Crysis 3 Review
Earth has been ravaged by an alien invasion that happened twenty years ago. Nothing has recovered. The once bustling metropolis of New York City has become jungle. The rusted corpses of trains that will never reach their destinations lay scattered in their yards; mere shells of what they once were. Disused apartment complexes have become home to various small animals. The moss covered walls of these buildings now connected by thick, sinewy vines in this post-urban jungle. Soldiers from a faceless corporation patrol what were once streets; the abandoned buildings and overgrowing vegetation assisting their hold over the remnants of humanity.
Crysis 3 puts the player in the shoes of Prophet, an ex-military super-soldier who has been imprisoned for the past twenty years. And while Crysis and Crysis 2 had a mainly silent protagonist, which allowed the player to project themselves into the role, players in Crysis 3 must listen to Prophet’s constant barrage of terrible dialogue. Thankfully, however, it’s not the only voice you hear. Developer Crytek seem to have put a lot of work into the storyline; many of the supporting characters are nicely voiced and have a penchant for grandiose speeches. Closer inspection of the speeches though, reveals them to be pure fluff. Nothing that is said really inspired me and the sub-plots involving my wacky supporting crew left me with nothing memorable. Ultimately, the cinematics and dialogue serve as a buffer to push you along to the next set-piece.
Existing in parallel with the atrocious story, however, are the gorgeous visuals and balanced, entertaining gameplay. Every scene literally screams out, “Look at me, look at my pretty buttons!”, while guiding the player by the hand to point excitedly at all of it’s colorful exhibits. While this might be misconstrued as a criticism, this button collection really is pretty, if maybe a bit insubstantial. On a technical level, the visuals are simply unmatched, and when I had a chance to stop shooting and really look around, there was some genuinely beautiful scenery to look at.
Once the action begins though, any substance in the gorgeous backdrops soon falls away, as the actual design behind them is thoroughly standard fare. Thankfully, the gameplay is very polished and I found myself effectively absorbed. The star of the parade is the nanosuit, which allows the player to either absorb more bullets, allowing for a more gun-crazy arcade feel, or to cloak, allowing the player to systematically eliminate any opposition in the way. This allows players to really analyze any prospective situation and adapt their playstyle to the obstacles encountered. Existing in support of this system are two new additions to the Crysis arsenal: the Predator Bow, which allows for silent kills that won’t break the player’s stealth; and remote hacking, allowing the player to turn mines and automated turrets against the enemy. For the first few hours of play, these systems are welcome accessories; as being able to hide in a corner and take out a whole room of guards without breaking a sweat feels pretty good. However, it quickly destroys any semblance of challenge that the game has, and clearing out defensive positions quickly becomes a chore instead of an accomplishment.
Essentially, Crysis 3 is a well-made, entertaining shooter. With it’s ridiculous story and focus on shooting all of the things, all of the time, it won’t win any awards for innovation, but what you do get is a quick, thrilling action game that is gorgeous to look at. Just don’t dig too deep, for the flavor won’t hold up to scrutiny. Crysis 3 tries to be the sci-fi Call of Duty and succeeds, albeit providing a more enthralling single player experience than any Call of Duty game since COD4.
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Publisher: Electronic Arts