Having really enjoyed Crysis 2 I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get my hands on 3 to see what Crytek could bring me this time around. After taking on the Cell Corporation and the Ceph in the previous title Prophet is back, complete with his DNA enhanced Nanosuit. His suit has had some cool upgrades and you’ll need these to assist you as you pursue the Alpha Ceph.
The game brings you back to New York, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. New York has been encased in a giant Nanodome created by the corrupt C.E.L.L. Corporation. New York really has become an Urban Jungle, with broken skyscrapers surrounded by a large rainforest complete with waterfalls, swamplands and huge raging rivers. I remember being amazed by the visuals in Crysis 2 and I’ve not been disappointed this time around either, in fact I’d go as far to say this is one of the best looking games I’ve played on the Xbox 360.
I enjoyed the story in Crysis 2 and it seems that Crytek have made a real effort to improve the way they tell the story in 3. Prophet is joined by a sidekick in the form of Michael ‘Psycho’ Sykes, who has been stripped of his Nanosuit and tortured by CELL. It’s a really interesting relationship as ‘Psycho’ is clearly struggling with the fact he is just a normal human again where Prophet is doing all he can to hold on to the last shreds of Humanity that he has. I’ve already mentioned how impressive the game looks but I didn’t mention that character models and the facial features on the likes of ‘psycho’ are brilliant, accompanied by the brilliant voice acting you can really get immersed into the game.
The game itself doesn’t really play any differently from the previous title, which is no bad thing but there are plenty of things that Crytek have done to help improve your experience. Your Nanosuit has been upgraded with a rather clever visor that will allow you to scan the environment, it will pick up enemies, weapons, ammo and any items that you are able to hack such as turrets, door panels and even minefields. Whilst you are scanning you can also get real-time information on things such as enemy’s amour and what their state of mind is. Hacking requires you to take part in a mini-game that will test your timing skills, it’s a bit mundane but when you hack a minefield as a group of enemies are headed towards you the reward is totally worth it.
There some cool weapons in the game for you to utilise including sniper rifles, shotguns and assault rifles but there is one weapon that I couldn’t stop using, the Predator Bow. Hit your target once and they are out of the game, the best thing about it is that you can use the bow with the cloak engaged. Arrows are limited, though you are able to collect them from your deceased foes. As with most of the weapons in the game you can get specialised ammo for the Bow, with electrified darts, thermite-tipped rounds and explosive arrows giving you options to attack your enemies in a number of ways. I found myself doing all I could to use this weapon as often as possible since it could easily defeat most adversaries. Of course when the chips are down you can always armour up and melee the life out of the your attacker!
Thanks to an improved control system you adjust your weapons on the fly, add sights, change ammo and even adjust the upgrades on your Nanosuit without ever having to pause the game. Double tapping Y swaps you over to grenades – everything about the UI is easy and quick to use.
At times during the campaign I did feel like I was just going through the motions. Each area you encounter will have a certain number of enemies for you to take out, and occasionally things were made more difficult by having to avoid searchlights or huge towers with guns that will obliterate you. There are primary and secondary objectives for you to take on but I struggled to really enjoy any of them, which is a shame because of how good the story and characters are. There were moments in the game that made think ‘That’s awesome’ but these moments were few and far between. There are also vehicular sections which left a lot to be desired, the view from your vehicle wasn’t good, they controlled badly and it was just a bit disappointing.
Of course Crysis 3 isn’t complete without multiplayer, I’ll be the first to admit that I started off really enjoying multiplayer but quickly fell out of love with it so the prospect of playing again in 3 didn’t fill me with excitement. Thankfully I’m having a much better experience this time round. It’s hard to get the balance right for games like Crysis 3, especially when you have the likes of COD and Halo dominating, but Crytek seemed to have nailed it.
On a basic level Crysis 3 MP is no different to any other you may have played but on closer inspection, and most importantly if you want to have any chance of doing well in the game you will need to change your attitude. You’ve got to manage your enemy levels and your suits abilities as well as the different modules that you can upgrade as you progress through the multiplayer. There is a lot more strategy than just running and gunning, but it’s great fun.
All the usual modes are there, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and headquarters as well as a new mode called Cell vs. Rebel, which removes the Nanosuit so those who are struggling to play with the suit can still enjoy multiplayer. The maps all look amazing, though if you are taking a stealthy approach they all seem to take forever to get traverse!
The multiplayer is well worth some of your gaming time, it’s tough to get used to but with time you can become a really good player and you will have a lot of fun.
Crysis 3 is a great game, it looks good and the combat is fun even if some of the missions are a bit boring. What kept bringing me back was the story and wanting to see how the relationship developed between all the characters. Despite my desire to see how the story ends it seems that Crytek would like to keep me in suspense for a good while longer. After defeating what I think is the final enemy the game crashes resulting in me having to hard reset the Xbox, a patch has been released to ‘fix’ the problem but this has made no difference to me and on further research many other users are also suffering too. It sours what has been a really good experience and hopefully I’ll see the end at some point.
I took a long time thinking about how to score this, it started at 80%, bugs can patched but hen you need to fix such an important bug so soon after release it can’t be ignored and for that I decided to reduce my score to 70%.