Crysis 3 “Hunter” multiplayer mode shown in new video

by johndrewmarkley on August 20, 2012

Crysis 3 publisher Electronic Arts has put out a new video for the game featuring Mike Read, a producer for the game’s developer Crytek, talking about Crysis 3’s multiplayer mode and setting. (English kicks in at about :28. Look, it’s not my fault that whoever updates EAFrance’s YouTube channel is more on the ball today than the American branch.)

As previously revealed, Crysis 3 takes place in the ruins of New York City 20 years after the events of Crysis 2. The ravaged city has been sealed away under a transparent isolation dome, allowing nature to partially reclaim the city to produce an environment that’s a hybrid of the open wilderness of the original game and the urban warzone of the sequel It’s quite interesting-looking, half post-apocalyptic ruin and half rainforest, and what we see in the video looks gorgeous. The trailer footage is presumably from the PC version of the game with all the bells and whistles dialed up, but I’ve no doubt, based on my experience with the PS3 version of Crysis 2, that the console versions will still be quite impressive.

Read also talks about a new multiplayer mode being introduced, called Hunter mode. Hunter revolves around one of the new weapons introduced in Crysis 3, the bow. Two players are equipped with the series’ signature nanosuits, set permanently to cloak mode, and bows. Everyone else plays a regular trooper, who must try to survive for 2 minutes while the nanosuited hunters are tasked with stalking and bringing them down.

I really like this idea, since it seems like it’s basically the movie Predator compressed into 2 minutes. (Heck, the nanosuits invisibility mode even looks like the Predator when he turns invisible, with the subtly distorted outline of the cloaked figure that ripples like water when it moves.) The nanosuit and its various powers are at the heart of Crysis’ gameplay, and it’s good to see more modes that take advantage of that unique element in interesting ways instead of just taking the standard first-person shooter online multiplayer modes and throwing in nanosuit powers like invisibility and superhuman strength. What Read describes for this mode sounds more like playing out a horror movie, which is intriguing.

When each trooper is killed, that player respawns as another hunter. I didn’t like that idea at first, but on further consideration it’s grown on me. One downside of the asymetric gameplay described in this mode is that the first few casualties among the troopers will be pretty arbitrary. If the hunters are being properly stealthy, the first warning the troopers will have of their arrival is when one of their number dies, and if you happen to be that guy virtually no skill can save you. Respawning the players of dead troopers as more troopers sort of defeats the point- you can’t have a tense, increasingly isolated atmosphere as the troopers are picked off one by one if they’re just being replaced every time they die. Having them sit out until the next round starts would make for a pretty frustrating, unfun experience for whoever had the bad luck to catch the first arrow. So bringing them back as hunters seems like the best solution, and situation it creates, with the surviving troopers getting more and more desperate as the invisible menace pursuing them grows and spreads until it’s seemingly omnipresent, fits nicely with the “horror movie” sort of atmosphere the gameplay suggests.

Looking forward to seeing more about this game. Crysis III comes out for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in February of 2013.

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