Reviews

Crysis 3

The Crysis franchise has been notoriously for making your hardware break down and cry like a little girl. Crysis 3 is no different. It may take your PC to places it’s never been before, but it does justify all the pain and suffering, because Crysis 3 is without a doubt, one of the best looking games of this generation.

But there is more to Crysis 3 than its eye candy. Sadly, I don’t mean a plot, because it really is quite nonsensical. If I had to cut through all the sci-fi mumbo-jumbo, the story quite simply is about powerful aliens coming to annihilate your home planet, while you, the bad ass in the Nanosuit, send them kicking and screaming to their mums. Through your noble quest, you’ll encounter the human resistance, which is a bunch of walking talking clichés, including Psycho, the gun-toting, expletive-spurting Brit from Warhead, who’s now a tad overweight and largely cranky after being rudely removed from his Nanosuit.

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But a riveting plot was never one of Crysis’ strong points. Besides the eyegasmic visuals, it’s all about open-ended (not to be confused with open-world) gameplay. Crysis 3 is structured like Crysis 2, where each level is represented by a large playing area populated with enemies. You are free to tackle the level as you seem fit, be it horizontally or vertically, with brute force or deadly stealth. Crysis 3, like its predecessors, can be played as an all-out action game, and thanks to solid shooting mechanics, it’s very satisfactory in that respect.

You can sit in one place calmly, cloak, and go to town on enemy patrols.

But running and gunning your way through a level isn’t half as satisfying as stalking your prey from a height, hacking their turrets to turn on them, and then proceeding to eliminate the remaining survivors silently and efficiently using your new Predator bow. Unlike your regular arsenal, the bow in Crysis 3 doesn’t use up any of your energy while firing, so you can sit in one place calmly, cloak, and go to town on enemy patrols. You can switch between various arrows on the fly so you could take a group of enemies out by sticking one of them with an explosive bolt, or electrocute multiple foes with an electric bolt while they’re standing in water. This definitely makes the bow a bit of an over-powered weapon. Besides the bow, you have your run-of-the-mill arsenal like assault rifles, shotguns, launchers, and snipers, and they can be customised on the fly.

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To fully enjoy the campaign, I would recommend playing Crysis 3 on Veteran difficulty at the very least, even if you’re a semi- experienced FPS player. Normally, I’d never start my first playthrough on anything above Normal, but playing Crysis 3 on Easy or even Normal is an utter cakewalk, and you’ll probably cruise through it in under five hours. That being said, even on higher difficulties, it isn’t a very long game, and is the shortest in the entire series. I don’t have a huge problem with this, especially after playing Dead Space 3, which was padded with a truckload of backtracking just for the sake of being a 15-hour game.

Once you are done with the single player, you can spend hours in the game’s multiplayer offering that is surprisingly addictive. It’s adopted the Call of Duty structure much like Crysis 2 did, and skinned it with futuristic weaponry and perks that complement the Crysis universe. Once you hit Level 5, you can start customising your load out and choose the weapons and perks that suit your play style. If you’re the run-and-gun type, you can equip perks that help you move faster, reload quicker, and shoot from the hip accurately. If you prefer sniping from the shadows, you can invest in perks that help you remain stealthy. You can even build a Tank class that can wield heavy weapons with relative ease and absorb a ton of damage.

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Unlike Battlefield 3, multiplayer in Crysis 3 is purely infantry-based and is relegated to close quarter skirmishes. The maps, while not exactly tiny in size, are built appropriately to accommodate 16 players. Most of the maps are inspired by the campaign, and they look downright gorgeous even though the visuals have been toned down a notch in MP. They also offer a good sense of verticality, keeping your suits’ enhanced mobility in mind. This actually makes traversal across all maps very fluid and intuitive.

I rarely get nervous in multiplayer skirmishes, but Hunter mode is pretty nerve racking.

Crysis 3’s multiplayer offers eight varied gameplay modes, including the highly addictive Hunter mode. In it, a small faction of players spawn as cloaked Hunters armed with the bow, while the rest spawn as the CELL operatives. If a Hunter takes down an operative, that person spawns as a Hunter and starts hunting the rest of his teammates down. Towards the end of the round, if you have somehow managed to stay alive, you have a bunch of Hunters baying for your blood. I rarely get nervous in multiplayer skirmishes, but this mode is pretty nerve racking, especially if you are the last man standing.

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As much as I enjoyed the game’s MP, it does have some glaring issues. For one, there are no dedicated servers, which means you’ll always be at the mercy of the host. This also means bullet lag and hit detection are huge problems. Add lousy 200+ ping servers to these issues, and you can get frustrated with the game real fast. At first, I thought the terrible pings were a local issue thanks to my crappy MTNL connection, but a quick tour of the Crysis forums indicated the problem was widespread.

Conclusion

I enjoyed Crysis 3, but to be honest, it feels more like an expansion pack than a full-fledged sequel. If you weren’t a huge fan of Crysis 2, this one will not change your mind. Having said that, Crysis 3 is still a very enjoyable shooter that offers a solid single-player experience, engaging multiplayer, and if your PC can handle it, stellar visuals.

Test Rig:

  • Motherboard: Intel DP67BG Extreme Desktop series
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 – 2600K @3.40 GHZ
  • Graphic Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590
  • Ram: Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 @ 1600 MHZ X2
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W

IVG's Verdict

8/10
  • Looks phenomenal
  • Offers a fun sandbox to play in
  • Gunplay feels solid and satisfying
  • Addictive multiplayer
  • Is the shortest game in the entire series
  • Feels like an expanion pack to Crysis 2
  • Hit detection and lag are huge problems on the multiplayer side
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