In the original Crysis, Prophet and his team outfitted with nanosuits, foughtt against the Ceph in the open tropical jungle on Lingshan islands with the fight continuing in the urban jungle of New York City for the second title of the series. Crysis 3 returns players to New York City, only this time it may not be as recognizable as it was before, providing both controlled and open environments. The CELL Corporation has enclosed the entirety of the city within a Nanodome to contain and eradicate the Ceph, transforming the once bustling urban environment to a overgrown lush rubble filled jungle. With ambitions of global control, the corporation has plans to utilize the established Nanodomes around the world to use alien technology for their own malignant purpose.
After saving New York City in Crysis 2 from the Ceph, Prophet held in captivity, has seen visions of the end of the world at the hands or tentacles of the Reaper-looking Alpha Ceph, who happens to be lying dormant beneath the city. Psycho, the protagonist fromCrysis Warhead – sans-nanosuit – breaks Prophet out with the promise to take CELL down, although Prophet only has one thing on his mind; preventing the Alpha Ceph from annihilating all life on Earth.
Through the five-hour campaign, Prophet will briefly interact with various members of the resistance group fighting against CELL’s global military force, as well as Psycho who accompanies you throughout most of the game. You won’t always be together, as he often takes a different “safer” route now that he has been skinned from his nanosuit. The generic dialogue isn’t anything special and besides Psycho, the remaining supporting cast are quite forgettable and unnecessary additions. The plot isn’t the strongest, but the gameplay itself makes up for any narrative shortcomings.
Crysis 3allows gamers to play the game as they desire. Much like the previous games, the nanosuit provides unmatched potential, allowing you to stealthy sneak past or kill enemies, as well as providing advantages if you happen to go the brute force Rambo route. Utilizing the visor, Prophet can tag ammo caches and other places of interest, as well as enemies to track their movements and listen in to conversations. When used in conjunction with the cloaking ability of the nanosuit, you transform into the perfect and silent killing machine. As someone that ignores stealth elements in the majority of games, I’ve found myself thoroughly enjoying activating cloak and hunting enemies with the all-new Predator Bow, which I will discuss in depth later on in the review.
Exploring the environment, instead of running straight to the objective marker will yield hidden rewards, allowing the nanosuit to be upgraded depending on your playstyle, such as increasing the amount of damage Prophet can take, or decreasing the energy cost for having cloak enabled (Try reading that without the nanosuit voice). Crysis 3 provides multiple enhancement loadouts allowing for quick changes depending on the situation, but I found myself sticking with a single loadout throughout my entire playthough.
The biggest addition to Prophet’s arsenal, the Predator Bow first appears out of place with the rest of his arsenal, but unlike his other weapons, the bow allows Prophet to remain cloaked even when fired. Different arrow-types allow for versatility in any encounter. The standard carbon-Impact arrows can be collected off dead bodies, while the Electro/Shock arrow type stuns enemies and shock anything within the impact proximity if fired into a body of water. The Airbust Fragmentation arrows explode in mid-air causing splash damage and are perfect when dealing with an enemy out of line-of-sight. The final arrow type, Super-thermite, sticks to any surface and explodes after a short delay. There’s something deeply satisfying shooting enemies with the bow and watching them panic, not knowing where you are located.
Trying to get the edge on Prophet, CELL operatives use various drones throughout the now domed city of New York. The nanosuit can hack into just about any CELL system including doors, containers, turrets and even minefields. Hacking into turrets not only provides a distraction, but is also fun to watch as enemies frantically try and hide from the turret now firing on them. It’s a bit sadistic to smile at the situation when you think about it, but ever so enjoyable. The hacking minigame does provide a challenge in the latter half of the game, but the repetitive nature quickly loses it’s appeal early on.
Complementing the single-player campaign, Crysis 3 offers a wide variety of different online multiplayer modes. Its a refreshing take on the Crysis gameplay formula having to take into account not only other player’s weaponry, but nanosuit powers as well that are equal to your own. Steel posts allow players to knock players out cold, cars and other obstacles can be kicked across maps, pieces of metal can be used for shields and every player can be cloaked, providing a truly terrifying atmosphere never knowing what direction the attack will originate from. Cloaked players aren’t quite invisible, but the fast-paced nature of online multiplayer helps to hide their barely visible outline.
Before being released EA touted, the new Hunter mode, bringing some of the single-player feel of hunting CELL soldiers to the multiplayer component of the game. At the start of a match, two players are armed with Predator bows and limitless amount of cloaking ability, as they hunt members of the opposing team – switching them to the hunters team when they are killed. The CELL soldiers on the other team are armed with a variety of different assault rifles and shotguns, and are tasked with surviving for a set amount of time, while defending themselves against the hunters – who are able to respawn.
The PC version of Crysis 3 provides stunning visuals in both the single-player and the multiplayer portions of the game, which may be the most impressive looking title to date. Inside the Liberty Dome, Crysis 3 features a wide array of different colorful environments, breathtaking water effects and lush life-like flora, helping to produce an outstanding atmosphere. As seen in Jurassic Park, staying in the tall grass is a death trap, as Ceph Stalkers hunt anyone that encroaches on their territory. I found myself perched on top of a toppled train car shooting into empty grass not knowing if the grass was swaying due to the wind or something else.
Crysis 3 is not without it’s faults. The AI is able to spot you from inconceivable distances the second you deactivate your stealth camouflage and the campaign is on the shorter side, but the satisfying gameplay more than makes up for these minor annoyances. The addicting nature of the competitive multiplayer and the unbelievable photorealistic environments, boosts Crysis 3 as a top contender for one of the best shooters of the year.Note: Crysis 3 was reviewed on PC. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.