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February 19, 2013

Crysis 3 is really pretty to look at. I think we all expected that. It’s also a well produced, nicely paced shooter that is technically proficient and loaded with lots of entertaining set pieces. They even try to tell a deeper and more engaging story than the plots we’ve seen in past series entries. This all being said, the latest Crysis simply feels…lighter. Essentially, it feels more like most any other shooter you’ve played, only with some positive blending of linear and open-ended concepts and awesome weapons. So I feel like I’ve done this before.

Graphically, the game shines. The character models, the environmental detail, the meticulous implementation of great style, shading and color; it’s all worthy of praise. It also helps that this time around, Crytek opted to blend a natural landscape with an urban one, which leads to an odd yet intriguing marriage of different settings. The only downside is that the PS3 version doesn’t quite have the level of clarity found in the 360 version. From what I saw, though, the differences are mostly minor and shouldn’t dissuade PS3 owners from trying the game. Still, I’m not necessarily blown away by these visuals…despite Crytek’s continual crowing.

Many of the technical elements really are fantastic, though, and the sound is good, too. The voice performances range from passable to excellent and the soundtrack is nicely orchestrated and properly bolsters one’s immersion. The effects are the highlight, as you may have anticipated. The ambient audio is especially cool, because this further drags you into the intense action. If there’s one game that should be played with a decent surround sound system or a great headset, it’s Crysis 3 . It crackles and snaps, it bursts with crystal-clear clarity and the music continues to drive you forward. The balancing is a little iffy, though.

You are in New York City, where destruction reigns and a private military company (CELL) has erected a dome over the city. This has turned the decrepit metropolis into a sort of sprawling, wild greenhouse; half forest, half eradicated town. You’ll come across huge trees growing right through the tops of busted-out skyscrapers, staircases that go nowhere, and lush copses of trees and bushes intermingled with crumbling, falling down structures. It’d be unfair to say that Crysis 3 is all about technical superiority, because the creativity and artistry on display is much appreciated. Therefore, the environment is primed for something special.