Crysis 3 Review

Crysis 3 screenshot
Crysis 3 screenshot

In Crysis 3's multiplayer mode, you can kill opponents by throwing poles at them. In fact, for all your high-end weaponry, you're positively encouraged to go a little more low-tech: rip a street sign out of the ground, hit your target, and the pole kills foes with one hit. Enabling armour mode and launching a piece of rusted metal across the map, watching it arc into an enemy's face – shortly followed by their confused 'whaaaaa?' – is probably the best thing about Crysis 3.

Which may seem strange, given that it's The Best Looking Game Ever (TM). Offensive, even, to look at all of Crytek's hard work and say that dicking around with a clumsy melee weapon is better than everything else on offer.

In fact, it's the aforementioned pole launching – and multiplayer in general – that hints as to just where Crysis needs to go in the future to fulfil its potential. Whereas the campaign is the usual wit-and-humourless jaunt through nonsensical plotting, dumb enemies, and prescribed action, in multiplayer you'll finally feel like you're testing your powers – and wits – against worthy opponents, in an environment that caters to experimentation and, well, fun.

Hunter mode is the best example. It sees two players as perma-cloaked, bow-wielding nanosuits tracking palpably human – yet still cunning – prey. All the CELL troops have to do is hold out for a minute and a half until the round ends.

It's easier said than done, given the nano's tech, and it's suitably tense as you run – or in our case hide in a bush – hoping they don't spot you. Get killed, and you change teams. It's what Crysis should be like all the time: players actually using the environment and their abilities in tandem to hunt the most dangerous game.

Crysis 3 screenshot

That certain modes are tailored to this sort of play obviously helps, but even the more mundane stuff like capture the flag benefits from giving gamers a playground to use their abilities in. Sneaking into an enemy base while cloaked is tense in a way that the campaign never is, and seeing a horde of nanosuited raiders inhumanly leaping your defences is more than enough to get the blood pumping. The rest of the MP package is fleshed out with the usual CoD XP/upgrade gubbins, and although not nearly as strong as its competition – killing an enemy usually takes more bullets than fired at Normandy, the maps are rather forgettable – it's a far more enjoyable experience than single-player.

The campaign's main problem is that Crysis 3 is long on show, short on go. There's no denying Crytek's gift for visuals: this is, from a purely technical standpoint, one of the most impressive games I've ever played. And that was just on 360: played on our monster in-house PC, it was the next-gen only now.

As ever with Crytek though, the actual game just seems to be a glorified tech demo for the developer to show off how good it is at making things look really very nice, yessir. In a way it's reminiscent of professional football freestylers, like Mr Woo. Ever wonder why, with all their amazing skill, they're not dominating the actual sport? Because their aim isn't nailing the core elements of the game. It's all about, essentially, showing off. It feels the same with Crytek.

It's not even that Crysis 3's campaign is a necessarily a bad game. It's just relentlessly dull. Crytek has learned some lessons since the last instalment, and part three thankfully corrects some of the (many) mistakes of its predecessor. Fighting through a fairly open (if connected by linear sections), foliage-and-mercenary covered New York has a nice guerilla warfare aspect to it, as opposed to the last game's dreary Cloverfield-lite greyscale street battles. The Ceph presence has also been toned down: for the most part you'll be fighting human opponents, and although AI is still either superhuman or plain dumb, it's nowhere near as bad as before. With techbow in hand, there's fun to be had sneaking through the undergrowth, picking off CELL forces one at a time.

Other elements stand out: players can now unlock, essentially, perks, and combine them together to create a playstyle of their own. And I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of engaging the cloaking mechanism and seeing Prophet fade from view.

Crysis 3 screenshot

The problem is that you'll never really need to use more than a few of these abilities to beat the game. Crysis 3 isn't large enough for it to be considered a true open world, and as such enable players to make the most of all of its toys. It is more open than Crysis 2, with better flanking routes and tactical oversight. Despite this, there's not a lot of need for actual strategy. The AI isn't smart enough, nor the levels large enough, for you to enjoy toying with your foes, meaning you might as well just meander on.

Why? Because Crysis 3 is intent on telling you a story, and although you're given a chance to determine your route to the next checkpoint, that is essentially all you're doing. Cloak on, sneak through to the next story element. Fine, if said story is worth investing in, or the set-pieces on offer are grand enough to warrant playing on.

They're not. Crytek simply can't form an engaging narrative. Case in point: earth is about to be annihilated, but most of the time you'll be focused on a major supporting character called Psycho, who looks and talks like Steve Ballmer trying to do his best Danny Dyer impression. To say he uses swearing as punctuation is remiss: he uses swearing as ALL grammar.

He's the sort of loveable headcase that would be killed off first in any third-rate Steven Seagal action flick, but here he and his (many) problems – he used to be a super soldier now he's not, he's got a thing for another character but it's complicated – are front and centre. You'll also be spending a lot of your time with him as your guide in Follow The Man mode. The world's ending, you've got your own problems – the suit is taking you over, making you more machine than man, presumably qualifying you for the same golf club as Darth Vader - but you're babysitting.

By the end of the game I was bored silly, and considering the scope of what was going on that shouldn't have been the case. Sadly, bar a few exceptions – a Jurassic Park-style hunting section in long grass, an open-ended assault on Ceph AA emplacements – I'd rinsed and repeated the same thing so much that I couldn't care less. Which, given that I was the world's most powerful being, says it all.

It's ironic, then, that the approach taken by the latest entry in the franchise that got Crytek noticed, Far Cry 3, would be a far better direction for future instalments of Crysis to take. Crytek made its name giving players an open sandbox to mess around in: Ubisoft has refined it, and we'd love to see the nanosuit and its abilities transposed to a true open world for players to, well, dick around in.

Reviewed on Xbox 360

Completed the campaign on normal difficulty

Multiplayer tested at EA review event.

6 / 10

  • Graphically it's a technical masterpiece
  • Some missions show its potential
  • Boring story is the focus
  • Not enough freedom

Click above for enlarged Crysis 3 Screenshots

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

mikeli0023's Avatar

mikeli0023

Damn first review ive seen give an honest score
Posted 17:49 on 08 March 2013
officialplay's Avatar

officialplay@ tvr77

Great information. Keep it up.Great work! I am quite impressed!

Interesting... I really liked Crysis and Crysis 2. The game is getting 7/10s across the board and it will be interesting to see where Crysis 3 got it wrong in some areas. I do feel as if the developers have forced out multiple games for any series.
Posted 10:02 on 05 March 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

My mate just bought it and he's enjoying it too. He's kind enough to lend it to me once he's bored, so I'll be giving it a whirl in the next month or so I reckon.

To me, Crysis 3 looks like one of those games that you'll enjoy if you don't expect a ton from. I didn't go into Crysis 2 expecting a quality story, I just wanted pretty visuals and loads of shooting and explosions. I wouldn't watch The Expendables and expect award-winning performances. I know that some say that COULD happen and Crysis 3 could balance awesome graphics with a good story if they had stronger creative, but it is what it is.
Posted 10:17 on 28 February 2013
officialplay's Avatar

officialplay@ tvr77

hi all members.. i just joined this forums....hope that i find this forum as great community...Great information. Keep it up.
Posted 10:00 on 28 February 2013
clangod's Avatar

clangod

So after a bit of campaign and a good few hours multiplayer I do like the game. Oddly enough I care more for the multiplayer than i do the campaign at the moment.

It is a lot of fun.
Posted 13:51 on 23 February 2013
GingerMessiah's Avatar

GingerMessiah

The visuals are absolutely stunning which provides the game with a unique selling point; however I am now tired of the Crysis series, to me it feels repetitive and clumsy.
If Crytek could dedicate themselves to a new/stronger lore, they could make an amazing game which would fly off the shelves and in doing so, save their beloved Crysis series.
Posted 00:29 on 23 February 2013
clangod's Avatar

clangod

Liked the first two enough to be keen for this. I have no doubt I'll still enjoy the game but I am disheartened by some of the reviews I've read.

I really enjoyed the multiplayer beta and hope to see an expansion of that across a variety of maps. Funnily enough it may just prove to be the most fun. It played really well on 360 and I managed many good kills during most games. It was spectacular on PC but I failed miserably trying to match it with keyboard/ mouse pro's. I really need to find the balance if I hope to stick with it.

I'm all for Crysis returning to its sandbox roots, but I would prefer that sandbox to be in an environment similar to the NYC setup. Or just not a tropical island. Even an alps setting would be nice.
Posted 12:07 on 20 February 2013
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker@ pblive

Heh...wouldn't get my hopes up for Tomb Raider pb.

Crysis 1 was awesome. Crysis 2 went backwards in some ways but forward in others. I probably will eventually pick up Crysis 3. All the games in the series have been more about the mechanics of the suit rather than anything else.
Posted 00:46 on 20 February 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel

Quote:
u r LOL
No he is Steve Burns, reviews and features editor at Videogamer.com.
Posted 21:03 on 19 February 2013
janos's Avatar

janos

Not enough freedom!!!!xD u r LOL what freedom man if you are under the Liberty DOM what kind of freedom do you want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL ***** review anyway!!!
Posted 20:47 on 19 February 2013
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Interesting... I really liked Crysis and Crysis 2. The game is getting 7/10s across the board and it will be interesting to see where Crysis 3 got it wrong in some areas. I do feel as if the developers have forced out multiple games for any series.

Look at Killzone. Killzone 2 launched in 2009 or 2010? Killzone 3 releases in 2011? You would think games that are a trilogy for example would span onto a new console. I use Halo and that already sold me for the Xbox 360. Yeah the Playstation 4 will have Uncharted and no doubt The Last Of Us 2 - You can tell that is going to be more than one game ;)

Again, I won't throw up the "don't judge a book by its cover", as it has been discussed many times before on the site. I generally feel Crysis 3 will be a good game, as I know personally what I will be getting out of it. Crysis 3 is a game I will be getting next week instead of launch day, though Metal Gear Rising is something that I may need to get rather sooner than later.
Posted 18:24 on 19 February 2013
Mintyrebel's Avatar

Mintyrebel

Dear Developers,
Please release a good game this year.
Yours Sincerely,
Minty.
Posted 17:45 on 19 February 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

hmm. Maybe another one to give a miss at launch. I really hope Tomb Raider, the next game on my list to get, turns out to be better.
Posted 17:32 on 19 February 2013
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

Well I didn't like the other two anyway and this was always gonna be a rental for me.

@EverTheOptimist
Never trust IGN they are useless.
Posted 17:06 on 19 February 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

There's quite a few different opinions actually:

http://www.computerandvideogames.com...e-is-titanic/#
Posted 16:39 on 19 February 2013

Game Stats

Crysis 3
6
Out of 10
Crysis 3
  • Graphically it's a technical masterpiece
  • Some missions show its potential
  • Boring story is the focus
  • Not enough freedom
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 22/02/2013
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Crytek
Publisher: EA
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 645
View Full Site