Crysis 3 gets a release date, promotional videos courtesy Albert Hughes

Crysis 3

Excited for Crysis 3? As of this morning, it looks like you’ll only have to wait until February of 2013 to own the game. Specifically, EA claims that Crysis 3 will hit North American retail shelves on February 19, with European retailers following suit on February 21.

With the game’s release now officially less than three months away, it is time for EA to start rolling out the PR machine to get prospective players properly hyped about this new shooter. To that end the company has commissioned a series of short films “inspired by the upcoming sandbox shooter, Crysis 3.” Dubbed “The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3,” the series will serve as something of an introduction to the fiction behind Crysis 3, as well as some of its new weapons and inventory items. Think of it as equal parts backstory and promotional effort. Of course, thanks to that latter aspect, the videos will also heavily feature imagery from the game designed to highlight the impressive aesthetics and level design created by Crysis developer Crytek and its cutting edge CryEngine technology.

None of that is all that noteworthy, but we’re reporting on this story because it continues a trend of gaming publishers tapping successful Hollywood directors to promote their latest big-budget game releases. You may recall that immediately prior to the release of Halo 4 on November 6, Microsoft hired The Social Network director David Fincher to produce an ad spot for the game that, while far shorter than EA’s Crysis-themed video series, served nearly the exact same purpose: It established a conflict, depicted beautiful environments and offered players something thrilling to gawk at. In the case of Crysis 3 however, EA has tapped Menace II Society writer/director Albert Hughes to helm the 7 Wonders of Crysis 3 video series. 

Does this mean we’re going to see Crysis promos that double as ahead-of-their-time commentaries on the plight of young men in predominantly African American, lower-class communities? Probably not, but Hughes does seem quite excited about this opportunity. “When EA and Crytek approached me about being involved in creating The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3 video series, I liked the idea of creating emotional stories using only computer generated images,” Hughes stated. “The challenge of producing something intensely human without ever seeing a human on screen was incredibly compelling, and the technology of the CryEngine that Crytek developed enabled me to do that and venture into a completely unique medium of storytelling.”

For developer Crytek however, this series is all about showing off its shiny new game world. “The goal with The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3 video series is to reveal the incredible world we have been building for Crysis 3 and to let CryEngine take center stage to highlight the power of our state-of-the-art game engine,” said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. “We’ve worked closely with Albert on this project and think that the 7 Wonders series will show the leaps and bounds that Crysis 3 is making over its predecessors.”

Whether you’re interested in the 7 Wonders of Crysis 3 series as a fan of Albert Hughes or as a fan of fancy rendering techniques and huge explosions, the first episode, entitled Hell of a Town, will debut on December 12, 2012. The video embedded below serves as a teaser.