Torrential rain spatters beautifully across your screen as a small covert team of modern day warriors, led by our old Crysis favourite, Psycho, strafe across a cargo ship. Your PC instantly grinds under the pressure. Crysis 3, from a system demanding standpoint, comes out with a swift sucker punch to your PC’s gut. I can hear Crytek laughing as my i5, 560 Ti and 8GB RAM whines under the strain.
But the clever development monkeys over there have delivered a title that is both a solid technical benchmark for the most powerful PC hardware available today, while also managing to keep it accessible to lower end PCs. As long as screen res and AA are turned down when your PC needs it, you get a good show with little of the visual good stuff lost.
Thats the Crysis 3 hardware synopsis. For more Crysis 3 hardware reports visit
Lets get into the Crysis 3 Game-Debate Review
The original Crysis was a massive success for one main reason. The environment. It was a beautiful tropical island with large open spaces. A technical masterpiece that let you use your few super abilities to great effect. While exploring your powers and the island you got to feel like the super soldier you were meant to be, but the game also maintained a controlled balance throughout.
Moving on to Crysis 2, we had already seen the super soldier stuff and the aliens, so that left the new environment as the main event. It proved to be far too weak and people were unhappy. Maps were tight and linear and the game suffered for it.
Crysis 3 Environments
Crysis 3 is a big budget EA title set in NYC. It seems that Crytek didn’t feel that the urban jungle was enough of a jungle so they draped a layer of green foliage over the NY cityscape and put a biodome over the top to keep it all warm inside. On paper this clever design approach provides the game and its developers great flexibility. A backdrop of one of the most desirable holiday destinations, which provides immediate appeal to huge numbers of past and future NYC visitors, while maintaining the unusual mix of two opposing environments, urban and dense rural. So far this all seems great.
In reality, they fail to capture the magic of NYC. There are few familiar streets or landmarks, so the location is somewhat wasted. The undergrowth on the skyscrapers is interesting but quickly ignored as it fails to deliver the magic that Crysis 1 achieved, where you might spend a few minutes just cutting up the trees with a minigun, just for kicks.
Crysis 3’s use of environment is not bad though. For example, a great bit of design that melds the environment with the enemy is an overgrown train yard, fairly early on in Crysis 3. The train carriages are like islands amongst a sea of head-tall grass. You are made aware that there are things lurking, hunting, through the grass. Once you drop into the grass you feel the pressure. You can barely see, but you hear them closing in on you with terrifying speed. They don’t all head straight for you either. If you take one down and get sprinting, all the while navigating blind through the tall grass, they actually start to hunt you. You catch very brief glimpses of them through the undergrowth, circling around, trying to cut you off or gain advantage from higher ground.
A thrilling experience that really highlights what can be achieved. However, the controls are sometimes a little sticky. And when you fail to power jump at the exact moment you need because you bumped into a small rock, well magic moments can quickly turn into angry moments. This can happen with the sprint as well. The point of view also feels a little claustrophobic and could do with a little widening, but this can be shifted via some in-game console controls.
Crysis 3 Nano-Suit
The nano suit that the player wears turns your character, known in-game as Prophet, into a one man army. You can step up to handfuls of enemy face on and take a fair amount of damage before having to step back behind cover, so long as you set your suits mode onto armour, default as the Q key. The alternative approach is stealth mode. By pressing E you vanish from sight. Its akin to the alien’s cloaking device from the classic Arnie film, Predator. So I am sure its no coincidence that when you press E to cloak, you hear the very iconic sound that was played whenever the Predator was close by in the film.
Crysis 3 AI
Crytek have done a good job with the Crysis 3 enemy AI. It manages to give the player plenty to think about. Often when they know your location, maybe they saw you kill their buddy and vanish, they will lob an EMP grenade your way to try and disable your cloaking device. Of course, they let you know about it first. “Throwing EMP grenade” they will politely call out just before they throw it. This helps you plan evasive action, but you will, at least a few times, get caught out by those cunning CEL goons. They don’t bunch together for easy grenade kills but they do try to provide each other support, so you can get some group kills if you are patient. They will circle around your last known position and approach steadily from cover to cover.
So the combat stays interesting, for the most part, as you stealth kill a handful of baddies before ripping a heavy weapon emplacement from a wall and finishing the rest off with Armour mode on and a spray of high calibres.
You can buy upgrades for your nano suit with the rare nano-point pickups found around the maps. The upgrade you select might give you a bonus to armour, or possibly let you reload quicker or fall further. Some of the power ups are a little more inventive but none of them seem overpowered, which is a good thing and bad thing. From the unlocked suit enhancements you can actually only have up to four active at any one time. You can switch on the fly which four you wish to have active but the flexibility to choose any four is somewhat nerfed by the selection system. This is to encourage you to build a nano-suit profile for different occasions, weddings, birthday parties...Nah I am just kidding.
Crysis 3 Nano Upgrades
The truth is, the system is not very obvious and feels a little irrelevant in terms of understanding the benefits of what you have selected. After dabbling with it at first I ignored it for a large amount of the game, although having these types of level up elements in a game seems absolutely essential to every game ever made now a days and I am not sure it needs to be that way if the system is just tacked on. The Crysis 3 powering up system is not unlike Deus Ex Human Revolution’s system but unlike D-Ex:HR the abilities in Crysis 3 are mostly passive and forgettable, whereas D-Ex:HR lets the player feel the power of their new abilities straight away. Speaking of Deus Ex, you must remember that magic moment when you said “Hey mum, look! I can now stab multiple people in the neck with massive stabby wrist blades. How awesome is that?” ahh happy times. That doesn't happen here.
Crysis 3 Weapons
The Crysis 3 weapons are great and largely brought in from Crysis 2, where they were also great. The obvious addition is the New Super Powerful Bad Ass Stealth Combat Bow. Thats its official title around GD Towers. You can use this ballistic device for mid range sniping and stealth take downs as it does not interrupt your stealthy cloaking. You can switch out the standard ammo by pressing the default x key. The same goes for all weapons actually. This lets you customise your weapon functionality. If you want a foregrip for less recoil, then you can add it or maybe stick on a laser dot?
This can also be done for the New Super Powerful Bad Ass Stealth Combat Bow. Maybe increase the required pull string for an extra powerful shot or if you want to deliver a well placed explosive tipped arrow? As this is a very powerful weapon you have limited arrows of each type. Despite your hulking super human strength you can only carry 9 of the standard arrows. But you can collect the arrows back up once fired providing you can keep track of them.
Crysis 3 Multiplayer
Now to briefly discuss the Crysis 3 multiplayer. I say briefly because the Crysis series is known for being a single player game with a multiplayer section tagged on. In Crysis 2 people rarely visited the online gameplay provided by this area of the game and yet the magic of the nano-suit offers new game modes that do not exist in other titles.
One MP setup has you cast as an invisible nano-suited hunter, while the rest of the players make up a team of normal soldiers who are trying their best to avoid death. After a certain amount of time elapses they succeed by staying alive. Of course, they can throw EMP grenades and have proximity monitors built in to help up the tension while levelling out the battlefield a little bit. If this sounds familiar, it is. It is almost identical to the childrens game, hide and seak. Ok so the childrens game doesn’t always involve stealth suits and New Super Powerful Bad Ass Stealth Combat Bows but you get the idea. The multiplayer can be a lot of fun and offer up some interesting tactics when there are lots of stealthy future ninja soldiers sprinting around the map.
I also noticed that audio starts to play a very cool part in Crysis 3 MP. With invisible enemy all over the place it helps to stay quiet and listen for movement. Or as you are ripping into someone’s super armour protection, if you listen carefully you will hear a specific sound that lets you know you have breached their suits protection and they will be dropping to the ground shortly.
Crysis 3 Conclusion
As we move further from 2007, the monumental splash that the original Crysis made on the gaming world is being overshadowed by the less than awesome sequels. Crysis 3 pushes boundaries but those boundaries are largely engineering feats focused on extracting technical juice from hardware, rather than melding a comprehensive story with a special environment and gameplay. At this moment I can’t help but think about Skyrim, Far Cry 3 and AC3. These are titles that are showing gamers new and great things. We have COD and BF3 to fulfil our standard FPS fix.
However, Crysis 3 is still a solid title. Possibly the most technically impressive and visually stimulating experiences around. It will very comfortably sate your FPS itch right now with a wonder of sights and sounds for around a dozen hours, if you take your time with it. I then suggest venturing into the Crysis 3 multiplayer arena to see if it can show you something new.