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Gaming review: Crysis 3

Last updated on: March 21, 2013 16:50 IST

Gaming review: Crysis 3

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Murali Venukumar

Crysis 3 is a game burdened by circumstance, given how customers are tiring of trilogies and the industry being in a bit of a rut. Those issues aside however, you've still got a very impressive game on your hands, writes Murali Venukumar


Platforms: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC

Price: Xbox 360/PS3: Rs. 2999 / PC: Rs. 1499

Developer: Crytek

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Distributor: Milestone Interactive Pvt. Ltd.

Genre: First Person Shooter

Age Rating: 18+

Score: 8/10

It's a disservice to Crytek that the Crysis series has almost always been gauged for its visual prowess more than its gameplay. While CryEngine 3 packs plenty of chops in the graphics department, the other aspects of the Crysis games have been just as solid. That continues with Crysis 3, which comes a scant two years after the second game in the series.

Those of you wary of revisiting the same city from Crysis 2 can rest easy. New York couldn't be more different. The Cell Corporation has enclosed the city in a massive dome, sequestering it from the world. What you'll encounter on completing the deceptively generic looking intro level is a city that's in the process of being reclaimed by nature. Once dominant buildings lie crumbling, replaced by a startling amount of flora and fauna. It truly is a sight -- often reminiscent of Francis Lawrence's I am Legend; and you'll want to take a moment (or several) to take it all in.

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Photographs: Crytek / Electronic Arts

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Production values in general are through the roof. There are copious levels of detail everywhere, from various parts of the city and the interiors you'll visit to little things such as decaying personal effects, automobiles and street graffiti. Even the dome above you is a work of art. The game also marries a superlative soundtrack with quality voice acting and copious amounts of incidental NPC chatter, creating a soundscape that stands toe to toe with the art direction. Also worth mentioning is the great in-game motion capture, cut-scene direction and facial animation. Brilliant stuff.

Crysis 3's story follows Prophet, who after the events of Crysis 2, is more closely linked to his nano suit than ever; as well as developing an evolving subliminal connection to the Alpha Ceph. Yes, the Ceph aliens are still around. You'll team up with Psycho (this time without his nano suit), and a band of rebels lead by the charismatic Claire to defeat Cell, drive out the Ceph aliens, and satisfactorily round out the trilogy.

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Photographs: Crytek / Electronic Arts
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New Ceph weaponry and a really cool compound bow that you'll find yourself using surprisingly often are the major additions to your arsenal. Your suit still gives you active-camo and shield capabilities (along with a thoroughly useful set of upgrades), which combined with your new bow, let you approach encounters with more freedom than Crysis 2 did. You also have a stealth meter and a stealth kill in your arsenal, and can tag enemies, mark weapon stashes and hack turrets, mines and doors, which make taking the stealthy route to your objective actually fun. The nano suit also lets you perform superhuman leaps, pick up, throw and kick objects into enemies, as well as pick up enemies themselves.

Crysis' trademark weapon customization, complete with its outrageously cool interface, is also present and in order. Using an electric-tipped arrow to shock a bunch of enemies standing around in a pond and instantly switching to an explosive tip to blow up another group on the other side of the area, all while cloaked, never gets old. The game breaks the action up with vehicles, turret sequences and on-rails sections, but is at its best when you're in a field of tall grass silently hunting your prey.

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Photographs: Crytek / Electronic Arts
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Marking enemies in the environment, planning your approach, and executing a set strategy in an open play area are things most other FPS games don't give you. The AI performs admirably, although there are occasions when they don't notice a badly aimed arrow whizz by them. Fighting the aliens is also fun, although you'll miss the battlefield banter livening up the experience.

Crysis's now familiar multiplayer modes return. And while they're a standard bunch, the game's nano suit powers and fun weapons make every game fast paced and exciting. The new Hunter mode is especially tense, pitting Cell soldiers against two bow-wielding super-soldier opponents. The cell soldiers swap sides every time they're picked off -- which is only a matter of time thanks to the active-camo and noiseless bow. Calling it tense is an understatement, and there's a tough call to be made between running off and trying to survive on your own or moving as a group.

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Photographs: Crytek / Electronic Arts
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While the action is as fun as ever, this is also the shortest Crysis game we've had so far. That said, its leanness may be appreciated by some players, and there's plenty of fun to be had replaying the game on higher difficulties. Given how good the game looks on a PC, it's a small miracle that there hasn't been too much of a strip down needed in the visuals to bring it to consoles. Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 version of the game currently suffers from an audio glitch and an end-game bug. Crytek will most likely patch these out soon enough, but it's worth taking a note of if you have the luxury of multiple platforms to choose from.

Sometimes it's all right for a game to just be really good, and not be revolutionary. Crysis 3 is a game burdened by circumstance, given how customers are tiring of trilogies and the industry being in a bit of a rut. Those issues aside however, you've still got a very impressive game on your hands.

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Photographs: Crytek / Electronic Arts
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