by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
Confessions of a Non-Fanboy
I must make a confession before I go any further. It shames me to admit it, but I have never played the original Crysis. It is the hallmark of modern PC gaming, and yet I have not gotten around to experiencing its many wonders, which is why people are often surprised to learn that I have played the arguably inferior sequel Crysis 2, and that I enjoyed my time with it greatly. Now don’t get me wrong, Crysis 2 had problems: the linearity of some of levels is bland and uninspiring, and the suit abilities could have had greater variation. But at its core, Crysis 2 was an enjoyable ride, with plenty of situations and scenes that were engaging and fun to play.
Yet for all the fans who loved and cherished the original Crysis, the sequel has been a sore spot in their minds, which is why Crytek is looking to win back those original fans in the upcoming Crysis 3. While the series does not go back to the true freedom that many experienced in the original’s lush, tropical island, it is a far cry from the narrow and confined cityscape that is New York City. Instead, Crysis 3 combines the best of both worlds, inserting a tropical jungle flare to the destroyed remnants of New York City. It’s a middle ground to be sure, but Crytek is hedging its bets that it will attract both disillusioned fans and new blood to the infamously beautiful series.
Post Apocalypse New York
Crysis 3 takes place over 20 years after the events of Crysis 2. New York City has been abandoned and covered in a giant dome by the CELL Corporation in order to purify the area of alien toxins. In reality, the CELL Corporation is only keen on grabbing the land to facilitate its goal to gain alien tech and weaponry in order to begin its plans for world conquest. Prophet, the hero from Crysis 2 returns to familiar ground in order to exact revenge and to prevent CELL from completing its nefarious plan.
Ok, so the story might not be Oscar caliber, but that has never stopped Crysis from succeeding when it comes to gameplay. With the new setting, Crytek is looking to take aim at returning the series to its open world roots. The Nanosuit returns, bringing with it the typical stealth, armor, sprint and visor modes that have stayed with the series since its inception. The larger spaces that are present within the game mean that these options will have even more versatility than before, and it wouldn't be surprising to see multiple strategies develop in the months post launch.
New Game, New Gadgets
But perhaps the most interesting and significant gameplay change that will be added to Crysis 3 is the compound bow. Drawing power from the Nanosuit, the compound bow features multiple types of playing styles that can be switched and utilized on the fly. Want to climb atop a building and snipe at hostiles silently with maximum force? Or would you rather dash out of a diner and rapidly fire arrows at an enemy patrol? The draw strength can be changed, allowing you to fire one arrow with extremely powerful force, or multiple arrows without draining your suits power. Furthermore, there are different arrow types which can be freely switched to on the move depending on the battlefield situation. Explosive, electrical, and airburst can be used in conjunction with standard arrows to maximize your type of playstyle. Combined with the Nanosuit, the compound bow looks to be a wonderful new addition to the Crysis arsenal.
Alongside the singleplayer campaign, Crytek is further refining the series multiplayer suite in order to incorporate the jungle filled remains of New York City. Aside from the traditional multiplayer fare that gamers have come to know throughout the years, a few new modes are being added to spice up the tried and true format. Take the Hunter mode as an example. Two players start off as the Hunters, with the games Nanosuit and compound bow as their weapons. Their objective is to find and kill the remaining players, who play as regular run of the mill soldiers. The Hunters win if they kill every soldier, while the soldiers win if one player can survive for two minutes. Its tense and nail biting gameplay at its finest, and not the least bit reminiscent of Predator, but its unique and most importantly engaging, and really, that's all that's needed to draw players in for a long time.
Crysis 3 has a lot to prove. It has to attract new players who might have feared or never heard of the venerable series, while simultaneously drawing back the players who were a little angry over the release of Crysis 2. From what it looks like so far, Crysis 3 is on par to do just that.