For the three of you who read my previous post on my highlights from the Eurogamer Expo back in September, you may recall my excitement for Crysis 3. Well on Monday Crytek brought out the open multiplayer beta to Xbox PS3 and PC, so imagine my joy when I was provided with the chance to get another hands on.
Let me just say that much of my initial awe conjured by this game came from the sheer graphical prowess, for those of you who haven’t seen how lush this game is just check out the tech engine demo trailer her on YouTube. Anyway at the expo I was playing on a PC so obviously I knew it wouldn’t sizzle quite as much on my Xbox. Imagine my disappointment when I first fired up the game to discover that, compared to the PC, the console version is a ghostly shade of what I had experienced previously. Sure the 360 is getting a little creaky in its grand old age so I even had a look at it on the more powerful PS3 and honestly it left me a little sour. Not to go on but just to make my point if the PC version is Evian spring water then the console port is a muddy puddle. The TLDR version: – Comparatively its dog shit.
Before the beta boots up you are given a little video about what you get if you pre-order, which consists of some pretty middle of the road trinkets, including some ‘exclusive’ dog tags which are marginally better looking than BF3’s array, an arrow skin – that’s right a texture for something as skinny as Kate Moss back in her smack taking days. Also included in this ‘limited time off’ is early access to a ‘Recon Arrow’ which if I’m honest I have no idea what it does exactly but it flies for miles. Another skin is thrown in, this time for your nano-suit. A more game influencing reward is you get the iconic Crysis hunter bow straight out the gates, which you can fire whilst cloaked, as well as a perk which makes you as quiet as a girls constrained fart in a movie theatre. Minus the skins these little bits do give some definite advantages in-game but I worry this could shit in the cereal of those who do not pre-order. Quick scenario, you go and buy Crysis 3 on launch day and hastily skip home game in hand, you slip the disc into your gaming platform of choice and fire up a game of Crash Site. 30 seconds in you find that the game is populated by silent invisible ninjas with weapons forged on mount Olympus raining a hail of arrows from three miles away upon thine hapless skull. I can see your happy face now, not showing the slightest hint of rage, still holding your favourite peripheral of choice in one hand, whilst with the other pulling down your pants and bending over waiting for the next round to begin, all the while still smiling, overjoyed at the best purchase you ever made. If only you had pre-ordered and got all this great stuff plus the five level xp boost thrown in and you could have been the one administering your barbed shaft between the oppositions butt cheeks. Well at least you aren’t getting XP from buying Doritos (*cough* 343 *cough*).
Ok rant over regarding pre-orders because the one good thing the normally tight-fisted EA have done, for those who buy the game pre-release, is throw a copy of the original Crysis in for good measure. It’s a good move as far as exposing the series to new players like myself.
Putting the console graphics and pre-order gripes aside the beta itself is actually quite fun to play, it offers up two maps and two modes to dip your nano-penis in and get the juices flowing. The maps Airport and Museum are both on the medium to small side which keeps the action dial positioned between steady and frantic. As I mentioned earlier I am somewhat of a noob to the series, so I’m not sure if this is indicative of the map sizes to be found in this game or if larger scale warfare and by extension bigger maps will be included. I hope the latter is true because having played my fair share of Halo BTB and Battlefield Multiplayer, when it comes to games I am certainly from the school of ‘size does matter’.
The modes included are Crash Site, a standard King of the Hill scenario, much like Battlefield 3’s Conquest mode or Halo’s creatively titled King of the Hill gametype. Its fun to play with a team of Spartans errr I mean Nano-guys and defend an objective, the one thing it seems to lack is much tactical play, with players opting to just run at the crashsite in one large pack than employ any real strategy. Having said that, unlike Battlefield’s multiple zones in conquest which require a bit of planning within your squad to attack, the nature of Crash Site is basically to rush between one single moving zone, so I guess the run en masse is a relevant tactic. When I say that you find a lot of people charging around the map, the game-play never gets overly frenetic, allowing time to pick a cover point and pull off some precision shots, or in my case shoot just left of my foe before being dropped like OJ;s murder charge.
The Hunter mode is both fun and infuriating, much like the Halo infection game type, one person starts as a hunter complete with permanent invisibility and bow, whose tasked with the sole aim of sneakily killing other players and recruiting them into your ranks before the time runs out. I do like this mode on either side but being on the non-invisible side fills me with a kind of palpable fear, knowing that as my cohorts fall one by one, there is another transparant killer on my tail. It makes me feel shameful that I don’t behave like Arnie in this situation by smearing mud on myself and going down fighting, instead of actually desperately fleeing these ghostly apparitions whilst having a fecal crysis in my nano-pants.
I’ll just quickly round this out by talking about the kit, which although I have not leveled that far I have found that the guns available to me handle rather well, the Feline is quite a joy to use actually, rapid fire and decent damage albeit not the beefiest sounding gun. As for the perks, the ones you start with are pretty strong with the invisibility of course being a favourite, but the auto armour which is meant to provide a health boost is pretty much useless at tier 1.
Overall I have been enjoying myself in Crysis 3 but if I am honest the multiplayer doesn’t excite me as much as other shooters in my collection, I found that after a few rounds I wanted to play something else. I had this down as a must buy back in September and, if I had a good enough PC, it would probably still be on that list, however as it stands I think that primarily a console user this title has slipped onto the rental list for me. That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy it later, this is just a beta after all, but from the game-play I have experienced here and the COD poor graphics I have seen so far, my eagerness to get this game has dwindled.
– The Quim Ninja
Have you played the Crysis 3 Beta? Any thoughts good or bad? Let us know in the comments. If you haven’t given it a shot then the open beta runs until February 12th