Again, that’s 500 rounds a goddamned second. Surprisingly enough, hands-off demos behind closed doors are typically boring, with a static crowd sitting around, watching in a cold, sound-proof room. Very rarely does that same audience have any sort of outward reaction from the game they’re witnessing. At least that’s what I’ve experienced, personally. Behind-closed-doors experiences have always felt a bit odd to me.
So it’s safe to assume that when said robotic audience noticeably expresses their intrigue, the game being shown can be given a few kudos. Crysis 3 was freakin’ sweet. Not only that, but it’s also an absolute trip to see being played in real time, on top-end hardware. But you already knew that, of course, because this is Crysis: arguably the most technically gorgeous series around right now.
First, I have to talk about how insanely beautiful this game looks. I know you’ve seen the vids, and I know you’ve played Crysis 2, but you haven’t experienced either on a 72-inch screen, at high resolution, with the variety of color that Crysis 3’s level design offers. It’s easy to assume that jaw-dropping leaps in graphics are a thing of the past, considering how great games look these days. But all of this game’s DirectX 11 features are leaps beyond most, if not every other game out right now.
About the level design: Everything in the city of New York has been overrun by the flora and fauna. How plants have managed to so quickly suffocate modern civilization is beyond me, but it’s everywhere and looks pretty, nonetheless. The contrast of NY’s achromatic grays, browns, and blacks against the greens, blues, and reds of the natural surroundings provide a visual dynamic that few shooters bother to provide, let alone games built on such technically advanced engines.
My biggest issue with advanced engines today is that they don’t flex their chromatic muscle enough. While the U3 engine had the privilege of being commercially successful, therefore being utilized differently by others, most developers misunderstand the use of color by mudding the look of their games for the sake of “grit.” Crysis 3 is not unlike most other shooters, but at least understands the aesthetic power of emphasizing colors. I cannot stress this enough, for more reasons than just technicality: This. Game. Is. Gorgeous.
As previously stated, though, this is a shooter, and it has a lot in common with others of the genre -- minus the badass suit. And if you’ve played Crysis 2, then very little about this third installment will be foreign to you. You retain a lot of the same equipment, abilities, and weapons, with the exception of a bow that makes John Rambo's weapon look like something recreational archers use.
As expected, what makes the bow a valuable tool is the different ammo types it uses. Some arrows have explosive tips to them that act as a sort of timed grenade. Another type will electrocute enemies, but also fry several, if a crowd of baddies happens to be standing in water. My favorite, though, would have to be one kind of arrow that explodes above an area, reigning death down on enemies in a cloud of gray smoke. Think of Prophet as Hawkeye, but with a suit worth millions of tax payers’ dollars.
But, BUT, this arrow shit pales in comparison to the gun that fires 500 rounds a mother-humping second. It’s big, it’s bulky, it sounds like a combination of bees and tearing cloth, and the end result is a cluster fuck of bullets that produces more sparks than I imaging the average processor can handle. If videogame particle effects had parents, this gun (known as the Typhoon) would be the violent, alcoholic father. Say hello to the BFG of Crysis.
I figure that anyone who has a beastly rig already plans on getting this game. It’s the perfect title to flex your system’s hardware. If you plan on upgrading, though, then Crysis 3 is definitely a game you want to keep on your radar. Be prepared to paint New York in alien blood this February, 2013.