Platform: Xbox 360//PlayStation 3//PC
Developer: Crytek Publisher: EA Games
Genre: First Person Shooter Platform Played: Xbox 360
The Crysis series has been known for its incredible graphical fidelity over the years, setting the bar for visuals on the PC, now it looks to once again reclaim that throne. Crysis 3 not only contains the breathtakingly beautiful visuals you would expect, but also contains the exceptionally fun combat that Crysis-enthusiasts enjoy. In many ways Crysis 3 tests the water introducing narrative elements designed to tug at the emotional strings, character evolution and a bevy of cool new features. Though Crysis 3 is definitely a worthy entry in the series, it never defines itself apart from the original entries and never rises to the occasion to create a memorable experience.
The main story of Crysis 3’s 6-8 hour campaign isn’t the most unique, evil corporation rules the world, deeper threat exists and you’re the only one capable of saving the human race from extinction. Playing as Lawrence Barnes aka Prophet, you’re the last soldier to still wear the legendary nanosuit. The nanosuit is the main focus of Crysis, which is shown very well when the suits HUD continues to appear during cut scenes. This fine detail of making you feel like you’re in this suit the entire time is one I greatly enjoyed.
Though this extra detail would have been appreciated in the story, overall the narrative is easy to understand, but finer plot details are rushed making the narrative feel muddled. You will be given a new objective, but good luck trying to understand why. Crysis 3 does try its hand at adding a deeper emotional story, but overall it doesn’t connect well enough, some characters feel underdeveloped and unlikeable. Leaving these moments failing to hit their indented goal, unfortunately we are left wanting.
Crysis 3 looks stunning, having played the game on Xbox 360 I cannot judge the PC build, but what consoles were given was definitely impressive. The Liberty Dome setting allows urban-jungle environments that really present a unique world, one that has been crafted with extreme detail. Watching each individual blade of grass move around you, lighting effects that shine through dilapidated structures and the vast areas given to explore. Crysis 3 delivers. Each level is presented in a similar vein to Dishonored, with hub-like worlds with various goals for the player to complete. Though the primary goals ultimately lead you to the same conclusion, the journey to reaching those goals is where the restraints are removed and you’re able to partake in the world as you see fit.
The nanosuit not only looks fashionable but also offers unique gameplay abilities, allowing players to use Armour, which increases their ability to take damage, or using Stealth to go invisible for a short amount of time. These abilities are managed by your suits power meter, these abilities plus sprinting and adding extra distance to your jumps, drain the meter. These abilities allow for a strategic method to combat situations, run out of power during Stealth or even use a weapon and you will become visible once again. Overall the added abilities give an outstanding variety to combat, want to try all guns blazing? Harness your inner Snake and go full stealth? Go right ahead, Crysis 3 allows you to tackle situations the way you want, giving fresh air to the standard linear shooter on the fly.
Crysis 3 offers the perfect weapon to complement the Stealth ability called The Predator Bow, which allows you to systematically take down your foes without ever breaking Stealth, if you’re good enough. The Bow also offers an array of arrow heads that become useful against bigger enemies, most importantly the electrically charged and explosive arrow tips. The Bow itself is easy to use, barely having to compensate for distance compared to Far Cry 3, just line them up, aim, shoot and repeat. Depending on your ability to use the Predator Bow/Stealth ability, early combat situations are an easy walk in the jungle.
Crytek has once again offered powerful A.I opponents, though it never felt as difficult as Crysis 2, with The Predator Bow being a main culprit for this. Don’t be fooled though, the Ceph can overwhelm those who become overconfident, with their erratic movements and variation in comparison to CELL soldiers. Crysis 3 also adds a good variety to the games many weapons, the Ceph weaponry is well designed and looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. However I couldn’t help but feel like the games arsenal didn’t pack a punch, they never gave you that feeling that they were doing much damage. The weapons were indeed fun to experiment with and the range was appreciated, but that extra audio power behind each shot was noticeably absent.
The Nanosuit also allows perk-like upgrades, with only four being available at the one time. These can add time to your Stealth meter, greater accuracy firing from the hip and the ability to see enemy’s footsteps. We are also introduced to the new Hacking feature, which is a basic mini-game that allows us to hack enemy mines and turrets. Both can be extremely useful, since finding the right perk combination can enhance your gameplay tactics and hacking enemy turrets can clear the field of enemies, before you even get close. The Nanosuit is badass. Weapon customization is also another feature done right, simply hold select and you are able to quickly change your firing rate, scope and ammunition type, which can be useful in a tight spot. Everything about Crysis 3 feels streamlined, they want to keep you out of menus and in the heat of battle, the Nanosuit is used as an impressive tool to meet these needs.
Crytek’s visual tools also excel from the detailed facial animations, mix this with extremely well delivered dialog and you have a combination that compliments one another. You believe what characters are saying, as the actors continuously impress. The dialog itself is only slightly hampered by the minor audio bugs encountered during the game, the entire casts audio would suddenly sound like it has been produced with a Bane-esque audio filter. I only encountered this issue a few times throughout the game, but it was very noticeable when it occurred. Speaking of noticeable, the lack of Hans Zimmer’s creative genius from Crysis 2’s soundtrack shows. Though the game gives some strong offering in the orchestral department, none match the memorable offering that Crysis 2 brought to the audio table.
Crysis 3’s multiplayer buffet has your usual menu items, free for all, team death match, search and destroy and even its own version of hardcore modes. The stand out being Hunter Mode. 2 fully powered Nanosuit players hunt down a small army of CELL operatives, if the CELL team stays alive till the end of the round, they win. This introduces a sense of fear and desperation that multiplayer modes haven’t thrown my way in a long time, seeing the last surviving agent get killed next to you with absolutely no ammo remaining, I had no other option but to run. This intense battle against completely outmatched opposition, is the amazing grace of Crysis 3 multiplayer. The amount of game types and online features on offer are commendable, with custom load outs, optional match objectives and a level up system.
Crysis 3 fans having plenty of choices when it comes to playing competitively, how does it play though? Stealth seems to be the main go-to feature amongst the games populous online, it is the sure fire way to sneak around the level and provides a great deal of surprise kills, so be weary. The main issue with multiplayer is the simple yet crucial mechanic of respawning. The respawn positioning in Crysis 3 is beyond frustrating, as I was personally handed three successive deaths from poor placement. Spawning into a grenade, spawning into a shotgun round and then spawning in front of the massive mech powerhouse known as the Pinger. You would expect such a critical feature of multiplayer to be perfect, yet it seems like the ball was dropped, a few times.
Crysis 3 is like having a cake with no icing, sure it’s satisfying, tasty and even delicious at times. However there was no extra flavour to seal the deal, no memorable moments, no added sweetness that got my tastebuds excited. Crysis 3 is by no means a bad game, on the contrary it’s quite fun, gorgeous and has almost perfected the combat the franchise is known for. It just lacks anything truly memorable, it never defines itself as its own game and fails to leave a lasting impression.
Franchise fans will definitely have a fun experience with Crysis 3, but I don’t see it living up to the following of either previous entries in the series.
If you’re looking for a fun experience, Crysis 3 will deliver. Just don’t expect your visit to the Liberty Dome, to be a memorable adventure when the closing credits roll.
+ Gorgeous urban-jungle environment, showing excellent lighting.
+ Combat is fun, the Nanosuit provides the ability to freshen up gameplay on the fly.
+ Hunter Mode is golden child of the multiplayer selection.
+ Voice talent did an excellent job, strong delivery of dialog.
- Emotional plot devices miss their mark, due to less than stellar character integration.
- Multiplayer suffers from poor respawn issues.
- Lacking the memorable flare to impress, upon completion.