Crysis 3 Review
The third coming of the Prophet.
The Crysis series gained most of its fame by pushing graphics capabilities to their absolute maximum, but over the course of the series Crytek have guided each entry in some compelling directions in terms of story and gameplay. Today, they are aiming to bring the series to a close by bringing back some familiar faces, and voices. New York City has been destroyed many times, in movies and in games, but this time we aren’t looking to escape from New York; we’re going back in and we’re going in hot.
Crysis 3’s campaign starts you off in the shoes, or nano-suit, of series regular, Prophet, twenty-four years after the events of Crysis 2. If you haven’t kept up with the series, don’t worry, you won’t be lost for very long, you just may not recognize some familiar faces and names that will pop up along the way. You’ll still be facing off against the CELL corporation and the alien Ceph forces, but since many years have passed things are going to be a little different.
Prophet hasn’t just been hanging out for more than twenty years, biding his time before he goes after the Ceph once again, he’s actually been a captive of CELL for quite some time. It turns out they’ve been experimenting on his suit and because of that you’ll be able to work toward various upgrades to some of the exceptional abilities the nano-suit affords you. This should be considered a good thing because things can pretty hairy once you’re into the main part of the game.
Prophet’s main goal is to find, and destroy, the Alpha Ceph, and his quest will lead you back into the “Liberty Dome”, the structure that now covers the ruins of New York City. One of the high points of Crysis 3 is just how perfectly Crytek have destroyed the city. In the years since Crysis 2, the area under the Liberty Dome has gone completely to seed, and the result is lush greenery, towering trees, and beautiful river valleys all dotted with the remnants of one of the most urban areas on earth. This is all a nice change from the way post-apocalyptic settings usually ruin things. It’s as if everyone simply walked out of the city, and the vegetation didn’t wait one minute before taking over.
The events of Crysis 3’s campaign start out on the intense side, with the story rushing you along in its grasp, but about halfway through things start to get almost silly. Not silly in a way that makes them unplayable, but silly in the swash-buckling, sci-fi, movie kind of way. The gameplay also seems to follow right along with this theme as, after a couple of upgrades to your stealth cloak system, you can walk right through most of the fights with only brief breaks to take cover and recharge your suit. I’m a fan of the cloaking system, but it is in serious need of some balancing in Crysis 3.
You will enjoy the size of the environments, and the branching paths they offer you, that is if you don’t decide to just sneak by everyone. In the end, Crysis 3’s campaign is good enough, but not great. I was a big fan of the Crysis 2 campaign, but didn’t find that 3 lived up to the intensity the series has been able to achieve in the past.
Crysis 3’s competitive multiplayer offering has definitely grown where the single player campaign may not have. Offering a total of eight competitive modes, and offering more weapons, weapon upgrades, and nano-suit upgrades than before, there is plenty to keep you busy for a very long time.
Aside from the variations of multiplayer staples, like deathmatch and capture-the-flag (or relay, to be more specific), the star of the show is Hunter mode. In a game of Hunter two players start out as nano-suited super soldiers, and the rest as CELL operatives. With infinite Stealth energy, the Hunters have a tactical advantage, while the CELL have the numerical advantage. Every time a CELL operative is killed, they respawn as a Hunter and switch teams to harass the remaining CELL players who are trying to survive until time expires, to get the win.
I know that Hunter mode isn’t exactly an original idea, but Crytek pull off this variant with style. You really feel like death could come from any angle, when you are a member of the CELL team, and the stress only builds as your comrades continue to fall.
The Crysis 3 campaign isn’t the pinnacle of achievement a third game in a series should be, but it can still be enjoyable and I’ll never get tired of looking at it. If you were a fan of the multiplayer offering in Crysis 2, Crysis 3 is a must buy. Every element has been expanded, tweaked, and refined to deliver a truly great competitive experience. Either way, when was the last time a video game made you want to go take a walk in the forest?
Available On: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC (Origin)