One of the prettiest shooter franchises in modern memory is back for another high jumping, car kicking, cloaking good time. Crysis 3 again has players nano-suiting it up as series protagonist "Prophet" returns to New York City 23 years after the events of Crysis 2. It's the city so nice the series has visited twice. This time around the bright lights of the city that never sleeps have been dimmed by the evil CELL corporation and their "Liberty Dome" a biosphere erected to keep the alien race known as the "Ceph" from destroying the planet. Things are hardly what they seem and as Prophet you'll uncover the true motivations of the CELL corporation and unlock the true potential of the nano-suit in this whacky yet pretty sci-fi shooter.
There is one element that is and always has been the focus of the gameplay found in the Crysis series and that is the nano-suit. As the entity known as Prophet you are essentially a one-man army, the most advanced tactical warfare machine known to man. The suit enhances your abilities beyond the limits of human potential granting exceptional strength, speed, as well as stealth and armor abilities to keep you alive. It also provides some moments of sheer ridiculousness as you kick cars into enemies, turn invisible before their eyes and absorb bullet after bullet. Okay, maybe that last bit isn't that impressive since every first person shooter's protagonist has been able to withstand nonstop barrages of lead since 2001 but the nano-suit still makes you feel like a badass alien hunter. However, there is a draw back there, since you begin and end the game as a badass alien hunter in a super powered nano-suit there isn't much to be found in the way of progression or a character arc. The nano-suit does include some upgradeable features which you will unlock as you progress through the games seven hour campaign but there isn't much to be said for Prophet's character development. He started out as a badass and he pretty much stays that way for the entire game. Aside from the nano-suit there isn't much to Crysis 3 beyond what the typical AAA FPS offers, but since this is a sci-fi shooter set in the year 2047 you will find some unique weaponry which gives the game some variety. My favorite weapon has to be the newly introduced Typhoon assault rifle. According to the Seven Wonders of Crysis 3, a video series done by Crytek, the Typhoon allegedly fires 500 rounds per second. Before you try and wrap you head around that I'll say that from my experience with the game I would call the accuracy of that statement into question. It may not fire 500 rounds a second but it certainly does fire an awful lot of bullets at whatever it is you would like to kill.
I was also surprised how much I liked the bow found in Crysis 3. While playing Farcry 3 late last year I found myself hating the bow but in Crysis 3 it's one of the most effective and fun weapons to use. The futuristic and alien weaponry add variety and the nano-suit makes you feel powerful and capable but I still felt that the game was simply rushing me from on scripted event to the next. There are a few times during the campaign where the game opens up and puts you in a large map with a primary objective and a couple of secondary objectives. These wide open levels are where the game shines. The open environments are traversed with speed thanks to the nano-suit and some vehicles sprinkled throughout the map, and completing secondary objectives allows for some other options or assistance in completing the primary one. The ability to approach encounters and situations in a few different ways is what make these sections work. Unfortunately there aren’t too many of them and the ones that are in the game will make you wish this was an open-world shooter rather than a linear one.
The Hunter and the Hunted
The multiplayer found in Crysis 3 is surprisingly full featured. It's a well-rounded experience that is equivalent to multiplayer modes found in games like Black Ops 2 and Halo 4. There's a good number of maps featuring different environments and a several different game types that go beyond the typical CTF or Deathmatch variants. The sand out game type is obviously the Hunter game mode which has standard human CELL operatives on one team attempting to stay alive while being hunted by nano-suited “Hunters” on the other team. Since the hunters have the ability to cloak while the human team doesn't, it makes for a tense match as you try to stay alive knowing that at any moment you and your teammates will be picked off one by one. It's thrilling and a total blast to play. Hunter may be the break out mode but the other game types offer some fun experiences as well. I recommend trying out some of the unique modes like Crash Site, Extraction and Spears. If you’re afraid of change or new things there’s still the old tried, tested, and true Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch options. In most game types you can play as a nano-suited operative which makes the game play very similarly to Halo which is hardly a bad thing. If you're looking for a multiplayer experience that is comparable to Call of Duty's but unique enough to be a fresh experience I would recommend picking up a copy of Crysis 3
Crysis 3 is an absolutely gorgeous game, I liked the city reclaimed by nature aesthetic and I've never seen smoke and fog look this good in a videogame. On one hand the multiplayer is fun and full featured and gives the game some longevity. On the other the weapons are kind of unbalanced and I noticed some visual glitches. The single player campaign has a few good moments but overall I found it a little too short and unless you're really into the Crysis mythos you may find the story a little hard to follow and swallow. Yet Crysis 3 is technically impressive, with stellar visuals and an excellent musical score.
It's a pretty game with a bit of substance but ultimately a good multiplayer mode can only take you so far and Crysis 3's whacky heavily scripted story is hardly breaking new ground in the narrative department. It's a good game that has very little competition at the moment, so if you've got 60 bucks burning a hole in your pocket you can totally spend it on Crysis 3 and not feel cheated but if you're a frugal gamer and have little to no attachment to the Crysis series you can safely save your money for Bioshock: Infinite.