With the release date for Crysis 3 quickly approaching, it's always important for consumers to know if the end product is worth your hard earned cash. Find out my thoughts on the recent open beta release.
It’s a new month and with it comes some new treats, it’s also nice to know not all developers have decided to be stingy and forego a demo – looking at you Crystal Dynamics.
Crysis 3 (Beta) is the latest AAA game to receive a friendly pre-release demo starting from 29th January to 12th February.
Off the bat Crysis 3 feels much more refined and tighter than Crysis 2. The controls for jumping, climbing up ledges, sliding and shooting are greatly improved. The speed and responsiveness to your inputs and how it allows you to perform some insanely intense melee and gun combat, is thrilling.
The weaponry available for use is a nice range between light assault rifles and heavy LMG’s - with a couple pieces of alien hardware you can’t pre-load but can pick up from the battlefield. As a beta there is enough here to try and keep you satisfied, but it will be interesting to see what other toys they bring to the final show. Sadly, it’s hard to distinguish any character from the guns both alien and human alike; often you can only tell their differences from the sound, control, and of course the stats sheet.
The beta is flaunting two of it more unique multiplayer modes: ‘Crash Site’ and ‘Hunter’, each with the same two maps to test drive them on.
Crash Site is a Crysis 3 take on the old favourite capture and hold. It boils down to each team battling each other for specific locations and holding said locations the longest. The team with the highest score wins. The Crysis twist - each location is deployed by a drop-ship and literally crashes into place. Teams swarm to hold it the longest before the time on the pods expire and they explode. Rinse and repeat until rounds end.
With every appearance of a crashed pod being randomised across the battle field, there is a frantic rat-race-rush to that next location. Conflicts waging in one area of the map quickly disperse and reform elsewhere, making for some very entertaining combat.
Hunter is the second mode available. One team are ‘hunters’ whilst the other are ‘hunted’. The mode comes with 5 rounds a game and a two minute time limit. One team plays as a group of crashed marines awaiting evac; survive the time limit to win one bout. Whilst the other team, decked with Nano suit abilities and recurve bow, must eliminate the marines before the time ends.
At this point I want to add a personal thought. If all upcoming FPS’s choose create knock off modes from Aliens vs. Predator that are as crazy good as this one, well then by-Jove! I’m all for it. Even though Hunter is the mode I played less, it has to be one of my favourite multiplayer modes in a while and I interested to see how it plays with a fuller map.
Being the last marine to hold out against a team of invisible and over powered Nano suit predators – and with just the last few seconds of the bout left before victory – left me squealing like a little pig regularly. In these moments I desperately tossed up the decision between hunkering down and blasting any approaching red shimmers, or running into the open like a mad-man making a desperate dash for life. I hoped the sudden change in tactic would surprise my killers, initiate a Benny Hill-esque chase, and capture victory. Usually the former was the better choice.
The maps available to play are ‘Museum’ and ‘Airport’, both are a nice size for combat and each have a distinctive feel. Museum is swamp-ish, wet and uses lighting to a nice effect; it’s darker and browner colours are great for Hunter. Airport is bright, warm and colourful; the vegetation overgrowth has crept through and reclaimed a downed air-plane and terminal.
Imagine if you will, both maps as a glorious jungle gyms, each designed to bring verticality into gameplay. If you ever find yourself leaping above an explosive gun battle below take the opportunity to ‘Air Stomp’. Whilst it may take a few attempts to perfect bringing the death from above, it’s incredibly satisfying once you do.
In fact it’s almost uncanny how the team at Crytek have replicated the axiom of Parkour – moving fluidly through your environment, making one action and the next, smooth and unbroken. Again it’s a sign of how much tighter and more responsive the mechanics and controls have been made. If you miss a ledge or fumble a jump, it’s your fault.
Without a shadow of a doubt this game was built for the PC. The graphical differences between console and a top end PC rig aren’t even worth comparing because it’s depressing. If you have the capabilities to play this for how it was intended, then you should. However, remembering this is not a final product, the console port does hold its own. Textures are nice and crisp, but have suffered occasional lag at the beginning of a match. Kill cam sometimes delays and then fast forwards through the kill. Gameplay is fast paced and, at the greatest times, frantic action that runs smoothly, and usually, without a hitch.
If you have blown this off as just another FPS, then you’re not wrong there because it is another FPS. However you would be wrong in assuming that it isn’t fun or trying to mix things up. There’s a lot of appeal and potential from this Beta and, since it’s free and all, I would recommend downloading it and giving it ago. I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy even if it is just the pretty graphics on the PC.
Have you played the Crysis 3 Beta? If so, tell me your thoughts and opinions of what has been made available and if you liked it or not.
By Rod-the-Pod, 03-Feb-2013
By Rod-the-Pod, 03-Feb-2013