Crytek UK (multiplayer)
Crysis 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by German video game developer Crytek and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It was released in North America on 19 February 2013. Officially announced 16 April 2012, it is the third main installment of the Crysis series, a sequel to the 2011 video game Crysis 2, and runs on the CryEngine 3 game engine.
Crysis 3's gameplay revolves around Prophet, a Nanosuit holder who is on a quest to take revenge on the CELL Corporation, and the Alpha Ceph, the leader of the Ceph alien race. He is accompanied by Psycho, the protagonist of Crysis Warhead. The story of the game serves as the end of the Crysis trilogy. Gameplay revolves around the use of the Nanosuit, which grants players a variety of abilities such as being invisible. New features introduced in Crysis 3 includes a new compound bow and the "hacking" feature, which allows players to hack into enemies' equipment and weapons. New additions to the game includes Rip & Throw, a new Nanosuit ability, and an asymmetrical multiplayer game mode called "The Hunter".
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic New York City, in an effort to combine the urban landscape of Crysis 2 and the forest setting of the original Crysis. The game introduces the "Seven Wonders", with each wonders having their own unique landscape. Due to complaints about Crysis 2's linearity, the game's level were opened up so as to grant players more freedom. The game's development time was shorter than that of Crysis 2, as some resources were being allocated to the development of Crytek's other projects.
Crysis 3 was met with positive reception and has won multiple awards prior to its release. Praise was directed at the game's level design, visuals and multiplayer, while receiving criticisms regarding the game's story and narrative. Crysis 3 was a commercial failure for Electronic Arts, as the game failed to meet the company's sales expectation.
Similar to the previous games in the Crysis series, Crysis 3 is a futuristic first-person shooter. Players take control of Prophet as he progresses through New York City to defeat the Ceph, an alien race. Throughout the game, players can slide, sprint, jump and crouch. When encountering enemies, players can defeat them by shooting with guns or arrows, throwing explosives like grenades and C4 or by performing melee attack. Performing certain movements takes up energy from the Nanosuit, the armor worn by Prophet. Some abilities are not available for players to perform or utilize if the Nanosuit's energy is too low and they must wait until energy is refilled. As a result, players are tasked to manage the use of these energy. The artificial intelligence of the game is updated, with enemies being able to react more quickly to players' attack. They can hide behind covers when being attacked, and can deploy strategy to assist and support each other against attacks.
The game's mission-design are built around three pillars - access, adapt and attack. The Nanosuit allows players to identify the threat level and the weapons held by enemies. Players can tag enemies and items by enabling Visor, and to spot enemies using Nano-Vision, which detect the heat of both enemies and allies. Levels are more open-ended than Crysis 2. Players are given more freedom and can choose a gameplay style based on direct confrontation, or a more discreet and stealthy approach in order to deal with enemies and to complete their objective. There is no definite way to beat the game's seven levels. Instead, players can take different alternate routes to reach their objectives. Players can fight against enemies by utilizing a wide array of gadgets and weapons, and by using the abilities processed by the Nanosuit. Most Nanosuit abilities return in Crysis 3. Players can utilize an invisibility cloak so as to evade enemies, prevent themselves from being detected, or to perform silent takedowns. New weapons are introduced in Crysis 3, such as a compound bow. Players can use the bow while using the cloak. When using other firearms, the cloak is disrupted and can no longer function until it cools down. The arrows can be collected by players again after use. Players can hack into enemies weapons, which is one of the new features introduced. In addition, players can hack security codes, weapon boxes, Ceph technology, mines, lasers and sentry turrets, which can all be used to fight against enemies.
In addition, players can upgrade and customize their weapons and Nanosuits. Players can change the attachment and ammo types for their weapons. For instance, players can change between explosive arrows and electric arrows for their bow. The Nanosuit can be upgraded by collecting different modules scattered across the world. These upgrades can strengthen the abilities players processed, increase the suit's properties and to unlock new abilities for players as players progresses through the game.
Gameplay remains similar when playing the multiplayer mode. When players sprint or boost their armor in the multiplayer mode, it would not take up any energy from the nanosuit, unlike the single-player campaign. There are 8 different modes, each with 12 available maps. In each mode, special weapons with scarce ammo can be found in a map which can be picked up by players. Players can also activate a new Nanosuit ability called Rip & Throw, in which players can interact with environmental objects so as to create obstacles for hostile players and create tactical advantages for them. A tweaked kill streak system is introduced in Crysis 3, in which players can gain rewards by killing hostile players simultaneously while collecting their dog tag. In addition to traditional multiplayer modes like team deathmatch and Crash Site, which is a mode similar to Domination, a new multiplayer mode, known as the Hunter mode, is featured in the game. It is an asymmetrical multiplayer mode which pits two teams of players, playing as either hunters or troopers from CELL, against each others. The two classes are equipped with completely different weapons, and defeated troopers respawn as hunters and had to defeat their former teammates. The PC version of the game can accommodate up to 16 players, while the console versions can only support 12 players.
Players take on the role of Prophet as he returns to New York in 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. He discovers the city has been encased in a giant Nanodome created by the corrupt CELL corporation. The New York City Liberty Dome is a veritable urban rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers. Within the Liberty Dome, seven distinct and treacherous environments become known as the Seven Wonders. Prophet is said to be on a "revenge mission" after uncovering the truth behind CELL's motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes.
Twenty-four years after the events of Crysis 2, Psycho and Prophet travel around the world looking for the Alpha Ceph, the ultimate Ceph leader. However, CELL Corporation, now in search for global domination of land and technology, disable Prophet and captures all the Nanosuit soldiers, and start skinning them of their suits to recover the Ceph genetics stored in them. Running out of Nanosuit soldiers to skin, CELL transfers Prophet to a facility to skin him. Locked in a storage device, Prophet is transported to New York, now encased within a giant "Nanodome" by CELL. He is saved by a resistance force, led by Claire Fontanelli, as Prophet is the only Nanosuit holder than can stop CELL. A member of the resistance is Psycho, who is a former nanosuit holder. Psycho explains to Prophet that during his absence, CELL used Ceph technology to generate unlimited energy and gained a monopoly over the world's power supply. Those who could not pay for the energy were turned into slaves. The source of CELL's power generation for the entire world, called System X, is located in the abandoned New York. The resistance group wants System X destroyed to free the world from CELL.
After Psycho and Prophet disable Systems X's core, it turns out that System X is a system protocol designed to contain the Alpha Ceph. However, the secondary defense protocol was initiated, causing the power facility to self-destruct. The Alpha Ceph, free from containment, opens a wormhole to the Ceph homeland. They plan to send an invasion force to invade Earth through the wormhole. With the Alpha Ceph no longer dormant, the Ceph coordinator reactivates, and a coordinated Ceph attack ensues. Prophet decides to kill the Alpha Ceph and end the alien threat.
After unlocking his potential ability by removing some neural blocks in his suit, Prophet learns that CELL plans to use Archangel, a satellite-based energy distribution device that can draw power from the world's power grid, as a directed energy weapon to destroy the Alpha Ceph. Firing it would cause a chain reaction that would destroy Earth. They shut off the weapon before it unleashes enough energy to fire. Prophet, Psycho, and Fontanelli board the VTOL and engage in a massive air battle with Ceph ships, eventually crashing. Fontanelli dies in the process. Psycho, saddened by her death, laments to Prophet that he is powerless because he no longer possess a Nanosuit. Encouraged to keep fighting, Psycho, now going by his real name, Michael, finds another VTOL to take Prophet to the Ceph.
Michael and Prophet head towards the Alpha Ceph, but are bogged down by the Ceph Master Mind. Prophet finds his way through hordes of the Ceph Army and kills the Alpha Ceph. Since the Alpha Ceph controls every Ceph, its death kills all other Ceph troopers in the area. However, they do not have enough time to destroy the Ceph wormhole structure, the beam powering the wormhole pulls Prophet into space. Now in orbit around Earth, Prophet sees a massive Ceph warship, coming through the wormhole. Recalling Archangel's power, Prophet hacks into the satellite and uses it to destroy the warship. This collapses the wormhole. In the explosion, Prophet is knocked off by a debris and is pushed back into the Earth. He impacts the waters near the Lingshan Islands where 27 years ago, the events of Crysis took place.
When Prophet wakes up the next morning, he is in an abandoned hut in Lingshan. As the neural blocks were removed from the Nanosuit, the suit's outer layer was changed to reform Prophet's former physical body, resurrecting him. He walks out onto the beach and relinquishes his past by throwing his tags into the water. He then decides to use his actual name "Laurence Barnes" from then onwards. In a wide shot, the hut and surrounding beach are revealed to be the same area Nomad initially encountered during the events of Crysis.
Crysis 3's development began in February 2011, two months before the release of Crysis 2. The game's development was handled by Crytek Frankfurt, while the game's multiplayer was handled by Crytek UK. The development budget of Crysis 3 was significantly smaller than that of Crysis 2, as resources and manpower were relocated to develop Homefront 2[a] and Ryse: Son of Rome. As a result, only about 100 people were working on the game and 23 months were put into the game's development.[b] The game's budget was about 66 million.
Upon release, Crysis 2 was criticized for being too linear, unlike the original Crysis, which gives players more freedom to explore. Crytek had since stated that they had learnt from their experiences in developing the two games. As a result, Crytek attempted to integrate the two major aspects of the previous installments, the freedom given in the original Crysis and the linearity of Crysis 2, together in developing the game's campaign. Despite not as open as the first half of Crysis, maps are significantly larger in this game than in previous installments. Several linear segments were preserved. Crytek referred the game's map as "action bubbles", which do not necessarily fix players in a small place and thus allowing players to move around freely. Linearity was preserved as they considered having such segments present can help them create epic moments and to allow players to "experience a massive Michael Bay moment". Crytek hoped that by opening up levels they can give players a sense of control, in which they can plan and execute strategy. The game's seven levels were developed at the same time, and the focus phrases of gameplay, art and optimization of a level was about one to two weeks.
Crysis 2 received criticism for abandoning the island setting of the original Crysis. He referred the urban environment as a "choreographed sandbox" which puts emphasis on verticilaity. In order to recreate a larger and wider sandbox, while maintaining the choreograph nature of the sandbox, the studio decided to recreate New York City and set the game in a post-apocalyptic environment. To do this the company introduced a concept called "Nanodome", a dome set up by CELL to isolate New York City, which had become ruins over years. Lacking urbanization, the plants have grown significantly, leading to an environment that is a mix between the urban environment and the jungle setting of the past two games. The decision was made as the team wanted to stray away from typical urban war field shown in other games of the same genre. Instead of having a rainforest in the abandoned wasteland, the Nanodome is used to fix the shape of the forest, and Crytek hoped that the dome can define the atmosphere and the narrative of the game.
The game's main protagonist is Prophet, a nanosuit holder who had previously appeared in Crysis and Crysis 2. He returns in Crysis 3 as Crytek considered him as the most complex character, as well as the character with the longest heritage in the series. When designing him, the team took inspiration from the protagonist of District 9. Psycho from the original Crysis and Crysis Warhead returns as Prophet's companion. The game revolves around Prophet attempting to redeem himself after finding the death of his former squad members and taking revenge. As a result, the story explores the theme of "redemption" and "revenge". In addition, the theme of the story includes the relationship between humans and technology. The game is the final game in the trilogy and concludes Prophet's story.
The team aimed to create a world which is believable for players. Mike Read, the game's producer, summed up the game by calling it "human". Unlike Crysis 2's protagonist Alcatraz, who does not speak throughout the game, Prophet is voiced in Crysis 3, in an effort to deliver more emotional connection. Friendly AI chat with each other via radio, while enemies AI react to players' attack more accurately and in a more lively way. The team considered designing the game's updated AI a challenge for them to develop, as the AI was designed to show different behaviors under different situations.
Another theme featured in the game is "hunt". As a result, many weapons were built around the concept. The studio wanted to stray away from typical weapon design and did not want the weapon to simply differentiate with Crysis 2. The team aimed to use weapons to create narrative. As a result, the game features a compound bow which is largely reminiscent of a weapon that a hunter often uses. The game's gameplay is built based on three pillars, access, adapt and attack. Players are often tasked to do detect, spot and to learn their enemies' behaviors and patterns before performing attacks. With the bow, players are encouraged to play the game stealthily, and the combat of the game was extended. As a result, a new feature called "hacking" was developed. According to Crytek, "hacking" plays a huge part throughout the game. The game's combat was also made more fast-paced than that of its predecessors.
One of the major goals in developing Crysis 3 was to "push graphics", as the company considered that graphics can effectively assist and drive gameplay and to create immersion. The game is powered by CryEngine 3, Crytek's proprietary engine. It utilizes some of the newest features of CryEngine 3, such as volumetric fog shadows, improved dynamic vegetation, dynamic caustics, improved area lighting and diffuse shadows. After Crysis 2 received some criticism from many PC gamers because of the design sacrifices made due to the limitations of the older console hardware, Crytek responded that the PC version of Crysis 3 will figuratively "melt down PCs" due to its high system requirements. The PC version of the game will require a DirectX 11 compatible video card and operating system. Similar to Crysis 2, the game is a multi-platform title, and Crytek considered that developing the game's console version was a huge obstacle for them as they had to "rip the engine to pieces" so as to get the game running on console.
The multiplayer portion of the game was designed to improve the efficiency of the Nanosuit in an online environment. In an effort to create memorable maps, the team designed routes that can only be discovered after players' first playthrough. Crytek UK hoped that this approach can help players to immerse more in the game's universe. The Hunter mode, a new mode introduced in this game, originated from a game mode from TimeSplitters called the Gladiator mode. The decision to make sprint energy separated from the nanosuit energy is due to the development team's desire in creating larger levels, as such decision can help players to navigate the map in a faster way.
The game's music was composed by Borislav Slavov, who had previously led the soundtrack development of Crysis 2. New music was composed for the game, while some other themes from the past installments were rearranged. The theme of the game's music is changed so as to fit the game's post-apocalyptic setting. The game's music is dynamic and are designed to reflect players' gameplay style. As a result, when players use a radical approach to complete missions, a more exciting background music will be played. In contrast, when players are playing stealthily, the background music will be relatively calmer and quieter.
Marketing and release
In November 2010, an executive producer from Crytek, Nathan Camarillo, revealed that the Crysis series could potentially be a very long-running franchise, as they considered that the series' universe is easy for players to get into and invested in. He added that,"As the franchise grows down the line, there's no reason it can't be as big [as Call of Duty]". The story elements of the game had already been planned in January 2011. Despite that, Yerli claimed that if Crysis 2 is not a successful title, Crytek would not develop the its sequel. In March 2012, Crytek teased an "absolutely fantastic" projects and revealed that a full reveal of the game would be held in April 2012. The game was accidentally revealed by EA on its web store in April 2012. Immediately it was removed from the store but the title was later officially announced later the same month on 16 April 2012. The Hunter Edition, which features exclusive in-game items and early access to the compound bow in the multiplayer portion of the game, was announced as well. Players who had pre-ordered the game can also get the original Crysis for free.
A PC-only closed alpha version of the multiplayer was released to selected Origin users on 31 October 2012. The test began on 2 November and ended on 9 November 2012. A public multiplayer beta containing two maps ("Museum" and "Airport") and two game modes ("Crash Site" and "Hunter") was available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console platforms, as well as for the PC through Origin. The beta was made available on 29 January 2013 and ended on 12 February 2013. Crytek and EA announced that 3 million people participated in the beta.
On 30 May 2013, Electronic Arts announced The Lost Island downloadable content (DLC). The multiplayer-only DLC includes two weapons, four maps and two competitive multiplayer modes called "Frenzy" and "Possession". The downloadable content was released worldwide on 4 July 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Crysis 3 was released worldwide in February 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The Wii U version was cancelled after relations between Nintendo and EA became troubled. On March 4, 2015, the game was made available for Android via Nvidia Shield. The Crysis Trilogy was released on 20 February 2014. It is a bundle that consists of the original the Deluxe Edition of Crysis, along with other games in the series.
Crysis 3 has received generally positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic rated the Xbox 360 version 76.73% and 76/100, the PlayStation 3 version 76.53% and 77/100 and the PC version 73.50% and 76/100.
The visuals and graphics of the game was widely praised by reviewers. Christian Donlan from Eurogamer praised the game's stable frame rate. Furthermore, he considered the game's environmental design artful. Matthew Rorie from GameSpy thought that the game is a visually stunning game. He applauded the team at Crytek for creating an environment that is "both inhospitable and queerly beautiful". Matt Bertz from Game Informer praised the visuals powered by CryEngine, and considered the game one of the best-looking games ever created. He especially praised the game's realistic environments, water effects, and character facial animation. Kevin VanOrd from GameSpot also praised the mix of the decayed urban environment and the rain forest, saying that it is one of the reasons that made the game striking to look at.
The game's design was praised by various reviewers. Donlan considered the game's support of stealth a welcoming addition, despite calling the game's last level a forgettable experience. Rorie praised the game's map design, as he thought that the opened-up levels encourage exploration. Bertz considered the game's world had successfully captured a balance between the settings of its predecessors, and that the larger levels allowed players to deploy strategy before performing attacks. He thought that some of the best missions are featured in the later stages of the game. Tristan Ogilvie from IGN thought that the control is almost perfect, despite criticizing the clumsy control of several segments which require players to control vehicles. VanOrd criticized the game for being too easy for players to play.
The game's online multiplayer received positive reviews from critics. Josh Harmon from Electronic Gaming Monthly thought that the game's multiplayer is better than the campaign, and that it makes the overall experience more enjoyable. Donlan praised the Hunter mode, as he thought that it had delivered a tense experience. Bertz echoed similar statement, but he considered that the mode's appeal is not as good as typical modes like Domination. He furthered criticized the multiplayer's respawn system and terrain-design. Lorenzo Veloria from GamesRadar thought that some of the game modes are unique and entertaining, despite noting some technical issues. Michael Rougeau from Complex criticized the Hunter mode, calling it an unbalanced mode. He furthered criticized the game for lacking a co-operative multiplayer mode. David Hinkle from Joystiq also noted some design errors in the Hunter mode.
The story was not so well received by critics when compared to the game's other aspects. Harmon thought that several emotional segments of the game fail to deliver, as well as criticizing the forgettable storyline and plot twists. Despite that, he praised the game's finale and considered that it had brought a proper closure to the Crysis trilogy. In contrast, Donlan thought that it is not quite the conclusion the series deserves. Rorie thought that the story is more mature than its predecessors, despite having a relatively weak start and short length of about six hours. Bertz thought that the story is the most cohesive among other titles in the series. Veloria, however, criticized the game's narrative, as she thought it is uninspiring due to the lack of character development and interesting dialogue. In contrast, Ogilvie thought that the game's dialogue and voice-acting are excellent, and citing that the game features relatable characters that its predecessors failed to achieve. He considered the storytelling of the game a massive improvement for the series.
Ben Griffin of the video game review site Computer and Video Games criticized the steep hardware requirements of the game, stating that normal people will not able to max out their hardware to run the game. GameTrailers awarded the game a 9 out of 10, and selected the game as "The Editor's Pick", favoring the game's design, story, gameplay and presentation.
Many reviewers thought that Crysis 3 is an evolution to the series instead of a groundbreaking revolution. Rorie thought that the game was unambitious, and that despite the game had refined the overall Crysis experience, it had not strayed away enough from its predecessors. He thought that Crysis 3 did not achieve the revolution brought by the original Crysis. Veloria thought that the title failed to bring any new element to the genre, but the overall experience delivered by the game is still satisfying. Ogilvie considered the game a polish experience that had failed to reinvent its wheel. Evan Lahti from PC Gamer thought that the game did not surprise players, and that the title presents a feeling of Crysis 2: Episode 2 instead of a proper sequel.
During its debut week of release, and the following week, it was the best-selling game in the UK closely followed by Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Crysis 3 sold 205,000 copies in 12 days in North America during its debut month. The title, along with Dead Space 3, another EA title that was released in the same month, failed to meet the company's sales expectation. Cevat Yerli, Crytek's CEO was also disappointed by the sales of Crysis 3. Nevertheless, he considered Crysis 3 the best game the studio had made so far.
With Crysis 3 being the end of the Crysis trilogy, Crytek teased that the series will have a "radical future". Yerli confirmed that the next installment would not be called Crysis 4, as he considered such title "misleading". On 12 June 2012, it has been revealed that Crytek will only focus on free-to-play titles after the release of Crysis 3. A free-to-play game set in the universe was also planned.
- Homefront 2 was later renamed to Homefront: The Revolution and was no longer developed by Crytek.
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