Crysis 3 – Preview
The original Crysis is one of those games that is remembered more for its graphics than for its gameplay, to the point where I know more people who’ve acquired it to test how shiny it looks on their computer than who’ve actually completed it (myself included). Last year saw a sequel that took the action out of the jungle and into the city, taking the fight to New York and leaving some players a little apathetic, complaining that by the end they could just sneak past everyone and finish the rest of the game without conflict, and the more graphical-minded noting that it didn’t have the same visual impact as the original. Next year, Crytek will release the third installment, which is currently looking to be a “best of both worlds” mash-up that lets the player don the nano-suit once more and explore a jungle-infested New York in order to take down the extraterrestrial threat once and for all.
The demo I played began about fifteen minutes before the footage shown off during EA’s Conference, and featured Prophet, who many may remember as the leader of Raptor Team in the first game, or from his rather ‘high-calibre’ introduction in the sequel, attempting to destroy a dam and setting off some rather impressive waterworks. It was certainly one of the more impressive moments of their showcase, and one I’d be able to recreate myself, only without so many people watching. Plus, though it was running off a PC build, I was able to choose between a controller or keyboard setup, with one particular demo unit showing off Crysis in 3D.
As I touched down in jungle-ridden New York, I had to admit that the layout of the controls and the HUD was practically identical to that of Crysis 2, but with the added visual flair of the jungle foliage stretching out across the horizon. I rarely talk about the quality of graphics in a game because I rarely find it a factor of my enjoyment, but as it’s Crysis, there’s no way I can’t. Well, yeah, it’s absolutely beautiful. The flooded, plant infested New York provides a visual style I can’t ever remember seeing before, and it makes a normally clichéd setting come alive, as the usual boring urban environment comes to life and provides plenty of avenues for tactics and particular play style. That element of choice means that in the same stretch of land you could feasibly swim past your opponents, sneak past one by one, go in all guns blazing, use the trees for cover, shoot them down to squash your enemies and punch any survivors across the map for good measure.
That variety also deepens with the ability to hack, which allows Prophet to override security protocols, giving him the ability to open up locked doors or persuade turret placements into going rogue and wiping out nearby enemies. If you’d prefer your rampage to be a little less high-tech and a little more Rambo, then you’ll no doubt be pleased with the addition of the compact bow, which Prophet will carry on him at all times. It’s not as low-tech as you’d think though, as there are multiple types of arrow available, with one that your enemies will find ‘shocking’ and another helping to provide a more ‘explosive’ finale to your fight. You’d be wise to make sure that you know where you’ve fired as well, as the arrows can be picked up in order to help replenish your supply. It’s also a more advantageous weapon to use if you’re planning on going the sneaky route, as firing it won’t turn off your suit’s cloaking ability.
If archery isn’t your thing, then you’ll also be able to find special weapons hidden around the scenery, as I was directed towards a large Celph weapon that was, at best, massively compensatory, though immensely satisfying to use – however, your suit won’t take too kindly to you using it for an extended period. Later on, I was able to pick up a gun that I was told was capable of firing around a hundred bullets a second, and immediately set about emptying the entire clip into some enemies’ faces in the name of testing this. There will also be plenty of other unique weapons you’ll find scattered across New York that’ll grant you additional destructive power for a limited amount of time, and once again, it all comes back to how you choose to play, as you could easily go through the entire game and never pick one up if you so choose.
While I just expected Crysis 3 to be a slightly prettier upgrade of the previous game, thanks to the similar setting, there were actually plenty of changes present in the demo I played that have alleviated that worry and subverted my expectations. Granted, it’s not a widely disparate difference between the upcoming threequel and the previous iteration, but there should easily be more than enough that’ll have you ironing out your nano-suit and preparing to bust some extraterrestrial arse. At the very least, Crysis 3 is going to redefine the term “urban jungle”, but hopefully, it’ll also redefine what can be done in the FPS genre, and look absolutely stunning while doing so.
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