Review: Crysis 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PC)
Crysis is a first-person shooter game with futuristic touches that puts you in the boots of a technologically enhanced soldier.
Your enemies are both human troopers – called the ‘CELL’ – and aliens, which are called the ‘Ceph’. Obviously, you’re going to be fighting these, but then there are the game’s main characters: Psycho (your buddy) and Prophet (you).
Psycho, of course, is an affable ‘Sarf Londoner’, as is de rigeur for military-style shooters these days, but the usual macho nonsense is nicely offset with realistic character behaviour and top-notch voice acting.
Meanwhile, you – Prophet – are wrapped in a high-tech ‘Nanosuit’ that enhances natural abilities like jumping, and augments your combat skills with gadgets, chief of which are an invisibility ‘cloaking’ ability, enhanced armor and vision.
But don’t be fooled by the Nanosuit into thinking that it turns you into a totally invincible, run-and-gun killing machine, because even with armour activated, a reasonably capable weapons platform like a helicopter gunship will turn you into slush in seconds, and even with the invisibility cloak activated, well, you’re not completely invisible and can, and will, be frequently spotted and dealt with.
In order to keep the playing field manageable, the developers use the conceit of New York being conveniently encased in a ‘Nanodome’, allowing them to have fun with creating a tropical rainforest, swamps and rivers, but still keep it all running smoothly.
Amongst your weaponry is the Predator Bow, a compound hunting bow that has the very pleasing ability to use different types of arrows, each with a specific function, so you can think and play more tactically.
For the Predator bow alone, there are silent carbon tips for long-range accuracy, high-explosive for armor, electric to stun, and airburst to frag fast-moving soldiers. Unlike other games of this type, you can alter your weapon’s accessories on the fly, without having to wade through menus and sub menus in the midst of the action.
Your improved vision allows you to ‘tag’ enemies, which turns out to be an essential aid if you want to play the game stealthily, and you can also hack turrets and turn them against the CELL troopers, effected via a mercifully simple hacking mechanic.
Both these additions enrich single the player experience, but you soon get into a bit of a routine in Crysis 3, which goes like this: enter area, laboriously ‘tag’ the enemies one by one, take them out, move on.
Crysis 3 multiplayer includes the ‘2 Vs 10′ Hunter Mode, pitching two cloaked hunters against 10 CELL’ soldiers, reminiscent of, but sadly not equaling the still peerless ‘Mercs VS Spies’ multiplayer mode from Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
Unfortunately, Crysis 3 has none of the balance of its aged competitor, and games quickly devolve into a desperate bid to stay alive on the part of the CELL Troopers as the unfairly invisible hunters track you down and kill you with a single shot. Players are already abandoning this mode, making it hard to even muster sufficient players for a single match.
Other modes are your standard MP fare of deathmatches and ‘capture and hold’ play styles.
As usual and disappointingly, Team Deathmatch is the most popular mode, which is always just about each player running around racking up the most kills. Unless you look really clearly, the one-dimensional deathmatching in Crysis 3 is virtually indistinguishable from its counterpart in Black Ops II, Halo 4 and almost every other FPS game on the market.
If a developer really wanted to be pioneering in the first-person shooter genre and create distinction for their game, surely the mind-numbing arena of multiplayer is a good place to start.
On the plus side, though, Crysis 3 certainly benefits from a more cohesive story this time around, with great characters and superb voice acting in the single-player game. Multiplayer, however, fails to innovate in any meaningful way.
The result is a much more gratifying experience if you play the game alone, with interesting weapons and ample opportunity to mix up your approach to combat.