Now that Club Nintendo is closing its doors, it's safe to wonder if this will be the end of the physical reward system. We go over a brief history of some of the rewards granted to gamers from Nintendo Power strategy guides to soundtracks and weigh it against the digitized reward systems.
Crysis 3 Beta: First Impressions
It’s been a few days since the open beta for Crysis 3 was released and after excitedly opening PSN store, downloading it and reaching level 10 in one sitting I’ve got a thing or two to say about it. I love the Crysis franchise, I’m a fan of sci-fi first person shooters in general but Crysis always did it that little bit better. The cephalopods are also reminiscent of War of the Worlds, which is a happy coincidence as H.G Wells was actually born and lived in my hometown. Enough about that, onto the beta.
An obvious starting point for analysis on any new Crysis game would be its graphics. The graphics produced by the CryEngine were always something to gawp at, they produced some of the most awesome environments imaginable in an FPS and thankfully the third installment in the franchise does not disappoint. My first game was Hunter on Airport and started shaky with a missing roof on the C.E.L.L ship I was in (I know it’s beta) but instantly redeemed in gameplay.
The environment had atmosphere, the baggage track covered in plants was really creepy and the sunlight reflected nicely off objects in the open field. I’m a PS3 player and I’ve seen examples of how amazing it is on PC too (Check the comparison picture below). For a beta the graphics are satisfying and possess a lot of potential.
Two of the main new additions presented in the beta are the Hunter game mode and the now iconic Predator Bow. Incidentally these additions coincide nicely with one and other as the Hunter game mode arms two players at the start of each match with the Bow. To elaborate, Hunter starts two players as hunters, nanosuit wearers with maximum stealth and the predator bow. These hunters have to hunt the rest of the players who take the role of C.E.L.L operatives. Kind of like a more refined and heart racing version of Infected mode from Call Of Duty.
The predator bow takes some getting used to but is great fun and makes for some awesome kill cams and I can see it becoming a real skill based weapon similar to sniper/no scope bandits. The Hunter game mode is REALLY fun, takes some getting used to but really good fun. It can get tense but also be fast paced which makes for pleasant variations in gameplay. It does, however, seem to be rather favorable to the hunters and not the operatives leaving the gameplay slightly one sided. This could be easily solved with maybe a personal radar or a better proximity scale for the operatives or even slightly more visible stealth with hunters.
Some other extra niceties offered in the beta included examples of support rewards like a Ceph Pinger (That big Ceph from Crysis 2, yeah you can drive it) and Ceph weaponry. I also particularly enjoy the personalized ‘Highlights cam’ at the end of each match that showcases your best kills from that game. Brilliant if you got a long-range headshot or an impressive beat-down. It was also great to be able to play some Crysis online for a change as recently I haven’t been able to find a single match on Crysis 2.
Overall my impressions from the beta are that this game has huge potential to be the best FPS to date. The atmosphere of the environments and the gameplay mechanics just offer everything you could want from any FPS game but also go one step further with exotic variations like Stealth Mode and the Predator Bow. I can only imagine what the campaign is going to be like, especially after that major cliffhanger with Crysis 2. Give the beta a download for yourself, it’s available globally on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC right now and get hyped for the 19th/21st.