Crysis 3 Beta Impressions

Before I say anything else, this needs to be said: Crysis 3 is beautiful. I have played the game on both PS3 and PC (not on Xbox yet, I’m running on trial live time), and I am impressed not only with the quality of textures in the game, but with the entire design scheme. I am so used to seeing grey in my post apocalyptic games, but Crysis 3 does a great job of emphasizing how the plant life has taken over, especially in the map “Airport.” “Museum was much darker and more dreary, but the vertical gameplay more than made up for it. In fact, the level design was just as impressive as the art design. Both available maps were highly a-symmetrical, featured multiple floors (some areas only accessible with the Hunter’s enhanced jump), and multiple pathways to just about anywhere. They looked beautiful, played wonderfully, and kept the pace fast.

Sadly, the gameplay didn’t quite stack up, especially in “Hunter” mode. “Hunter” mode is similar to infection mode from Halo, if the infected had one-shot-kill long range weapons, were nearly completely invisible, faster, could jump higher, and had all the humans visible on their mini-map at all times. The game is divided into five two minute rounds, and almost every time the Hunters win. The only way I have seen humans survive is by hiding in a corner and hoping that the Hunters ignore them. The worst part was that, because humans are so quickly taken out, only a few Hunters actually get to Kill. The game-mode was a great idea, but it was totally unbalanced, and I hope that they fix it before the game comes out.

“Crash Site” is far more entertaining. All players have Nanosuits, and the team based game mode takes great advantage of the level design. It is essentially Headquarters mode from Call of Duty, but with far more emphasis on vertical gameplay. The “crash-site” moves around the map, and teams score points for holding it. The movement of the objective keeps players scattered all over the map, and ensures that the players make use of every pathway and play-style. The classic game mode feels great in Crysis, and holding the crash site really keeps you on edge. Constantly scanning for that telltale outline of a cloaked player, checking sight-lines for snipers, and listening for the detonation alert. (Oh yeah, when it is time to move to a new crash site, the old one explodes…it got me once…just once). It all adds up to a really fun experience, and enough unique content that makes it worth playing.

After a few hours of play, I have to say that the game looks better on PC (medium settings), and I prefer a mouse for FPS games anyway, but I really don’t see myself getting deep into the multi-player. It was fun, but it takes a lot for online multi-player to keep me coming back. (I’m looking at you Team Fortress 2). I’ll pick it up on PS3, beat the campaign, play a bit of multi-player, then trade it in when I can’t afford to pick up another game I’m planning to get this year. Crytek needs to balance the “Hunter” mode, but other than that, they have a really good multi-player experience that will stand out from the crowd. I just have too much on my plate to dedicate a great deal of time to any one game.

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