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Crysis 3

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By Bobfish09-04-2013
Leigh Cobb (editor)
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Crysis 3

The Defence

Developer:
Crytek
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Genre:
Shooter, Action
Release Date:
US 19-02-2013
EU 22-02-2013

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core i7-2600K
AMD Bulldozer FX 4150
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680
AMD Radeon HD 7970
RAM:
8 GB
HDD:
15 GB
DirectX:
11

The Case

 

Marking the conclusion of this epic, four part trilogy (figure that one out!), Crysis 3 promised to take everything, including the explosive abuse of our gaming rigs, and crank it up to 11! After the immense pressure the first game put on us, with some people still struggling to hit that mythical 60fps standard, not to mention the incredibly trimmed down debacle that was Crysis 2, a lot was riding on this. A lot of pressure and a lot of expectation. So, does it live up to? Or is this final part a ‘MAXIMUM DISAPPOINTMENT’?

The Trial

 

Weirdly, it's kind of both. Let me preface by saying yes, the game does look absolutely gorgeous. Both art direction and graphical fidelity are superb. I cannot stress that fact enough, it's a visual masterpiece, there are no two ways about that. But the killer app? The new performance benchmark? That's much more arbitrary.

As far as the way it looks, yes. No doubt about it, Crysis 3 is the one to beat. But performance wise...it ran extremely well. Despite some screen tearing from having the object detail on Very High which only seemed to affect Psycho for some reason, I was hitting a good 30+ the entire time. Other than that, even on Very High, I had no problems. Which is good, don't get me wrong, it means the game will be much more accessible. But dude! This is Crysis! If my rig isn't exploding with such force that it tears open a rift in the time/space continuum, you're doing it wrong!

Jump, Magic JUMP.

Jump, Magic JUMP.

The sound design is equally impressive though this is where my first, but sadly not last, genuine complaint comes in. The fifth mission, Red Star Rising, has a persistent, extremely severe crash issue. After starting the mission, you have to finish the entire thing in one run, or the game will crash at reload. For the first half of the mission (there's a cinematic in the middle) this extends to even dying mid-mission. Though, for me at least, the second part would still load checkpoints as long as I didn't leave the game and try to load from the menu screen. The only reported solution so far, aside from starting the entire level over again, is disabling your sound card. Several people reported this as fixing the crash issue, though it, of course, means you won't be able to hear anything. But there you go. With incidental sound effects, weapon fire, rain, footsteps and such all creating a deep sense of immersion.

Voice acting is superb. Even old Psych's, now in his fifties...ish and voiced by someone new. It took a little getting used to, but the new guy does an admirable job, as do they all. Prophet...'nuff said. Well acted, generally well written although there's an end of World War 2, holocaust/genocide motif that runs through the game which is a little on the heavy handed side at times. Which is a shame, because the story they were trying to tell around it is a good one. The narrative focuses, mostly, on Prophet regaining his ‘lost’ Humanity and coming to terms with what he now is. Without giving too much away about the previous game, let’s just say he’s gone through a metamorphosis already. Which the new game plays up a lot as he battles against Cell, the ceph, the Alpha ceph trying to take control of his mind and prophetic (see what they did there?) visions of the world coming to a complete end. It’s heavy stuff, which is told awkwardly, though offering some incredible characterisation and development for both Prophet and, especially, Psycho.

There was an issue about half way through the game too. All assault rifle type weapons would register as being empty, even though the HUD showed a full clip and large amount of spare ammunition in my inventory. It was more of an irritation than anything, which could be circumvented in part by simply picking up a new rifle (would give me only one clip though) or, as I later found, restarting a chapter. After the initial time, I did not encounter the same bug again, even on subsequent playthroughs.

Whatchoo' talkin' bout Willis?

Whatchoo' talkin' bout Willis?

Level design on the other hand, that's a bit hit and miss. While the world, for the most part, is fairly open and large, it's still lacking in comparison to the first game. Despite constant assurances this would be a heavily PC focused game, it's clear there have still been efforts made to accommodate the console market. Not in and of itself a bad thing, but it makes the supposed openness of some sections, which can be quite large, feel all the more restrictive when you look back at how tiny they really are in comparison to Lingshan. A feeling not helped at all by the linear nature of the game. There are some side objectives along the way, but not a great many of them, and little incentive to seek them out unless you're going for that completionist streak. There are also some closed environments like sewers and such, but I'll give them a free pass because they're designed that way.

All in all, the game is far from terrible. It's a good, reasonably solid and generally enjoyable experience. But that's all it is. It's good. It's not great, it's not mind blowing, it's just better than average. I expected more. I demanded more. And, damnit, it not only could have, but it should have been better. Much better. It plays well, offering you the option of suit shortcuts and the old fashioned wheel of the first game. But suit powers have been trimmed down yet again. Crysis 2 removed MAXIMUM STRENGTH, Crysis 3 removed MAXIMUM SPEED. Giving us, instead, a regular sprint option which is supposed to be limited, but only ever seemed to run out (pun intended) when I took my finger off the move button.

It's short too. Clocking in at around the eight hour mark on Supersoldier (one down from the highest difficulty) with a large chunk of that time being me randomly exploring and taking my time just because I could. I'm sure it would have taken me an hour or two more on Post Human, but there you have it. I shouldn't need to up the difficulty to up the playtime. Honestly, I expect the whole thing could be finished in around four hours if you know what you're doing. It's not particularly difficult, with most of my in game deaths coming down to nothing more than my own stupidity.

POW! Right in the kisser!

POW! Right in the kisser!

The actual experience of playing is decent enough. The controls...well, it’s a first person shooter with (almost) complete customisation options. All except the boost for vehicles (permanently bound to left shift for some reason) can be changed to fit your personal preference. There’s even the old suit menu wheel making a return from the first game, for those who prefer it to the press x for y power approach. AI has seen a notable improvement since the second game, though it lacks some of the more bizarre fluidity of the first.

The online on the other hand, now that's a different story. I'm not much of a one for multiplayer. I prefer a single player experience, with the majority of my online gaming being MMOs or, more commonly, online co-op. But Crysis 3 had me hooked right from the beginning. It took everything that worked with Crysis 2 (another online component that ate up a great deal of my time) and made it better. New game modes, some of which have you without a nanosuit (Spears being my personal favourite) and others which have you switching from a regular pleb, to an invisible Hunter. It's clear this is where the main focus of the development has gone. And as good as it is, that's a real shame. Crysis has always had an online component of course, but it used to have a strong single player too. It's not even a single player game that's been taken over by an online focus. It's an online game with a tacked on single player.

The Verdict

 

Long story short, I still recommend picking it up. It's a good game, it really is a good game. I enjoyed playing it, will go back and play it again, both for the satisfaction of finishing all the difficulty settings, maxing out my nanosuit and finding all the collectibles. I'm sure I'll sink many hours into the online as well. But that's it. It's a good game. Nothing truly outstanding about it.

Case Review

  • Great voice acting: Everyone, absolutely everyone, gives a stellar performance
  • Visuals: Of course, it's Crysis, and it's gorgeous
  • Online: It's very, very good, but not everyone plays a game for the online
  • Plot: Good concepts, but told in a sloppy, inelegant fashion that hampers much of the execution
  • Bugs: The crash issues, recognised at least month ago and still not patched at time of writing, are a major problem
  • Environments: Whilst larger than Crysis 2, even the largest is still pretty small
  • Length: Pretty much the average length for a game these days unfortunately
3
Score: 3/5
A decent game, but it deserved to be so much better.
Comments (6)
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Posts: 2665

It looks a lot like they're in the process of doing just that

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Posts: 27

Good work with the review, I think it's a decent game but... it's not Crysis too bad they can't seem to improve on a 6 years old title, I wish EA would just die.

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Posts: 568

Somehow I am not surprised... Another EA cashcow, let the milking begin!

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Posts: 2665

Pretty much :/

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Posts: 1201

Harsh and fair. Crytek aren't nearly pushing their potential with these games.

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Posts: 2665

Flameshield activated