Crysis 3: – Could be Beta

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.

crysis 3 beta

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 *coughcrysis 3 multiplayer screenshot*).

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 crysis 3 multiplayer museumzones 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.

crysis 3 hunter mode

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

(In)decent Expo(sure) Part 2

So last week I shared my first impressions from the EuroGamer Expo on Tomb Raider, Hitman Absolution and Doom 3: BFG Edition and in this post I thought I would finish you off with the other games I managed to have a blast on between rounds of Halo 4. Read on to hear my incredibly noobish opinions on games I don’t fully understand.

The Unfinished Swan

I thought I would start with this little number which I think was probably the most original title I saw. I didn’t even get a go on it as there was only a couple of monitors with it on but I couldn’t help just watching, mesmerised by the concept. This PS3 title was a first person title where the player starts with a totally white screen unable to see anything except some yellow footprints presumably made by a swan, that is until you start throwing clods of black paint all over the shop which helps reveal the level bit by bit. As the player hoys the emulsion about the maze is slowly unveiled to help you find your way with the end goal of catching that elusive hissing bird. From what I watched I was quite taken aback by the cleverness of the concept. I would happily propel paintball’s in this manner for a year. Definitely one to keep an eye on this one as it seems like to me like a sleeper hit in the making. It comes out on the 23rd of October in the USA and the 24th in Europe on PSN, but if you have Playstation Plus then you can bag this oddball adventure on October 16th in USA or 17th in Europe.

Crysis 3

Out of all the games I played at the expo this is probably the one at the top of my shopping list. Having never played any of the previous iterations this one made me feel like I had really missing out. As soon as I got my hands on it I was immediately blown away by the quality of the graphics. I haven’t seen anything that really holds a candle to it, fair enough it was running on a monster rig of a PC but still it looked amazing. The new engine is apparently a real PC melter but obviously you can turn the settings down to run on a regular PC, but where’s the fun in that, I mean who would want to look into the uber realistic water only to not see your enemy reflected in it. I went for the keyboard/mouse combo over the control pad and jumped in. The gametype I played was very team orientated with the objective to capture an area and hold it whilst the enemy super jumped and invisified up to your location to oust you from the hill which is not exactly revolutionary but it doesn’t need to be. It wasn’t quite as frenetic or as frequent as I thought it would be but maybe I was unconsciously shying away from it at times, when trouble did found me though it was very battlefield in the way the guns handled and I even managed to drop a couple of people – which was nice, the gameplay was more disciplined and ‘realistic’ during engagements. I did die a lot though which I put down to my utter noobishness, thankfully I made up for points by getting to the objective which others seemed to ignore. The other game mode I saw being played but didn’t get a shot on was the new hunter mode which involves two players being armed with crossbows and the signature predator like shimmer invisibility going against the rest of the players as they shit themselves trying to work out where the shots are coming from. As I say this was my first game of Crysis I ever played and I really enjoyed it despite my lacklustre performance and for a game to impress me despite being fragged countless time is quite a tall order. Needless to say first impression goes a long way and I will be getting this when it comes out next February.

Farcry 3

Yet another franchise I have never got into (damn you Halo) but as I was on a promise to one of our readers I thought I would give it a go. It did look lovely and I could certainly see the comparisons that others were drawing between this game and the world created for the new Tomb Raider. Being an open world game I just went for a bit of drive, tearing aimlessly through the lush jungle, which was fun for a while but then a guy on the stand told me to activate a radio tower to see the rest of the map. Once that was done he pointed me toward hang glider “sweet” I exclaimed “I am gonna hang glide the shit out of that hang glider!”. So a blasted my 4×4 all the way up this mountain full throttle….only to make to the top a crash straight into the hang glider and smash the shit out of it. My mourning period was immediately cut short when a bunch of terrorists streamed out, which to be honest were pretty easy to drop. Later I found the same when I took on a group of arseholes on a beach, sure they hit cover where possible and tried to make it to mounted guns when they could but I found the AI fairly basic, a little disappointing but on the flip side I did feel like rambo when mowing down these poor saps. Overall I had a pretty good time and am sure the full game will be a varied experience and hopefully the AI will get better on a more difficult setting. If open world shooting is your thing cop this on November 30th

Carmageddon: Reincarnation.

This game has always held a special place in my heart as a wee lad. My teens were punctuated with the sound of engines and the alarm of pedestrians come dog food so when I spotted this I had to have a go. A crowd sourced project that brings an updated version of the driving gorefest to the mobile gaming world and it hasn’t lost any of its charm. With new levels, tweaked car mechanics and most obviously tablet adapted controls this still played just like the original, fast, fun and filled with death. On being presented with the cars to choose from I immediately went chose my go-to Carmageddon ride – Vlad the Impalers Annihilator. As in previous games this is still the fastest shit off a stick and if possible has even less turning ability. I basically straight line wheelied the whole course only turning when a wall forced me to, but boy those mugs in the road near the wall were done for, tasting their own intestines before they knew they had been minced. Thoroughly good fun. Meant to be out before the year is over on at least iOS, keep your engines hot and your spikes sharpened.

Here at TBoD we would like to hear your precious thoughts on any of the games we have mentioned here or in previous posts. Will you be getting any or all of these? Or do you have your hard-earned cash for something else? Thanks for reading and we look forward to reading your views!

-MS Dosser