Crytek is synonymous with two things: bleeding edge graphics and a singleplayer campaign that starts with good intentions but always ends with disappointment. That doesn’t change with their latest offering, Crysis 3. The fourth entry in the franchise once again pits you as a nanosuit wearing super soldier against the evil Cell Corporation and the alien Ceph. 24 years have passed since the credits rolled in Crysis 2 and the world has changed greatly. After the war that occurred in the second game, there was a power vacuum. Cell filled it by building energy saving bio-domes over a number of cities. Or something like that. I’m not entirely sure because that’s where the story starts to break down. Apparently there’s an Alpha-Ceph that gave the main character, Prophet, visions about the destruction of Earth. There are also a number of people that you are supposed to care about because they’re only human and Prophet is apparently an alien-android-human hybrid that can’t feel emotion.
But that’s virtually irrelevant because story has never been one of Crysis’ strong points. It’s simply more overtly bad here. Possibly the worst part about the story is that it tries exhaustively to say something meaningful about the human condition. Instead it only says the same thing as every other shooter: “He with the biggest gun wins.” Luckily Crysis 3 has some pretty big guns. Like previous games you’re able to customize weapons with grenade launchers, silencers, scopes and a bevy of other attachments. Sadly, despite the 20 year gap between games, apparently gun technology didn’t advanced. At all. You will be using the same weapons and attachment as appeared in Crysis 2 with a notable additions.
One of these additions is Ceph weaponry. These weapons are alien version of miniguns, rocket launcher and the like. They are large, thunderous and destructive; basically the opposite of the other new weapon: the compound bow. Whereas with the Ceph weapons are about providing a better way to attack head-on, the bow is all about remaining hidden. It may seem antiquated but arrows can kill most enemies with one shot and unlike other weapons, multiple shots can be fired while cloaked.
In addition to customizing weapons, the suit has a range of perks that can be customized as well. As you progress you will find crates of Cell technology that can be used to buy these upgrades. These are, unfortunately, almost all upgrades that were seen in Crysis 2. Now, however, you can save three sets of perks so that you can switch to the set that is most apt with only a few button presses. Coincidentally, these are the same perks earned in multiplayer. Speaking of which, the multiplayer is also very similar to that which is found in Crysis 2. Just like the multiplayer in Crysis 2, I draw one large complaint: the damage ratio doesn’t feel like the campaign’s. Both you and your enemies die quickly, very quickly. In fact it feels much like certain other perk-based multiplayer games that may or may not be about duty calling you to warfare in the modern era.
Despite leaving so much the same, Crytek did change two small but important aspects. Much like Crysis 2, the nanosuit has two modes that can be activated at any time, stealth mode and armor mode. Stealth mode makes you invisible while armor mode makes you more resilient. Each mode depletes your regenerating energy reserve. The rate at which they deplete depends on various factors such as movement speed and damage being taken. The first change made is the simple inclusion of the bow. Because it does not drain energy, it makes long-range stealth a more viable approach. The second change is that sprint no longer inherently drains energy. Previously, when you sprinted while in either mode, your energy would deplete at twice the rate. Now it is much easier to escape a complicated situation or sprint up to an unknowing enemy for a silent kill. These two changes, small as they may be, go a long way in allowing Crysis 3 to deliver on its power fantasy, which is what it does best.
The standout feature of Crysis 3 is the same one that’s it has been for every game Crytek has ever made: the graphics. And they did not slouch here. The world Crytek has rendered is a sight to behold. The level of detail and the range of effects are staggering, especially considering that levels are much larger than they were in Crysis 2. But also like previous Crytek games, amazing visual can only carry a game so far. Crysis 3 buckles under that weight, making you wonder how much longer this old dog can stand.
In the end, Crysis 3 is extraneous. It does little new with the game mechanics and goes nowhere with the story. Both the plot and the gameplay additions seems like they were invented for a new game that had to be made rather than inventing a game because these elements had to be experienced. While it is technically the best version of Crysis out there, it is truly only a slightly better version of Crysis 2. Because of that, Crysis 3 feels more like an expansion pack to Crysis 2 than a true sequel and more than likely not worth your time.
PC Specs: AMD FX-8350 Vishera, AMD Radeon 7950, 16GB DDR3 RAM, Win8 OS