This past Tuesday, January 29, many gamers were greeted with a small download from Crytek on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and EA’s Origin service: the Crysis 3 Beta. Clocking in at about a two gigabyte download, the multiplayer beta is a very impressive showcase as a whole. Focused on two specific game modes; Crash Site and the new Hunter system, the beta demo definitely delivers a very polished and solid multiplayer experience.

Within the beta players get the chance to experience two maps, Museum and Airport. Each of these maps looks gorgeous, focusing on the new atmosphere of a post-apocalyptic New York City. Both maps have a visual feel very similar to Naughty Dogs, The Last of Us, with tons of overgrowth and remains of the previous world scattered about. The main impressive addition is the minor sandbox elements to each of the maps. Across the maps you can find multiple alien weapons to use in combat, although they didn’t feel too useful in some situations, and many pieces of the environment you can actually manipulate. These pieces include flagpoles, cars, street signs, and even sealed doors which you can use to defeat other players in the multiplayer modes. Easily, one of the most satisfying moments of my time with the beta was when I ripped a small street lamp out of a destroyed piece of street and impaled a player trying to melee me with it. It was priceless, and felt extremely satisfying. Not only are these sandbox elements useful, but they definitely help to make players feel immersed in the combat for a while before getting redundant. Now, even though these elements may feel repetitive after a few hundred games; the main point is that they are useful. During my extensive time with Crysis 2’s multiplayer, I was often frustrated that I never got to use a car as a weapon…because it was never more effective than my rifle or nanosuit. But that has clearly changed for the better, and I support it completely.

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A picture of Airport, one of the two maps presented in the Crysis 3 beta. 

However, the maps aren’t the most entertaining aspect of these new developments in Cryis 3, the highlights here take place in the nanosuit. While the nanosuit customization still exists, Crytek improved it for the better. Throughout Crysis 2 players often felt as if their energy was draining too quickly, and this discouraged the use of most of the nanosuit modules that are used for class creation. While everyone else I was on the beta with loved the graphics (which look beautiful once more, by the way) I was more intent on loving the simple improvements. The first of these improvements is the addition of the sprint ability not draining suit energy, as well as air stomp being permanently available to players. Personally, I prefer to move around the battlefield quickly and sprint was the function that let me do that…however in Crysis 2, it drained energy far too quickly that I barely experimented with suit modules. This addition to Crysis 3 had my heart sailing five minutes into my first game, because I didn’t feel limited in the nanosuit. This, I would argue, is a change for the best in the multiplayer section of the game. Now, many of the same suit customizations exist in Crysis 3, but the massive change here is that any armor ability can go into any of the three slots per class. This not only allows for multiple new combinations for builds, but also allows specialization based on the role you want to play. For example, I was able to pick up Hunter, Maximum Stealth and Movement Speed which allowed me to maximize my stealth efficiency and pick people off with my bow from sniping positions. I was amazed with the level of customization each class slot could have, including 3 armor abilities, a primary weapon (with up to three attachments and a skin), a secondary weapon (with up to three attachments an a skin), and a grenade/piece of equipment. Most of the weapons remain largely unchanged, with a few new pieces of gear, such as the Predator Bow, to make up for the removal of some classical favorites. Each of these new weapons handles very well, and works great to freshen up the Crysis universe.  The only reservation I have with the weapons in particular is the pump action shotgun, known as the Marshall. This shotgun is massively overpowered, and in the hands of a skilled player can deal unbelievable amounts of damage to the enemy team. Constantly when using maximum armor I was getting annihilated by the Marshall with just one shot, to the point of utter frustration most of the time. But hopefully that will be fixed in the coming days before the full games release.

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While the main focus of this article is Hunter Mode, Crash Site returns in full force. 

The new mode, Hunter, is a welcome and enjoyable addition to the multiplayer set list in Crysis 3, which is basically a smarter version of Halo’s famous flood mode. Here, two players start of as Hunters, which are nanosuit operatives who are armed with a Predator Bow and permanent stealth. The interesting twist is that the nanosuit operatives aren’t able to fully utilize their suit, so no maximum armor, etc. is available to them throughout the game. On the opposite side, you have the CELL operatives, who have been shot down and are awaiting extraction. Here, players get to pick from one of three classes, which are basically a rifleman, sniper, and close quarter’s expert. But these operatives don’t have nanosuits, so one arrow can kill them in a heartbeat. With a short time limit to survive and ammo scattered about the map it can be difficult to survive no matter what hiding place you might have as an operative and your only defense is the proximity alarm. The twist (just as in flood) is that every CELL operative who is killed becomes a hunter, and attempts to hunt down their buddies. This prevents ridiculous hiding spots from being overused, and provides a real bit of challenge to the mode. With five rounds and plenty of laughs or freak outs, Hunter mode handles very well and encourages team play; which is something multiplayer these days definitely needs to succeed.

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In Crash Site, the Pinger is an important asset to control on the map.

Overall, the Crysis 3 beta is nothing slight of impressive, even on the consoles. During my time with the beta I was able to play the PC and Xbox 360 versions, which work really well for the most part. The only small technical glitches I would notice were in the kill cameras, where the frame rate would suddenly slow on my Xbox 360. This didn’t happen on my PC while I was playing at maximum settings, so it’s definitely a limitation for the consoles. While I hope to see this patched up, I don’t know if it will be. Now, while I did say the beta is very impressive some fixes are needed; for example the Marshall’s stopping power, but it doesn’t sell the game short, especially for a beta. If you own an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or a PC; treat yourself to some fun and hop in on the Crysis 3 beta action before they close it down to prepare for the games release in February.

 

 

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About The Author

Podcast Host/Broadcast Specialist

Nicholas Bashore started gaming nearly 20 years ago and is currently working towards his degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. One of the four founding members of Gamer Assault Weekly, Nicholas works on YouTube and TwitchTV as a broadcaster - while writing reviews and hosting the Weekly Recap on the site. In his free time, he enjoys discussing the gaming industry and spending hours looking for Daedric artifacts.