When we last visited the Crysis world, a super soldier named Alcatraz had successfully eradicated the Ceph aliens (who weren’t really aliens) from New York City – preventing the nuclear destruction of the city.
In Crysis 3, picking up a quarter century later, the original super soldier – Prophet – has returned. Since the destruction of the Ceph, a corrupt corporation (CELL) has used Ceph technology to to create a power supply and brutally suppress the public.
Prophet is charged with destroying the CELL power source, but in doing so, he releases a much more massive Ceph army.
He again is clothed in the Nanosuit 2.0 – a powerful body suit that imbues him with powers such as Cloak and Armor. Cloak allows Prophet to become effectively invisible, allowing for stealth opportunities and to recover health. Armor provides better shielding from enemy fire.
Both can be activated for a short while – as long as his energy holds out. The energy recharges while the functions are disengaged.
The suit’s abilities can be upgraded, with the upgrades falling into four categories. Players can custom equip unlocked abilities and save scenarios for use at any time – say the better swimming upgrade equipped in watery areas.
Upgrade kits can be found throughout the game that can be immediately used. These upgrades can be further enhanced by completing specific goals related to the upgrade.
Also key in planning out strategies is your tactical visor. Using it allows Prophet to discover the location of enemies, dangers and weapons caches. The enemies can be tagged to better keep track of them.
Using the visor also allows Prophet to hack into dangers such as turrets and landmines – turning them against the Ceph and CELL soldiers. To hack something, a simple pattern must be replicated, although it becomes tougher for more desired objects.
There are a lot of weapons in the game, both human and Ceph. As Prophet has some Ceph technology integrated into the Nanosuit, he can wield the Ceph weapons. Weapons can be modified, changing sights, barrel and underbarrel as the options are unlocked.
As with the previous Crysis games, the visuals in Crysis 3 are extraordinary. The lush jungle setting for the nearly completely demolished New York City features waves of tall grass and murky waters with surfaces that glisten in the sun. The sense of desolation is well conveyed as this generation of video game consoles see their last gasps.
The animation of the Ceph is also outstanding, especially the stalker variation – bounding through the brush and onto rooftops in pursuit of prey.
Like most first-person shooters, Crysis 3 has a robust multiplayer component, with 12 maps and 8 play modes.
Besides the standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag (Capture the Relay) gameplay modes, there is Hunter (two Hunters team up to eliminate CELL operatives); Crash Site (like King of the Hill): Assault (team must sneak up and download data without being killed); and Extraction (timed mode where a team must extract devices while the second team defends).
Multiplayer begins with four initial player configurations – Assault, Scout, Sniper and Gunner – with customization available as the player levels up. The game offers an array of customization options in three categories – armor, power and stealth.
The multiplayer, Like in Crysis 2, offers two options in joining a match, with a training wheels type area for players up to level 10 that permits new players the convenience to work on technique among similarly-skilled players. Once you level up past 10, you are automatically bumped up into the general population.
The multiplayer, from what I experienced, seemed to be a bit haphazard, with some lag that may be worked out down the road. The visuals dropped off in comparison with the single player, with the “kill cam” replays especially low quality.
Crysis 3 does nothing to diminish the Crysis brand. It looks great, plays smoothly and offers a chance to hone stealth skills in vast and interesting levels.
Platform: PlayStation3, Xbox 360
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
Score: 9 Cephean chilies
Review Statement: An Xbox 360 retail copy of this game was provided by Electronic Arts for the purpose of this review.