Crysis 3 Beta First Impressions Alex De Vore February 1, 2013 Featured, Opinion, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 There is a bright red disclaimer in the lower right-hand corner of the main menu screen for the recently released Crysis 3 beta which reads, “This is beta, all code, art, design and balance are subject to change before ship.” And god willing, many of these things will be changed, or at least improved greatly. There are two available modes found within the Crysis 3 beta. Crash Site pits two teams in a struggle over alien pods dropped in various locations around the map (it’s kind of like Halo’s King of the Hill or Hardpoint from Black Ops 2). XP bonuses are awarded for both capturing and holding the pods, and woe befall you should you find yourself on the receiving end of the overpowered exo-suit. This mode may as well be called “Camping and Running” as each match devolves into a mad dash to the pod and cloaking up in the corner. Hunter plays out over five rounds and features a team of CELL operatives attempting to survive an attack from constantly cloaked nano-suit soldiers packing the much-publicized compound bow. In addition to kills, points are earned by simply surviving. Dying as CELL results in a respawn as one of the hunters and the match eventually becomes one lonely CELL against a small army of hunters. Surviving longer than your fellow soldiers nets some pretty awesome XP bonuses and, on the flipside, it can be a total blast to stealthily stalk your prey as a hunter. While Hunter is at least a vaguely original concept , Crash Site does very little in the way of innovation, or even fun gaming. This is the type of mode we can easily play in many other games and, frankly, it says a lot about how tacked-on mulitplayer functionality can sometimes feel. Graphically there’s plenty of room for improvement within the Crysis 3 beta. Early-ish build or not, backgrounds and environments are grainy and mostly boring. This is almost easier to swallow thanks to interesting map layouts that provide plenty of space and verticality for near-endless tactical options and a pretty cool arsenal of weapons and perks. However, interesting maps and some semi-interesting passive abilities don’t automatically excuse ugly graphics, especially for a game built with CryEngine3. Yes, the Crysis 3 beta is merely a glimpse into two of the eight modes announced for the final product, but even so, it’s awful hard to love the experience. This is especially disappointing after all of the hype and the totally excellent prequels. Crysis 2′s online capabilities were often a laggy exercise in frustration, so for those of us who threw a controller or two out the window…well, let’s just say we deserve a little more this time around.