Crysis 3 Preview (PC)

Crysis 3 looks like an evolution as opposed to a revolution, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Seeing the game last week at an EA event left me largely hungry to actually go hands-on – though we sadly won’t get a chance to do that for a while – this is a 2013 game.

Running on an upgraded version of CryEngine 3, it appears to be taking cues from the first and second entries in the series in equal measure, keeping some of the more console friendly slant Crysis 2 added whilst bringing back more lush-looking non-city environments and the protagonist from the first game.

The protagonist of the first game, Prophet, is back, bringing along with him the English tough-man Psycho from the original and expansion title Crysis Warhead. Rather than the city of Crysis 2 or the wide open jungles of the original Crysis, the pair now find themselves traipsing through what Crytek representatives at the event were keen to describe as an “urban rainforest” – an overgrown, ruined New York City.

Left without much human interaction for 20 years, the city has been trapped inside a quarantined ‘Nanodome’ which seals it off from the rest of the world. Nature’s taken its course inside, likely allowing Crytek to cleverly reuse some of the New York assets from Crysis 2 whilst building lush new scenery atop it.

‘Urban Jungle’ was a phrase thrown around a lot for Crysis 2, and while switching the word Jungle for Rainforest doesn’t mean too much, here it’s more literal. Whereas there it meant Crytek had worked hard to keep the jungle-like feel in an urban environment, here it means office buildings have literally been grown through with vines and trees, while roads give ways to thick swamps and large rivers.

This means that some of the best moments from the original Crysis and its predecessor Far Cry can return – once again you can crawl through dense shrubbery to brutally take down an enemy in a stealthy manner – it looks satisfying.

The ‘I Am Legend’ reminiscent depiction of New York is furthered by the addition of a single poster-point weapon for the title – the addition of a bow. While the idea of a bow, even a futuristic one that shifts and adjusts as you move it, may sound a little silly when you’ve got guns, in practice it’s an incredibly useful piece of kit.

The bow comes with a variety of different tips that can be applied to its ordinance including a Spear which instantly kills most enemies, a Stun which delivers a powerful shock like a stun gun would and an explosive which allows you to have your very own Rambo moments.

In the demo we see a Crytek staffer take down a series of enemies stealthily with the Spear playing on a PC build of the game with an Xbox 360 controller. When stealth fails and he’s spotted, fairly seamless menus allow a quick and painless switch to the Explosive, allowing him to ‘go loud’ without switching from this flagship new weapon for the game.

Longer-range kills with the bow get a bit of cinematic flair with some slow-mo and cool-looking camera angles, as do melee kills.

If the bow isn’t your style there’s of course going to be a plethora of more traditional weapons. There’ll likely be some returning favourites, though we were demoed a new futuristic-looking heavy weapon called the Typhoon. Boasting a ridiculous rate of fire, it reminded me a little of Perfect Dark’s RCP90.

The NanoSuit itself is still a weapon and boasts all the features it had in previous games, though new enemy types are designed to make gameplay more interesting and challenging. One new enemy can strip your cloak, making you vulnerable when trying to sneak your way around.

Prophet has a new trick up his sleeve for weaponry, mind – thanks to an upgraded suit. He now has the ability to pick up and use alien weapons as if he were an alien himself. This opens up opportunities for new kinds of weapons such as more energy-based weapons.

At one point in the demo Prophet uses a huge alien weapon that’s almost like an alien rocket launcher, launching huge blasts of blue energy which light up the environment beautifully.

About those environments – it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that they look great. Dominated by a blue-and-green colour palette and heavy on impressive-looking real time lighting, Crysis 3 looks stunning. It should, though, coming from Crytek – and the build shown was running on a pretty beefy looking PC.

When you see a game this far out it’s always hard to tell what the final product will be like – the vertical slice shown screams that it’s more of the same – as I said in the opening, an evolution on Crysis 2 rather than a revolution.

Crytek’s aim, they tell us, is to be the ultimate sandbox shooter, with adaptive, emergent gameplay. The enhanced CryEngine 3 promises better visuals, better AI and generally a stronger experience – but it’s hard to tell from this short hands-off preview how much of that will come to pass.

What I can tell you is that what I did see looked bloody cool – and I can’t wait to play it myself. 2013 is a while off, but it’s already sounding brutally packed – and Crysis seems to be one of the top-looking contenders so far.

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By Fall3nWarrior (I just got here) on Oct 09, 2012
cant wit for crysis 3 if crysis 2 was that good XD