Did Crytek deliver?
Note: Our review of the console version was done by a different author and the scores may vary.
Crytek, it seems, have forgotten how to make fun games. It’s not a complex formula really and most developers get it right, but while playing Crysis 3 it felt like I was just going through the motions. I know this is a highly subjective thing but Crysis 3 simply wasn’t that exciting enough for me.
The game does not communicate with the player and makes him feel like he has achieved something. It has more to do with the encounter design and how overpowered your suit is in the game and also how terrible the AI is.
The original Crysis and its expansion Crysis Warhead weren’t like this. You truly enjoyed doing things in those games. It was set up well, gave you enough time to plan things and use your powers in ingenious ways to take out enemies. Remember when you went into strength mode and punched a North Korean soldier off a cliff? Yes, that’s what I’m taking about. Things like those made the player a lot more creative to use the suit’s powers in variety of ways to tackle a scenario.
In fact there are plenty of videos out there where players have mastered the art of playing Crysis in ways that will bring a smile to your face. Crysis 2 was a great game too but was inconsistent in a lot of ways. Crysis 3 is modeled after the second game but still manages to feel really inferior.
It’s clear what Crytek have concentrated on while they were creating the game and it’s also something they are good at–pushing the visuals to a new level. Crysis 3 is an incredibly beautiful game. The lighting, art design, texture work, and the great use of colour palette will melt your eyes if you connect your PC to a giant TV. Well, they created the CryEngine 3 so they should know how to make it sing, right?
The level design is quite expansive in some areas and it seems they took the criticism of Crysis 2 to heart and designed a game where linearity does not hit the player in the face. Some of the locations are stunning and the lush vegetation really makes the game something special at times. It’s mostly set in a rainforest but there are a bunch of interior environments as well, and the last few levels are some of the worst Crytek have designed.
In a way it feels like they spent a lot of time trying to showcase what the engine can do. I am by no means against linear experiences filled with a lot of set pieces; they can be good. I love playing Call of Duty games because, while they aren’t visually stunning, they still manage to thrill you with their incredible pacing.
Crytek should have targeted something like that but instead you feel like you are waltzing inside a tech demo with a lot of firepower at your disposal. There are some new weapons in the game, namely the Predator bow.
You can take out an enemy with a well placed headshot and when used in conjunction with cloak, you can create some chaos in the game. There are a number of arrows you can use like explosive, electrical ones, and more, which kind of encourages you to play creatively with it. The downside of that is there are hardly enough ammo available for the bow and I found myself in a lot of situations where I had to scrounge for enemy weapons due to the lack of ammo.
It’s really easy to cloak past enemies, and enemies tend to spot you really fast if you are uncloaked for a few seconds. I doubt that is realistic but hey they are aliens so anything goes. You can drive vehicles like tanks and small buggies or hijack a Pinger, although, that would be a difficult thing since they are rarely alone in the later stages. The hacking mechanic which lets you turn the enemy turrets into your ally or bypass mines, is tacked on and a complete time waste.
As the game progresses this situation does get a little better. Crysis 3 has been created with good intentions in mind but as I kept playing the game I felt that Crytek simply doesn’t get it. This is what separates good developers from the mediocre ones. Crytek are very good, in fact, very talented and kind of like Guerrilla Games; great with technology but the end product tends to disappoint because they end up messing up the encounter design, or create a horrible story that doesn’t motivate the player at all.
There are a bunch of chapters in Crysis 3, and you will most likely finish the game in 6 hours. This was very disappointing as you hardly get time to experiment with your suit’s powers and some of the objectives just don’t make any sense. There’s one where you have to destroy a dam to shut down power to a CELL reactor and the whole thing was so poorly designed that it makes me question what type of people Crytek hired to create this game.
The soundtrack is decent but I felt the one in the previous game did a lot more justice to the game.
What it excels at is something very few developers can hope to do i.e., push the graphical ceiling so high that it looks unbelievable at times. It’s not an easy feat as this generation has gone on for more than half a decade and a game to make people’s jaw drop at this stage is very rare.
The game lacks a soul and it seems it was created with a primary objective in mind. I believe that is to show what CryEngine 3 can do so that other third-party studios are impressed and license it from them. But for players, it offers 6 hours of gameplay with an utterly boring story, and the multiplayer mode is something that is quite reminiscent of the one in Crysis 2.
There are some new modes added to the multiplayer but it just feels like they added a fresh coat of paint instead of actually taking the time to redo the gameplay mechanics. Our console version review explains the multiplayer in detail.
Crysis 3 is a really disappointing game from Crytek and it’s something I cannot recommend to people at a full price point. It will however make mince meat of your PC at high settings so PC enthusiasts can try it out as it is truly a glimpse of what developers can achieve in the future, but for people who want at a fun game with a decent amount of content, this is not the game to spend your money on.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Graphics look stunning. The game can push your PC. One of the best implementations of lighting I have seen. The best showcase of CryEngine 3 so far.
Short. Game is boring. Pacing is off. AI isn't that good. Missions are dull. Story is not that motivating. Is a more like a tech demo.
Crysis 3 is a really disappointing game from Crytek and it's something I cannot recommend to people at a full price point.