Crysis 3 First Impressions Preview – Rumble in the Jungle
Written Tuesday, April 24, 2012 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Like many a third offering in some of the franchises that we’ve seen in recent years, Crysis 3 is looking to blend the best bits of Crysis 1 with the best bits of Crysis 2. This isn’t something that Crytek are readily admitting or one of their PR lines, but come on folks, Crysis 3 is set in a jungle… an urban jungle. If that isn’t a killer give away, I don’t know what is.
Taking place 20 years after the events in Crysis 2, Crysis 3 throws you back into the Nanosuit as you play Crysis 1’s Prophet – yes, we know what happened to him in Crysis 2, but all that’ll be explained in due course – after New York city has become a shell of its former self. With “Nanodromes” now placed by Cell Industries over the major hubs of the Ceph invaded world, New York’s ecology has been accelerated vastly, and as a result, has created the “urban rainforest” which becomes the centrepiece of Crytek’s latest visual masterpiece.
In the hands-off presentation we pick up with Prophet deep behind enemy lines at a Cell defence post in Chinatown in a mission called “Hell is Right Around the Corner.” Tasked with the objective of accessing a nearby observation tower – a standard FPS objective then – Prophet starts off at the base of a set of stairs inside an overgrown interior, a click or so from the objective. With water dripping down through crevices in the ceiling, dead bodies littering the base of the dimly lit structure and large Ceph ships flying past the outskirts, it’s clear that stealth is key in this particular instance.
Here we get our first glimpse at Crysis 3’s new urban rainforest and Crytek’s “enhanced version” of the CryEngine 3. Despite being a night mission, the surrounding environment as Prophet hits the surface is a combination of thick dense jungle, artificial lights and stagnant swampland. Crytek are looking to instil the “7 wonders of the urban rainforest” into the Nanodrome encapsulated New York environment, with 7 distinct environments keeping the setting fresh from start to finish – the swampland setting near Chinatown is just one of those 7.
One of the few notions that Crytek are pushing with Crysis 3 is that you move from being the hunted into becoming the hunter – a popular move for many a franchise sequel. It’s probably why Crytek have placed an added emphasis on stealth then, meaning you can stay cloaked and snap Cell and Ceph neck without decloaking, as well as firing the new hi-tech bow with decloaking too – more on the bow shortly. They also want you to assess your surroundings before you react too, and so Prophet scouts out the nearby Ceph with his binoculars as he plans his route to the tower.
Staying cloaked, Prophet is able to use the composite bow to take down a nearby Ceph stood at the top of what looks like a lookout tower - a scene complimented with an ace slow-mo kill cam - before dropping down into the swampland and taking down a few other Ceph silently with his trusty blade. It’s about now though when the shit hits the fan and Prophet has to go loud, opting to bust out the big guns and take the fight to the surrounding Ceph.
The aforementioned composite bow is obviously one of the big new weapons, what with its auto-reload and ability to fire from being cloaked and remaining cloaked, but being able to attach different warheads means it can be used on the loud-offensive too, clearly demonstrated as Prophet attaches explosive heads and dispatches a group of Ceph rangers who are alerted to his presence. Crysis 3 allows players to pick up Cell and alien weaponry this time around too. The three big examples here are the amazing Typhoon gun, which can shoot an incredible 500 rounds a second; the monstrous plasma Ceph rifle; and the Ceph heavy mortar gun, which can decimate a small area of enemies as well as kicking off some impressive plasma particle effects at the same time. Beautiful stuff.
The next few minutes of gameplay flies by as the game opens up somewhat. Quick on the scene are some of the new enemies, the Scorchers, which like Ronseal, do exactly what they say on the tin – scorch stuff. The napalm-esque substance that these new beasts spit out lays flame to the ground beneath them and Prophet has to step back and put some distance between them before he himself becomes a charred corpse. The Typhoon, however, makes rather quick work of them with its 500 round burst and Prophet is quick to resume on his path to the mission objective.
One of the other new things in Crysis 3 is the Nanosuit’s ability to hack and manipulate certain elements within the environment to assist with your progress and turn the tides in your favour. In this instance, Prophet hacks a defence battery to turn on and distract a group of nearby Ceph, allowing him to sprint towards the objective without the preoccupied cephalopods being aware of his presence. The whole sequence ends with a bang too, with Prophet reaching the objective, being inundated by Cephs, being surprised by a Pinger and causing wanton destruction with the Ceph heavy mortar gun, all within a blurry few minutes of frenetic gameplay and cutscenes. It was an explosive end to an explosive debut showing.
Surprisingly, in combining elements of the first game with elements of the second game, Crysis 3 actually feels like a fresh new take on the franchise – you know, blending the beauty of the first game with the prowess of the second. It definitely seems more open than Crysis 2 did, but not as sandboxy as Crysis 1 was, hitting home somewhere in the middle – well, this scene did, in particular.
It’s shaping up to be a beautiful behemoth of a game with the enhanced CryEngine 3 strutting its stuff and a plethora of new hi-tech gadgetry to wield as you take on the Ceph and the Cell along the way. It’s looking like it’s more geared to stealth gameplay this time through and our inner stalker-from-within couldn’t be happier. Plus, history has taught us that anything or anyone with a bow can’t be deemed anything but cool as hell. Just ask John Rambo.
Crysis 3 is scheduled for a spring 2013 release.