'Crysis 3' from EA.
'Crysis 3' from EA.
Developer Crytek's Crysis games have never been that heavy into plot progression and overall storyline. Sure there has to be some sense of a story to draw the player in and keep things moving, but it's always taken a back seat to gameplay and presentation. Crysis 3, the latest game in the EA-published series, continues this trend and delivers a very fun play experience.
Crysis 3 picks up two decades after the events of the previous title. The player once again takes on the role of Prophet and finds himself just outside of the Liberty Dome -- a giant biodome-like superstructure built by mega-corporation CELL that surrounds a decimated New York City designed to both keep the general public out and to keep the threats of the urban rain forest within from escaping. In short, Prophet's goal (with a little help from his associate, Psycho) is to infiltrate the dome (something that happens literally at the beginning of the game) and expose CELL's true intentions -- dealing with threats from both CELL operatives and alien Ceph alike along the way.
It's a good thing that Prophet comes equipped not only with the series' iconic Nanosuit, but also a compound bow. You read that right. In this futuristic, high-tech shooter, Prophet gets to play the Indian side of 'Cowboys and Indians' (spoiler: he wins).
Crysis 3 encourages players to take a slightly different approach to the first-person shooter than most other similar titles do. Rather than encouraging run-and-gun, my-gun-is-bigger-than-your-gun tactics, Crysis 3 gives players the tools necessary to be a silent killer a-la 'Predator'. Prophet's nanosuit, in addition to enhancing strength and agility, allows the player to cloak himself. The silent nature of his Predator Bow and assortment of arrows allow him to attack without jeopardizing his psudo-invisibility, allowing Prophet to be quite the adept hunter indeed. Sure, there are other weapons at Prophet's disposal as well such as various firearms and Ceph armaments, but the bow steals the show hands-down.
To compliment Crysis 3's well-designed gameplay, Crytek has delivered some of the best-looking, highest-quality FPS visuals seen on the current generation of consoles. The lush landscapes in this reclaimed-by-nature Manhattan are simply stunning. Seemingly every little detail from the forms of foliage to details in a character's face look just short of amazing. There is little doubt that Crytek squeezed just about all they could out of the PlayStation 3's GPU for this title.
Granted that not everything about this game is all "peaches and cream", as there is one glaring issue with it: it's just too darn short. The single-player campaign lasts only six or seven hours before it's over. There is so much about the Liberty Dome that the player will want to explore and experience, that it's a little depressing that doing so is all but impossible. While Crysis 3 isn't an open-world game in the vein of the recent Fallout or Borderlands games, an extra hour or two of single-player content would have been most appreicated.
Aside from the fun-yet-brief single-player campaign, Crysis 3 also features some rather good multiplayer options. Fast-paced and exciting, Crysis 3's multiplayer shoot-outs are played on well-designed maps (unlike the smaller-than-comfortable ones found in Crysis 2). Deathmatch is far-and-wide the most popular of the game's various multiplayer options. It's so popular, in fact, that players wanting to have a go at anything else might not have much luck. Like the single-player game, not all was perfect with multiplayer as lag can be intermittently experienced, though there is a chance that the lag issues were on the client side rather than an error of the host.
When it comes right down to it, Crytek's Crysis 3 is an overly excellent FPS title. It's a great follow-up to Crysis 2 and ties into the original Crysis game from 2007 rather well. Players should quickly fall in love with the game's stealthy action and will find true gamer romance with just how beautifully everything is presented. While Crysis 3 isn't a swan song by any means for the PlayStation 3, it begs expectations for what gamers can expect from Crytek on the upcoming PlayStation 4. But, until a PS4 game from Crytek becomes a reality, Crysis 3 should do just fine.
Version tested: PS3 (also available on Xbox 360 and PC)
(Electronic Arts supplied a copy of this game for review.)