Crysis 3 Multiplayer Hands on Preview


Crysis 3 Multiplayer Hands on Preview
Getting to grips with the new Hunter mode
At a recent preview event we also got the chance to get hands on with a new level for Crysis 3’s multiplayer mode – Hunter.

Hunter is a new addition to the Crysis universe and centres on a squad of Cell soldiers who are in a troop transport on the way to a mission when it gets taken down by enemy fire. From there, your only aim is to survive for a certain amount of time for extraction.

Complicating matters is the presence in the level of the Hunters – massively powerful and perpetually cloaked characters who resemble the lead in the single player campaign. Armed with a bow and a viscious melee attack, Hunters will often kill with just a single attack and are all but invisible until they pounce.

It’s a cat and mouse game, with initially a single Hunter working to pick off those Cell soldiers stupid enough to wander around alone. They sport a regular machine gun and special grenades which can help to pinpoint the location of a Hunter – and moving and working together is key. The twist is that once a soldier dies, he respawns as a Hunter, making the last remaining Cell the subject of an ultraviolent quest for blood by invisible enemies. Survive the longest and you’ll take the game and become chief hunter next time.

It’s a neat concept, somewhat similar to an old Source mod called The Hidden which the older PC gamers amongst you might remember.

Anyone? No?

For our latest taste of Hunter action, we were introduced to a new map set in an abandoned airfield. The level featured a good mix of open and enclosed areas, as well as plenty of vertical sections for the athletic Hunters to take advantage of. As a Cell soldier, we loaded up a shotgun and went out scouting, keen to stay as close to our teammates as possible. Hunters may be hard to spot but they’re not invulnerable – a couple of shots to the face at close range takes them down for good – earning you a brief moment of respite.

Playing as a Hunter is a different manner. While the constant cloak and silent attacks encourage a certain degree of stealth, the constantly moving counter means there’s little time to plot an ambush. We didn’t have access to exploding arrows in this level but the power of the regular ammo is more than capable of impaling an enemy and flinging them across the room – especially effective in a crowd of suddenly startled Cell.

Close up melee kills are simple to execute and agreeably bloody and there’s tension, as well as competition, as the now supercharged Hunters all converge on their final target. Who is often to be found quivering in a corner somewhere.

Hunter is a fun game mode, with quick rounds and some nice variation in the transition from prey to predator. As just one part of the a generous package which includes a fully featured single player mode and other multiplayer options (like the return of Crash Site, as detailed in Mark’s preview) Crysis 3 looks set to present serious value for money when it arrives in February.

Crysis 3 is coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and PC from the 19th of February 2013. Stay tuned for more.

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