Crytek’s Cancelled Survival Shooter Would’ve Been Like The Last Of Us
The Last of Us is a brilliant game, I cannot stress that point enough. Now what if I told you that Crytek, certainly not known for their emotionally engaging narratives, was working on something startlingly similar before they decided the game just wasn’t feasible at the time.
Personally, I don’t remember Crytek’s survival shooter/emotions simulator titled Redemption but it did exist and it sounds like it might have been something worth spilling money over. The cancelled game has been described as The Last of Us meets Crysis 2. In my mind that does not make the greatest combination but that’s just me.
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In a feature on Polygon, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said he shelved the project personally, even though it had been successfully signed to EA. The game was in part based on an experience Yerli had of being unable to find his niece.
Redemption would, like the Last of Us, take the form of a third-person survival shooter where players must protect a 10 year old girl named Jelena. You play as an elderly man and could order Jelena to hide although she would not be safe from dog attacks thereby forcing you to protect her.
There was even a core feature which assigned a button for calling out her name if she was out of sight or simply looking at her face to check that she was alright. In theory, this sounds like a noble attempt at something different but it also sounds pretentious and needless. In practise it may have been entirely different given the setups and circumstances of the game. That said, constantly having to call for someone or examine her would become tedious and it’s a bad way to convey caring.
After a couple of years worth of work, testers didn’t like the game. They said Jelena was so annoying that they wanted to shoot her and get on with shooting enemies rather than fuss over her. This may have something to do with having to constantly examine her face and call out to her but it may just as well be that Crytek’s testers are used to the Crysis breed of unemotional action games.
“At that point we knew – or I knew – this [was a] project we could not pull off yet,” Yerli said. “We don’t have the technology and the capabilities here. Not just the company, but the industry as a whole.”
However, Yerli does still sees the potential in this project and hopes to have it pulled off the shelf one day.
News of Redemption was first leaked in 2011 but by 2012 it was cancelled and a ton of concept art (which can be seen below) was released. Up top you can check out a trailer which gave a glimpse of the world of Redemption.
BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us have respectively shown us just how much AI companions can add to the experience and the latter specifically shows that Redmption’s raw concept works and it can work very well when done right. I think Crytek does have the chops to pull it off but they don’t quite have the experience to do an emotionally engaging narrative as far as I’m concerned though they may be able to surprise us.