2013-03-05

Crysis 3 – Who Do You Say The Prophet Is?

by Yo Snyder

What do you do to help you stand out from the crowd in the
ever-popular shooting genre of video games? Well, in the case of the Crysis
games, you give gamers a unique set of tools and then set them free in a
virtual playground to use those tools how they see fit. In truth, it’s one of
the better ways of standing out from the crowd, and it’s allowed the Crysis
games to carve out a little niche of their own. Crysis 3 doesn’t stray too far from the formula, but because of
that it remains a fun and unique shooter experience.

This time around it’s back to the jungle; actually, two
types of jungle. You’re in the concrete jungle of the big city, and you’re also
in an actual jungle. New York has been overgrown, ala Will Smith’s I Am Legend. It makes for a really unique
setting with the blending of urban and wild life together. It also makes for a
fun playground in which you can decide how best to proceed; guns blazing,
stealthy, maybe a mixture of both. It’s all up to you, and it’s that freedom
that once again helps set Crysis 3
apart.

You take with you into this jungle the standard set of tools
all Crysis games give you, with a few tweaks here and there. You have your
cloak, you have your maximum armor ability, along with the other enhancements
you get from Prophet’s nanosuit such as the ability to hack turrets and turn
them against your enemies. This time around, you also get a bow. Now, those
have been all the rage recently in games (probably because of The Hunger Games, or maybe Brave), but this is the first shooter
I’ve played where it’s more than novelty, it’s actually a necessity. You see,
with the bow, you can be an absolutely silent killer. The bow allows you to
stay cloaked as you take guys down. Now, you do have a limited amount of ammo,
very limited actually, so you have to retrieve arrows as you go, but this just
adds to the strategy and tactics.

Interestingly enough, this is another shooter (like Halo 4) that also tells a fairly
worthwhile campaign story. As Prophet tries to end the Ceph threat once and for
all, he also has to work to convince others that the Ceph still are a threat in
the first place. It’s this reaction to Prophet that I found most interesting.
Some thought Prophet was crazy and paranoid, others didn’t quite trust him due
to the fact that his nanosuit also incorporates many alien elements, but there
were a few who were willing to believe that what he said was true despite all
appearances to the contrary. It reminds me of how people responded to another
prophet who happened to walk this world a couple thousand years ago. Some
thought Jesus was a lunatic, others thought Jesus was simply a liar, and there
were a few who believed that he was who he said he was, the Lord. In the end,
Jesus himself put it very succinctly; when it comes to who he is, the only
opinion that really matters is who you say who he is (Matthew 16:15). Now, in Crysis 3, it doesn’t really matter who
you believe Prophet to be because the game will play out just the same. When it
comes to the prophet Jesus, however, it matters very much what you believe
about him because that belief will quite literally alter your life and eternity.

The plot and its deeper philosophical underpinnings are all
very interesting, but the truth is, since this is a Crysis game, more people
will be concerned with how it looks. Well, if you run it on PC, it’s going to
look pretty spectacular. No surprise, though, as that’s really its home system.
On the Xbox 360, the game still looks really good. It won’t be confused for a
next-gen game, but it’s up there with games like Halo 4. Halo 4 is perhaps
a more consistently great looking game, Crysis
3
is no slouch. In fact, like Halo 4,
there were plenty of times where I just stood and gazed at the wild look of a
jungle growing in a the New York jungle. It’s impressive stuff. It also helps that
the enemy AI is smart. They’ll flank, through EMP grenades, and generally make
things pretty tough for you. However, it is pretty satisfying when you’re
successfully pick off guards one-by-one to hear the final man standing start to
panic. The Ceph are as tough as ever. Fast, brutal, smart. Why couldn’t Aliens: Colonial Marines make their
aliens this imposing.

Now, like any shooter these days, Crysis 3 also has a multiplayer mode. Truth be told, it’s pretty
standard stuff. The nifty little gadgets you have with the nanosuit give it a
unique flavor, but for the most part there’s nothing beyond that to help it
stand-out among the online shooters. One mode is rather fun; it has one player
cloaked and stalking the others. As you take down other players, they too
become cloaked until it’s the last man standing. It’s fun, intense stuff, but
it’s the only really stand-out feature of this multiplayer.

Smart AI, great graphics, a good story and some of the best
strategic, tactical play around in the shooter genre all helps make Crysis 3 a solid game. Granted, it does
fall into a pretty familiar rhythm – enter area, scan area, take out guards one
way or another, move on to next area – but the joy of complete freedom to
approach things however you want makes it all worthwhile. Plus, you have all
those wonderful toys, and this time, some pretty slick ways to upgrade things
and even an intuitive system for customizing your nanosuit to…er…suit various
tactical situations. Crysis 3 doesn’t
reinvent the wheel; but with a slightly better story and some nice tweaks, it
manages to make this yet another fun and engaging Crysis game. Future
iterations on the next-gen consoles will need to up the ante more significantly,
not just graphically, but gameplay-wise as well. For now, however, this is a
great swan-song for the series on the current generation of consoles.

Score: 6 of 7Crysis 3 is rated M for Mature. There’s
lots of action, but a minimal amount of gore. There is, however, lots of
language and it pretty much never stops. Plus, some of the sci-fi plot elements
are pretty grisly and harrowing. Nothing too extreme, but definitely for a
mature audience.