Also On: PS3, PC
The time to suit up is upon us once again. Players can return to the fight against CELL as Prophet, the Crysis Nanosuit soldier, on his quest to rediscover his humanity and take it hardcore to his enemies as sweet revenge. As Prophet, you soon discover that New York City has been encased in a Nanodome created by CELL and has a new destination for your wasteland vacation called the Liberty Dome. This urban rainforest welcomes visitors to overgrown trees, dense swamplands, and raging rivers. Also, within it you will find seven treacherous environments known as the 7 wonders, which demands the use of advanced weapons and tactics that only the Nanosuit could best be called to duty for. Armed with your cloaking, armor, and now the addition of a Predator Bow, which you weren’t too fond of until you saw how bad ass it was, you take on your role as the deadliest hunter on the plant to unfold the mysteries ahead and defeat CELL once and for all.
The first thing you will notice in Crysis 3, especially those who have played the previous two, is the greater story telling components that go beyond a few words of dialog and cut scenes. The developers have brought to this version a greater sense of emotion that not only make you feel for the survival of humanity, but may make you think twice about your actions and who you allow to live or put out to pasture. Before, the Crysis series was set on showing just what a mean lean killing machine is made of, without burdening you with the consequences of your fallen foes or decisions you make, now gamers will not only feel pity and remorse, but may second guess themselves instead of brainlessly slaughtering everything in your path. What’s more, if you haven’t been introduced into the world of Crysis (and shame on you for that) the developers have provided you with a little video of the previous happenings of the last two titles to help you catch up. Along the way you tag along with formerly Nanosuited now a vulnerable mess of his former self, Michael “Psycho” Sykes, who is having issues dealing with that fact that his mortality is now at hand. You, however need to listen to his sulking as he is a key ingredient into getting you deep into CELL’s corporation. There are many delights, surprises, and even sullen moments that I can’t speak any further without giving away some major spoilers, so if you want to know more, I guess you will just have to pick it up yourself.
Visually the game is outstanding and really squeezes that last bit of juice out of this generation of systems by showing off amazing environments, details galore, and lighting so authentic you would be able to tell time by the sun. Whether you are going through sterile and mechanical corporate buildings or lush and lively forest areas, the attention to detail of it all is not only wonderful, but each portion of this world is absolutely huge. What’s more is the world is so wonderfully large that you will have time to really drink in the game’s beauty even between major fight scenes. The amount of detail the developers threw into this world is mind boggling at times. This is one creative design team indeed.
The weapons and crafts are also ingeniously designed and you know you are dealing with a world that is far into the future that uses tech that we can only imagine possible. From your arsenal of foe decimating weapons to the deep intelligence of the Nanosuit which allows you to cloak for stealth, track and stalk your enemies, and features heat seeking vision that allows you to see through walls and obstructions as well in pitch black conditions.
Of course it all becomes serious when you go from facing your typical soldiers, to the inhuman creations in the world that range from hunters to mass destroyers, each with unique weaknesses that will make every encounter a challenge.
Complimenting the grand visuals is the fantastic dialogue and voice acting which is the best I’ve seen in a FPS this side of the great Half Life 2 universe. Much like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, you are a machine looking for a heart, even though you previously had one, but the emotions and conflict throughout your journey are complex enough to separate Crysis 3 from just another FPS on the market.
The score is wonderfully intermixed with moments of riveting orchestrated scores that fit the mood of the dialog and scenery that surround you, to heart pounding moments of fear and attack with rhythmic upbeat tunes. Of course the game is full of bang bang action, with bang being the operative word when it comes to the game’s sound effects. The weapons are loud, the explosions are loud, everything is loud, but like a good action flick you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course the heart of any good FPS is of course the game play, and here game play is king. Of course the game controls are tight, the enemy A.I. smart as a whip, but where this game shines bright is how they fit all the intricate controls schemes onto a controller without feeling cumbersome. The fact that you have so many weapon choices and Nanosuit abilities you would think there is no way to fit all this in on a 10 button layout, but you’d be wrong. The only real kink in the armor is the vehicle controls don’t quite live up to what you would expect from a modern FPS, and they do feel clunky, but at least they are short lived.
On top of the game’s rich and lengthy single player mode is a multiplayer mode that is passable, but honestly nothing to write home about or will be a sole reason you would be picking up Crysis 3 by any measure. Even with 8 multiplayer modes of 12 levels, this portion of the game feels like you’ve seen it before, as in truth, you have. The only exception is the new Hunter Mode that has one player against a group of CELL troopers, but the unique twist is once a CELL troop is killed, he then also become a hunter until the number of CELL troops is zero.
Overall Crysis 3 is just what you would expect at the end of a generation cycle. A FPS that is deep not only in its level design and scope, but tells a deep story, with deep game play mechanics. You will not find many games that do it all in one fell swoop. For those who have not followed the series, either buy Crysis and Crysis 2 before you dive into this new adventure, or pay attention to the included video in Crysis 3 and then dive right in; Passing up on this is not an option if you really call yourself a FPS fan. Crysis 3 is about as addictive, complex and complete of a FPS a you could hope to find. I just can’t wait to see what the developers come up with in the next cycle of consoles.