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Crysis 3: why stealth is better than shooting

Monday, 11 February 2013 08:09 GMT By Dave Cook

Crysis 3 is a shooter, but it has great potential as a stealth game in its own right. Dave Cook goes hands-on and explains why it’s comparable to Dishonored in many ways.

Crysis 3

Last week I interviewed Crysis 3 producer Mike Read about the game’s more human elements, CryEngine 3 and the troubles that lie ahead in the next generation. Read what he said here.

Crysis 3′s achievements leaked recently, and we’ve got the whole list right here. But as always beware of spoilers.

Crytek’s ’7 Wonders’ video series shows off a new element of Crysis 3 each week. Check out the latest episode here.

Too many developers feel that empowerment comes from behind the iron sights of a gun. In a time when shooters run rife throughout the industry, it’s not too mad to suggest that we’re becoming a little desensitised to the power trip by now. In the rock-paper-scissors game of genres, I’d argue that stealth trumps gunplay every time.

I’m a big stealth fan. I matured alongside the Tenchu series, which taught me that lying in wait patiently among the undergrowth for that perfect, undetected kill can create a greater feeling of euphoria and accomplishment than slotting my 100th bad guy with a rifle.

You have to earn stealth kills through patience, mapping out the lay of the land and thinking on your feet. Crysis 3 – much like Dishonored before it – gives players a simple choice: take the guns-blazing action route, or take your time and progress undetected. I strongly advise the latter.

Last week I sat down to play through a new section of Crysis 3 preview code on PC. I was a latecomer to the series, but I’m now a fan, thanks to the slight opportunity for stealth play in Crysis 2. However, Crytek’s latest really ramps up the sneaky approach, and this was evident in the area of Chinatown I battled through.

I could clearly see that Crytek has learned a lot from previous Crysis titles, as well as the original Far Cry, as the game really does feel like a culmination of ideas. Hearing CELL operatives nearby, I triggered Prophet’s stealth cloak and slowly crept through the dense vegetation that chokes the ruins of New York City.

Visibility is constantly low thanks to the thick plant-life, and the murky darkness of the swamp-like streets. Spotlights hover overhead creating dynamic shadows and threaten instant detection, while proximity alarms buzz menacingly in the thicket, and will trigger if Prophet gets too close.

There are so many tricks and mechanics at play here that make Crysis 3 a solid stealth title. Like Dishonored, you are given an objective and told – quite simply – to get there by any means possible.

This means traversing ruined apartment blocks that offer great verticality, skirting around enemy turrets under the cover of darkness, and picking off hapless enemies that stray nearby. You feel like a powerful hunter who can decide which enemies live or die in an instant. This is real empowerment.

Using Prophet’s Nanovision to pick out enemy body heat, you can take aim and slaughter foes silently with the game’s new bow weapon. Of course, bows are a clear fad in the industry right now, but here they make sense. Stalking foes for ages, mentally mapping out their patrol routes and scoring a long range kill makes you feel brilliant. Best of all, you really earn a tangible sense of satisfaction.

I say ‘patrol routes’, but unlike Crysis 2, the CELL operatives and Ceph creatures are not dumb or predictable. They never follow strict lines as they walk the map’s perimeter, and if you make yourself heard, they can often activate their own stealth cloak, rendering your Nanovision useless.

Watch VG247′s Sam Clay play the area
I’m talking about in this article.

Worse still CELL troops will go on the aggression if they know you’re nearby, shouting taunts at you to try and break your resolve. As a fan of stealth it all fits like a glove, and although you can go loud and unleash hell with your firearms and armour mode if you want to, I felt that my victories were hollow by comparison.

Like Dishonored, Crysis 3 has a scaled-back power set in the name of creating a solid tool-kit that supports stealth. You can still use the Nanosuit to sneak up on enemies and then – say – power kick a car into their face, or power jump up to a vantage point before taking them out from above. There are many possibilities for those who want to find them.

If Crysis 3 can ratchet up the tension by having a lot of these wide, open ‘urban jungle’ areas, then it could comfortably sit alongside Dishonored’s brand of liberating stealth play. Still, if you’re a shooter fan, you will still enjoy the game’s stunning visuals, satisfying gunplay and action. What’s important is that the choice is certainly welcome.

Crysis 3 is out February 22nd on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Disclosure: To write this interview, Dave attended a recent EA showcase event in London. All travel and food was paid for by VG247. Catering at the event was offered but not accepted. No code, merchandise or advertising was accepted.

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6 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    Oh hell yeah! This is indeed great news! I always though the stealth mechanics in the previous games were underdeveloped. Glad to hear – and see – that this changed.

    This game has stealth and a bow! I don’t know about you, but they couldn’t have made the Hunter theme stronger. I wish they had the rights to do a Turok game.

    I really enjoy games that do stealth right. And unlike most games, Crysis 3 doesn’t seem to allow a no-kill gameplay. Which is a good thing for me, as it means that i can lay back and enjoy the game. Dishonored and DX:HR would sometimes drive me crazy. I’m always trying to get no-kills at the end of those games. It would sometimes lead to a lot of frustration, because i was always pushing myself for not-seen, no-kill.

    Quicksave-Quickload was the norm.

    I remember one extreme situation in DX:HM. I was trying to get a no-kill playthrough.

    At one point later in the game, you had protect your female pilot from a load of spawning enemies that would fire directly at her. I took out 3/4 of them through face-punching action, then a mech spawned in the middle of the map, I threw an emp, he started giving off some electricity, which usually means that he was about to explode.

    This is when I realized that one of the foes I beat up was lying near him. He explodes, the guy dies. So I jumped off the building, ran towards the guy, grabbed him and pulled him away from the mech, while still being shot at.

    He survived, I beat the rest of them unconscious and the pilot was still alive.

    That. Was. Satisfying.

    And as always, great article, Dave.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Thanks bud. I really enjoyed the stealth. You actually do feel threatened by the CELL troops this time. They’ve very sneaky and when they cloak up you can’t see them. It’s very tense. Plus those proximity alarms are a bastard if you don’t see them coming. They’re loud and alert everyone to your presence.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    @2: Mhm, that sounds promising. Most stealth-inspired games only feature enemies with a set path they walk back and forth, which i still do like, but there’s nothing wrong about mixing things up.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Orginarymagoo

    Crysis is a fine series and if what you’ve played becomes a large portion of the game, I’ll be more than a happy camper.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. musicrab

    A couple of questions. How old was the build they showed? The chinatown walkthroughs showed quite a few AI glitches (cell frozen units/not seeing units). Did you notice anything like that? Perhpaps doesn’t show up as much if you go slowly through a level.

    I’m not sure about these “large open areas”. I cannot work out if its
    1. lazy/cheap design (forcing players to spend time in one area is cheaper from a development point of view – the longer a player spends in an area the cheaper it is for the developer – has less areas to code!)
    2. just utilising the multiplayer arenas as campaign levels; again, from a developer point of view this does make things cheaper; I guess the skill is how Crytek join these areas together so they DON’T FEEL liked linked multiplayer arenas.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. ktalyn

    I just got The new Crysis 3 Beta for Free! So Excited! Works Great so far!! Thank you so much. ==> j.gs/238039/crysis3beta <==

    #6 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]