Your name is Prophet, formerly Laurence Barnes, and you’ve given up every shred of humanity you once had to battle the Cell Corporation and the Ceph, an alien race hellbent on taking over the world. At the center of it all is an incredible discovery that gives birth to a new type of soldier, equipped with Nanosuits, highly advanced technology that dramatically changes the battlefield. Yet, by the time the third entry in the Crysis series begins, we’re shown a glimpse of the future, and the consequences of this technology become apparent.


Crysis 3 is a solid fps that salvages the series’ somewhat convoluted premise in favor of slightly improved storyline that attempts to humanize the otherwise post-human hero. While it isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, its incredibly expansive environments, nearly photorealistic graphics, and varied gameplay make it an excellent destination for players tired of the overtly linear approach most fps entries have, even despite its seeming lack of polish and direction.


In a beginning that would probably require a Doctorate in Metaphysics to understand for the worst reasons possible, Laurence Barnes is freed from stasis after being captured by the Cell Corporation, basically one of the Big Bads of the Crysis series. During this time however, which lasts a few decades, Prophet receives a new vision, hinting at a threat of world-ending proportions. Yet, that enemy happens to be one that seems to have disappeared, replaced by Cell’s new stranglehold in the race for world domination. A lot’s changed; Cell’s turned New York into its own little Chia pet, and your comrades – including Psycho, who accompanies you for the majority of the campaign – have been forcibly stripped of their nanosuits in a process many did not survive. Throw in a cavalcade of science fiction clichés and you have the gist of Crysis 3. But, try as it might, we all know we never played the Crysis games for their story.



The real fun in Crysis 3 shines in nanosuit combat, where players will find themselves putting all of their talents to use in the fight against Cell and later on, the Ceph. The game mostly operates the same: a rechargeable energy bar  drains while you use your camouflage ability or armor skill, you have super strength, as well as the ability to use Ceph technology – in the forms of special alien weaponry that you can get a hold of. Some of them, like the Pinch Rifle, rapid-fire a powerful barrage of particles that rips through the formidable Ceph infantry you’ll run into; others, like the XPAC Mortar, fire a volley of explosive plasma rounds that can easily take down tougher enemies like Ceph Pingers. The array of human weaponry comes standard with a few standouts – the GAUSS Sabot sniper rifle – but the most impressive addition to Prophet’s arsenal is the Predator Bow. This weapon packs an incredible punch, usually able to one-shot most enemies on the right setting, and comes equipped with interchangeable arrowheads that can do everything from detonate on impact to plant mines and even fire powerful electrical impulses. It’s a wicked new addition to Prophet’s arsenal and will probably be your primary weapon of choice for most of the game. With regular arrows that can be retrieved, the Predator Bow will prove to be an invaluable asset.


Another neat feature is the Nanosuit’s ability to hack turrets and minefields so that Prophet can instantly even the odds. Or, to let your environment do the work for you. The minigame is simple enough, but leaves the player vulnerable. Thankfully, with the Nanovision visor players can hack these objects from a modest distance. Players can still tag their enemies as well as track different waypoints, as well as highlight everything from ammo caches to intel and Nanosuit upgrades to collect. The latter comes in a full array of unlockable perks players can customize to suit their playing style, from greater shielding to health upgrades. Completing special challenges for each will increase the effectiveness of each perk, and players can equip four at a time as well as hotkey different combinations and alternate them on-the-fly. Putting these skills to use of course is what makes Crysis 3 such a fun game.


The level design, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. The third entry in the game attempts to condense its immense sandbox environment with a dose of linearity. For the first few chapters, players will typically recognize a recurring formula of following your comrade Psycho throughout the somewhat claustrophobic buildings and later taking things at your own pace as you assess the enemies in your environment and plan a method of approach for each objective you’re given. In some cases, this setup works to your advantage, giving players the freedom they need to explore and exterminate to their heart’s content. In other cases, players might find the pacing to be a bit bogged down by the sheer grandiosity of a few of these levels. When Crysis 3 interchanges these elements, the game brims with possibility; the Chinatown level is an excellent example of this.



The lush, meticulously detailed environments are some of the finest of this generation, from the facial animations down to the very animals you’ll sometimes see wandering the downtrodden locales of New York. There will however, be odd blemishes in the occasional horrible texture popups or muddy textures. The rather hyper vigilant AI will make even the most routine of takedowns a bit more frustrating, especially when enemies are magically able to spot you in pitch darkness from hundreds of meters. Laughably bad B-movie dialogue won’t help much either. However, when Prophet is in his stride, players will find themselves systematically wiping out entire zones of Cell enemies with stealth takedowns and well-placed arrows, giving all the tedium a modest sense of accomplishment. Don’t expect the game to get any more interesting though; a chance to expand gameplay possibilities even further is wasted.


Multiplayer is standard, and only made interesting through your opponent’s ability to use the Nanosuit’s camouflage and armor capabilities. This is perfected in Hunter mode, which pits players in Cell units against two Hunter units with unlimited stealth and bows. Players downed become new Hunters and attempt to hunt down the remaining Cell members. The tension offered in this mode exemplifies what we love most about the Crysis series. A nice class-centered progression system allows players to unlock new upgrades with XP and each challenge completed.


For all Crysis 3 offers, it never seems to go far enough. Neither does the incredibly sparse story: “It was never about the suit!” Psycho tells Barnes in one desperate plea; yet, the suit is all players and Prophet himself have known for the past two games. When Crysis 3 isn’t trying to humanize Prophet with its occasionally melodramatic conventions, or Prophet’s ham-handed voicework, it’s exciting and everything one can expect. Otherwise, its mediocre foray into alien invasions and Transhumanism will bore most gamers. But we never came for that: the suit, inevitably, is all that matters, and with the wealth of destructive possibilities at your fingertips, it’s never a bad thing.