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, when a threat unfolds before you. How far will you go, how much will you sacrifice and in the end, will you even be human?
How much 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. Alas no, what makes it special is the battle for one’s humanity, when you’ve given up everything that once made you human.
I wasn’t joking when I said that the plot could have been taken from Mass Effect, our hero awakens after being indisposed for a number of years, only to discover that no one will heed his visions of a dark future. It’s a decent sci-fi plot that establishes 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 incredibly predictable…
…But what makes the story so memorable is 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 has been forced to embrace his mortality. Throughout the campaign they judge one another, pining for what the other has, this is delivered through powerful voice acting, well scripted dialogue and strong facial animations that leave a stronger impact than we’ve come to expect from the genre.
There are multiple ways to mask linearity, the wide open streets and plains of New York are a great example of this. Varying enemies litter these open arenas, allowing you the choice of how to navigate the area.
The nanosuit presents a staggering level of customization, either cloaking or engaging armour defines your play style, guns blazing or tactical stealth. You can switch between these almost 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 when you lock your amour, casually walk into a room and down the inhabitants in a hail of bullets, but that’s to be expected.
This is exacerbated by nearly countless weapons, with their own customization options. The most iconic of these is the Bow, allowing you to ‘hunt’ enemies whilst stealthed and collect the arrows from what remains of your victims. It’s a system that I resorted to falling back upon during the more ammo-heavy sessions, the tension increasing as the ammo counter of my quiver fell.
Knowledge is power and the upgraded visor is a key battlefield advantage, highlighting the locations of enemies, turret emplacements or mine fields. Hacking some of these can turn a fight in your favour, allowing you to lead an unwitting enemy to their demise collecting a powerful weapon from an enemy 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 wide enclosures. Completing these offers rewards, but lacks any real impact. One secondary 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 to aid 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.
Prophet is far from immortal, with his superhuman abilities draining energy. It’s important to keep vigil over this, since losing power at a crucial moment will showcase just how vulnerable he truly is. Throughout the course of the game you’ll find nanosuit upgrade kits, which allow you to choose certain options for upgrades. It offers a relatively shallow development, but does have a diverse range of upgrades tailoring to your style of play.
The CryEngine is known for its outstanding graphical capabilities and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The dilapidated city of New York has been reclaimed by nature, blending a decaying urban sprawl with lush vegetation. The level of detail is top notch, often leaving me awestruck by how light bounced across the environment, the grass danced in the wind and the unmistakable sight of the fear in an enemy’s eye’s 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 team have done a truly remarkable effort, crafting a game that even had the audacity to call my PC a standard machine.
Whilst far from the focal point, there’s a decent multiplayer offering to be found for those that polish off Prophet’s story. It’s a pretty standard fare with a perks/loud out system that could have been ripped from any first person shooter released in the last few years. There’s a decent variety of game modes that cater to a wide audience, but the true test for any multiplayer affair is time, leaving me wondering just how long the servers will remain busy for.
There’s something special about Crysis 3, it excels as a shooter, honing the tight controls the series has been known for. It regales us with a story of loss and sacrifice, about a man willing to put everything on the line. The outstanding visuals coupled with the minimalistic soundtrack craft a desolate world, but a world worth saving. Crysis 3 has set the bar for what this generation could do, challenging the PlayStation 4 and Nextbox to match it.