Crysis 3 PC Review: The New Bow
The failure of originality makes the rest of the game seem strangely hollow. There are no surprises, only satisfying but ultimately incremental improvements on what has come before. Playing Crysis 3 feels like using a skeleton key on an unlocked door, espousing an all-things-at-all-times-to-all-people philosophy that becomes counter-intuitively monotonous. A better narrative would have provided a much-needed sense of identity, as well as structure and constraint. Crysis 3 is a game with a state-of-the-art night-vision feature that desperately needs a level in the dark.
Every week, gamers are asked to strap on some exotic helmet and save the world, mowing down mercenaries and aliens because, well, that’s what mercenaries and aliens are for. These helmeted heroes have become so powerful that the forces of evil are mere inconveniences, gun-toting tackling dummies in between the various switches that must be pressed to deactivate the doomsday device. You start to feel a little sorry for Crysis 3′s mercenaries, their cutscene chatter full of justifiable fear. No such sympathy for the game’s forgettable villain, who despite Crytek’s being a German company speaks in a risibly evil German accent. His eventual betrayal is so obvious that it hardly feels like a betrayal at all.
What are you looking for out of Crysis 3? If you want the latest visuals and the slickest gameplay, tweaked and oiled like the engine of a luxury sedan, then buy this game. But years from now, when the graphics are obsolete, you won’t remember it. Sure, there might be that one epic killstreak, that one time you installed the last piece of a really great rig and the game ran like a dream. For some people, that might be enough, and that’s fine. Video game design is partly the process of gradually perfecting software, and by that standard, Crysis 3 is a huge success — the best futuristic compound bow murder $60 can buy right now, in 2013.
But you’re only the newest and best until some new thing comes along and does better. In the world of video games, that might not be a very long time. To really last, a game needs a stockpile of truly original ideas to survive when new becomes old and best becomes almost as good. Crysis 3 offers very few. The guns are different, the apocalypse is different. The city is more beautifully destroyed, the hero is more extravagantly nimble. That may not be enough.
Final Score: 75/100