2

The skirmish continues as the player progresses, a new fight beginning as the last ends.

Patrolling helicopters constantly orbit and threaten the player

e3demo draft3


LOCATION: Rainforest trail/s (2b) - SKIRMISH COMBAT – Enemy now aware of the player

SCENE: See previous section – modify with: mid way on the trail.

GAME-PLAY: We encounter a group of three grunts (assault-rifles, one with hand-grenades) and a leader (assault-rifle and aux. grenades), they have been drawn to the area we were at last by the gunfire and are stealthily (creeping) advancing with assault-rifles, the player has the element of surprise in the encounter.

  • While in this section a helicopter passes overhead disturbing the trees and plants in its wake, it is heading towards a facility further ahead. The player should be able to see it descending to the facility behind a hill in the distance. The helicopter will be seen again later on.
  • The group has been set to the Advance tactic, killing the leader will change their tactic to Retreat instead.
  • The leader has (auxiliary) grenades, if the player digs in for too long, will use them, one grunt has hand-grenades, and as the leader, will use them in the same respects, and, if your in throwing range.
  • Helicopter: V22 tilt-rotor.

ATMOSPHERE: Sounds of constant bursts of gunfire marring the ambient jungle sounds of wind in the trees, animal life unseen but heard, and the constant chatter form the enemies radios.

  • Soft radio chatter from their radios gives the player some warning. The radio chatter is not just gibberish (well, to a degree), but, is a story hint element – This can be the same random radio chatter as in the last section, or, slightly different, giving us more puzzle pieces. We may hear elements referring to the “subjects” and “cargo.”
  • At the end of this section, the player will see in the distance a helipad with much activity around it.

DURATION: 20-25 seconds.

e3demo draft4The player must change tactics when he comes across artificial defenses – grenades become more useful than bullets

e3demo draft5
A distant heli-pad


LOCATION: Tunnel (3) – INDOOR, ASSAULT COMBAT; ATMOSPHERE

SCENE: Tunnel leading up from ground level to the facility and Helipad (section 4)

Storage tunnel: A sloped, climbing tunnel, facilitating movement of equipment and supplies down from the helipad area to the “ground”. It is generally gloomy/creepy, dark and shadowy – we show off the indoor lighting system.

Inside the tunnel the floor slopes sharply upwards. Further on, the player finds a high-ceilinged room used to store supplies, aircraft spare parts (one helicopter engine stands propped against a wall, its blades folded) and other items.

The players task is to move up through the tunnel, taking on 6-8 enemies – they use the props inside the tunnel to hide and fire at the player. They are panicked, something has gone wrong and they don’t know how to handle it.

Halfway through the tunnel, they player will come to a scene of a disturbance – some bodies are torn apart on the ground, and leaning lifeless against the wall; the player had nothing to do with this – what’s going on? Five large cryo storage containers have been left here – their glass doors are frosted, obscuring some strange indistinguishable shapes inside. Dim lights on their sides indicate some internal power source. They are large enough to store something man-sized in an upright position.

Another cryo box is lying on its side, its glass door has a hole in it where someone (something?) has punched their way through. Some mercs are defending this area, perhaps they arrived just before the player, brought here by strange noises or calls for help from the guys now lying on the ground.

In the distance (at the top of the tunnel) is a lot of panicked shouting and firing, but none of it directed at the player…what’s causing these normally calm professionals to react in this way?

The player continues to fight up the tunnel, his progress now made slightly easier by the trail of destruction, bodies and the fact that the mercenaries are having to split their attention between the player and something that is now moving around outside.

GAME-PLAY: 4-6 grunts (assault-rifles) set to defend the installation – inside and out, proximity mines to be avoided and exploded, can be detonated / cleared with grenades.

  • Player will find rocket launcher with unlimited rockets.
  • We can do this section without the mines, if we do, do it with, then being able to set a no go area, would be nice for adding to the AI believability.
  • The enemy has been set to Hold the position, when there is only one remaining, will change to Flee instead.
  • Mines can be cleared
  • The Mercenaries are heard discussing the broken Cryo chamber, worried that something is on the loose.
  • Shouts and screams emanate from the exit to the tunnel, at the top of the slope.

ATMOSPHERE: Dark, gloomy with erratic lighting; fear; panic

DURATION: 15-20 seconds.

e3demo draft6The broken cryo chamber, guards have arrived on the scene

LOCATION: Facility and Helipad (4) – HORRIFIC SCENE, AMBUSH, SKIRMISH

SCENE: Upon exiting the tunnel, two or more dummy buildings and a helipad can be seen. This facility is a hint at the further “uniqueness” of our story, as this structure is ultra modern and high-tech in appearance (not as much as the current futuristic look we have.) A V22 has just taken off but appears to be in trouble – swaying, rotating one way then another. A cluster of mercenaries are standing nearby, pointing at its rear and shouting something to the pilot.

e3demo draft7
Mercenaries firing at something in the rear of their own aircraft?

Example speech for this scripted scene:

“Land! Land!”

“It’s in the back!”

“For gods sake get out of there, Larry!”

“How did that thing escape??”

The rear cargo door is down, but it is dark inside and we can’t work out details of what’s going on in there. The angle of the V22 and the distance also stops the player from seeing inside.

Suddenly a man is thrown from the interior of the helicopter with great force, landing at the feet of the mercenaries (in pieces?) who shout in horror, and open fire on the rear of their own helicopter - desperately trying to hit something inside. The Tilt Rotor turns violently one way then the other as the pilot becomes distracted by whatever the Mercs on the ground are firing at.

e3demo draft8
The V22 ‘drifts’ away, losing control

As the tail comes round the firing mercenaries are knocked off or dive to their feet; the V22 drifts off the platform, traveling slowly and aimlessly into the distance at an odd angle for some way, before colliding with another structure (tall radar tower) on the other side of the valley and exploding in a huge fireball. This is a long distance scene.

e3demo draft9
A large explosion signals the end of the V22

  • Reuse the current Barracks shell, with dummy doors, use twice if necessary along with other dummy structures – we will probably not visit this area in the walkthrough. This facility hints to more than just mercenaries and next-generation technology.

GAME-PLAY: After the above scene plays out, the player attacks the surviving Mercs by running from the tunnel into one last skirmish…

Unique implementation of Long-Range-Game-play (LRG): The player can use it to blow up the helicopters and attack the mercenaries that are moving about on the helipad, when attacked they will generally take cover and move about cautiously, getting up to run to a new cover point – they more or less figure that the attack is coming from the tunnel .

By running to the edge of the cliff, the player will see a squad of enemies in the valley below. A few of these will be sniped from long range, but the player will be interrupted by more Mercenaries moving from close range – leading to skirmish combat again. We will end the demo on this note.

  • ATMOSPHERE: The sounds of the helicopter along with the muffled sounds of the enemy.
  • Shouting, panicked mercenaries
  • Loud explosion
  • LRG sniping

DURATION: 10-15 seconds.

e3demo draft10
The player sees some enemies in the distance…

e3demo draft11…and using the sniper rifle he begins to take them out

So, what can I say about this draft? The E3 2002 demo we got mostly follows it. However, there are substantial differences — most notably, the lack of such elaborate cutscenes or conversations. Traces of the "subject" (likely a mutant rather than an alien at this point) are much less noticeable — it is only mentioned in the final demo. The indoor section was, in fact, originally supposed to be a tunnel.

All in all, a good, vivid description for a demo that has all the essentials of what would become Far Cry.


And now we’ve come to probably the most interesting part.

First, I’ll show you what seems to be the oldest X-Isle screenshots by far.

This batch of images shows us the menu concepts (or assets) FROM AUGUST OF 2001

A familiar X-Isle logo:

MAIN

The menu is noticeably multiplayer-centric at this time:

reference

Most impressively, there are two in-game screenshots from that time! One shows us a seemingly nondescript, but decent-looking temperate forest level. The other shows a beach level with what seems like a stranded ship. Interestingly, both images show the player using a G36 without a grenade launcher attachment — just like what we saw on this “EOD operative” image. Also, the crosshair had this round design.

the beach

the forest

beach level

t6 level

(Also, in this batch of truly ancient images there is one stray image that is much more recent — from April 2002, to be specific. It also shows a concept of a menu):

new menu a

But let’s return to the truly ancient stuff.

There is this ingame screenshot from around the same time (late 2001):

xisle2

There is a number of interesting features on this image:

  • a fully visible G36 without a grenade launcher
  • we can see the HUD in its entirety. The crosshair is of the same design as two images before. Overall, the HUD here looks even more rough and basic than the following design, but it too has a mini-map. Also, there probably was a horizontal compass — something that we would see in early 2003 HUD version.
  • also, there are probably overlayed placeholders for something commander-related — there were some very old “Commander HUD” related scripts in the game’s files
  • there is probably a friendly NPC armed with AT4 — a rocket launcher that left a lot of traces of its existence, but no actual assets.
  • there are two vehicles (not sure if these are just models or if they are interactive) — a familiar-looking Humvee and an APC (possibly, it was its destroyed model from 2001 that we’ve seen in the E3 2002 demo’s files)

Next are several low-res screenshots of fortifications/defenses from around that time:

  • M2 machine gun

Notice the slightly different HUD, the familiar looking temperate forest tree models and a first-person Desert Eagle model. Despite the other evidence, it doesn’t have this barrel attachment yet (or already). It clearly has slightly different animations, and the hand texture is different too:

m2

  • Machine gun pit (notice these old sandbag models we talked about in the E3 2002 demo part):

gunpit

  • Medium bunker:

mediumbunker

  • Large bunker:

largebunker

All these structures were probably intended to be used in multiplayer.

The other most interesting thing to share here is a certain magazine issue.

Yes, this exact PC Zone Benelux issue from March of 2002. We got it thanks to TERW_DAN, Flavius and Khrome. So, my great big thank you to them.

I said before that it ought to have something interesting inside, with X-Isle being shown on the cover.

And it does:

20210810 175408

PaszQsfFWy4bNQsOjNxYCFmn

Z2ENZWx96x5qNLk1YljyfWVk

eINXeMDdWHrRCMYELT8vuADK

nFcsOLjYxgJUdFoWUdRSf4xm

So, what can we gather from all this?

Naturally, a magazine from Benelux, a Dutch magazine, contains text mostly in Dutch — we've got it translated thanks to Khrome.

That's what the text says:

Hey you there! You, on the couch, with that listless look in your eyes and an eternal hunger for information. Brace yourself, because you're a witness to what might be the most eyecatching cover in the history of PC Zone Benelux. Yes, you heard right. Take a deep breath, and let the next pages slowly seep into your grey matter, while we take your hand and show you an alternate universe. Gawk at the screenshots while we lead you through a forgotten world where the modern human hasn't had any influence for centuries. A world which we only know from history books and vague documentaries. Welcome to the prehistoric world of X-Isle.

A HOBBY RUN WILD
Deep in the heart of Germany, surrounded by green hills, lies the lovely Coburg. Anyone who visits this little town will probably have noticed that time stood still here. Pictoresque houses with wooden roofs and wooden facades house the residents of Coburg, who seem to lead a just as pictoresque and idyllic life. In short, not exactly a place where you'd think you'd find one of the leading game developers in the world. Appearances can be deceiving however, because between the Coburg lederhosen, extraordinarily big beer festivals and flower arrangements lies a real source of inspiration. The creatives here are hardcore gamers at heart.

How it all began? For this we have to go back a few years. And get used to go back in time! However you can read more about this on the following pages. Anyway, three clever brothers decided soon after new year's 1999 to specialize in a hobby run wild: the development of new technologies, and eventually PC games. At that time, they didn't know that their hobby would end in a young, dynamic development studio with 35 employees called Crytek.

DREAMTEAM
The complete expertise and experience the Crytek team has inhouse is almost indescribable. Just listing all commercial successes the various teammembers are responsible for would be a huge task. Some have worked on Cossacks: European Wars, Venom, the engine of Hired Team, Sinbad and the realization of several 3D tools such as Elixer, Tsunami 2265 and many others.More known may be the work of for example David March, senior artist at Crytek. March has contributed a lot to projects like Prey, Retribution and even the perpetually locked in development hell Duke Nukem Forever. This creative demigod is responsible for the weapon- and character animation at Crytek. Another allrounder is Raymond Leung, the art director. Leung is responsible for the ingame cutscenes, architecture, alien design, interface design and a lot more. With a team like this it's not surprising that everything which comes out of Crytek shóuld be a hit. Of one of those titles we're already almost certain that it'll go into the history books as a classic. X-Isle is coming soon, and we have the privilege to tell you everything there is to know about this game together with Crytek, in this issue and more.

"AN ENORMOUSLY AMBITIOUS SHOOTER"

ECCENTRIC
Because we have to start somewhere, we spoke with none other than the CEO, president and cofounder of Crytek and asked him to introduce himself, so you know what kind of meat we've got on offer this month. 'My name is Cevat Yerli and at the moment i work fulltime as project manager on X-Isle. I'm one of the three Yerli brothers who started this whole mess in early 1999. At first we just wanted to make beautiful but fun games, but we quickly realize we wanted to get more serious about it. This was how Crytek was born. To create X-Isle, we hired deelopers from all corners of the earth. X-Isle is currently our most ambitious project and all 35 of us are working on it fulltime. How a day at Crytek looks? Heh, well, as a rather eccentric chaos, as i'm sure you're familiar with. But if we're not in crunchtime because we have to hit yet another milestone deadline, you could describe the mood as quite relaxed. Working at Crytek is as if you're in a creative bubble day in and day out. It's awesome! Everyone is nice and helpful to one another. It's a mighty team and i can't imagine a better working environment', says Cevat (though we don't agree - editorial staff).

SPOILER ALERT!
I would recommend to all readers who have not yet heard of your game, if they still exist, to explain in short what X-Isle is about? Cevat: 'Oof, it's still so early in development that we can't really say anything about the story, plot and lore. But in short: It's 2010, and paranormal activity is observed on one of the seven islands of an undetermined archipelago, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The American army decides to send some reconnaissance planes into the area, but some time later all contact with the planes is lost. A new squadron is assembled and you as a player are part of this new mission. During the missions it slowly becomes clear that there's an alien presence on the islands. You will have to defeat them by setting up a basecamp in the area controlled by aliens. When you start operating from this base, even more strangeness is revealed. You'll come across alien laboratories quite early on, and you will find dinosaurs which you're pretty sure went extinct millions of years ago. Exploring the labs reveals that the aliens are up to no good and dont have the best intentions for humanity. They're trying to create a sort of crossbreed supersoldier, based on dino DNA... I can't tell you more, it would only spoil the story.'

ONE MORE STEP FURTHER
How's the gameplay in X-Isle? Can we expect an adventurous, but otherwise unremarkable shooter or is there more to it? Cevat: 'X-Isle will be a game like you've never seen before. To begin with, you will play in both in- and outdoor areas and will have an unlimited line of sight. The gameplay is subdivided in three sections: Close combat, distance combat and stealth combat, and vehicular gaming...' Hey, wait a second, you mean to say you can also use vehicles like in Halo and Operation Flashpoint? Cevat: 'Yes indeed, but we're going a step further than those games. The vehicles are based on an inhouse physics engine, which results in never before seen realism. Using vehicles will involve more than just grabbing the steering wheel and pressing the gas pedal. What do you think of using an army truck, filled with explosives, drive it into an enemy camp and jump out at the last moment? (translator's note: Battlefield 2142 was released 6 months after this article, no one heard of jihad jeeps yet) Another fun feature of X-Isle's gameplay is that the status of the seven islands changes dynamically according to the progress in the story. This because the actions of the player have direct consequences for the gameplay and the progression of the story. also unique is the never before seen interactivity of the physics engine. This can aid the player in all kinds of ways in their quest for freedom. Players can make heavy objects such as large rocks and treetrunks roll down hills, or catapult them in the air. It's even possible to push objects in water and make them float, and follow the stream.' (translator's note: this was a year and a half before half life 2 would wow audiences with its physics)

PROMISES
I know that the game may be in too early a stage for this question, but could you tell us about the weapons in X-Isle? As the game is set in the very near future, can we assume that it will contain realistic weapons? Cevat: 'Indeed. I can't reveal any details, but we do want to implement realistic weapons. The OICW for example is an experimental weapon in the American army at the moment, but is present in the game. Also, as you can see in the screenshots, weapons vary from grenade and rocket launchers to machine guns and sniper rifles. With some guns you can kill enemies at a distance of 10 miles. I do have to say that developing the weapons is currently taking most of our time!', Cevat announces proudly. As everyone knows, you're working with NVidia to optimize CryEngine as much as possible. What can we expect in the future in terms of updates and improvements? Cevat: 'Heh, more than enough! We have the best lighting and shadows. It's all dynamic and uses the newest DirectX 8.1 features. It's almost certain that we're going to provide DirectX 9 support as well as the newest OpenGL versions. With NVidia's help it'll only get prettier. The outdoor levels will be an experience like you've never had before. Especially the dense jungles will give you the shivers. I can only say that X-Isle will be the most breathtaking game in history. If we can't deliver on this promise, you can visit us and beat us senseless for saying it.'

THE BIG KILLER OF ALL ANNOUNCES ITSELF
Is Crytek not afraid that because of all this cutting edge technology, the game will only be playable for those with the newest and most high end hardware? Cevat: 'It won't be that bad. By the time X-Isle is ready for release, the minimum system requirements (AMD 600 Duron, 64MB RAM and a GPU which supports T&L) won't exactly be considered high end. At the moment we're testing the game on a Pentium V, 3GHz machine with GeForce 6 cards... Just kidding! (translator's note: A pentium 4 2.4ghz with a geforce 4 was the best you could get at the time of this article) If only; Our testing machines are both Intel and AMD bases, and our artist machines have between 128MB and 1GB memory. We use GPU's from the geforce 1 through 4, and the first generation radeon cards which support T&L.'
It becomes more and more clear that X-Isle will be a real killer among first person shooters, but which games would X-Isle be killing in your opinion when it's released? Cevat: 'Halo. And Unreal 2 when it's released. If we're talking about technology and quality, i guess Doom 3 will die as well..'

"IN X-ISLE YOU WILL PLAY BOTH IN- AND OUTDOORS. YOU WILL HAVE UNLIMITED LINE OF SIGHT"

So, what can we say after reading the text of this article? There isn't all that much new stuff, but it all lines up with our finds all the way from part 1 pretty well. In terms of the main features, it's quite close to Far Cry. Anyway, the article was a pretty nice read in general. Once again, thank Khrome for translating it.

Now, let's take a look at individual images in detail.

You can immediately see that the images are a mish-mash of different "eras": Dinosaur Island demo screens, 2001 HUD era and early 2002. Let's take a look at various individual images:

Here we can see an actual in-game screenshot with a Cold Alien, only seen on renders before:

20210810 180623

Not only there is a screenshot of a Cold Alien — there is also a concept (all concepts have text in English, by the way):
(Also, to the right there is a screenshot with an X-Isle playermodel in third-person view)

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Another concept of an alien creature (likely another Cold alien):

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Concepts of alien spacecrafts, most likely belonging to the Cold Aliens

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The last concept art in the issue shows a Warm aliens' assault rifle that we've seen in the E3 2002 demo's files:

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This brachiosaurus screenshot is from a public X-Isle: Dinosaur Island demo that was around since early 2001:

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These screenshots seem to be from around middle-late 2001, judging by a similar weapon positioning and a very similar HUD, notably more complex and stylish. Interestingly, the weapon held by the player is an M4 instead of the G36 without the grenade launcher from before. The model is noticeably less detailed than the M4 we've seen since the E3 2002 build:

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There is a somewhat futuristic building of some kind that we can enter:

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(Also, is this a vest that had a texture that we found in the 2002 build?..)

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Some vehicles that we've seen in a screenshot from 2001, in close-up:

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A screenshot from the level editor with some buildings:

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A familiar picture of a Desert Eagle with some kind of a barrel extension:

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Now come screenshots that seem to be from a later era, from around the beginning of 2002. We can't tell for sure because the HUD is completely missing here.

A screenshot with a Rocket Launcher:

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A screenshot with a Sniper rifle

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These images show the SDK Jeep as well as the MP5 with different anims:

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Well, that's it for the images in this issue.

The corresponding disks didn’t have much special stuff relevant to the BRProject though, only a couple cool hi-res images:

CDZ2

CDZ1


Well, this is it for this part.

I certainly do hope that it was worth the wait

Continue staying tuned if you did, since we have more stuff to show you.

Comments
FarOutCry
FarOutCry

The PC Zone Benelux is an especially amazing find. Thanks to all who helped with that!

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FlippedOutKyrii
FlippedOutKyrii

Such great finds!

Can't help but feel the aliens turned into the Ceph in the Crysis series, especially 2 onward!

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Edward_Newgate
Edward_Newgate

The Concept Arts are particularly striking. It's beautiful to see Jack Carver slowly taking shape to finally become the memorable character we know. I can see the work and dedication that went into these.

I can see your dedication too, BRP Team!^^

The Crytek Dutch Interview is a also big plus. A toast to you.

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rubixzy
rubixzy

Yeah this is an amazing article, also the Dutch magazine\interview was the hardest to find, I contributed to actually find any info or trace about it, spent a few good months looking all over the internet, until I finally found it, amazing stuffs nevertheless.

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changeroftheways Author
changeroftheways

Sadly, some of the vertical images in the article keep turning horizontally for some reason, so my apologies for the unplanned neck excercise

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FarOutCry
FarOutCry

Yea I saw that. Wonder what would cause something like that

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mlammbda94
mlammbda94

My god...that impossible.

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rubixzy
rubixzy

This article is downright amazing, it is surprising to see how different of a game it was compared with what we got in the final stage.
Keep em' coming 😉 !

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FarOutCry
FarOutCry

Thanks. We appreciate your critical role in finding some of this beta information, as well as your support!

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717x
717x

that's why I like that project.
Fan-******'-tastic job!

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changeroftheways Author
changeroftheways

The master of all things 3d in BRP likes the project. How surprising :^)

Reply Good karma+6 votes
LongRanger
LongRanger

These articles are really immersive and atmospheric, much like the game itself. All these mysteries being uncovered and a surprisingly bigger picture of the game's history emerging - it just pulls you right in, like a very good documentary. Incredibly informative and captivating at the same time.

Thank you for this trip back in time!

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