Crysis 3 is now official. With a release scheduled for 2013, TGL recently had the chance to sit down and catch a glimpse of what’s to come…
Crysis, as a franchise, is synonymous with high-caliber eye-melting graphics, so it should come as no surprise that Crysis 3 aims to raise that bar yet another notch. Powered by PC, the presentation we saw was terrifying. Terrifying in the sense that what we were experiencing was considered an “early build”. A lot of features look the same, namely the Ceph, but the graphical tweaks seem to lie in the environmental effects. New York city, now an overgrown urban jungle, looks about as convincing as something direct from Hollywood. The air is almost suffocating with vapour, the streets are filled with cesspools of growth and rainwater as the sun tries its best to puncture its way through the endless cycle of organisms that now occupy the street. New York city feels alive, living is a better term actually.
As for the technical imagining behind the return to New York, Senior creative director Rasmus Hojengaard pointed out that “CELL has accelerated this forestation process so you have this city that in 20 years has grown into a rain forest that would usually take 500 years to develop”. Hojengaard then assured the fans that “The city is a completely different take on the post-apocalyptic setting. We spent a lot of time ensuring that the environment mirrors nature, rather than just slapping foliage onto each scene”.
The demo started with Prophet utilising the bow - a weapon that can be used while cloaked. A new weapon to his arsenal, the bow has various attachments which can change the tempo of gameplay. For those wishing to stalk their enemies, the bow offers percision stealth kills. You can also equip explosive grenade heads to the arrows themselves, if you should require some more force. The bow, although promising, currently lacks the punch other weapons do. In fact, the inclusion and use of the bow was rather anti-climactic if anything. Sure there’s some audio that depicts the cord tightening up, but kills lack any sense of impact and weight. That said, Crytek have introduced a new kill cam feature which, if nothing changes, will help to claw back some of the weight in the weapon. Another new weapon that Crytek showcased was the Typhoon machine gun. A devestating device, the typhoon is capable of firing 500 rounds per second – literally shredding CELL operatives or anything that might oppose you. Crytek were also eager to show off some of the new abilties Prophet has thanks to the nanosuit’s augmentation with Ceph DNA. One such ability allows players to use Ceph weaponary – these weapons displayed two noteable details. Firstly, the Ceph weapons have clearly been crafted to look and feel “alien”, but they really embody weight and danger. Secondly the alien weapons, particularly the genade launcher, give off some of the most stunning effects we’ve seen on any gaming platform. As smoke filled the battlefield and through a torrent of sparks, we could still see sun rays pierce through the mayhem and colour the action with lighter hues of orange and yellow. Another key addition to the now upgraded nanosuit is the ability to hack terminals, although at this time we’re still unsure what terminals you can/can’t hack. During our preview, Prophet hacked a heavily fortified turrent, and by doing so, drew the attention of the Ceph. Instead of initiating a battle against the growing number of enemies, Prophet used the opportunity to leap from cover and race to the goal. A new strategy that will render the “throw a bin for distraction and run” type of gameplay.
Missions still retain tactical elements – which I think you’ll agree offer a breath of fresh air in a market filled with brain-dead shooters. From the demo we saw, flanking and heavy weaponary were key to success, but Crytek assured us that the mission areas in Crysis 3 build on the levels found in the previous Crysis game through size, diversity and strategy. Crytek also assured those present that the game will reward you for your type of gameplay and confirmed that the game will not be open world, but instead offer up refined levels rather than a watered down expansive experience.
When the demo ended, we couldn’t help but think to ourselves that this is going to be very special. From what we saw, albeit brief, Crysis 3 offers what made Crysis 2 enjoyable and more it seems. But with some fans luke-warm at best to the narrative of the second game, can Crytek make the third Crysis outing one to remember?