Back in 2007 the gaming world went mad. There was some new game which was pushing visual and technical boundaries that were leagues ahead of any other games on the market at the time. This game was Crysis, and for its day it looked and functioned phenomenally, thanks to the proprietary engine developed by Crytek known as CryEngine.
Since then we’ve seen the release of Crysis: Warhead and Crysis 2. In a way Crysis 2 was a bit of letdown after the first installment of the series as the gameplay had become much more linear and the AI was sub-par. I personally was left wanting more after playing through the first title in the series and hoped the third could bring the series back to its former glory.
Crysis 3 is here and players take on the role of Crysis 2’s protagonist ‘Prophet’ in 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. Now, I’ll be careful and try to not give away the plot of the game but I must say I feel as if Crysis 3 sits at the same level as Crysis 2 for me. The AI in the game is just very average and neither aggressive nor intelligent. In most cases if you’re spotted by the enemy all that you need to do is activate your stealth cloak and sprint away to behind some cover. Leaving the AI behind, I think that the game itself doesn’t offer a huge challenge to players. Weapons and tactics are plentiful and if players specialize in stealth then the game becomes a walk in the park.
What IS good about the weapons and tactics is that there’s a wide range of ways of killing someone. From explosive arrows to massive *possibly-non-human* launchers and weapons, you can unleash a barrage of destruction whenever you feel like it. If you’re like me, you’ll pretty much just want two weapons. One for picking enemies off as you’re under the cover of stealth, and a second for going berserk with when you get sick of lurking in the shadows.
Okay, so far I’ve said the game itself is no big challenge and the AI is a bit lackluster, but in a way there’s something fun about the way Crysis 3 is presented. I wouldn’t say the story is particularly original, but when it’s combined with the difficulty I managed to blast through Crysis 3 in something like 6 or 7 hours. What this means is that whilst it’s nothing super original, the game is pretty fast paced and you kind of just fly through the whole game in the same way any Bruce Willis movie won’t win any film making awards – but god damn they’re just so fun to watch.
I guess what also adds to the whole fun factor is how well the environment is presented. Whilst it looked pretty good when I played it on the PS3, I’ve tested it on my PC for comparison purposes and it looks genuinely amazing. The effort put into the facial features and lip syncing is great and there’s something weird about running around in an abandoned version of New York City. The fact that the setting is at times so empty really emphasises the whole ‘You and only you can save this world’ kind of vibe.
The characteristics from the single player campaign have also been brought into the multiplayer game and as you play through you’ll be able to unlock various equipment and abilities. Whilst the features such as cloak/stealth mode are in there, you aren’t completely invisible and players can see a faint outline of others who are cloaked. In terms of connectivity, I didn’t encounter any major issues with the servers except for the fact that they lacked players. I’m not sure if it was a lack of promotion or that the FPS crowd is just made up of CoD fanboys now but whilst it wasn’t hard to be matched up with someone I just noticed that there were a few empty servers which I thought was a bit weird.
Finally, I think Crysis 3 is the kind of game that I would say is worth playing at least once. It’s a bit of rush and all in all it’s pretty fun, and let’s not forget that it looks great too. The easy AI and somewhat generic plot make it lose its replay value a little bit though, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever replay the campaign again. Crysis 3 gets a solid 3.5/5 John McClane approved Drop Bears from me.