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Crysis 3 review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Stealth hunting with the combat bow
  • Feeling like a super soldier
  • Unique feel of the competitive multiplayer
  • The story and characters are forgettable
  • Multiplayer performance issues
  • Enemies spot you way too easily

The third iteration in Crytek's open-ended shooter series is here. Prophet once again takes the lead as earth's defender against an invasion of the alien Seph. Crysis 3 keeps the tactical action from its predecessors intact while giving players more abilities to make you feel more powerful than ever before. While Crytek's first-person shooter is visually striking, adds entertaining combat elements, and includes an addictive multiplayer offering, Crysis 3 isn't without its flaws.

Crysis 2's conclusion left New York City in ruins. The once bustling sidewalks were filled with rubble, and the roads were stacked high with the bodies of innocents. Crysis 3 picks up 25 years later, pitting players agains the CELL Corporation--an organization that has since taken over the country. Now, New York is covered by a massive Nanodome, creating a overgrown urban jungle and beautiful environments to shoot bad guys in.

Crysis 3's story isn't nearly as convoluted as its predecessor's, which included so many twists and turns you were lucky to survive without whiplash, but the lack of character development or interesting dialog makes the narrative feel generic and uninspired. A resistance has arisen to fight the corrupt CELL, which includes one of Prophet's old squadmates from the original Crysis. You'll meet other characters, get missions from the resistance leaders, and experience Prophet's struggle with Seph visions of the future given to him by the squid-like aliens' leader, but none of these interactions are particularly compelling or are that well fleshed out. It's tough to feel attached to any of the characters in the five to six hour campaign, and you never really care about anyone you meet. Luckily, the gameplay overshadows its weak storytelling.

Where Crysis 3 succeeds is in allowing you to approach situations in any way you want. You have an advantage over your enemies by using the suit's enhanced strength, stealth capabilities and Nanovision visor to scout areas. Using all of these abilities in conjunction allows you to tag enemy locations, traverse the environment, and strategically take down enemies one-by-one like a hunter; or you can activate your Nano armor, go full Rambo, and engage in a full-frontal assault. Taking the stealth route is generally more enjoyable, since combining the suits powers to hunt your enemies makes you feel incredibly powerful. Exploring levels can also reap beneficial rewards. You can enhance your abilities to reduce the suit's energy handicaps by finding special upgrades, so you won't feel like the suit is holding you back as much as it did in previous games.

Prophet takes on the persona of a Hunter in Crysis 3, and thanks to his fancy new bow the super soldier is more lethal than ever. The bow's ability to fire without disrupting the stealth ability and the variety of arrow types opens extremely entertaining gameplay strategies. Electro-shock arrows, and explosive tipped arrows allow you to take out groups of enemies with one shot, and using the standard impact arrows to pin enemies to walls is delightfully satisfying.

"...you won't feel like the suit is holding you back as much as it did in previous games."

In addition to using a bow, Prophet can also use his hack ability to unlock doors, shutdown minefields, or disable Ceph drones. Also, in combat, he can hack mechanical threats like CELL automated turrets and turn them against his enemies. While adding hacking to the list of useful (and fun) ways to strategically take down enemy groups, you'll be hacking doors and control panels much more than you'd like. Objects that can be hacked cover the landscape, and trying to interact with them all can make the process tedious at times. Once you've hacked half a dozen objects within a few short minutes, the minigame quickly loses its charm.  

The AI isn't perfect, either. Crysis 3's enemies are challenging and move around the the world intelligently as they try to flank your location, but in certain instances they're too smart. If you aren't using your stealth camouflage, enemies are able to spot you at incredibly long distances. While you're hiding in complete darkness, or even if you pop out of cover when their back is turned--they instantaneously proceed to spray you with hot lead. For a player using stealth tactics, getting spotted by a CELL guard with eagle eyes in the back of his head can be incredibly irritating.

"The AI isn't perfect."

Once you've completed the five to six hour campaign Crysis 3 still has plenty to offer in its competitive multiplayer modes. The matches play the same as the previous title in the series, but the player's accessibility to the Nanosuit powers still make the online competition feel unlike any other online shooter. The standard player progression system is in place with weapon, attachment, and ability unlocks, but never brings anything new to the table. However, the fact that every player has the ability to turn invisible, punch cars across the map, or pummel each other with steel posts gives the standard team deathmatch and capture the flag-like modes a unique feel that is a blast to play for hours on end.

Outside the standard multiplayer modes, Crysis 3's infection-style Hunter mode is particularly entertaining. Two playable but invisible hunters armed with Predator bows and Nanosuits must kill the entire opposing team--switching the fallen players to hunters. The other side consists of standard CELL soldiers, armed with assault rifles and shotguns. Playing as the CELL team against the invisible hunters is a blast and incredibly hectic, as everyone desperately tries to call out the enemy positions while firing in every direction.

 "Playing as the CELL team against the invisible hunters is a blast and incredibly hectic..."

Crysis 3 has impressive visuals in both single player and multiplayer modes, and are easily some of the best we've seen this console generation. In the single player campaign, the environments are incredibly atmospheric. Leaky sewers splash water over your visor, and looking over the impressive, wide-open, Seph infested fields covered in tall grass, make you feel like you're about to step into a death trap. But the game isn't without its visual flaws. There's significant amount of texture pop-in while loading into multiplayer matches and respawning. Occasionally, entire objects pop-in a few seconds after spawning, which can throw you off during the chaos of an online match.

Overall, Crysis 3 is a gratifying shooter experience. Even though the campaign is on the shorter side, there are a few visual hiccups, and some of the enemy AI is unbalanced, those small gripes get overshadowed by Crysis 3's tactical gameplay, beautiful environments, and superb online multiplayer. While not treading new ground for the FPS genre, Crysis 3 is a solid shooter that will keep you entertained through the campaign and long after with its addictive online modes.

This game was reviewed on Xbox 360

GUIDES

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Crytek
Franchise: Crysis
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending

Topics

Crytek

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29 comments

  • Ladykilljoy - April 29, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    Power drains too fast....but I love the fact tht we can use Alien Weapons......Though I love using Bow, Ceph Plasma Destroyer, Jaw, Scar, and Typhoon....I haven't finished the game but I sure do miss Gould :(
  • winner2 - February 19, 2013 7:43 p.m.

    I think I'll pick it up, I can't resist. Crysis is just too much fun to me. I don't need a complex story, well fleshed out characters, plot twists, or tons of innovation. I just need that suit and that bow. I want to see prophet get put in a brawler super smash bros style too. But on a side note, I think they should have changed the look of the suit somehow, the design and pattern of the striations and such. It looks kind of ugly here.
  • talleyXIV - February 19, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    These games are literally the most beautiful pieces of boredom ever. The game feels like an engine for something else, all the enemies are cardboard, and even the cool suit seemed stale in its features. Never been a big fan, just another case of style over substance being mediocre.
  • ObliqueZombie - February 19, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    Will you guys happen to review this on the PC? The Crytek engine seems more friendly on there. Also, how does the bow feel compared to, say Far Cry 3's? That was the most fun I've had with a weapon in ages.
  • GR_LorenzoVeloria - February 19, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    We won't be doing a separate review for the PC version. The bow was definitely my favorite weapon in the game, and it does a few things differently than Far Cry's.
  • winner2 - February 19, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    Is it as hard to make long shots with as Far Cry's, as difficult to master in general? Because making those 100+ meter shots always made me feel like Apollo and that was nice.
  • Bloodstorm - February 20, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    But it was so satisfying when you made a long shot with it. I used it almost exclusively, and after a while, I was arching arrows from sniping distances and taking guys out. So much fun. Couldn't get enough of that bow.
  • Bloodstorm - February 19, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    I want a Crysis game like Far Cry 3. A big, open world, preferably somewhere with a lot of jungle, and an overwhelming presence of bad dudes to toy with in the Nanosuit. Tack on a minimalist story if you must, but just let me kill dudes like a human Predator.
  • patbateman17 - February 19, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    I agree. After all the hype (probably just about PC settings) I bought Crysis 1 on PSN, played it for about 2.5 hours and was just bored. I've already put over 20 hours into Far Cry 3 and might be on the 4th story mission :) but maxed out all my crafting items. Far Cry 3 is what I wanted Crysis 1 to be - I just want a sandbox game where I can get a freaking SILENCED sniper rifle, compound bow and just snipe guys from the bushes without them ever finding me. I'm absolutely hooked on clearing all Outposts w/o being detected. God I love Far Cry 3 :)
  • Bloodstorm - February 19, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    And Crysis 1 is the biggest sandbox in the series IMO, well, can't speak on 3 because I don't have it. The Nanosuit was more interesting in Crysis 1, and you could get those 'predator lurking in the bushes' type moments in some of the later levels, when they really started to get quite large, and before the game takes a big right turn into alien-ville. Crysis 2 did have some really fun weapons, but the urban environment made the actual area you have to use them in very dull. I love jungle type environments, because they give you a sense of not knowing what is lurking in the bushes.
  • FOZ - February 19, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    The PC version plays differently. Crysis doesn't give you a silenced sniper rifle, you're supposed to make one out of the SCAR. And then compensate for the crazy sway. And actually learn to play the game as something other than Call of Duty.
  • patbateman17 - February 19, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Not sure if that was a trolling dig...I actually hate CoD games.
  • greg-hakes - February 19, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    O my God, You just played Crysis 3 in your Head....
  • BladedFalcon - February 19, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    Another shooter that doesn't really offer anything different overall, specially in the single player side of things. Pass.
  • ObliqueZombie - February 19, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Now now, on PC where the engine is friendliest, this game is a blast. Well, at least the first one. But I'll agree it's bland enough to not warrant a full purchase. It's basically a good game to test out a sweet nano suit.
  • FOZ - February 19, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Have you played any of the previous games?
  • BladedFalcon - February 19, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Not really, but I don't need to play them to know taht I wouldn't get any particular enjoyment out of them. See, I don't deny they are probably very good games... but without a distinct setting, or complex storyline to set it apart, it still feels like another pretty FPS to me. And this late in this generation, I just have a very heavy FPS fatigue in general. Only FPS I played last year was Far Cry 3, and only because of the praise in the character of Vaaz, and the free roaming jungle. So again, it's not really a bash against the game itself, but without a compelling narrative, or a unique gameplay hook, I just don't feel like playing yet another FPS.
  • FOZ - February 19, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Crysis DOES have a unique gameplay hook. It's not all foliage, sun beams, and water effects. You have to play Crysis, or at least find some particularly good videos of it, to understand why it's different and great. Crysis 2 less so, but its combat and effects are still far more impactful than any other FPS floating around right now.
  • BladedFalcon - February 19, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    *shrugs* if you can't even properly define what that hook is, it's going to be hard for me to even care. All I can see is that you have a cool suit that gives you powers like stealth and stuff, there may be more to it, but still feels very much like most other FPSs in the market to me, only prettier.
  • Bloodstorm - February 19, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    I'd say the hook is the Nanosuit abilities, and tackling each level in your own unique way, much like Far Cry 3, just not as free. Crysis 1 has some very, very large sandbox levels, with tons of foliage, and destructible huts and such to move around in like a terminator that can go invisible. The same draw exists in Crysis 2, but the environments leave a lot to be desired, and moving around the enemies isn't as fun or satisfying. Weapons are a blast, with a bunch of attachments that you can change on the fly for whichever scenario you are encountering, but overall, less engaging than the first game.

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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