Aaaaand the winner of “Most Painstaking Queue Award” at EB Expo 2012 unexpectedly goes to… *drumroll* …Crysis 3. This may seem counter-intuitive as there were games on show that were always going to be more popular, but the Crysis 3 queue definitely moved far slower than any other title that I saw at the expo. That aside, the demo itself was showing off some gorgeous Crysis 3 goodness, and that made the whole wait worthwi… well. Almost.
As we have come to expect, new Crysis games continue to look incredible. The demo took place in an overgrown dam, which gave Crytek a chance to show off more of the amazing foliage that has been a staple of the series since the original Crysis. Seemingly as a response to player feedback regarding Crysis 2’s more corridor-like nature, the Crysis 3 demo gave us a much broader area with which to wage power-suited war upon hapless and unspecified goons.
Making an obvious return are the armour abilities from the previous games — Maximum Armour and Maximum Stealth. These seem to be mostly unchanged, though I felt like my energy was running out far too quickly, which forced me into a more methodical cover-based approach.
At the outset, the player is provided with the compound bow featured in many of the preview trailers to date. This thing feels deadly. It is immensely satisfying to enter stealth and take out an enemy with an arrow forcible enough to throw him backwards, followed by his squadmates casting about helplessly as they try to work out where the damn thing came from. The other weapon at my disposal was a pistol which was killing enemies with a single shot, and was unerringly accurate when using the iron sights. This thing was so efficient that I felt compelled to keep it, rather than swapping it out for my previous go-to gun in Crysis 1 and 2, the SCAR assault rifle.
It is obviously hard to be sure from a mere seven minutes with the game, but once I broke stealth and went loud, the AI seemed to be omniscient — or at least to be operating as part of some sort of hive mind. Even breaking line of sight and attempting to stealth away seemed to be a poor choice, as I was constantly discovered. I ended up eschewing stealth in favour of maximum armour because, at least at this early point in the game, stealth seemed to be the weaker option. I would assume that some sort of upgrade system will be in play in Crysis 3 as it was in 2, which would mean that stealth would become far more useful after bolstering it with a few rounds of upgrades.
All in all, Crysis 3 is shaping up to be another strong member of the series, despite the fact that what I saw didn’t really do much to make it stand apart from the previous games. It’s hard to tell so far if Crytek have lived up to their plans to do away with the linearity of the second game, but in terms of combat at least, fans are going to feel right at home.