Giant Bomb Review

122 Comments

Crysis 3 Review

3
  • PC
  • X360

Crysis 3 looks great on the PC, but was this sequel really necessary?

Psycho returns in Crysis 3.

I liked Crysis 2. It took a lot of the cool enemy tagging and freeform tactical combat from Crytek's previous games and presented it in a more coherent way. It was an intelligently streamlined experience that, as a person that couldn't get into the first game's wide-open antics, split the difference between the first game and the more guided, rollercoaster-style take on shooter campaign design that was, at one point anyway, all the rage. Crysis 3, on the other hand, feels like a developer attempting to push its luck a little too far. It picks up where the previous game left off and doesn't make dramatic changes. For the most part, it's well-made, and on the PC it's still quite a graphical showpiece, but that doesn't make up for the prosaic nature of the rest of Crysis 3.

Crysis 3 reunites Prophet, the nanosuit-wearing super soldier of record, with Psycho, the playable character in the old side-story, Crysis Warhead. In the years since that game, Psycho has been painfully yanked out of his nanosuit, and Prophet--whatever the heck he is at this point--has just been broken loose by Psycho and a ragtag group of rebels who are up against CELL, which is your typically evil corporation-slash-private-military-slash-toying-with-power-it-doesn't-understand. While the rebels are obsessed with CELL, Prophet's worried about the greater threat of the Ceph, the alien race he crippled in Crysis 2. With Prophet being, well, a prophet, it shouldn't surprise you that you'll spend more time in Crysis 3 fighting off the alien menace. The story hinges on your ability to care about Psycho and Prophet as characters, something that the previous games haven't exactly made a priority. As a result, the reasoning behind the action is straight-up bland, skirting dangerously close to the same "only One Man can save us from this Ancient Alien Threat" story that seems to drive so many different sci-fi trilogies these days.

The action end of Crysis 3 is totally competent, with the same suit powers you saw in the previous game. The cloak lets you move slowly and quietly to get behind enemies for stealth kills, while the armor mode lets you get out of a jam when you get caught. This time around, Prophet can wield a bow, giving you another way to kill enemies while staying fully cloaked. If you're the patient type, the bow is overpowered, letting you trivialize many of the game's encounters as long as you're willing to back off and let your cloak energy recharge. If you're the gung-ho type, it's useless. The game also has collectable upgrade points that unlock perks across four different categories. The game takes the Call of Duty comparison a step further by offering upgraded versions of those perks that unlock when you complete in-game challenges. So you may have to get 25 stealth kills to make your cloak last even longer than it would normally, or perhaps your ability to tag enemies extends even further when you tag 25 enemies with your spotting scope with the basic version of the upgrade equipped. There are a lot of different options to unlock and use, but I found that the vast majority of them didn't fit at all with my style, so I had already selected and upgraded the optimal perks well before the game was over.

Though the game opens up into large areas near its conclusion, much of the game is paced in a way that helps make combat feel more monotonous. You'll encounter an enemy here and there, but for the most part you stumble upon groups of nine or so foes who aren't aware of your presence yet. This gives you time to tag all the enemies and figure out how to take them on. Typically, the bow is a fine solution, since it kills most basic enemies in one hit and doesn't break stealth. If another enemy sees a body go down, a couple of reinforcements come in and the remaining enemies are alerted, making them skitter around a bit more frantically. This just makes them slightly harder--though certainly not impossible--to hit with the bow. Eventually you'll run out of arrows or just get bored of picking them off this way and switch to guns to just get on with it. Even the larger alien enemies you face later on don't feel particularly deadly on what the game makes out to be its equivalent of "medium" difficulty, but I also never felt like i had enough exciting options at hand to make these encounters fun in the sandboxy way that these games have been in the past. At some point I just found myself stealthing past entire waves of enemies, when possible.

Why, then, is Crysis 3 not a bad game? Well, if we're talking about the PC version on a reasonably powerful machine, we're talking about the franchise's standout feature. It's a great-looking game. The opening, where Psycho rescues Prophet in the middle of a rain storm, is a striking moment, with everything from the rain to Psycho's scarred-up face worth taking a closer look at. Eventually, the visual quality starts to fade into the background as you go from one military-looking installation to the next, but the spots where you get outside and see the game's take on a completely overgrown, almost jungle-like New York City can be absolutely stunning. I stopped dead in my tracks on a few occasions just to look around and take it all in. The Xbox 360 version is grungy, by comparison, with lower texture quality and a lower framerate. That's unsurprising, but when taken against the other games on the platform, the 360 version still looks OK. It's certainly playable, anyway, though a weird audio bug made one of the early open-area segments practically unplayable, since it's hard to know when to take cover and hide from incoming rockets if the audio isn't playing back at all. For what it's worth, the Crysis 3 Twitter account claims that a patch is in the works, but said patch isn't available as of this writing, so if you've got a home theater set up, keep an ear out for that.

Guns!

Crysis 3 also contains competitive multiplayer with the same sort of loadout-based progression and killstreak bonuses. It's a formula for a reason, but it's not getting any fresher, that's for sure. I really liked seeing an updated version of the Skyline map, which was my favorite spot to play in Crysis 2. At the same time, if the coolest part of the multiplayer is that it has my favorite map from the previous game, well, that's probably not a great thing, right? The multiplayer is absolutely functional and ships with a handful of game types, including a modifier that takes players out of the suits, eliminating the power angle completely, in case you weren't interested in using the one thing that makes Crysis stand apart from the competition. It's not bad, but you could do better with another game.

That's my feeling about all of Crysis 3, really. It's serviceable and, again, it looks great on the PC, but was this trip really necessary? It's an average experience, overall, and in a genre that continues to be packed full of competition, you'd probably be better off finding a discounted copy of Crysis 2 or, if the large combat areas of the original Crysis really float your boat, spend some time with Far Cry 3, instead.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
125 Comments
  • 125 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by derry2010

Probably not.

Posted by iAmJohn

No, Jeff. No it wasn't.

Posted by bkbroiler

More reviews than my eyes know what to do with! Giant Bomb is operating at peak capacity!

Posted by DaMisterChief

Played up to the Buggy or what ever you can that thing and i was like, Yeah i've seen all i wanted to see from this game. Bow play was cool but ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Edited by SlashDance

I enjoyed Colonial Marines more than this game.

While I should probably see someone about that, I feel it still says a lot about Crysis 3.

Edited by PimblyCharles

@slashdance said:

I enjoyed Colonial Marines more than this game.

While I should probably see someone about that, I feel it still says a lot about Crysis 3.

Well to be fair, both games make you feel rather powerful... haha.

Bad Alien IA + Crysis Suit = POWER

Online
Posted by HappyCheeze

RIP Year of the Bow

Edited by axlvandamme

Yes. Too bad it wasn't discussed on the podcast. Any one else feel GB is focusing too much on the quick, pick and play "mini" games lately (i.e. Frog Fractions, Space Team, Runner 2,...)?

Posted by WolfHazard

I'm going to hold off on this until It's a 20-30 dollar game or I can pick it up on ebay for cheap. Not because of the review really, moreso because I don't have any interest in this series but it doesn't look bad, and I guess it not being a 5 star game I feel no rush to pick this up.

Posted by tourgen

I like pretty, shiny explosions. maybe I'll check it out next weekend.

Edited by Grimdaddy

Far Cry 3 it is, then. It seems to honor the spirit better in any case, eh?

Edited by TheHT

Well, this is a better sell for Far Cry 3 for me than the actual Far Cry 3 review.

Edited by SpudBug

<p>I liked this game quite a bit. I suspect that playing on hard solves a lot of the shallow feeling to the combat. Jeff is right to play on normal but I feel that similar to a lot of games, the real game is hidden one difficulty higher. You actually use stealth for a reason and have to manage your suit energy and weapons and take cover.</p>

That's a big problem, because most don't play on hard, normal makes more sense.

Posted by gogosox82

Wow Jeff must really not like Crysis. Asking questions like why should this game exist is usually reserved for the A:CM's of the world.

Posted by Spoonman671

I'm about midway through the game (I think), and I was pretty bored with it up until tonight's play session. I finally got to some more open levels with secondary objectives that made the game a bit more colorful, with scenarios like aiding a mortar team that then takes down targets for you, or clearing mines for a convoy to earn yourself a ride-along. Between customizing my suit modules, the variety of human and alien weapons, and the way the supercharge mode interacts with those weapons, I'm starting to enjoy the game quite a bit.

I've also found myself really getting into the narrative drama of the game. I'm finding Psycho's relationships with both Claire and Prophet pretty interesting, and his emotional reaction to losing his super-human status manages to feel genuine. There's a bit of unevenness to the voice-acting though. The performers really nail some scenes, but there are other times when they are clearly just stating lines and don't sound nearly as excited as the situation warrants.

Edited by Huey2k2

Are most sequels "Necessary"?

Posted by hussatron

Non-graphics-whores need not apply. I wouldn't mind seeing a more interesting, to me at least, game with the same sort of graphical treatment though.

Posted by courage_wolf

I really hate to be that guy, but I continue to be disappointed that the Crysis series was compromised in order to put it on consoles. I was just playing Crysis this week and the game still looks really good and plays fantastically. The scope and size of Crysis is still incredible almost 6 years later, especially since there have been only a few games since then that tried to be anything like it. I often wonder what Crysis sequels made in the spirit of the original game would have been like, what new powers could have been created, what new environments could have been used. Instead we got sequels that traded the island for corridors and the bleeding edge technology for console ports. The series started out so well, but Crytek wasted its potential with poorly thought out sequels that threw away everything that made Crysis special.

Posted by august

ALPHA CEPH

Posted by SleepyDoughnut

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

Man, they should finally make an actual open world game, hopefully they have learned something from Far Cry 3. I couldn't even finish Crysis 2 and this seems to make minimal improvements.

Posted by Rowr

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

Was reading this comment really necessary? i could of rolled along without reading the comment section and probably have come to the same conclusions of this review.

Was replying to this comment really necessary?

No probably not.

Posted by august

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

A valid point, but keep in mind it takes about six times as long or more to complete your average jrpg.

Posted by DRiX

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

RT

Posted by natetodamax

I'm playing through Crysis 3 right now and I'm not enjoying it as much as Crysis 2 either.

Edited by bitcloud

@dan_citi said:

Man, they should finally make an actual open world game, hopefully they have learned something from Far Cry 3. I couldn't even finish Crysis 2 and this seems to make minimal improvements.

The game is too focused on critical path to be like Farcry, but they don't have a good enough story to make up for it. This game could just be so much more with writing and either making a big leap in multiplayer or dropping it cause Crytek doesn't seem capable of making a good one, kind of like Rockstar.

Posted by Nightriff

I still have Crysis 2 sitting in my backlog, tried playing the first one a few months ago and after about an hour I get sick of it, all I wanted to do was fuck around and even with cheats it wasn't that much fun. Hopefully 2 will be better when I get around to it, looks like I'll just skip this one for now.....possibly ever

Posted by Alwaysrun

Take this as you will but I think Crysis 3 is by far the best benchmark I've ever played...period!

Posted by therealminime

Great review Jeff. It is a visually amazing game, especially on a high end PC, but there is really not much else to it. I too enjoyed Crysis 2 a decent amount and I felt like Crysis 3 was pretty lackluster. It was short and felt exactly like the previous game, but holy hell does it ever look good.

Edited by mlarrabee

@august said:

ALPHA CEPH

You took the words from my mouth. I like the Crysis series more than most, but the second I heard that in the Quick Look I knew this one was going to be a touch off from what I want.

Edited by SleepyDoughnut

@august said:

@sleepydoughnut said:

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

A valid point, but keep in mind it takes about six times as long or more to complete your average jrpg.

Yeah, but I mean, it's their job. Dave put in the time to review the original Dragon Age, and that was 50 hours. Brad said he didn't have time but he totally had time. I hope Patrick puts up a review of Fire Emblem now that he's finished it, that would be nice.

Posted by Korwin

I really hate to be that guy, but I continue to be disappointed that the Crysis series was compromised in order to put it on consoles. I was just playing Crysis this week and the game still looks really good and plays fantastically. The scope and size of Crysis is still incredible almost 6 years later, especially since there have been only a few games since then that tried to be anything like it. I often wonder what Crysis sequels made in the spirit of the original game would have been like, what new powers could have been created, what new environments could have been used. Instead we got sequels that traded the island for corridors and the bleeding edge technology for console ports. The series started out so well, but Crytek wasted its potential with poorly thought out sequels that threw away everything that made Crysis special.

I'm fine with you being that guy, Crysis one definitely had the best game play out of all 3 and still managed to look better than Crysis 2 (Crysis 3 one up's it though). I loved being able to approach any combat area from any angle/means at my disposal. I'm hoping that style of sandbox gun play makes a come back with the PS4 and Xbox 3.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Come on. Who puts huge-ass pictures in the middle of their reviews? That's just space filling.

Edited by MEATBALL

There were a few levels in the middle that I really enjoyed, but by the end of the game I was practically begging for it to just end.

Posted by mellotronrules

well- i didn't ask for this.

Posted by project343

Yes. Too bad it wasn't discussed on the podcast. Any one else feel GB is focusing too much on the quick, pick and play "mini" games lately (i.e. Frog Fractions, Space Team, Runner 2,...)?

Good tiny games >>> bad boring AAA games.

Online
Posted by probablytuna

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

Didn't Brad say that the game is just too big and too long for them to properly do Ni No Kuni review? I mean they gave it a QL already and they've been a great substitution for reviews in a lot of games.

Edited by pyrodactyl

@project343 said:

@axlvandamme said:

Yes. Too bad it wasn't discussed on the podcast. Any one else feel GB is focusing too much on the quick, pick and play "mini" games lately (i.e. Frog Fractions, Space Team, Runner 2,...)?

Good tiny games >>> bad boring AAA games.

Great AAA games >>> awesome tiny games

to bad there isn't much of those lately...

Posted by bybeach

I'm not suprised. I am still going to buy this game down the old price road. I liked the look of the enviroment and characters and even some of the story, stretched I'm sure as it is. As far as Far Cry 3 goes, I have it, and at a cirtain point it fell apart for me. It's world just did not hold together. I read a nice user review of Halo 4, and was inspired by what the reviewer got out of it, so maybe try that again, and put my predjudices away.

Edited by EarthBowl

Although I enjoyed Crysis 3's narrative and character exposition, I absolutely agree with Jeff's review. It is a fun game and one I enjoyed playing, but after finishing the brief campaign and a little of the multiplayer I knew I was finished with the game. The first Crysis will always be my favorite as it covers every aspect you would want from an open world FPS with awesome suit abilities...Maximum Armor!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

"Why does this game exist?" is probably not the review header EA wanted.

Online
Edited by brownsfantb

Was reviewing this game really necessary? I feel like Jeff reviews big budget games out of obligation that he should. But he doesn't need to. I mean, most people already know what their stance is on Crysis 3 going in. Now Ni No Kuni, that's a game that warrants a review because it's got a lot of hype and people are wondering whether it's worth it, yet it's too outside of their wheelhouse so they won't give it a proper review. I know they cover it in the bombcasts, but still, sometimes I question what gets review coverage and what doesn't.

Ni No Kuni is too long for any of these guys to play through to write a real review and still do all of the other fun stuff for the site. And I don't think there's anybody that has to know what Brad or Jeff thinks about the game before they buy it. Most people already know how they feel about a JRPG.

Edited by bhlaab

Well I already thought Crysis 2 was significantly lamer than the first (what is called 'streamlined' in the review I call 'compromised') and this sounds even lamer than that.

Too bad. I did really, really like Crysis and Crysis Warhead. And FarCry 1 even! As unfortunate as it is that Crytek doesn't seem too enthusiastic about courting its long-time fans anymore, it'd sting less if I could figure out who exactly they're targeting instead. This game seems to have been met by an indifferent shrug from all sides.

Posted by Dasdude

Just finished this game today, and Jeff's review is spot on. The story is very cliched, the action becomes monotonous about halfway through (about two and a half to three hours in for me), and the graphics are damned good. Those are the three things that I left my computer thinking about, and that's probably all I'm going to ever remember about this game. (Also, some of the boss fights are terribly designed.)

Edited by Video_Game_King

"Why does this game exist?" is probably not the review header EA wanted.

"I liked Crysis....3." - Jeff Gerstmann.

Edited by iragequit

Thanks Jeff, think I'll stick with my Crysis Maximum edition for the occasional romp. The idea of leveling perks in a single player campaign does not jive with me. Also the idea of killing while cloaked feels like there is no tradeoff. Kinda like Doom3BFG where you dont have to choose a gun or flashlight.

Posted by Outrager

I really need to finish Crysis. Already bought Crysis 2 on Origin when it was on sale, but would like to finish the first one before I start it.

Edited by CptBedlam

I already felt that way about the second Crysis (I did enjoy the first one and Warhead though). Halfway through I became so incredibly bored, I just couldn't play any further.

Posted by GnaTSoL
Posted by Reisz

Well that's a bummer. I prepared for disappointment though, I feel like more jungle better graphics and no aliens was all anyone really wanted from a Crysis sequel but what do I know.

  • 125 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3