I’m certain you don’t need to read this preview to be convinced that Crysis 3 is an absolutely gorgeous looking game, but let me tell you, Crytek’s upcoming shooter is so much more than just a pretty face. During their E3 presentation, the development team made it clear that this third installment will serve as the question-answering finale that serves up a heavy dose of resolution by the time the game concludes.
The game’s premise is simple: the CELL corporation has encased New York City in a Nanodome, and the former United States landmark has begun to transform into a rainforest filled with grasslands, canyons and swamps. Depending on which setting the player finds him/herself in, they’ll encounter different foes and make use of different weapons. That said, Prophet (the game’s protagonist) will be armed with his trusty bow at all times. In addition, players will be able to use alien weapons — a first time for the series.
The demo itself was taken from a level call Dambusters, which tasks the player with infiltrating and destroying a CELL dam. Crytek harped on the fact that Crysis 3 will feature sandbox gameplay, providing plenty of choice and freedom to the player. Naturally, the beginning of this level served as a perfect example, presenting the player with a wide array of possible paths to reach the dam right off the bat. In my demo session, Prophet took the stealthy route, slowly and methodically picking off his adversaries with the bow. When his cover was eventually blown, a more forthcoming approach was required, which put some of our hero’s alternate ammunition to good use. Explosive arrows are particularly effective, as tagging a foe with this lethal projectile will blast him and anyone nearby to bits.
Not long after, Prophet stumbled upon the X-PAC, an alien grenade launcher that packs one heck of a punch. Needless to say, a bevy of explosions followed, showcasing Cry Engine 3’s gorgeous visual capabilities. The billowing smoke and outstanding particle effects were a marvel to behold. Upon entering the dam, a new hacking mechanic was shown off, which – in this instance – allowed the player to reprogram an enemy turret to attack members of CELL.
Before triggering the destruction of the dam, the demonstrator showed off one final application of the bow, plunging and electrified arrow into the water below, shocking a couple of unsuspecting enemies to death. Finally the time came to bring down the massive water barrier, which resulted in a cinematic destruction scene that puts the bulk of Call of Duty’s high octane moments to shame. First-person shooter fans dying for a gorgeous, jaw-dropping experience better clear their schedules this coming February.