Previews

Crysis 3 multiplayer hands-on: the Predator vs Prey letters

A bitter CELL operative addresses one of his tormentors

Crysis 3's publicly available beta includes Hunted Mode, which pits 12 only-human CELL operatives armed with conventional guns against two deadly, invisible Hunters armed with mechanised bows. Every CELL player killed respawns as a Hunter, and the match ends when either the clock runs down or the CELL are wiped out.

Rather than write up the results as a hands-on, I thought I'd present them as a rapidfire letter exchange between two of the participants. A big hand, please, for Mr Predator and Mr Prey...

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Dear Mr Predator, I hope you're having a fun time up there - flying through the air with the greatest of ease, looking at the ground through your invisible legs. It must be a real laugh, playing the part of a 12-foot-high killing machine wrapped up in see-through coils of sentient steel. With infinite bloody lives. It's certainly exciting being the guy at the other end of the food chain. I almost wet myself when one of your lot ground-pounded me the other day - and just for context, I work in a maximum security prison.

I'm probably on a hiding to nothing here, but would it help satisfy your weird urge for shooting me with science fiction arrows if I took you through the process of being me, in the two minutes maximum it takes me to survive or perish? Because you haven't truly experienced a battle till you've fallen flat in a scrap of ferns and begged the universe in general not to rivet your head to a boulder.

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The adventure begin with my plane exploding because you've shot a bomb at it, then I wake up to find myself clutching a gun with hardly any ammo, right in the middle of a wrecked segment of the Big Apple. A voice on the radio tells me to stay with my friends and hole up somewhere. I ignore the voice on the radio. The voice on the radio is the voice of a murderous dickhead. The important thing in these initial few minutes is to stay away from my friends, because large groups generally attract the most Hunter attention. There will be time to reunite with them later, for the purposes of a doomed last stand. Right now, I'm running down a side route, trying to get out of the open before your arrows find me.

Dear Mr Prey, it's fascinating to learn that you are employed at Her Majesty's correctional facilities. A groundskeeper of mine is presently resident at Channings Wood after disposing of a poacher using a high calibre sniper rifle - you may have read of this in your internal newsletter. Your account of an average match in Crysis 3 offers much food for thought, and while it has yet to slake my thirst for the hunt, I must applaud you for being the better man, and for furnishing me with tactical insights. In the spirit of exchange, I present the same events from my point of view.

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When a match of Crysis 3 begins, my first priority is, as you'd expect, to pin down the main group of CELL before you enter any buildings. This can be rather hard on the Museum Map, but there's a convenient sniping point on Airport that overlooks two of the most common escape routes, atop the downed hull - have I ever shot at you from there? The killcam sequence must be quite the spectacle. The other, obvious priority is to build up our numbers fast - as I'm sure you're aware, every CELL player shot is another player for the Hunter cause. This is more difficult than you might believe, however, as the bow does not lend itself naturally to group kills.

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