Crysis 3: 4 Reasons Next-Gen Consoles Should Be Worried
Crysis 3 looks impressive, but after spending some time with Crytek's new shooter it's become clear that the PC could give next-gen consoles a run for their money.
Published on Feb 6, 2013
Crysis 3 on PC looks totally jaw-dropping.
That shouldn’t really come as a major surprise, Crytek’s series is known for bleeding edge technological innovation, but with the series making the jump to consoles with Crysis 2, there was a change in creative direction that didn’t quite hit the mark in the same way as the original PC game.
With Crysis 3, Crytek is ready to reclaim its ‘you wish your PC was powerful enough to play this’ crown and with next-gen consoles just over the horizon, now is the perfect time to remind gamers why the PC will always have the edge over consoles.
Be it at the beginning of a generation or the end.
Crysis 3 is pushing things to the current limit, and a bit beyond according to the team at Crytek, but just what does this mean for PC and next-gen consoles and can Crytek’s series use its technological innovation to create an FPS that totally immerses players in a visually stunning world that also plays as good as it looks?
Worthy questions, but here are 4 reasons why Crysis 3 on the PC provides us with a glimpse into the future of gaming and the experiences we’ll be playing…
1. More human than human
Banging on about just how impressive Crysis 3 looks can get old really rather quickly, what’s ultimately more important is what Crytek is able to do with that extra power and no where is this more evidant than with game's characters and enemies. Stepping into the nanosuit and walking out into the over-grown NYC, it’s the character animations and detailed facial detail on your occasional allies that helps sell the scene.
Not only that, but how Crysis 3’s enemies look and react, both human and alien, have seen the tech behind them pushed to the absolute (current) limit. What’s surprising about playing through a good chunk of Crysis 3’s single-player campaign is just how thoughtful the enemies require you to be.
Crytek is able to push the PC so much further than consoles (at least the current consoles) and that’ll still be true when the next generation rolls around. Facial detail on humans, and full-body animation on Crysis 3’s range of characters really are impressive and though it’s easy to say the next-gen will simply add to developer’s ability in this regard, it’s hard to imagine specifically how next-gen machines will iterate on Crytek's work.
And that goes for the AI in Crysis 3, too. Looking back it’s easy to accuse the Xbox 360 and the PS3 of infecting Crysis 2 with console sensibilities and limited processing power, but there’s generally no excuse for such poor AI.
We’ve only spent about 30 mins taking on the enemies of Crysis 3 but already it’s easy to see where Crytek has put in the work and it makes a huge difference to the overall gameplay. But, again, what will next-gen consoles add to this that the PC isn't technically already capable of?
That does depend on just how powerful they turn out to be, but if Crytek have proven anything with its Crysis series, it's that the PC will never be behind the curve for long.
2. It’s like Crysis 1, only much, much better looking
Crytek is making a bit of song and dance about the reasons why Crysis 3 is more like Crysis than the second game. It’s easy to lose sense of that when you’re reinserted into the same setting as Crysis 2, just with its visual overhaul. But, spend a bit of time experimenting in Crysis 3’s sandbox and it becomes clear. Crysis 2 really did rely on its narrative too much and pushed players through its levels.
Crysis 3 is so much more stealth-focused than Crysis 2 and using the open environment is key to progressing and feeling like you have control over the situations you’re presented with. In essence Crysis 3 is removing the console (read Call Of Duty) influence and returning to the open nature of the original game.
Combine this with the advancements made visually and Crytek is giving PC players an experience unlike anything else.
3. It’s all about 'immersion'
Immersion is one of those words that gets bandied about by developers as a way of proving just how realistic certain aspects of their game are. What they really mean to say, or conversely what they really should do is combine player investment in a game’s world with immersion.
What’s immediately impressive about Crysis 3 might be its stunning visuals and tech, but without players investing in that world, chances of them ever being immersed in it go straight out of the window. Crytek understand just how important graphics are.
Though many great games use gameplay as a way of immersing players in their world, Crysis and particularly Crysis 3, uses its visuals and insanely detailed world as a way of grounding players in New York and thereby immersing them in the gameplay.
It’s very easy to become immersed in a world that behaves and looks more advanced than anything that has come before it. On PC, Crysis 3’s depth and detail provide players with an incredible environment to explore and it is here that additions to the gameplay quickly become obvious.
The overgrown nature of New York, or as Crytek rather cringingly call it, its ‘urban jungle’ vegetation has an enormous impact on how you approach situations. Six-foot tall blades of grass sway in the wind and bend as you’d expect when someone – or in the Ceph’s case, something –steps through them.
Not only is this a wonderfully technological trick that heightens your immersion in the world, it also means you can spot an enemy walking through the grass just by the way it is moving. Spend even a few seconds looking around Crysis 3’s world and hundreds of incidental details will inform you of what’s going on.
Next-gen consoles with increased processing power promise all sorts of improvements like this, but the PC can and always will have an edge on them in terms of tech.
4. Crysis 3 – your PC can’t play it on max settings.
That might not sound like a good thing, but Crytek are adamant that Crysis 3 should be future proof and regain the original games moniker of the game that requires the very latest in PC tech to run.
‘Can it run Crysis’ became synonymous with cutting edge PCs and Crysis 3 is pushing things so much that once again owning a PC that can play Crysis on max settings will be something worth shouting about.
How the first generation of next-gen games compares to what Crysis 3 is doing now will make for fascinating viewing. The Xbox 720 and PS4 will no doubt provide a closed system that will give developers ample opportunity to push the gaming envelop over the course of their lives, but the increased length of the current consoles has provided the PC with the chance of regaining some ground.
And it’s really made an impact. PC gaming has never been more accessible or impressive. Whether you’re looking at the Kickstarter revolution or powerhouse experiences like Crysis 3, the closed systems of the consoles have begun to appear like an antiquated and limited approach when it comes to game design.
With more and more people turning to PC for their gaming needs, and with experiences ranging from the small indie Kickstarters to the Hollywood production values of Crysis 3, next-gen consoles have their work cut out.