Crysis 3 preview - First look at the urban jungle, bows, arrows, and hacking

The hunted becomes the hunter

At a recent EA press event we got a chance to check out the next iteration in the Crysis series, this time adding a new environment, a surprisingly low tech weapon and some handy new abilities.

In Crysis 3, Prophet, the main protagonist from the first game makes a return 20 years after the events of Crysis 2. The year is 2147, the race of aliens called the Ceph have invaded earth and poisoned the major cities. In an effort to counteract the poisonous environments the cities have become, Cell Industries has encased them in bio-domes, creating a literal merge of the previous titles' jungle and urban environments. Buildings are broken down and crumbling, foliage overwhelms abandoned cars and city streets are now murky swamps.

While navigating the combined urban and jungle environments, players will once again take control of the nano-suit with all of the abilities that were available before, but also with a few extras. We saw the standard stealth, strength and speed modes activate regularly throughout the demo, but one of the most interesting, and possibly most useful new ability was Hacking. As Prophet was perched in a broken down building he was able to aim at an enemy turret below and reprogram it to attack the surrounding Ceph. Through the chaos he was able to sneak beyond the patrol. This was one example of how the ability could be used, but the developers promised this would be just one of the many ways to use Hack.

Crysis 3 seems to focus more on a personal story following the character Prophet. Prophet is done taking orders from military big-wigs, since, all that didn't go so well for him before. The story will now focus on his taking revenge on all those who have wronged him. Essentially, changing his role from the hunted to the hunter. We didn't get many details on the storyline beyond the initial setting, but revenge is definitely in the cards.

To go along with this theme of being a hunter, Crytek has equipped Prophet with more weapons, the ability to pick up Ceph weapons (including a powerful grenade launcher and energy based assault rifle type weapons) and use a versitile bow and arrow. The new Rambo throwback acts as the ultimate stealth weapon, allowing it to be fired with the stealth field active. Various types of arrows can be equipped as well. One example were arrows with an impact grenade attached to the end that explode when they hit their target. Prophet was able to take out entire groups of Ceph with these bad boys when he was spotted by an enemy patrol. Several other arrow types will also be available, but we didn't get any specifics.

The level shown in the demo seemed to follow the more linear structure players would be familiar with from Crysis 2 rather than the more wide open environments from the first title. Prophet needed to traverse building interiors and as well as outdoor environments, while staying hidden from passing Ceph ships and patrols. The environmental effects looked fantastic with chandeliers realistically shaking from the rumble of a passing ship and dust shook off from the warn brick walls. Even in the midst of battle, walls would break apart from explosions and direct fire, creating an environment that was both immersive and beautiful.

Crysis is set to release for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC next year.

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