Crysis 3 Hands-on Preview -- Shoot to Thrill, Play to Kill...the Ceph and CellBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted Jun 04, 2012
The last time we saw Crysis 3 was in April when the game was first announced. The third game in Crytek’s Crysis series promises to be the pinnacle of the series. And since this is the second game being built on the CryEngine 3, Crytek was able to pass the awkward learning phase that some felt showed in Crysis 2. Crysis 3 follows the story of Prophet, and he's back in the ring to take another swing at the Ceph.
Crysis 3 takes place in the year 2047, 20 years after Crysis 2. The Ceph have invaded Earth, destroying cities in their path and killing countless humans in the process. I'm not sure what we did to deserve this kind of hate, but I think Cell had something to do with it. Cell is your typical evil corporation hellbent on getting their greedy little hands on Ceph tech. You see, Ceph tech is well beyond any of the tech humanity had been able to create. Cell wants to harness this tech for themselves in hope of world domination. Typical.
After the Ceph attacks, the world is left in pieces, crumbling and incapable of supporting the city life that was once there. Massive Nanodomes have been built around what’s left of major metropolitan areas, like New York City. These domes are built by Cell, who publicly tell people it’s to preserve and restore, but in actuality, they're an attempt to acquire more info on the Ceph.
During EA"s pre-E3 showcase, I got some hands-on time with Prophet as he explored the dome over New York City, aka the Liberty Dome. Prophet is back in a black nanosuit, he’s ready to hit the sack, it’s been too long, and he’s glad to be back. One of the major changes made to Prophet is his attitude and affiliation. He’s not working for anyone, or running from anyone.
He’s no longer the hunted, he’s the hunter. The hunter mentality is exemplified by his weapon of choice, the compound bow. (I'm calling it right now, the bow is going to be the hot weapon of 2013.) The bow uses a variety of arrows including explosive and electric. He can also use his stealth ability while firing certain arrows, a series first.
Thanks to the nanosuit, it's like Prophet has nine lives, cat's eyes with the visors. The nanosuit is a mix of the most advanced human tech and Ceph technology, meaning Prophet can use the Ceph weapons, think District 9. Ceph weapons don't use ammo, so you'll have to toss them when you're done. On the other hand, your bow does need ammo so ration accordingly.
When I started playing, I was placed into a sprawling jungle inside the dome. The plant life inside the dome experience rapid growth, allowing a rain forest to grow in only a few years. There were waterfalls, trees, vines, and plenty of places to hide, which was great since Prophet's stealth ability was timed.
There were several Cell agents patrolling the rocks by the river. Since I had just begun the demo, I hadn't come across any other weapons yet so I stuck with my bow. I didn't take any prisoners, I spared no lives, and nobody put up a fight. Okay, maybe they did, but the nanosuit can also be temporarily strengthened with a an outer shield. Like stealth, this can only be used in limited quantities.
I quickly got the hang of the controls, ducking to regen health and stealth before popping out to lose an arrow bolt into an enemy. The longer you hold down the trigger, the farther your bolt will go. I also adapted to the different types of bolts. A regular arrow won’t kill instantly unless it hits specific points on the enemies’ bodies. I seemed to be exceedingly gifted at shooting them directly in their crotch. It was a most painful wound, and yet, not enough to kill them. Just imagine that for a minute.
I followed the river through more jungle, taking out enemies along the way, one crotch at a time. Many of these enemies dropped guns, all of which I tried out. Shooting mechanics were smooth and precise but most of them felt pretty standard for a shooter. That is until I came across the Typhoon. Timing and accuracy are important with the Typhoon thanks to its fire rate, which happens to be 500 rounds per second. My only complaint about the Typhoon was the lack of scope to let me zoom in and watch the enemy dance as the bullets lined their body.
I eventually left the jungle in favor of a picturesque dam guarded by even more enemies. When groups of three or more enemies are clustered together, I would use an explosive bullet on the one in the middle. If you zoom in you’ll be able to watch the AI see the bolt, wonder what it is, and then slowly realize that it’s about to explode and attempt to get out the way. They always failed to do so. Then again, I could just be projecting my own twisted fantasies onto the AI. Either way they died.
The structure had areas that could be hacked to grant you more direct access or access without health reducing lasers. You can choose to go around, hack, or risk injury. It’s nice to see choice come into play, even if it’s minimal. A hole in the floor lead Prophet into a reactor room. Press X to cut the power? X, please! Right as Prophet and I were getting comfortable with each other, my time was up.
However, Prophet and I will be reunited when Crysis 3 hits shelves in February 2013.