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Game In Review - Crysis 3

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by , 28th April 2013 at 05:30 AM (250 Views)
I play a lot of video games, along with watching a lot of films and typing a lot of meaningless gibberish, so it can be safely assumed that I don't do much else, so don't assume I do because I don't. I have a list of games I intend to buy and play as well as a list of games I currently own that I intend to go back and continue to play; because I know you don't particularly care about my life (and who would blame you?) I won't tell you them but I will tell you my opinion on the most recent game I had the experience of crossing off my list - Crysis 3.

First I'll start off with the obligatory throwaway contextual information for those of you that grace the Earth with less talent for playing video games. Playing, and failing miserably, I should add to avoid a tsunami of angry bloggers determined to prove me talentless and, even worse, wrong. Crysis 3 is the newest installment in the badly spelt Crysis series, a recently fulfilled trilogy following the character Prophet, or it Alcatraz...oh, never mind, he's a black guy now called Prophet, a marine who dons a state-of-the-art nanosuit and is in a constant battle against CELL, an evil organisation hellbent on skinning him alive to get his suit and the Ceph, an alien race determined to kill the guy in the alien nanosuit and destroy all humans. Prophet has been in stasis since the ending of Crysis 2 because they needed a good way of transitioning time in a sci-fi way and cryogenic stasis is kind of the go to method, and at the beginning of Crysis 3, he is woken up by an old teammate of his called Psycho who is himself a reference to Crysis 1. Stop me if I'm getting confusing. You didn't play the other 2 Crysises? Well too bad.

Crysis 3 shoots itself in the foot straight away by referencing story lines from the two previous installments as much as possible, and then trying to explain the events from those two games for anyone who might not have played them. Firstly, who in their right mind starts playing a series from 3? Secondly, if you're still trying to cater to a new audience, don't reference that much. I know not many of them are relevant to the overall understanding of the story but it's nice to know. There's a random mention of Tara Strickland at the end of the game that only Crysis 2 players will understand and it would be nice to share that understanding with everyone. You spend the first half an hour of the game with a man you're supposed to know but don't quite remember unless you played a Crysis marathon beforehand. It just seems illogical to me.

Story is something I hold very dear to any game and is a main factor in what makes it good or bad in my opinion. Crysis 3’s story is not as good as Crysis 2’s or in some ways Crysis 1’s. You don’t seem to have the same purpose. Previously, you were a marine with a mission, an objective. Now, you’re aimlessly wandering through jungle infested New York doing people’s errands and being told off when you do them in a badass way. You know it’s a bad thing when you feel like you’re lost, being funneled down a linear corridor as in most FPS titles and while Crysis puts mirrors around the funnels to make them seem bigger and have more space, I felt that the mirrors were becoming dirty so the illusion was broken. That said, Crysis 3 had a solid story. It was a story told a hundred times, “Help Resistance fight against corrupt government organisation and save the world!” but with a predictable twist at the end. I mean seriously, if the main character has a “feeling” something bad is going to happen later in the game, it is not a prediction. It is foreshadowing.

Sidestepping awkwardly into gameplay, Crysis 3 has the same controls as its predecessor with a few exceptions. The new game and inevitable new marketing strategy Crytek has employed promises to bring more stealth and so within the first five minutes of the game, you are given a bow and arrow; primitive tools given to you through the medium of an advert from a late night shopping channel:

“Say Prophet, did you know that with new bow and arrow you can kill silently while staying cloaked?”
“Gee whiz Psycho, bow and arrow sounds jolly exciting and not completely useless when used in a battle situation. I’ll take it!”

I make fun of the bow and arrow but I must admit but they were also my favourite weapon. I barely got the chance to use them, so they couldn't disappoint me. Anyway, the rest of the gameplay was similar to all FPSs. You go in, you shoot everything up or you sneak everything up using the suit’s built in invisibility or super armor and you reach the objective and blow something up. A large variety of human, experimental and alien guns lay at your fingertips or somewhere on the battlefield. I barely used the alien guns however because something tells me that when I pick up a gun glitchy s*** should not come up on the screen to annoy me. And when you have to drop the gun to interact with things and when they burn through ammo faster than a one shot pistol, it all adds up to me not using them. There is a newly implemented hacking ability added as well. I have no problem with the hacking, it is a good idea except Prophet has gone through two other games without realising he could hack consoles and open doors, couldn't he have figured this out earlier? As is becoming popular with the whiny little FPS bitches nowadays, there are some vehicles to amble around a level in before being blown to smithereens by some Ceph airship as well. There were vehicles in Crysis 1 and 2 as well and they probably did a better job at it than Crysis 3 because this game made it feel like you needed the vehicles. You do not give the player base a dune buggy, a ridiculously long stretch of dirt with no apparent end and then say “It’s your choice”. Needless to say, I walked a long way down that stretch of dirt to find a pile of rubble with an invisible wall and a ramp and grumbled as I went back to get the buggy. I also did not see any other drivable vehicles in the entire game the first time I played through Crysis 3 except the dune buggies and this disappointed me but when I looked on the wiki and found a whole array of about 3 or 4 vehicles, I played it through again and found them at the side of the map looking blown up but still drivable. This annoyed me.

A quick note on level design: Crysis 1 and 2 had large open areas of the map with an objective marker at the other end and several ways to get the past the enemies in your way. You could kick cars on top of enemies, stealthily pick them off one by one, remove a HMG and fire away or just sneak past them and have a 0 kill count. Crysis 3 has something else. They decided that, in a game that is more lenient towards a stealthy approach (hence the giving of the bow), that the story should be punctuated with gargantuan levels with what felt like hundreds of enemies going in every single direction, including airships, Pingers (Ceph tanks), Devastators (Ceph “things that are difficult to kill”) and Masterminds (Ceph “things that have flamethrowers and bulletproof shields, making them more difficult to kill than the final boss”). I stealthed for a while. And then I realised, with two bars of power left, that there was no cover and an army was still headed my way. So I ran. And I died again and again. And that annoyed me as well.

And with the story mode over and me sitting there feeling unfulfilled after a final boss battle so uninspiring it made me wonder why they put it in at all and a final hack challenge that also got me confused at why this certain thing (spoilers, spoilers) was hackable, my mind turn to the multiplayer in hope that it would satisfy me more than the last seven hours of my life. And I was surprised to find that it did. I tried Crysis 2 multiplayer when I got that game and spawned into a lobby in which everyone used the invisibility cloak and sniped off the newbies as sport. You grinded your way to a high enough level to do the same, sniping anyone that didn’t get what was going on while you held back the tears and repressed metaphors of you were pulling the trigger on yourself. Crysis 3 hasn’t been out as long though so it will be at least another couple of months before that starts to happen. The fan base was fun and respectable – one guy on a game of Spears stood behind me for a couple of minutes before I turned around and he let me go because I had a JAW rocket launcher in my hand – and this boosts the rating I give this game astronomically for being the first game I’ve ever played with a respectable fan base. The multiplayer maps are basically the mammoth sized levels from the story with a few from Crysis 2 shoved in but there are enough maps for it not to get boring and like CoD you can choose which map you want to play on next. The guns from the campaign are present in the multiplayer and the more kills you get with a certain gun the more attachments you get for it, blah, blah, blah. Something that is different and in my opinion revolutionary for an FPS is that the common “Capture the Flag”, “Headquarters” and “Domination” game types are actually called different things, now named “Capture the Relay”, “Crash Site” and “Spears”. OK, I know it’s bad and it’s a small point but it’s a start. It’s the “Hunter” mode that everyone’s excited about and is worth talking about.

It’s what the CoD game type “Infected” could have been if it were Crysis...and any good. In “Hunter” you usually start off as a soldier with a group of other soldiers and your objective is to survive 2 minutes against a couple of people with nanosuits. These are the Hunters. They have infinite stealth and super speed but the only weapon they can use is a bow and arrow. It is effectively a game of hide and seek and it actively encourages people to find the best and most aggravating spots in the map you can hide in. It also actively encourages backstabbing as once you die you become a Hunter and can lead your fellow Hunters to the cubby hole all your friends are hiding in. Meanwhile, the soldiers that are still quivering in their corner at the edge of the map have some tools at their disposal to try and survive the onslaught, namely a proximity detector and a bullet/arrow proof shield you can pick up at various points in the map. The action is fast paced because each round lasts only 2 minutes and even when you are waiting to be found by the Hunters, you’re still nervous and therefore never bored.

Overall, Crysis 3 was enjoyable, if infuriating at a dozen moments I don’t care to mention. The visuals were stunning when it wasn’t pitch black enough to see. The gameplay and story were endurable but it was the multiplayer that made the game exciting and worth the price. If the story from Crysis 2 has been transposed on Crysis 3’s body, I would have to give this a much, much higher rating but for now, I give Crysis 3 a 6/10.

Rating – 6/10

Final Thought – With the Ceph gone and CELL in liquidation, why not put on a cape and become a superhero, Prophet?

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