Playing Crysis 3 on the PC is asking a little too much, my rig struggles to cope with a particularly intense game of Minesweeper. Therefore, to taste the third game in this techno FPS series I had to play it on the humble 360. I have played all the games in the series on Microsoft’s aging Behemoth and I have to say ‘Crysis 3’ is the best of the lot, but is that saying much?
The ‘Crysis’ series has always suffered somewhat from being all metallic fur coat and no metallic knickers. Graphically the games have all been very impressive, as is the case once again here, but the gameplay was a little bland and story somewhat confused. ‘Crysis 3’ tackles these issues by stripping the game back to a more simple experience and keeping the story linear enough that even an ADD gamer like me can keep up, but it all starts to unravel as the game progresses.
Let’s start with the core mechanics of the game. ‘Crysis 3’ is best played as a stealth FPS. You play as Prophet, a cyber besuited solider who has to go up against shadowy human opponents, as well as an alien threat. Your suit allows you to become invisible, shield yourself, jump higher and become stronger. All these skills take power and every now and again you will have to hide to allow your suit to recharge. The first half of the game really brings your techno attire to life; scanning a large area for enemies then creeping up on them one by one; or shooting them from a distance with your cool bow and arrow. ‘Dishonored’ borrowed a lot from the original ‘Crysis’, and ‘Crysis 3’ now feels like it has borrowed back. The game is essentially a series of large areas you must traverse like a giant stealth/FPS puzzle.
I found the sneak elements of ‘Crysis 3’ a lot of fun to play, but be ready for a rude awakening around half way as the alien threat comes to the fore. The aliens are far tougher to defeat than the humans and will discover you easily. I ended up having to change tactics in the game to a more run and gun approach, piling through the level as fast as I can to trigger a save point and reach my objective. A better player than me could perhaps continue to stealth through the game, but I found the disparity between the AI of the humans and the AI of the aliens too difficult to bridge.
The shooting elements of the game are solid, but the guns feel pretty powerless and bland. It is the bow and arrow that is the most entertaining – a shame then that this weapon becomes a liability as the game progresses. This progression is fast as the game is a pretty short 5-7 hours of single player fun. There is a sturdy multiplayer mode that allows you to fight solo or in teams whilst all wearing suits, but I found it was just more quick dying tedium. Unless a game has co-op elements, it lives or dies on its solo play. Here ‘Crysis 3’ has 3 hours or so of great fun, but loses it towards the end. The game is a solid shooter that looks great, but is that enough with ‘Bioshock: Infinity’ on the horizon?
3 out of 5