Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review: Crysis 3 (360)

The Crysis franchise has always been a sign for PC gamers that it is time for an upgrade, because if you want to play at maximum settings your current gear isn't going to be up to snuff.

Taking a game franchise notorious for pushing the limits of equipment and playing it on a console eight years old just seems like a bad marriage of ideas but Crysis 3 still looks amazing. The programmers and designers deserve credit for getting the most out of the consoles, as this easily sets the new high water mark for visual showmanship for this generation.

For those unfamiliar with the series – here's the 30 second synopsis: you are a living alien suit that combines symbiotically with your hosts – you have pretty much dissolved your previous host and are now just referred to by your callsign, Prophet.

Prophet laments over his lost humanity. Over the last few years, the alien invasion by the Ceph has been pushed back and the Cell Corporation (previously a paramilitary organization) has grown into a dominant superpower through converting Ceph technology into a power source. You are the only remaining of your group – all previous symbiotes have been separated including your former teammate, Psycho (How come I never get teammates named "Reasonable" or "Capable of Supplying Cover-fire"?) who has freed you from Cell's prison. As your callsign Prophet isn't just a randomly chosen nickname – you are worried about the re-emergence of the Alpha Ceph and the precognitive visions of things going real bad.

For those who are not new to the franchise – you are playing as Prophet this time, you have pretty much the exact same powers as before and now you've got a high-tech bow… hence all the box art photos of the main character using a bow. Sure, it does a spectacular job in cloak of allowing you to drop a pesky enemy, but half of the time you can get the exact same effect using a silenced weapon. The enemy AI seems to have made a minor improvement from the previous game, but for a game that so frequently relies on stealth they are still woefully inadequate. Half of the time, you can just use the stealth to sneak by the enemy instead of having to eliminate the opposition. Compared to the Metal Gear franchise and the recent Deus Ex game – the enemy AI just isn't as frightening as it could be.

If you do choose to fight though, Crysis 3 is a NRA wonderland, guns are plentiful and diverse. Once you've chosen your favorites, you can now tweak them adding preferred scopes, laser sights, suppressors or what-have-you to your kill stick. Once the alien forces show up, you'll find even more impressive bullet delivery systems to grab. Everyone finds their preferred weapons as you go – I was always a fan of the electrical guns and a heavy support gun to really mow down the opposition.

The single player campaign is not the most difficult game I've ever played, and was able to pretty much play through on one sitting – sure I died more than a few times, trying to clear out entire areas, but otherwise, wasn't particularly challenged on play through. Compared to the previous 2 games, Crysis 3 definitely made strides graphically but didn't really have those "wow moments" or battles that stand out as signature fights to remember going forward.

All in all, Crysis 3 is an impressive game – it delivers on style and experience, just doesn't do all those little extras to really set itself apart from the pack as a true AAA title.

- Tazman

The Good:
- Easily the best looking game available on the console

The Bad:
- Enemy AI seems be borderline incompetent

Score: 8.0 / 10