After the vague disappointment of Crysis 2 – it wasn’t bad, but it was very shaped by being cross-platform- we were a little wary of what Crysis 3. We wanted a return to he open and varied killing fields the original Crysis 3. We wanted a return to the open and varied killing fields of the original Crysis, not the more or less linear streets and urban canyons of its sequal.
Well, thankfully , Crysis 3 does something pretty amazing. It ups it game graphically, has kept the urban setting, and made it a far more open and engrossing experience.
Story counts too
The game kicks off with ex-nano-suit soldier Psycho rescuring and releasing Prophet, the games protagonist. From here Crysis 3tells a story of the evil CELL Corporation and its nefarious plans, Prophet’s own quest for revenge against the Ceph aliens, and the resistance fighting to simply save humanity… and maybe the planet.
But there’s a strong sense of Prophet’s own transformation, and his evolution into something both more and less than human. This leads to some some surprisingly emotional beats in the game.
Yet, at its core, this is still a shooter, and a very good one at that.
Crysis 3’s action is fast, furious and remarkably accessible. The nanosuit’s functions have all been mapped to individual keys from the outset, making smooth transitions from stealth to strength mode much faster and easier. This is handy, because stealth mode, combined with the game’s new weapon addition, the bow, is something else. Previous games haven’t quite gotten the feel of being a cybernetic super-soldier quite right, but Crysis 3 nails it. Stealthing about, shooting people with the bow and not dropping your cloak is fantastic. It could be over-powered , but the limited bow ammunition makes it an interesting challenge; you can recover basic arrows, so you have the choice to either shoot and run, or shoot and recover ammunition-but that is its own challenge.
The other weapons all feel much sharper and more lethal, too. The classic weapons all return, but new addition like Ceph energy rifles and the awesomely powerful Typhoon supergun change things up enough that you’ll always have interesting choices to make about how you approach your game.
That’s the other thing that Crysis 3 does well, with level design that is open and varied enough to give a real wide range of tactical options. Using the cloak to scout and look for sneaky ways into or through buildings is always valid, and there are enough throwable/kickable things about that those who prefer brawling will always have something at hand- or foot. The suit powers, range of weapons, and environments all add up to make each fight distinctly unique and fresh. There’s also some great pacing, letting up the action so you can look about and take in the amazing and apocalyptic environs of New York.
The quality of the graphics in the game brings these environments to life. From stormy docks, to steamy, tropical city-forests, Crysis 3 is a worthy successor to the original Crysis.With a properly full array of graphical options, the game can be pushed up to amazing levels of eye-candy-you can certainly see why the game’s a 14GB download, packed with hi-res textures ( something that only occurred for Crysis 2 once PC gamers revolted over the quality of textures that is shipped with). The game’s physics are solid, tough like 2 there is a distinct lack of destructive environments.
But that’s something you barely notice. As you’re gazing about, nothing the beams of light through ruined buildings, or zooming in one enemies to deliver a hi-res headshot, the fact that you can’t shoot over the odd tree is almost beside the point.
Speaking of enemies, AI is pretty solid too, and all the NPCs are remarkably well-voiced, especially Psycho, who not dealing with being separated from his nanosuit.
There’s multiplayer, too, of course, though as always it seems like bit of a tacked on addition. Hunter mode is pretty cool, though, but for us Crysis has always been a single player game, all about the campaign, and being a highly effective lone wolf. One thing that does seem like an oversight, though, is the lack of co-op. You spend of a lot of time operating with Psycho, either directly partnered or while he’s off doing other things- it seems like a gimme that you could make him playable and very interesting. However, by focusing on Prophet and his story, the game is still mightily compelling.
While not quite having the same true openness of the first Crysis, Crysis 3 still delivers a varied shooter experience, while amping up the story and sense of emotion in the game. It’s also a great PC game, with responsive controls and excellent feel. It’s a very impressive addition to the franchise. It’s not perfect- the console limitations still show through – but it’s arguably the best compromise we could have hoped for, and still a visual feast for the PC.
Screenshots (HD 1920 x 1080):