dasdude's Crysis 3 (PC) review

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A decent installment in a franchise that needs some time off.

I was a big fan of the original Crysis because of how it blended gave a sandbox element to the familiar FPS genre. It was janky at times, but the story was fun, the graphics were incredible, and it played rather well. I also enjoyed Crysis 2, though slightly less than the original. The narrative was tough to follow at times and I just found myself having less fun despite the streamlined gameplay design.

And now we have Crysis 3. True to it's predecessors, the visuals are a sight to behold. Having gotten this game for free with a new graphics card, I could fully appreciate this aspect of the game, and boy have Crytek knocked it out of the park. The only gripe I have in terms of visuals is that it is very, very clear where the level boundaries are. What I mean by this is that if you jumped high enough at the right spots, you could see huge empty plains of flat ground, void of grass, rocks, and anything other than a simple ground texture. Broke the immersion a little, but that is the least of this game's problems.

The gameplay is very much like Crysis 2, where you can tag enemies, sneak around cloaked, or just bust through in armor mode, guns blazing. What follows is a list of things that I liked and disliked when it came time to shoot fools in this game.

+ Stealth is very viable with the bow. Sneaking around and picking off guys while they begin to freak out Arkham Asylum style is just as fun as it sounds... for the first few times.

+Using your binoculars is streamlined to the point where after your first few encounters, you can easily become aware of everything going on in every battle by just spending a few seconds tagging and hacking.

-The vast majority of battles fall into two categories: dudes or aliens (and even those encounters aren't all that different). Most encounters start the same way: Prophet walks forward, someone says something to him over his radio, and you pull up your binoculars to see about a dozen enemies just walking around, ready to be killed. The level design is cool at first, but it begins to feel repetitive as the game progresses. To put it simply, I just didn't want to fight what seemed like the same fight over and over. I wanted to spice things up, but every encounter ended up going the exact same way. Monotonous.

-Alien weapons should have been easier to use. I was disappointed that all alien weapons are basically temporary, and that I couldn't just keep one in my arsenal. It's the third in the series! Let me shoot lasers and stuff more, like that one gun in the original Crysis!

-Easy as all hell. I played through this game on one notch above normal, and I still managed to finish the game in about six hours. Guys would go down in two shots, and alien grunts would take six at the very most.

-Upgrades seemed a little underwhelming. There didn't seem to be much incentive to switching your Nanosuit loadout, and once I got the upgrades I wanted, I felt like I was about the same strength as before.

I complained earlier about the narrative being tough to follow in Crysis 2, and that has been fixed in Crysis 3... but not the part where it's actually a good story. The story is predictable, sometimes to a ludicrous level. I saw "twists" coming a mile away, and many lines are especially cringe-worthy. Don't come to Crysis 3 looking for a BioShock level narrative or Mass Effect quality character design. It does offer a nice measure of closure to the series, but new games are definitely possible.

I dabbled a little in the multiplayer, and I found in fun but simplistic. It's basically your normal shooter but with the nanosuit powers which add a little flavor to the mayhem. I'm not big into competitive shooters, so I'm not an authority on this aspect of the game. I could see myself playing a few more matches, but I could not see myself coming back to this game for it's online experience more than a month from now.

All in all, I liked Crysis 3. If you just want to shoot fools, this game certainly delivers. The game is gorgeous, the gunplay is smooth, and I found very few technical issues with the game overall. It just seems like Crytek ran out of time, ideas, or both by the end of development, so they decided to make the same encounter over and over but in a slightly different environment. There are a few situations that change things up slightly, but not enough. If you were really into the previous Crysis games (Crysis 2 in particular) then this game is worth playing. Just don't expect to get your mind blown.

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