PREVIEW l INTERVIEW
Coming to 360, PS3 and PC l Published by EA l Developed by Crytek l Classified MA15+l Supports 1-12 players (16 on PC) l Due to arrive 21.02.13
This was a tale of two sessions, one devoted to this highly anticipated shooter’s multiplayer component, the other to its single player campaign. The former was solid but unremarkable, the latter a powerful reminder of what developer Crytek is capable of. Both took place in a decimated New York City dominated by the villainous Cell Corporation.
While it was no better or worse than its Halo equivalent, Hunter felt more like a standard inclusion than a special feature.
The afternoon began with a console based multiplayer session devoted entirely to the new Hunter mode. I spent several of the matches as one of two ‘hunters’. We were expected to track down and slay up to eight of our fellow journos, who were playing Cell security personnel. Under normal circumstances, this would have amounted to suicide, but in this case, the odds were stacked in our favour. We were equipped with compound bows and cloaked nanosuits, while our prey had to make do with standard guns and body armour. Every time we silently dispatched one of our nervous targets, he or she respawned as a hunter and the balance of power gradually tipped in our favour. Life as a Cell operative proved to be much less interesting, mainly because I could rarely find anyone to attack.
For a couple of reasons, I considered the multiplayer preview to be a minor disappointment. Crytek was enthusiastic in its promotion of the new mode, but I didn’t find it to be overly noteworthy, mainly because the concept had already bobbed up in so many other places. While it was no better or worse than its Halo equivalent, Hunter felt more like a standard inclusion than a special feature. Frankly, I would have preferred to see one of the other seven multiplayer modes slated to appear in the final game. My other issue involved the visuals, which were, to my considerable surprise, merely good. Each of the matches had occurred on the same map, an abandoned airport surrounded by scrub, so I had plenty of opportunities to take in my surrounds. I was left with one question. Had the medium’s graphical powerhouse surrendered its capacity to wow? I had to elbow my way onto a PC in order to find a definitive answer.
Within moments of experiencing Crysis 3 on PC, I knew that the current gen consoles had overstayed their welcome. There wasn’t a gap between the two versions, there was a gulf. I just couldn’t get over the clarity and detail of the image. The single player demo took place in a sprawling train station of concrete and steel that had been partially flooded and largely reclaimed by vines and moss. I began to scout my way through the level and I soon came across a horde of heavily armed Cell henchmen. I drew my bow and activated my cloaking device. Perhaps I could take out a few goons on the sly. Given the high number of adversaries, it would surely pay to keep a low profile. In hindsight, equipping an explosive arrow probably wasn’t the best idea, but it did allow me to witness how beautifully the frame rate held up even when the screen was crowded with action.
Within moments of experiencing Crysis 3 on PC, I knew that the current gen consoles had overstayed their welcome.
After a few restarts, it became obvious that, much like its predecessors, Crysis 3 would accommodate a variety of approaches. I decided to ditch stealth in favour of a series of lightning attacks that took advantage of the surprising number of fuel canisters stored throughout the station. This strategy initially served me well, but I eventually found myself pinned down at the base of the level. There I was, chest deep in water, the boardwalks above me swarming with enemy troops. According to one henchmen, I was a “pussy” for lurking in the shadows. Ouch! Didn’t this man care about my feelings? I felt a bit better after sending about a dozen of his friends to watery graves. I also made sure to loot new and interesting weapons from their corpses whenever possible.
I had been at the keyboard for less than 20 minutes, but Crysis 3 was already delivering exciting and accessible sandbox action.
PREVIEW l INTERVIEW