Crysis 3 Game Review
The Crysis series has been an excellent example of state of the art graphics and FPS gameplay. Crysis 3 bring an end the trilogy nicely. The series started in 2007 on the PC and became well known and, at the same time, notorious for its amazing visuals using the CryEngine.
I, personally, have never been able to play the first Crysis since I do not own a super computer and the blood of a virgin to run the game’s steep system spec requirements. My first experience with the series came in 2011 with Crysis 2 which saw console release.
Even on the Xbox, I was impressed by how amazing the game looked and the gameplay style.
For me, Crysis blows away Halo and Call of Duty in the gameplay department. Unlike Halo, you actually do feel you are wearing a power suit and are able to use it to its fullest abilities. I liked Crysis 2 so much that I named it my 2nd best game of the year pick for 2011. It’s also a game I feel is rather underrated. Crysis 3 launched a couple weeks ago and I can honestly say that it improves on most everything from Crysis 2 and surpasses it. It continues the amazing visuals and gameplay with the CryEngine 3 and is one of the best shooters I’ve played since, well, Crysis 2. It’s not perfect though, so let’s take a closer look.
Set in the year 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2, the CELL Corporation now has a massive monopoly on the world’s energy supply using something inside what is now called the Liberty Dome. The Liberty Dome is what New York City has been turned into after the Battle of New York in Crysis 2 and is now a massive tropical rain forest under the nanodome it is encased in. Prophet is the last man to be wearing the Nanosuit, a powerful exoskeleton suit built using alien technology to change the face of warfare, is rescued by a team of insurgents lead by his former team member code named Psycho.
They enlist Prophet to help them break into the Liberty Dome and shut down CELL’s stranglehold on the world’s energy for good. However, Prophet knows the real thread is The Ceph, the hostile alien race that invaded New York years earlier. The Ceph are long thought to have been nearly wiped out and only a few living in the Liberty Dome but Prophet knows there is more to the remains of New York than most people think.
The story of Crysis 3 actually does a good job of explaining what happened in previous games with the help of a handy ‘previously on Crysis’ option before starting the game. However, there is little to no mention of Alcatraz, the guy you played as in Crysis 2, in the game or any of the other characters from the previous game. This would be a bigger deal if Crytek hadn’t done such a good job with the characters in this game. Thankfully, Prophet is not just another silent protagonist. He talks and has character to him and tackles deep subject matter like what it is to be human and how far he will go to lose his humanity to defeat the Ceph.
There are only really three supporting characters in the game but they a good job of dealing with the themes this game is trying to convey.
As a result, we have much stronger and interesting characters than seen in Crysis 2. It even has a Mass Effect 3 kind of feel with the heavy emotion this game is going for. Not as good as ME3, but feels like they are trying. It is much more character focused than the previous games which gives it a smaller picture feel which works considering it is set in a domed covered city yet the world is at stake.
This game is shorter than Crysis 2, however, but doesn’t exactly feel like it. It has far fewer levels. Only 7 while the previous game had 25. The missions are not short though. Each one lasting around 45 minutes to an hour depending on much you explore and the difficulty you are playing on. I beat the game in around 6 hours which is painfully average for most games these days but it felt longer. The game does have a really well done last boss battle and a good ending which does wrap up the game and series nicely.
The thing that I love about the Crysis games is the Nanosuit and how it is used in actual gameplay. I can’t help but compare it to Halo when I bring this up. Think about it. In Halo, Master Chief wears a power armor suit but do you ever feel like you’re actually in a power suit with amazing strengths and powers outside of the cut scenes? For me, other than the regenerating shield, no. You’re still just a guy with a gun. The Nanosuit, however, has powers that you can use at any time and this allows you to play the game however you like. Want to run and gun? Sure! Make good use of that max armor shield. Want to sneak around? Use the cloaking feature to sneak around enemies or ambush them. Hack enemy traps and defenses to turn the tables on them. Use Nanovision to see everything in thermal imaging (which looks amazing by the way). You can even do the Iron Man ground pound move. It’s not the most effect thing but it sure looks cool. This is all governed by a power bar that drains at different rates depending what power you are using so it’s up to you to figure out the best way to regulate the power gage. There is so much more that you can do with Crysis in terms of gameplay compared to a game like Halo. All of this I loved in Crysis 2 and it continues in Crysis 3 and runs much smoother. Grabbing objects and enemies looks less awkward and does not require a charge to throw them.
The weapons are a good mix of new and old weapons from the previous games plus the ability to use Ceph weapons for the first time. Prophet also has a compound bow to use which is predominantly featured in much of the game’s promo pictures. The bow and arrow is fun to use as it kills in one hit and it does not break the cloak so you can get kills off without getting spotted at all. There are different types of arrows that can be used like explosive and electrical. Most of the guns in the game can also be fully customized with different optics, attachments, and specialized ammo.
Like in the other Crysis games, you can customize your weapon at most anytime. One problem I did have was trying to switch between the C4 and the rocket launcher. In Crysis 2, you simply pressed right on the D-Pad twice to switch between the two. In this game, it doesn’t seem to work like that and I guess I just don’t know how to do it. I’m sure it is easier to do with the PC version. The visor mode, on the other hand, is greatly improved. In the previous game you could only really use it to highlight three enemies in the area and spot ammo and weapons. In Crysis 3, it is far more useful.
You can now tag all the enemies in the area, weapons and ammo points, collectables, traps and turrets, and locate secondary objectives.
You also use visor mode to hack turrets and traps by getting in range and engaging in a quick mini-game to take control and turn them against the enemies. You can also upgrade your suit’s abilities on the Nanosuit customization screen that looks kind of like a slot machine. You can pick up to four powers and mix them together and even select and save different power combinations for later use. You unlock these powers by finding Nanosuit packs that are hidden throughout the levels. This gives more incentive to explore the large and detailed levels of the game.
The setting of a New York City over taken by nature makes for some awesome level designs and very big ones. They are surprisingly big and offer many routes to travel and explore. This allows you to go about completing your objectives in any manor you want and however you want. I’m sure there are many more paths to explore that I didn’t even notice during my play through. There may be fewer levels than in Crysis 2 but the levels are much bigger in Crysis 3. This does lead to some small problems though. A couple times I found myself getting lost trying to figure out how to get to an objective nav point. The ruins of New York can very much be like a maze. Also you do have secondary objectives that can are optional to complete, however, many times I would be unaware of them till it was too late or have trouble locating them with the visor mode. It doesn’t ruin the overall game at all but if you’re a perfectionist, it might drive you crazy. Finally, I will mention that the game did freeze on me a couple times but this might not be an issue for PC versions. Also on the Xbox version, I noticed that it uses the cover for Crysis 2 on the Xbox dashboard.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND:
What can I say? This game is freaking gorgeous and, obviously, it is even more jaw droppingly beautiful on the PC. Is there even a reason for me to say that anymore? If the absolute best graphics are what you need to enjoy a game, you must play this on the PC.
That said, this game still looks amazing on console and is the best looking game I’ve seen on the Xbox since Halo 4.
And if you think that the 360 version of Crysis 3 looks ugly compared to the PC version, then you have unrealistically high standards of graphics. The character models from the Nanosuit, humans, and the Ceph look great and are very detailed but it’s the New York City that nature reclaimed that steals the show. The mix of ruined urban buildings and plant life is something that is haunting beautiful. You even run into wild life here and there like deer and squirrels. You have to really go out of your way to find poorly rendered textures. Crysis 3 is a strong contestant for best graphics of the year.
The voice acting in the game is generally well done. The one that stands out the most is the voice of Psycho with his angry British accent. The weapons and explosions sound good and are satisfying to use. The Ceph still sound and look scary. They are some of the best alien invaders in video games.
The music is beautifully done and has a strong emotional tone to it rather than the heroic feel from Crysis 2.
It reminds me a lot of the music from Mass Effect 3 which pulled at the heart strings. It fits the deeper themes they were going for in this game.
Overall, Crysis 3 wraps up the trilogy and gives it a fulfilling end to this technologically impressive series of shooters. If you’re an FPS gamer; you must play this game and the other games in the series. That goes double if you are a PC gamer. While it is shorter than the previous game, it feels more rewarding. If you’re a Halo fan or just tired of Call of Duty and games that try to be like it, you should definitely check out Crysis 3. Thanks for reading and I plan on playing and reviewing the Tomb Raider reboot next.
- Many ways to play and carry out missions
- Huge levels with multiple paths
- Best story out of the series so far and beautiful graphics
- Finding objective nav points can be confusing at times
- Explosive weapons switching is confusing
- Shorter than Crysis 2