Although it was one of many games that I sampled at the Eurogamer Expo in 2012, Crysis 3 captured my attention the most with its beautiful graphics and creative game-play. Its retail release not only builds on this, it mixes it with a strong, emotional storyline as well as some top-notch multiplayer.
Whenever a Crysis game is released, the first thing that everyone says is “Look at those graphics!” This is still the case for Crysis 3. The New York City Jungle is one of the nicest looking areas to play in, with each individual blade of grass being rendered for your optical pleasure. If you couple this with some great facial capture during cut-scenes, you have a near flawless looking game on the current gen console. Crysis 3 also sounds fantastic, the sound of elastic tension when you pull a bowstring or the deafening noise of a heavy machine gun firing immerses you into the game much better than other FPS experience.
Set twenty years after the events of Crysis 2, you are once again placed into the Nanosuit of Prophet; the game’s protagonist. Whilst you were away, C.E.L.L corporation have managed to take over the world and you alone can stop them from releasing the Alpha Ceph, an alien that will destroy all of humanity. The story here is much like any other FPS shooter, but it is the emotional attachment to Prophet and his side-kick, the foul-mouthed Psycho, that makes the single-player. Crysis 3 manages to highlight the sacrifices made by these elite soldiers; it speaks broadly about what it is to be human in a unique style that in many ways is more important than the main story-arc. Psycho is the role which truly portrays humanity in Crysis 3; a man who was brutally tortured and ‘skinned’ by C.E.L.L is looking for revenge and justice. Psycho has so many flaws in his character it is just hard not to like him. Whilst the campaign itself is only around 6 hours long, it has a lot of replay value as you can experiment with different Nanosuit settings and weapons as you please.
Prophet has been upgraded to the Nanosuit 3.0 which, on top of all of his old abilities, allows him to remotely hack turrets and mines in order to change the flow of the battle and use C.E.L.L’s own technology to destroy itself. With the Nanosuit, Prophet can choose how he wants to murder an area of enemies: be it cloak and dagger or full armour and all guns blazing. Crysis 3 lets players choose how they want to tackle each and every section of the game. Each gun has attachments or alternate fire possibilities in order for you to vary your game-style from mission to mission. Every time I killed an enemy or disabled a turret, I was reminded of the superhuman strength of my character, something which should not be taken lightly. It is amazing that after this feeling, I was still brought down to earth by the humanness of Prophet’s character.
Throughout my play-through of the game I never felt bored or as if I was repeating myself as each and every map of enemies behaved differently, even if they all died the same way. In addition to this, Crytek have increased the number of checkpoints throughout missions so that death isn’t as harsh as it used to be. The developers have intended for the game to be played in any which way you please, there is no right or wrong way. There will be sections in which the best option is obviously stealth, but if you choose to go for maximum armour and a heavy machine gun no-one is stopping you.
Possibly the best addition to Crysis 3 is the Predator Bow. With a one shot killing machine at your fingertips, the Predator Bow makes the game so much more amusing to play. The bow can be used while cloaked and has the power to pin enemies to walls whilst killing them silently. When using the bow you will actually feel like an unstoppable hunter, instilling fear into the helpless human and alien soldiers. A great feature is also that you can hear the soldiers lose confidence when the rest of their squad are silently getting picked off by an invisible enemy. The Predator Bow also has three types of secondary arrow which are all equally deadly and fun to use.
Once you have completed the wonderful single-player campaign, it is time to move onto the multiplayer section of Crysis 3. While there have been no huge innovations in the multiplayer, Crytek UK have done a great job of making it fun and varied for players. Once again you can choose classes and upgrade them as you level up, but the best part of the online is the versatility and fluidity of the multiplayer games. You can snap instantly from cloak to armour in order to vary you style and kill enemies in the most effective way in that particular game. What is also impressive, is the verticality of the maps. You will always find a high spot in which you can calmly take out any enemies down below, which is always satisfying.
There is the usual spattering of game modes from Team Deathmatch to Free-For-All, but what stands out the most is the new Predator mode. In this, two players are Nanosuit wearing Hunters who are equipped only with Predator Bows, whilst the rest of the team are normal C.E.L.L operatives who must work together to fend off the terrifying, silent hunters. This game mode is so tense and enjoyable that you will want to come back again and again to play it. There is nothing better than lining up a C.E.L.L soldier in your cross-hair and loosing an arrow into his back before he can even find out your position.
Crysis 3 is a work of art. It seamlessly weaves together an emotionally charged story and an intense action/stealth FPS into a near flawless game. It yet again improves on its predecessor, with a better story and vastly improved graphics. While the multiplayer portion of the game isn’t ground-breaking it is good fun to play and is very accessible for players of all levels. Crysis 3 rounds off the story arc of the previous two games very nicely and at the end there is a real sense of accomplishment alongside the big smile that will doubtless be on your face.