EA and Crytek rather unexpectedly revealed Crysis 3 this week. If you haven’t checked out our Crysis 3 first look preview (for shame!), definitely do so to find out all about the new additions, big improvements, and overall franchise-pushing-forward-ness at play in the upcoming sci-fi threequel. If nothing else, you’ve most likely seen the announcement trailer in all of its shiny, high-poly count glory. So we figured we'd take a little break from racing hedgehogs and “not” betting on hedgehog races to breakdown the trailer and highlight a few of the key features at the heart of Crysis 3.
1. Under the dome – Crysis 3 is set 20 years after the events of Crysis 2, and while it does take place in New York City, things have changed quite a bit, thanks to the Nanodome that Cell Industries dropped on top of it to contain the Ceph infestation. One of the most significant side effects of the dome is that it has accelerated the ecosystem and turned New York into an “urban rainforest.” There will be various districts that adhere to a particular environmental theme (grasslands, swamps, jungles, etc.), each of which is being designed to not only look distinct but encapsulate a unique tone and mood as well. They will also be brimming with life of all shapes and sizes. See number 2.
2. Frogs…Yep, frogs – One of the more striking details that struck us during our preview session came via these little hopping fellas. Crytek was actually super excited about the frog element, because it represents just how thorough the team is being in making the “urban rainforest” of the Liberty Dome as believable and full of life as possible. A lot of these details aren’t designed to necessarily be noticed right away, or ever; they’re just there to flesh out the world as much as possible.
3. Zap! Zzzzap! – Crysis 3 introduces alien weaponry into the combat mix, bringing with it a whole new flavor of death dealing. Thanks to Prophet’s nanosuit and prolonged exposure to Ceph tech, he’s now able to use Ceph weapons (similar to District 9), and to great effect. In addition to standard rifles, we also got to see a heavy mortar gun that fired plasma grenades and missiles. Needless to say, a lot of enemies go boom thanks to these babies.
4. Silent hunter – The other major new addition to Crysis 3 is the bow and arrow. This high-tech take on the classic hunter’s weapon lets players become the ultimate silent killer. One of the bow’s biggest advantages is that you can fire standard bolts and still remain cloaked, unlike every other weapon in the game. Once you whip out the explosive and/or stun bolts, though, the cloak disappears. Taking out enemies especially far away triggers the above arrow-tracking shot so you can watch the arrow sail majestically through the air before penetrating an enemy cranium.
5. Bye, bye walls – Taking a cue from the Battlefield series, Crysis 3 will feature a high level of environmental destruction. In addition to scripted destruction like the bit featured above where an airship rattled apart a wall and its windows, shootouts will lead to untold levels of devastation, adding a whole new layer of strategy to the combat as you won’t be able to hide safely in one spot too long since at any moment it could be reduced to rubble atop you.
6. Lighting the way – Crysis 3 runs on a modified version of the CryEngine 3 engine used in the previous game, and just based on the little bit we saw in our demo, it’s being used to tremendous effect. The lighting is especially impressive, particularly in the above sequence, where Prophet stalks an enemy in the artificial light of a Liberty Dome night generated by giant floodlights that have been erected to keep the city visible at all times. The shadow work here is particularly eye-catching.