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March 7, 2013
Crysis 3 - PS3 Review
Release Distributer Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
21/2/2013EA GamesEA GamesCrytek12-12
Media HDD Install Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Crysis 3 is available now on PS3.
With all the blockbusters being released in the past few weeks you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s November, traditionally the domain of big releases, all over again. We’ve already seen Dead Space 3, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and (the disappointing) Aliens: Colonial Marines, while Tomb Raider and God of War: Ascension are almost upon us. As if that wasn’t enough we’ve gotten our grubby little mitts on a copy of Crytek’s latest, Crysis 3. The first two games were well received so expectations are high for this one. Is it the blockbuster fans are hoping for? Read on...

Set in New York 2047 (25 years after Crysis 2), Crysis 3 sees the return of Prophet, the Nanosuit soldier on a quest to rediscover his humanity and crush the mysterious CELL Corporation and Ceph alien threat as well. Decades of war has taken its toll on the once-great city of New York, which has been encased in a nanodome, known as the Liberty Dome, by CELL, in the hope of quarantining the last remnants of the Ceph. Inside the dome, the practically uninhabited city has now become an urban jungle, teeming with plant life, overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers.

Early on Prophet meets up with his former squadmate Psycho, and through him is introduced to the resistance, a force fighting against the CELL Corporation’s unsavoury business practices, which includes slavery. The resistance believes the Ceph are all but eliminated and CELL is the real threat, but Prophet knows they have that bass ackwards. And so it’s up to him - and the Nanosuit – to take down both CELL and the Ceph, and maybe save the world in the process.

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Dude, enemies can jump at you!?
If you’ve ever played a Crysis game before you know it’s all about the Nanosuit and its superhuman powers. Wearing the Nanosuit Prophet has unbelievable strength and durability, and while that’s great, it’s the suits’ cloaking, armour and visor capabilities that make him a one-man army, opening up multiple gameplay styles in the process.

If you fancy taking a stealthy approach then all you need do is turn on the suits cloaking ability. With this on Prophet is all but invisible, allowing him to stealthily dispatch enemies, or sneak past them if you’re feeling like a pacifist. If you prefer to meet your enemies head-on (or if you’ve been caught stealthing) simply turn on your armour, which reduces the damage taken significantly. Both of these abilities burn through suit energy (which replenishes when neither ability is active) though, so you’ll need to use them judiciously.

The suits’ Tactical Visor helps you make the best use of your abilities, allowing you to scout your enemies and the surrounding areas before engaging in battle. The visor can see through solid objects, allowing you to spot and tag enemies, as well as other things of interest such as ammo crates and intel files. Once an enemy has been tagged their icon remains visible once the visor has been closed, allowing you to track them with your cloak or armour turned on.

The Tactical Visor can also decrypt, i.e. hack, most secure systems you come across. There are a bunch of hack-able objects around including sentry turrets (which turn on your enemies when hacked), land mines (which are disabled) and security panels. Hacking something involves a minigame where you press the square button as a wavelength hits the sweet spot indicated on-screen.

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Ahh yes, Red, Exploding, Barrels...
Outside of the Nanosuit the most powerful tool at your disposal is the HUD, which provides plenty of pertinent information. In the bottom left-hand corner of the screen there’s a mini-map showing you and your surrounds, including enemies and objective markers. Next to the map is a small threat gauge indicating how aware enemies are of you. When the threat gauge is green enemies are blissfully unaware of your presence, if its yellow enemies are hunting for you, and if it’s red enemies have you in their sights. It’s an extremely handy feature of the HUD, and you’ll reference it often. On the bottom-right of screen your weapon information is shown, including the weapon equipped, ammo remaining and Nanosuit energy.

Throughout missions you’re tasked with primary and secondary objectives. These show up at the top of the screen when you first receive them, and are then displayed on-screen as waypoints for you to reach. Making it to a primary objective waypoint advances the story, while secondary objectives are entirely optional, but often have handy items, such as Nano Modules (used to upgrade the Nanosuit) and ammo lying around to make completing them worth the effort.

Speaking of Nano Modules, there are a bunch of them to be found throughout the game. Upgrading the suit requires 1-3 Nano Modules, with better upgrades obviously cost more modules. For example one module might grant you increased sprint time, or a radar upgrade, while three modules will give you stronger melee attacks. Each upgrade can be further enhanced by completing tasks listed on the upgrade page. For example the Assassin upgrade, which grants 25% faster stealth kills, will be enhanced to make stealth kills 50% faster once you perform 25 stealth kills with the Assassin upgrade equipped.

So yeah, the Nanosuit is one impressive piece of equipment, but let’s not forget that Prophet needs weapons if he’s to take down CELL and the Ceph. There are stacks of weapons in the game, ranging from handguns to rifles to Ceph weapons (stolen from their cold, dead hands). Prophet can carry five weapons at a time – a standard gun, a special gun, explosives (including a rocket-launcher), grenades and the all-new Predator bow.

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Crysis 3 is a visually stunning game.
While there is a time and place for every weapon the Predator bow is useful in almost any situation, thanks largely to the fact you can stay cloaked while shooting it unlike most other weapons. It also has four different ammo-types, including thermite arrows that are perfect for taking down armoured enemies, giving it perhaps the most utility of any weapon in the game. Arrow ammo crates are slightly rarer than regular ammo crates, which was the only reason I didn’t stick to the Predator bow exclusively.

The Predator bow isn’t the only weapon that can shoot multiple ammo types - some other advanced weapons can as well. Many weapons also have multiple attachments, changing the way in which they’re used. For example you might add a scope to a weapon to take down distant enemies, or add a silencer so that you’re harder to detect. Changing ammunition and attachments can be done on the fly by holding down the select button, but time doesn’t stop while you’re doing it, so it’s best to change in between battles, rather than during a firefight.

The campaign definitely favours a measured approach to combat, using the visor to plan your attacks, and finding a balance between stealth and force. The multiplayer changes that completely, emphasizing all-out action for the most part. There are twelve different multiplayer modes to play, including the now standard deathmatch and capture the flag modes.

The most unique mode is undoubtedly Hunter, which pits two invisible CELL hunters against up to ten resistance fighters. The hunters have just two minutes to track down and kill all resistance fighters, but the twist here is that every resistance member killed is respawned as a hunter. As a member of the resistance you’re only warning that a hunter is nearby is a proximity alarm that gets faster and faster the closer the hunters get. It’s an adrenaline-filled mode, and is the one most likely to draw you back. You earn XP for your performance in all game modes, and as per usual leveling-up unlocks new character classes and upgrades.

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Water, Fire, Smoke, Explosions all look great.
There is a lot to like about Crysis 3, but it does have a few issues as well. Most significant of these is the short campaign length, clocking in at around six hours. A lot of first-person shooters have short campaigns but Crysis 3 is quite story-dependent, and after completing it once I wonder if you’ll want to play it again. Outside of a few intel files, Nano modules and some black box recordings to collect there’s nothing really bringing you back.

Speaking of intel files, one thing I found annoying is the information within the files often outstrips the main story. If you take the time to read the files as you find them you’ll spoil some of the bigger plot twists, and it’s annoying that Prophet reacts like the information is new when you get to the next cut-scene. The vehicle sections are lackluster too, though there aren’t many of them (which is another disappointment). Finally, the mini-map could use a bit more function, indicating when enemies are higher or lower than your location. You can suss that out with the visor, but it would be much quicker if the map showed you.

One area where Crysis 3 excels is in the visual department. Crytek’s CryEngine 3 engine is a beast, offering top notch visuals while being free of technical hitches such as screen-tearing or slow-down. The opening scene, which sees you on a boat in terrible weather, with rain bucketing down, sets the bar high, but that standard is kept throughout the game. Walking through long grass, wary of ambushes but unable to see them on account of the grass is another exciting experience. It wasn’t until much later in the game that the standard slipped a little, and even then it was only because many of the visible buildings are at the edge of the draw distance, and thus lack much detail.

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The game is short, but great fun.
Characters look fantastic throughout, particularly Psycho, whose expressive face matches his state of mind perfectly. There isn’t much variety in enemies, but that’s to be expected considering there are just two factions – CELL and the Ceph. There are a few different Ceph types in the game but they all have a fairly similar alien-ness about them.

The music, voice-acting and sound effects all do an excellent job of bringing tension and atmosphere to proceedings. Often you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat, or with your heart pumping, and that has a lot to do with the sound. Surround sound is used to great effect as well, with enemies giving away their location through clicking sounds, or their footfalls. A cranking stereo (or quality headphones) will add much to your aural experience with Crysis 3.

The voice-acting initially seemed over the top to me, particularly Prophet, but before long the characters had drawn me into the story better than I expected they could. Psycho’s performance is a standout for me – you can almost feel his passion and pain when he talks (or yells, which seems to be his default setting). There’s plenty of swearing in the game, but most of it feels natural enough.

Outside of a few small niggles I really enjoyed my time with Crysis 3. It’s technically excellent, particularly in the visual department, and being able to switch between stealth and aggression with the push of a button is a lot of fun. The biggest problem facing Crysis 3 is its length and the lack of reasons to replay the game. The multiplayer offering is ok but, outside of the Hunter mode, there’s not a whole lot new or exciting here. If the short length doesn’t put you off then Crysis 3 will be a worthy addition to your collection.

Review By: Mike Allison

GRAPHICSImpressive throughout, with fantastic locations and characters.
SOUNDBuilds the tension wonderfully, and features high-quality voice-acting.
GAMEPLAYPerhaps lacking a little of variety (more vehicle sections would have been welcome), but tight in all other areas.
VALUEMy major concern with the game. The story takes around six hours to finish and doesn’t do much to bring you back for seconds. Multiplayer is ok, but may not offer the same depth as other FPSs out there.
OVERALLCrysis 3 is a fun, technically polished game, let down only by a lack of length and replayability.

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