Outside of a Turtle Beach demo at last year’s E3 I have never played any of the Crysis games and as such they have been off my radar outside of just looking pretty. Watching the theater demo of Crysis 3 makes me a bit more interested in the series although it doesn’t do a huge amount to separate itself from other FPS games of its type. It looks gorgeous (it was running on a PC) and the demo looks like it handles well but nothing really blew me away.
The demo shown at E3 found series star Prophet again taking center stage despite apparently having committed suicide at the end of the second game and he is running around a domed New York city that has been retaken by nature and overrun by enemies. Prophet made his way through the demo objectives utilizing stealth and a bow and arrow (clearly a theme for upcoming games) to take out enemies using different arrow head types. The weapon looked to be pretty effective particularly when considering the variety of arrow functions Prophet can use. This set up some interesting kill scenarios especially when Prophet’s stealth mode is engaged and the enemies can’t really see him.
Enemy AI looked like it was fairly advanced as well as it is set to notice subtle environmental changes to trigger alarm. This means that even though you have active camouflage to keep you invisible, if you make water ripple or rustle branches, they are going to notice you and come after you. In addition to this, the stealth mode is not permanent and has to recharge so strategy and resource management definitely comes into play here when planning tactics. This is not just a one way street though as the environment can be used to your advantage not just in terms of helping you stay concealed but also in terms of killing and trapping enemies. An electrified arrow to dudes standing in a river will give you a nice group kill for example. Add in to this the fact that you can now wield alien weapons instead of just human ones and you have a lot of weapon and killing variety. That variety is nice when the killing animations themselves have a lot of detail and clarity. Blowing a guy up, for instance, sends bits of him all over the place in a gratifyingly gory way.
Pretty much every visual aspect of the game shines enormously. From cut scenes to in game play the graphics are gorgeous with insanely good water effects and a very lush and realistic environment. This environment looks to be pretty wide open which implies that there will be a lot of room to explore and maneuver around in which keeps consistent with the team’s assertion that there are a lot of options for completing goals and objectives. This is apparently the case throughout the whole game as the style of play changes with the different game environments so the deeper into the game you get the more varied game play you will have been treated to. That sounds pretty cool.
Crysis 3 looked really pretty and the game play demonstrated looked like it was fun and interesting. It is hard to tell without hands on and without much experience with the series but as pretty as the game looks if it can deliver on the variety promised then it is definitely one to watch.
Crysis 3 releases Feb 2013 on PC and Xbox 360.