A few weeks ago Crytek launched an exclusive multiplayer beta demo on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and for someone who isn’t familiar with the Crysis series may have just let the news blow past them. I for one am usually that person, but this time I thought I’d give it a stab even though I’d probably have no idea what to do, or what was going on. I was pleasantly surprised.
Okay so it’s not really surprising that I got on with the game, multiplayer modes usually don’t reflect the single player story in any way nor do you need extensive knowledge of the game to play the online mode, but what I was unsure about was the Nanosuit concept. I assumed that it was a huge part of the game and that I’d some how need some sort of understanding – it didn’t. The Nanosuit actually integrated into the game perfectly and rapidly became second nature.
So in the beta we had a choice of two game modes; Crash Site and Hunter on two maps Museum and Airport. It soon became clear that the map of choice on both game modes was Airport. Personally it was my favourite due to the bright and open nature of the map. Museum was a more dark and dreary map that was pretty miserable.
The game mode that impressed me the most was Hunter. This particular game mode is a brand new mode for Crysis 3 and it was the most intense, heart racing game mode I’ve ever experienced. There are two teams, one team are CELL Troopers, the other are Hunters. The match begins with a cut scene for each team, the Troopers find themselves in a transport plane that gets shot down leaving them stranded on the game map until their evac team comes and rescues them. The Hunters cut scene however shows the troopers transportation plan being shot down, by them.
So begins the game. There are up to 10 CELL Trooper players overall (I think) and 2 Hunter players at the start of the game, and before you start yelling that the teams are stupidly unbalanced, I should mention that the Hunter units have a Nanosuit that’s permanently cloaked. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, this means that the Hunters are practically invisible.
The game is won by the Troopers if they can survive for two minutes without being picked off by the Hunters, the Hunter win however once they’ve killed every CELL unit. Once a CELL unit has successfully been picked off by an invisahunter with the famous Compound Bow, they too become a hunter until the round ends.
What makes this game mode so intense is the proximity sensor that starts going mental as soon as a Hunter is in the vicinity. 90% of the time you have NO idea where the bugger is until you’re shot up the arse with an arrow. If you’ve got a good eye though, you can spot a Hunter because the background sort of “wobbles” whenever one is nearby, and there’s also a faint red outline. CELL Troopers can also use the surroundings to their advantage, because even though the Hunters are invisible, the map still reacts to movement. One example I can think of is on the Airport map. There’s a doorway that’s covered by strips of plastic, the sort of doorway you’d find to the entrance of a walk in freezer.. Anyway.. when a Hunter walks through the strips of plastic, they move out of the way essentially giving away their position. Oh and CELL Units have one EMP Grenade that if a hunter gets caught in, disables the Nanosuit.
There’s also intense gameplay on the Hunters side too, because as I mentioned, you’re not 100% invisible and the CELL Units have a proximity alarm, so even though you have the advantage of being invisible, there are also obstacles for Hunters to overcome. You’re only armed with the Compound Bow that’s only really effective if you pull the bow all the way back. If you’re having a panic and fire too soon, it causes a small amount of damage, but also gives away your position. So it’s more intense in a stealthy “keep calm and carry on” sort of way.
There’s one thing that became apparent though after a few days of playing this mode and that’s CELL Trooper players finding shields and camping in a corner until you appear to then launch the shield right at you and kill you. After a the first few times it was funny – soon after, it was not. The only way to really overcome the player with the shield was to either ambush them until they launch the shield and become exposed, or try and be crafty and dodge the flying piece of metal coming at your face.
The second game mode (Crash Site) is your standard multiplayer game of Headquarters/King of the Hill. Players must find and secure the crash site and hold it for as long as possible. In this game mode you get the standard create-a-class system giving you a taste of what weapons will be available as well as Nanosuit upgrades. The Nanosuit actually worked perfectly in this game mode as you could capture the crash site and then enable the cloak mode. Bare in mind that the cloak only lasted for a limited amount of time, and if you end up getting shot at, as soon as you’re hit, the cloak is disabled.
The one question I was asked was “would you buy the game based on the beta?” and my answer to that is “probably not”. I think I’d have to get the first to games so I can get to grips with the single player story, and then perhaps consider getting Crysis 3 to continue where I left off.. Unfortunately the appeal of the Hunter game mode alone isn’t enough to make me want to part with £40, and the “ordinary” online game modes are just like any other FPS multiplayer game.
Did you take part in the Open Beta? What did you think? Leave a comment below!