Crysis 3 Multiplayer Hands-On
Crysis 3 Multiplayer Hands-On
I'm the last man alive. Out there, somewhere, are seven super-powered killers all with just one goal - to kill me. They have super-strength that allows them to leap around five times higher than a regular human, they are almost always invisible and they can soak an inordinate amount of damage.
Like Dutch, all I've got is my wits. Well, I've got my wits, a shitload of ammo and a clock ticking down - when it hits zero I will be successfully rescued, and my invisible enemies will have failed.
People throw around words like camping fairly often in multiplayer shooters, usually as a derogatory term in an effort to shame the campers into moving. I'll admit it straight up though - my gameplan when the rest of my team died in Crysis 3's new Hunted mode was absolutely camping.
The problem, as I saw it, was that when the Hunters killed one of my teammates they would become Hunters as well. With 10 people playing this meant there were nine super-soldiers all trying to find and kill me - and moving around gave them all the advantages.
I found an area with a roof, two chokepoints and water everywhere, I put my back to a corner and then I waited it out. I could hear them converging - both when they talked in the room and from the footsteps in the game - but I couldn't see them. When the countdown started there was about 20 seconds left in the round, but it could have been 20 minutes the way it felt.
With 10 seconds to go I saw the water down one of the corridors splash and I opened up on the doorway - one of my enemies went down. As I stopped firing and my gun wound down I heard a thunk to my right - I'd been shot at and they'd missed!
I had a tough decision to make - did I leave my safe position to put some walls between my attacker and I, risking an encounter with other enemies? Or did I stay fast, shoot this guy and pray he would miss again if he loosed another shot?
In a split-second I decided to stay and fight - and it wound up being the correct decision. I cut him down before he fired again and I swung my crosshairs back to where I'd planned on running as the counter ticked to zero - and as the round ended I could see three more enemies standing in my escape route, arrows nocked. Frozen in time, painfully defeated.
It was a sweet victory made even sweeter by the now dissolving terror I'd felt moments earlier - but the game was just beginning. Now the roles were switched around - Hunted mode takes place across a number of rounds to ensure everyone gets a turn being one of the two Hunters.
I spawned with a bow, some arrows and all the aforementioned super strength - plus I was equipped with the knowledge of how to best take down my enemy. I was prepared for anything - and then I died, almost immediately.
If I had a criticism of Hunted mode, it would be that I respawned almost immediately after dying as a hunter. I appreciate that with just the two hunters it could be challenging to get a kill, but I think the game mode could eliminate the need for a game timer if both sides had a definitive kill limit.
Still, I respawned quickly and jumped back into the fight, this time moving with a bit more care as I stalked my prey. The minimap showed red dots where my future victims were - it was hard to tell in our preview whether they always existed or whether they were tracking movement only - and so I legged it in their direction.
Firing the bow requires a little more finesse than the spray and pray of a gun, because you've got to draw the bowstring first. This poses an extra challenge, because while your enemies mightn't know where you are, they know you are out there - which means that one wrong move will give you away and get you killed.
Still, if you can put yourself in a collision course with the soldiers, you can set up a mean ambush - and once I'd picked off one (and my teammate had killed two) the last men alive didn't have long.
The Hunted mode in Crysis 3 isn't new. It's heavily reminiscent of modes in games like Aliens vs Predator, or the fantastic Half-Life 2 mod The Hidden: Source. It's interesting that both of these games have a heavy emphasis on horror, because this isn't a theme prevalent in the Crysis series.
In The Hunted mode though, the tension is as palpable as it ever was in either of those. It's great to see that Crytek have managed to appropriate the Hunter/Hunted form of gameplay so well to their game - the graphics are (of course) gorgeous, and it's fantastic to see them adapt it into a competitive style of game. Still, the question for Crysis 3 will be whether it has the juice to distract us from the other multiplayer heavyweights - like Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Planetside 2 - or even the plethora of lightweights like Tribes Ascend, Shootmania or Blacklight Retribution.
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