A lot of you probably looked at the title of this game and rolled your eyes as yet another First Person Shooter comes forward. And yet another “end of a trilogy” title to boot. I can’t blame you for this. There have been a lot of games that want to follow this format as of late, and frankly, I am rather tired of it too. But at the same time, I’ve been excited for this specific one. After all, I have been a fan since the original hit PC back in 2007. So now we have finally finished the story that started about 6 years ago… and how does it hold up? Well, why don’t you step inside and have a read…
Story: It’s been a few decades since the events in Crysis 2. At that time, New York was saved by the man Prophet had given his life and suit to, Alcatraz… or so it had seemed. But in the end, Alcatraz had changed… he had ceased being himself as the AI recorded personality of Prophet took over, allowing the man to be reborn, as much machine as human being.
In the time between the games, Prophet continued on a personal hunt to find and kill a creature called the Alpha-Ceph. And at first, being the man who saved New York and possibly mankind from the invasion going on, he had plenty of help. But over time, as the Ceph proved rarer and rarer to find, people stopped believing the creature existed and lost interest, especially as other more immediate issues arose in the form of CELL taking over the world by taking over the power-generation for the planet.
Now, CELL has taken an interest in Prophet and captured him with the intent of removing and studying the suit that is now so much a part of him, with little or no care about his chances of survival. Still, he is not completely without allies, as Psycho, one of the survivors of the events in the original game now leads the resistance against CELL, and the game begins with him rescuing his old friend.
If you believe I am giving away anything, please do not… these are details the game gets to pretty quickly in it’s own right to catch up the player. In fact a number of these details are available by the menus before you even start, a nice touch for those who are playing Crysis for the first time with this installment, or those of us who felt like Crysis 2 produced nothing but questions with the inconsistencies between it and the original masterpiece. While I admittedly would have liked to have seen such a thing not be needed, that is more fault with the previous installment then this one, which is just correcting the issue.
From this point, however, you will join Psycho on his mission to take down CELL, all the while aware that something is not right… that the alien threat from the rest of the trilogy is far from over, and waiting for your chance to end that as well. To give away much more then that would indeed be spoilers, however. Still, the overall arch is very well done, does not try to over-stretch what it is, keeps pace exceptionally well, and unlike so many games these days, actually finishes the story. This is the end of it all, and I find it hard to think a Crysis 4 could even make sense after this game. I hate to pick on Halo here, but it’s nice to see the fight is actually and completely finished.
And on top of this, the characters are all REALLY well done, especially Psycho. You WILL like this guy, and he will feel like a real human being, as will the main cast for the most part. The writing is actually really well done, and Crytek should be proud of this one.
Graphics: Every Crysis game has been noted in it’s time for the pure graphic power it pulls off for one reason or another, and while Crysis 2 was noted only for bringing the level of graphics up for the consoles, 3 went back to the position of the original, being designed to push your PC to the limit and give you eye-bleeding results.
Before we begin, understand that I can not not run this game at it’s highest settings… only medium…. and it still blows everything I have ever seen in gaming straight out of the water with the only framerate issues being as the game initially loads a saved point… and that’s assuming it isn't doing so during a pre-rendered cutscene (of which there are only 9 including the ending… everything else is done in the game engine). The people look about as real as a video game has looked yet, with faces only being beaten in detail by the “old man tech demos” that have become so popular this year. The alien enemies look convincing and move like they are alien instead of human. And the world itself is just an absolute joy to behold. Graphical fanatics really do need to make sure they don’t miss this game.
However, that isn’t to say the game is flawless… the draw-distance for some items leaves a bit to be desired, as you will see sometimes items meant as terrain detail “phase” into being while you approach. It is a bit annoying, but it tends to happen only when your view allows you to see very long distances, so no… don’t expect this to happen from 20 feet away or something like that. I also have to note some occasional shadowing graphic issues. When things look this gorgeous, it’s a real shame to have to note, but at times my gun produced a shadow it should not have and incorrectly, resulting in this checkered pattern of shade in the lower right corner of my screen. I do not believe this was an issue with my card only because I could experiment with it and pin-point where on the map it would happen when it happened (thankfully rarely).
I also have to to note, this game will do so by challenging your hardware. As I said before, I'm running this game on medium, and the card running this is a 460GTX, which is not far from the listed minimum on the box…. with good reason. Crysis 3 runs ONLY in Direct X 11, so if you do not have a card that can handle this, you will not be able to play this game… and yes, this means those of you with Windows XP are shit out of luck on this title.
Sound: Crysis 3 does not sacrifice audio to show such amazing video work…. with instrumentals that wraps around the game as well as most movie soundtracks, you will wish you could download them out of the game instead of being offered the ability to play the soundtrack from the extras menu only. This sound track, while it doesn’t take your attention from the gameplay, is good enough to sell on a CD all it’s own. (Hint hint, EA…)
And the music isn’t the only thing to rave about. The gunplay sounds great as well, with every weapon sounding about how you expect and want it to. But these are generally the usual sci-fi fair of weapons, so nothing is going to exceptionally pop out at you. (Except maybe that the sounds dull just a little when you are in cloaked mode… nice touch…)
The real star of the audio here is the acting. Looking through the credits, I didn’t recognize anyone, but I still wonder if that’s just me not paying attention, because the main cast in this game came across perfectly. Granted, due to the scope of the story, this cast is complete at about four characters, but these four gave it their all… especially the voice actor for Psycho. This may have been Prophet’s game, but it’s as much your side-kick’s tale as anyone's… and it shows.
Gameplay: At it’s core, Crysis 3 is a very solid tactical First-Person-Shooter. You will spend pretty much the entire game getting into (or avoiding) fire-fights with the enemy and using the options available to you to control the fight as well as your position in it. To do this, you have many options from the suit Prophet wears itself, as it will enhance your strength, become armor, and become a predator-style cloak as you command.
All of these options are balanced, however, as armor and cloak are mutually exclusive, and every ability of the suit drains it’s internal energy. Depending on what you are doing, this rate can increase dramatically. For example, firing at an enemy while cloaked will drain your energy like no tomorrow. This will replenish after a short breather, but you will need to plan for them when going after your opponents.
Further adding to the picture, you will carry up to 4 weapons on you at any given time, each of which can be customized to your suiting. You want to be stealthy? Most weapons have a silencer option, and the bow doesn’t even drain your cloak. Want to snipe? Almost every weapon can get a sniper scope (pistols and missile launchers don’t… that would just be silly, but most weapons do), including at least one being a heat-vision scope if that is to your liking. Once you have collected a weapon on the field with an option, it’s available for that weapon at your leisure to switch in and out at will. Just be aware you do so at your own risk. The game will not pause to let your change your gun around, so find a safe place to do this.
In addition, you will also find many of your opponent’s weapon and mine placements are ripe for you to hack, allowing you to get backup for yourself while in the field, giving you an additional layer of tactics not previously available in the franchise. Being able to do it from a limited range adds to the fun.
The controls backing all of this are very responsive as they should be when you aim your camera with the mouse… almost. There are a few places here that actually detract from the game a little bit: jumping and driving.
Jumping is actually an issue I had with Crysis 2. In that game, they attempted to streamline the suit by making super-strength automatic. If you held down whatever action you were doing (punching, throwing, or jumping), you did so with super strength, and this worked well overall, but punching and jumping felt a little off because the system to do this required that the action happen when you let go of the button, not when you pushed it. As a result, punches and jumps felt delayed compared to other games. Crysis 3 has not improved this, choosing instead to leave jumping the same and remove super punches entirely. Jumping works well enough, but it feels slow and I personally would have hoped for an improvement here.
Driving also proves to be an issue, but then, that is exactly what happens when you decide to use the same keys you use for movement on your keyboard to simulate driving… you have absolute left-right steering that just feels clunky. Thankfully there are about 3 of these parts in total, all of which are short with nothing that will be overly frustrating in the way considering the limited controls.
However, a much bigger concern is the last boss of the game. He is not particularly hard (in fact this entire game is pretty easy), but he has one attack that if you do not know exactly where to go to handle it, will kill you in one hit. You can not use cover (he destroys it) and you can not hide from him. You literally have to know exactly where you can go to be out of reach. This kind of mechanic disappoints me because it’s one of those times a game reminds me of the FPS titles I used to play in the 90s, but not in the good way we all often look back to the games we loved as kids.
And you basically want this game only for the single player aspect. Multiplayer is nothing special and in fact could have been called Call of Crysis for how much it copies the COD franchise. There are simply any number of PC titles that have multiplayer gameplay exactly like this, so I just see no reason to dive in.
Bugs: The only bugs I could find in this game were the shadow issues I mentioned when talking about graphics. Everything else worked perfectly.
Overall: Crysis 3 is a very solid game for fans of single player First-Person-Shooters. It is insanely pretty and, reviews an entirely trilogy of story, finishing it with an absolutely perfect final note. As far as action goes, it is good at what it does, and doesn’t over-extend itself too much, leaving you with a pretty distilled experience. Unfortunately this and the length of the game, (I finished it in about 9 hours, and I took my time to hack/sneak around everything in sight) make this a tough sell to anyone who is not an FPS fan. But if you are you really do need to spend one last time with Prophet… especially if you’ve been there through the entire journey.
out of 10