Crysis has always been known for its stunning visuals, and has often served as the benchmark for many gamers looking to build a gaming PC. Crysis 2 added some better game play and some truly outstanding set pieces while still keeping the visuals top notch. I’ll just get this out of the way, this is the best looking game I have ever played, but it may fall short in some aspects compared to its immediate predecessor.
Set two decades after the events of Crysis 2, Prophet has been captured and transported into CELL occupied territory. There, he is rescued by his old squad mate, Psycho, and the two enter the “Liberty Dome.” The giant shell surrounding what is left of New York City serves as the setting for their search for CELL’s main power source.
For the most part, Crysis 3 plays similarly to previous game. Prophet’s Nanosuit has all the bells and whistles people have come to expect: power armor for protection, stealth cloaking for sneaking by enemies, super human strength for higher jumping and faster running and a scouting visor for pinpointing enemies, supplies and other items on the battlefield. Prophet does have a few new tricks up his nanosuit’s sleeve. He has the ability to hack into turrets, land mines and doors. Hacking comes in the form of a quick minigame, requiring players to match up moving dots in a line.
Taking too long or missing will result in a failure. Using turrets to my advantage, I was able to turn them against the CELL forces while staying cloaked and moving around them. Prophet’s newest piece of weaponry is the recurve bow. This silent killer is perfect for stealth kills. Plus, using the bow never takes Prophet out of cloaking mode. Of course, I never had to take it quiet if I didn’t want to. The bow can also be equipped with explosive tips. Using the bow was extremely satisfying.
Prophet also finds Nanosuit upgrades throughout the levels. These offer points that can be spent on enhancing abilities like longer cloaking or more energy for use of powers. The game allows you to save these perks in the form of loadouts, and they can be changed quickly for different situations.
The visuals are still some of the best in gaming. The details in both the characters and the environments are amazing. New York City’s crumbling buildings, taken over by forestation, really are a spectacle to see. Even the detail in Prophet’s arms and weapons is perfect. The presentation is very impressive, and the sound effects and original soundtrack really set the mood for the entire game. It is very well done.
Unfortunately, Crysis 3’s story doesn’t reach the soaring heights of the title’s visuals. Of course, that’s not really saying much, as the first two games didn’t have much narrative going for them. Still, it’s to a point now that the story is such a jumbled mess that I couldn’t really tell what was going on. That’s fine. I know that there are people and aliens I have to kill.
Crysis 2 had some really nice things going for it. The way it allowed me to take on an encounter however I saw fit was great, and it really let me think outside the box. Crysis 3 tries to do that, but the areas are congested with useless things and smaller areas. I never got the sense of exploring my options to take on a certain situation; most of the time I cloaked, pulled out my bow, and shot or stealth killed enemies. I was hoping for a playground to allow me to take on enemies in numerous ways, but in the end, I did the exact same thing over and over as a matter of efficiency.
Crysis 3’s enemy AI is almost as bad as that found in Crysis 1. It’s laughably stupid at times. An enemy 10 feet in front of me firing off shots got confused when I cloaked right in front of him. Shooting a soldier in the face and having his buddy just stand there for a good five seconds before noticing is just the beginning. Even on a higher difficulty, the game feels too easy for even a casual shooter fan like me.
The game offers up a decent multiplayer experience. There are the standard versus matches like capture points and team death match, but the one new mode, Hunter, is the most enjoyable of them all. Hunter pits teams of Nanosuit wearers using only bows against human opponents with heavy artillery. The online offerings feature an upgrading system that uses XP and ranks. Ranking up will unlock new weapons, perks and profile dog tags. Using weapons will unlock new attachments for them. The online is hectic and fun. I found it to be the best part of the game . With human enemies, it makes the game challenging, and the upgrade system is addicting and simple.
Crysis 3 is a mixed bag. The visuals and presentation are the best parts of this game, and the multiplayer is fun and engaging. The single player story is one of the most forgettable in the series, and the enemy AI offers up almost no challenge to me. It seems like Crytek spent most of their time making a beautiful game instead of making a beautifully playing game. In fact, the PC version is the one to choose if, of course, your rig can keep up. Crysis 3 is not a bad game by any means, and it is very ambitious in many aspects, but as far as game play and story go, it is not going to impress anyone.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.