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.

Pros

  • State-of-the-art graphics technology.
  • Some spectacular vistas and encounters.
  • Mechanics of single- and multiplayer gameplay polished to a high sheen.
  • Cons

  • Weak narrative, capped off with a dull ending.
  • Game simply does not introduce enough memorable or original elements beyond a select few gameplay features and a suite of graphical improvements.
  • Final Score: 75/100

     

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    7 Comments on Crysis 3 PC Review: The New Bow

    David

    On February 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I just finished up the game myself today and hollow is a great descriptor to use. I hated the campaign. What I wanted was, more or less, Far Cry 3 with the Nanosuit. I can’t stand these linear CoD-style shootfests anymore.

    It is graphics porno though, man, what a pretty (but soulless) game.

    SXO

    On March 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Confession time, I actually liked the story from the first game. It wasn’t original, but it was a well laid out adventure with a few surprises. Crysis 2 took that simple story, tossed it out the window, and went to the extreme with the clich├ęs and plot-holes. With that in mind, I have no interest in Crysis 3.

    Legendaryscmt

    On March 1, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Crysis 3 really felt like an expansion to me. As everyone will say, the graphics are stunning and completely wipes the floor with the first two games. That said, I really agree with the review in saying that there really isn’t any stand out moments in the game. Maybe the first time you see the city, but beyond that there’s nothing over the top or things that make you say “wow”.

    I was also disappointed in how the game really didn’t explore enough of the city. The second and third levels do so to a degree and it’s great to see what 20+ years of decay has done, but after that it seemed that it just turned into a giant battlefield and nothing more. A game like this, with how incredibly beautiful it is, should have had more emphasis on having the city be a part of the game instead of just the game’s location. I appreciate how the game was a little more open than Crysis 2, but imagine if it had more levels where you could fight on the streets, or sneak through the decaying buildings avoiding those fights.

    Pat T

    On March 2, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I’m not hating here, but I have not seen a review from GF that is above an 80. Maybe I am not watching the right reviews?

    Jay

    On March 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I really enjoyed the game… Besides the obvious visuals on a top-end PC (which look rediculous, like everyone who’s ever played this game at max settings will tell you), the controls, the gun-play, and your weapon customization all play out really well. On the same level as the biggest titles out there, such as Battlefield 3, CoD, and Halo. That’s the games biggest strength.

    The main problems I see is that the narrative, while better, is stereotypical and flat. Same goes for the final mission. The other problem is that the game is both short and very easy. If you play smart and use all the tools available to you the game is SO easy at the maximum difficulty. This is mostly from the Predator Bow, which outclasses every weapon in this game except the temporary use of a few Ceph weapons.

    A better game than Crysis 2 hands down, but it still doesn’t match the open jungle that the original game had. It has managed to keep my attention longer than the first two games did however… Which only lasted through one playthrough (I’m on my 3rd and probably last).

    Ron Whitaker

    On March 4, 2013 at 7:16 am

    @Pat – I don’t think that’s a function of our reviews. It’s more because there haven’t been any super games released of late. I know Phil gave Antichamber a 90 recently.

    There are plenty of high scoring games if you check out our archive, but if you want new games scoring high, you’ll have to wait for something great to be released.

    Also, remember that 80 is a damn good score. The perception that 80 isn’t a good score is one of the biggest problems with reviews these days.

    If you want to know what Game Front’s review scoring means, here’s the definitive guide. http://www.gamefront.com/about-reviews/

    Dratkin

    On March 5, 2013 at 5:22 am

    So basically they FINALLY made a game on par with the original FAR CRY.