Crysis 3 - Review



The Crysis franchise was always more remembered and recognized for its bleeding-edge graphics than its value as an actual game. The catchphrase "Can your PC run Crysis?" became synonymous for Crytek making Crysis a better demo for your graphicscard than a game.
With Crysis 3 yet another Cry Engine 3 game has been ported not only to the PC but also to the consoles. We know that Crysis 3 is going to look phenomenal on PCs but how does it look on PS3 and 360? And more importantly: did the Nanosuit learn a few new tricks to raise the bar not only graphically but also on a gameplay level?
Is Crysis 3 a next-gen game come early?....or too early?      



Story
 

The plot:
Prophet returns to New York in 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. He discovers the city has been encased in a giant Nanodome created by the corrupt C.E.L.L. corporation. The New York City Liberty Dome is a veritable urban rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers. Prophet now finds himself on a "revenge mission" after uncovering the truth behind C.E.L.L.'s motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes. The citizens were told that the giant citywide structures were erected to protect the population and to clean these metropolises of the remains of the Ceph forces. In reality, the Nanodomes are C.E.L.L.'s covert attempt at land and technology grab in their quest for global domination.
It's up to Prophet, his sidekick Psycho and a handful of brave rebels to stop them...

In a trilogy with a fairly good narrative in Crysis 1 and 2, Crysis 3 overall is the weakest of the bunch with the simplest story. With that said, that doesn't mean that Prophet's (supposedly) final adventure has a bad story.
Crysis 3 does a pretty good job in tying up loose ends. While it is surprisingly short (only 8 chapters) the theme of "the difference between man and machine" is a great idea to round up the trilogy.
Additionally, a very welcome inclusion of emotional depth elevates Crysis 3 in that department above its predcessors and gives the characters what was mostly lacking in the other entries: personality.
This only furthermore gets underlined by the great great facial animation work.
In Crysis 3, emotions and loyalty play a big role, which leads to several great conversations between the characters. However, the very thin plot of Prophet chasing the Alpha-Ceph to take it down drags the weight of the great emotional moments down quite a bit.
However, Crysis 3 neither exceeds anyone's expectations nor does it really disappoint. It's just a solid, albeit short, conclusion to a good sci-fi story.  


"Well, this place looks oddly familiar."

Gameplay
 

Just like in the previous games, Crysis 3 once again is all about the Nanosuit and its powers.
The feel of you being constantly on the upper hand no matter what situation, is a constant in the franchise.
With that said, players can utilize stealth, run-and-gun, and other abilities as they please to fit their own personal playstyles in this FPS.
But this is all stuff that most of you should already know about Crysis. Therefore, I won't describe basic aspects about the general Crysis gameplay right now and will focus on the new additions and changes.
And that's exactly what's Crysis 3's problem.

Crysis 3 massively lacks in new ideas. The different powers of the Nanosuit that make you feel like Ironman are without  doubt awesome, but we have already seen all that two times. What's new?
New additions to the Crysis 3 gameplay are the following:

1. The ability to upgrade the Nanosuit's powers and unlock new ones. With only about 16 unlockable additional powers, the upgrade roster is not only a bit small but also are upgrade-systems more or less a standard in games nowadays rather than a selling point.

2. The bow the bow the bow the bow. Crysis 3 was excessively advertised by showing as much pictures of Rambo-like Prophet with his new Predator-Bow as possible.
This new bow is definitely the biggest change in the gameplay. While its probably the most fun weapon in the entire game, it can be easily overused....why? Because it's fun but overpowered.
Aside from being a very short game in the first place, Crysis 3 on normal difficulty gets ridiculously easy if the Predator-Bow is overused.
Whereas in Crysis 1 and 2 you had to sneak up on soldiers to kill them silently without deactivating your cloak, now Prophet can silently shoot arrows (with different tips) at his enemies WHILE being cloaked. Arrows can even hit enemies over huge distances. Crytek tried to balance the bow's power by limiting the number of arrows that you can carry to a relatively fair amount. Yet this solution prooves to be completely redundant because the player can pick up shot arrows from corpses to use them again, therefore theoretically having an infinite amount of arrows.
In conclusion, depending on how the player decides to use the fun but overpowered Predator-Bow, he also decides how much fun he allows the game to be.
(For example using he bow in chaotic combat situations during jumps etc. is much more fun.)

Now get me Stallone to do Prophet's voice!


3. Hacking turrets is next to the Predator-Bow the second biggest aspect that makes Crysis 3 just a little bit too easy. Prophet now has the ability to REMOTELY hack turrets and other enemy gadgets from a distance to use those against them. Hacking is done via an incredibly simple and somewhat redundant mini-game of hitting a button at the right time.
To be fair, it has to be said that battles get way more strategic through hacking by adding a new variable to the combat. Yet being able to hack enemy turrets from pretty long distances makes many combat situations just unengaging. If it wasn't for the word "REMOTE", the hacking ability would have worked out a bit better.

That's honestly about all of the new additions and changes of gameplay in Crysis 3. You can easily spot that Crysis 3 was very much just advertised as having a cool new weapon (bow) in the game and that you therefore should rush out and buy it.
Still, i want you to understand that Crysis 3's problem is NOT its gameplay itself but the lack of new ideas.
The general overall gameplay of strategically managing your energy and powers of the Nanosuit in different combat situations is just as entertaining as it was in Crysis 1 and 2. Yet, there's another aspect of Crysis that just keeps on changing with every game - the sandbox element.

Crysis 1 was undoubtedly the "sandboxiest" of the three. With Crysis 2, the franchise headed for a more corridor- and linear-like design of the maps, in which the freedom of how you want to tackle the field was greatly limited (yet present).
Crysis 3 tries to find a "happy medium". Sadly this only effectively works half of the time.
Crysis 3's campaign is designed as a linear experience just like Crysis 2. The sandbox elements get mixed in when looking at the different battlefields and rooms that your are lead into one-by-one. Although different playstyles and routes can be used to achieve your goal, it doesn't take long to realize that Crysis 3 basically just put one mediumsized areal after one medium sized areal to only evoke the illusion of sandbox.
Crysis 3 indeed does offer players different options on how to play, but it is not a sandbox experience.
Whether that's a bad thing or not depends on the player.


Sometimes the setting feels like Jurassic Park...with aliens.

Multiplayer

Crysis always had a hard time getting the foot into the door of the big FPS-multiplayers. One could think that the inclusion of Nanosuit abilities would enhance the fun.
Sadly it doesn't. Once again, Crysis 3's multiplayer somehow feels clunky and not fluid enough.
On top of that, the different Nanosuit abilities lead to many cheap deaths and balancing-issues. But maybe that's just me. Overall the multiplayer is solid but nothing world-changing.
Only the Predator-like Hunter Mode is a fairly fun new addition.


Graphics
 

Crysis 3 (of course) looks amazing. Still utilizing the Cry Engine 3 that we already saw in Crysis 2, it seemingly doesn't graphically differenciate that much from its predecessor.
Although Crysis 3 runs on graphics that are worthy to be called "next-gen", this only becomes apparent when playing on a high-end PC to support it.
On consoles it's a different story: Again, Crysis 3 still looks beautiful overall, but you can see that the current gaming consoles heavily limit what the game graphically is capable of
Inconsistent framerates and obvious downgrades in textures (though forgivable) once again remind us of how old our current console generation is. Regarding the graphics. The beauty of the Cry Engine 3 can be seen but only in a limited form on consoles (if you can, play on PC).
  
One more thing:  
A big sellingpoint of the Crysis franchise were also its settings. After a tropical island in Crysis 1 and a city in Crysis 2, letting Crysis 3 take place in a mixture between both of the previous settings came over to me as kind of a bummer. Instead of standing out with another new setting (like a forest?), recylcing two old ones by mixing them together definitely was a lame choice if you ask me.
That doesn't mean that battling in the Liberty Dome isn't fun, but it's just a setting that doesn't amaze anymore, no matter how high the graphics.


Sound
 

Sound design is overall very good. Especially the voice acting sells the emotions very well. The soundtrack may just not be as great as the one of Crysis 2 but is still very atmospheric and beautiful.


The graphics are beautiful. In other news: water is wet.


The Verdict

With only 3 new additions to the well-known Crysis gameplay formula and graphics, whose beauty is visibly limited on consoles, Crysis 3 should have gotten a longer development time. While it is very obvious that Crysis 3 should've better been released for the PS4 and Next Xbox to avoid its graphical handicaps on consoles, even those couldn't make up for Crytek's big lack of new ideas.
Gamers expected more of a game, in which a Nanosuit allows you to do almost anything on the battlefield. A Predator-Bow is a fun and nice addition to Prophet's arsenal, but if that's your only big selling point...then it could've just as well been a DLC for Crysis 2.
Yet credit has to be given to the solid story and necessary emotional depth put into the story of this final chapter of Prophet's journey. It shows that Crytek actually can improve this franchise.  
Yet, it takes more time to make the important bigger steps.  
All negative things aside, Crysis 3 is overall still a solid first-person-shooter experience but definitely a "next-gen game come too early".       
 


Final Verdict: 7 out of 10

Status: Only for Fans

 

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