Crysis 3 is the final game in Crytek’s Crysis series. 25 years have passed since the events of Crysis 2 and the CELL Corporation has taken over the world using Ceph technologies. Prophet is once again on mission, to stop CELL and the greatest threat of all, the Alpha Ceph.
- The bow
- Alien Weapons are fun
- Strong characterization
- Once again, you spend most of the game fighting humans
Crysis 3 opens with Prophet locked in a cage, in stasis, by CELL and held on one of their secret research stations. From what you’re told in the beginning, CELL plan to remove Prophet’s nanosuit, the same thing they’ve done to all his teammates. In the 25 year between Crysis 2 and this title, Prophet kept battling Ceph while the rest of the world was convinced they were gone. But thanks to Prophet’s visions, he knew the greatest threat of all was still around, the Alpha Ceph, the leader of the alien hive mind. To help him on his mission he formed a squad of nanosuit soldiers.
It’s one of these soldiers who rescues him, Michael aka Psycho. Since the last time Prophet saw him, he was captured by CELL and had his suit removed and now he saves you from a similar fate, so you can help him stick it to the man, in this case CELL, which took over the world following the events of Crysis 2, thanks to their caches of alien technology.
Crysis 3, much like its predecessors is gorgeous. Really visually stunning, down to character models, which I thought were the weakest part of Crysis 2’s visuals. The opening mission is in the middle of a storm and the effects leave you with a gaping mouth and drooling slightly. From then you move to the New York Biodome, what was left of the city after Crysis 2 and where you spend the rest of the game; and while you still have your obligatory sewers and collapsed buildings, most of the time you’ll be in the great and gorgeous outdoors.
Just as its predecessors, music and voice acting in Crysis 3 is outstanding. Best of all, Prophet is back to not shutting up, saving us from the stupidity of Crysis silent protagonists.
Gameplay remains largely unchanged. You move and shoot and aim with the mouse; you hold up to two main weapons plus grenades and explosives; and you have four active nanosuit powers—maximum armor, cloaking, nanovision and your visor—with the strength module from the first Crysis now integrated into other actions. While you could hold both explosives and the rocket launchers in Crysis 2, now you can hold one or the other and it’s a difficult choice; explosives deal a ton of damage but you need to get close to plant them or lure enemies; and you can guide rockets with the cursor but they deal less damage than the C4.
The nanosuit upgrade mechanic received an overhaul in Crysis 3. Instead of collecting nanites from fallen Ceph, you must now collect upgrade modules found in the different maps, more often than not near a secondary objective. There are dozens of upgrades and the upgrade screen lets you form a ‘deck’ of them, a set of four upgrades you can equip at a time. These modules will have a starting power and a requirement you must fulfill, such as staying cloaked near enemies for 100 seconds, before their full power unlocks. It’s almost impossible to unlock all upgrades, but each of them offers a significant tactical advantage. Every upgrade makes you better at what you do, which with my stealthy play style meant I was a damn good assassin.
Completing secondary objectives will sometimes also give you an advantage during your mission. For example, one of your secondary objectives in a given level is to rescue the mortar team from a Ceph squad. When you do, they give you two mortar shots on your mark, to help you take out Pingers (big mechs) around the area.
The visor has a new ability now too: Hacking. From computers and security systems to mine fields and turrets, you can hack to gain control of them. Hacking is a short minigame with a time limit. Thankfully, failing the hacks doesn’t lock you out and you can try again. Most hacks are relatively simple, though there are a few really difficult ones, especially enemy turrets.
Early on in the game, prophet will gain the ability to interact with Ceph technology (batteries) to supercharge the suit, giving you near invulnerability, or at least making it very difficult for you to die. After that, draining batteries or interacting with Ceph computers will repeat the effect for a variable amount of time. It’s particularly useful for big fights.
Weapons remain largely unchanged, but now you can find Special Weapon ammo cases, restoring the ammo for weapons such as grenade launchers or my personal favourites, the Typhoon (basically a minigun) and the Railgun. The one big addition is now you can finally pick up and use Alien weapons. You can’t pick up ammo for them, so when they’re spent you have to find another one. Ceph weapons are fun and extremely powerful too. Best of all, you can take weapons even from the heavy aliens, the ones with Gatling guns and grenade launchers.
The other big change is your new default weapon: the bow, a composite bow with settable draw strength, damage and interchangeable arrowheads. The best part about it is using it doesn’t take away your stealth and most arrow will instant kill everything, from humans to Ceph. The other arrows include an electric aka stunning arrow, a thermite aka explosive arrow and finally a cluster arrow to kill a bunch of enemies at once. Of these, I mainly used the standard and explosive arrows, finding little need to use the other two.
I complained about the writing in Crysis 2, and I feel as though Crytek made Crysis 3 to address that. Characterization is top notch, with Prophet, Michael and Clare being the best characters, with distinctive personalities and desires. Despite the heavy modifications he’s undergone, Prophet feels human, and while he suffers from terminal tunnel vision, there are moments of real humanity with him. This is especially true in his interactions with Michael. The only character I had problems with was Rasch, because everything about him was entirely predictable.
My other complaint with Crysis 2 was the uneven plot and lack of focus. While Crysis 3 still makes the mistake of keeping you fighting humans for half of the game, the narrative frame around it is well done. In fact, I loved it as when the big bad Ceph finally shows up, it’s your fault. The plot manages end the series, with a badass final boss fight and insane Satellite firing, and still leave it almost open ended. The ending with Prophet on the beach was fantastic. He always says “Remember me,” and thanks to Crysis 3, I will.
In the end, Crysis 3 is the best of the series, keeping its predecessor’s strengths and overcoming its faults. While you still fight humans for most of the game, it now makes sense…and they’re harder now.
The Mental Attic Score: Worth Overpaying. I only wish the previous two games had been as god as this one. This is the highest score attainable on The Mental Attic.