Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Cryss
Crysis 3 Review – The closest you’ll get to a Mass Effect FPS
Summary: When noone heeds your words of warning and a threat unfolds before you. How far will you go, how much will you sacrifice and in the end, will you remain human?
What will you sacrifice?
There’s something special about Crysis 3, perhaps it’s the overpowered protagonist, the plot ripped from Mass Effect or the “Chernobyl” inducing incidents the game causes PC users. Ironically no, what makes Crysis special is the ongoing battle for your humanity, when you’ve given up on everything that made you human.
I wasn’t joking when I said that the plot could have been ripped from Mass Effect, our hero awakens after being indisposed for a number of years to discover that no one heeds his visions of a dark futuren sound familiar? It’s a decent sci-fi plot that rapidly establishes a sense of pace and urgency. The faceless Cell Corporation are using Ceph (alien) technology to maintain a power monopoly on the planet, it’s also more than a little predictable…
…What makes the story stand out are the conflicts between characters. After Prophet is rescued by Michael “Psycho” Sykes, the two forming a working relationship; one is clinging to the last remnants of his humanity, the other forced to embrace his mortality. Throughout the campaign they judge each other, pining for what the other has, delivered through powerful voice acting, well scripted dialogue and strong facial animations, leaving a lasting impact uncommon for the genre.
Prophet’s nanosuit presents a staggering level of customization, defining your style of play. Do you prefer to go in guns blazing or opt for tactics and stealth. You can switch between these a instantaneously and the enemy AI reacts to this, taunting you to come out of hiding or investigating your last known location. Granted there’s significantly less response to locking your armor, casually walkinf into a room and mowing down the inhabitants in a hail of bullets, but that’s to be expected.
Your choices are exacerbated by countless weapons, each with their own customization options. The most iconic of which is the Bow, allowing you to ‘hunt’ enemies whilst stealthed and collect the arrows from the bodies of your victims. It’s a system I resorted to during the more ammo-heavy sessions, the tension mounting as the number of arrows in my quiver fell.
Knowledge is power and the upgraded visor presents a massive battlefield advantage, pinpointing enemy locations, turret emplacements or mine fields. Hacking these can turn a fight in your favour, allowing you to lead an unwitting enemy to their demise, maybe even presenting the opportunity to collect a powerful weapon that would otherwise self-destruct.
Whilst you’ll spend most of your time trekking from points A to B, there are numerous secondary objectives to be found within these open arenas. Completing these objectives offers rewards, but lacks any noteworthy impact, one mission had me trek across the map in order to rescue a mortar crew. Upon dispatching the two enemies pinning them down, they volunteered their services, aiding in the destruction of any Ceph walkers I might encounter. It was a noble offer, but in order to reach the mortar crew I had already destroyed every walker on the map.
It’s difficult to ascertain exactly what he is, but Prophet is far from immortal. His superhuman abilities draining energy, stressing the importance of keeping vigil over the power meter, losing power at a crucial moment will showcase just how vulnerable he is. Throughout the course of the game you’ll find nanosuit upgrade kits. These present a fairly shallow development path, but at least have a decent range to suit your style og play.
The CryEngine is known for its outstanding graphical capabilities and Crysis 3 certainly doesn’t disappoint. The dilapidated city of New York has been reclaimed by nature, blending the decayed urban sprawl with lush vegetation. The intricacy and detail is top notch, leaving me awestruck at how the light bounced across the environment, the grasses danced in the wind and the loss of a glimmer in the enemy’s eyes as they dangled, straggling for breath in front of me. All right, I’m over exaggerating just a little on the last one, but the folks over at CryTek have outdone themselves, crafting a game that even had the audacity to call my PC a “standard machine.”
There’s a decent multiplayer offering to be found for those that polish off Prophet’s story. It’s standard fare with a perks/loud out system that screams Call of Duty clone. There’s a decent variety of game modes that cater to a wide audience, but the true test for any multiplayer affair is time and despite being genuine fun, I do wonder how long the servers will remain active for.
There’s something special about Crysis 3, excelling as a shooter and honing the tight controls the series has been known for. Regaling us with a story of loss and sacrifice, a tale about a man willing to put everything on the line. The outstanding visuals coupled with the minimalistic soundtrack craft a desolate world, but one worth saving. Crysis 3 has set the bar for what this generation could do, challenging the PlayStation 4 and Nextbox to match it.