Crysis 3 Hands-on (Xbox360)

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Just a few weeks ago we got the chance to see Crysis 3 in action at EA’s E3 booth. Stepping inside the presentation room you would be forgiven for believing you had stepped into another world… a future dimension of Crysis 3.

The dimly lit room resembled a jungle area with vines hanging around the park benches where we sat to watch the presentation and wrapped around the large 3 metre TV which dominated the front wall. Dappled lighting flickered on and off, adding to the immersion, while an image of Prophet dominated the right hand side wall of the room.

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Mike Reed, executive producer of Crysis 3, gave a short description about the game’s setting and backstory, before talking about the features and what we can expect to see when the title launches in February 2013.

Prophet is once again the lead protagonist in Crysis 3, which is set 20 years after the events of Crysis 2. Its 2047 and the corrupt Cell Corporation has erected Nanodomes to cover every major city, including New York, with the supposed aim of protecting the cities and cleansing the remnants of alien Ceph forces.

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The setting of Crysis 3 is unique, it’s dubbed to be an urban rainforest, and, according to Reed is a combination of the best elements of Crysis 1 and 2. As you work your way through the levels of the Liberty Dome covering New York, you’ll notice trees growing out of buildings and lush vegetation within the wild, ruined city environment and you’ll learn how the Nanodomes are helping to accelerate the growth. Yet you’ll also discover dense swamplands, deserts, islands and powerful rivers, because the Dome contains seven environments known as the Seven Wonders, each one posing distinct challenges to players.

Crysis 3 Screenshot 3

Reed went on to explain the three cornerstones of adaptive warfare – to assess (tag), adapt (arm weapons) and attack (run in). There are many different customisation choices in Crysis 3, including your weapons and your Nanosuit. Prophet will be armed with three different weapons in the game: the high-powered and composite Bow, which can be equipped with multiple arrows and fired while cloaked; the Cell Typhoon, which can fire 500 rounds per second and delivers serious firepower, especially at short to medium range; and the Ceph Plasma gun, an assault rifle that is good at long and close range, and marks the first time that alien weaponry can be used in the Crysis series.

Crysis 3 Screenshot 2

The Bow will feature four different tips (and more to come) ranging from explosive tips to electrically charged arrowheads. We got to see Prophet in action in the New York Liberty City Dome on the Dam Busters mission in a visually stunning (despite the pre-alpha code) and action-packed demonstration that left us wanting more. The objective was to infiltrate the primary dam controls, and Prophet certainly did it with style, making use of a variety of different weapons!

Crysis 3 Screenshot 1

The Bow has a visor mode which you’ll be able to use to tag enemies. When using the explosive Bow tip the enemy was hit and only exploded after a few seconds, in what can only be described as a satisfying detonation. You’ll also be able to blow enemies up with grenades, or simply make use of Prophet’s melee skills to finish off an enemy which you’ve pegged to the wall with an arrow. In addition to collecting arrows along the route, you can also pick them back up from fallen enemies. The Airburst Bow tip is great for proximity detection, while the Electrical tip proved fatal to an enemy standing in a puddle of water!

As Prophet moved through the lush city environments, we also got to see the Cell Typhoon and Ceph Plasma gun in action. The development team is looking at providing different challenges in the game, so you’ll be able to interact with objects throughout the game. For example, you can hack into turrets and panels and make them work for you against the enemy – handy in a gunfight when they’re trying to flank you! Of course you’ll also be able to customise your weapons (including the barrel and scope) and upgrade the Nanosuit as you progress in the game.

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Playing as Prophet you can easily become complacent and think that you are invincible with your cloaking suit and advanced weaponry. You’ll quickly be put in your place if you try pulling Rambo moves on the Ceph. Crysis 3 gives you options and you need to use them to survive. Assess your environment and choose a path that makes sense to you. Look for ways to make the environment work for you, be that explosive items, using water so you can shock enemies or hiding in dense cover. There is often more than one route to take so pick one that appeals to you and decide if you are going for stealth or a frontal attack.

Next adapt your suit and select your weapons to match your decision. Now attack and then quickly move through the terrain onto the next challenge. It’s not always easy to follow the assess, adapt and attack advice, and sometimes I slipped into pure survival mode during the demo. Nevertheless I had a blast trying out the weapons and exploring the terrain… and I survived to blow the heck out of the bridge.

Crysis 3 will be available for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in February 2013. Browse through El33tonline’s previous coverage for more screenshots, artwork and videos from the game. You can also watch the new gameplay trailer from E3, as well as the gameplay demo from EA’s E3 press conference, below: