Crysis 3: Every bit a stunner

When most people think of what the best looking games are these days, Crysis almost always comes up.

Crysis 3
From: EA
For: PS3/360/PC
4 stars (out of 5)

Released in 2007, it still remains one of the most polished games graphically, but what tends to get overlooked is the above average story and gameplay that accompanies it. Crysis 2 didn't quite get the same fanfare when it came out but it was also a very solid shooter. Here we have Crysis 3, a game which continues that trend.

As you may have seen from the pre-release screenshots, Crysis 3 takes place in New York but not as you've seen it before. Cell (the main antagonists) have created a BioDome that covers New York City, and it has literally become a concrete jungle.

When you first enter the BioDome, it's one of those breathtaking moments that many games attempt to create, and so few succeed. Crysis 3 is one of those lucky few.

The main point of difference between Crysis 3 and its predecessors is the inclusion of the hunting bow. In the previous games, stealth was actively encouraged and yet, any time you used your weapon all elements of stealth were immediately lost.

This time around, the bow enables you to remain cloaked which makes for much more satisfying combat. There's just something about nailing an enemy to a wall that never gets old. Combat is a quasi-open world affair in the same vein as Crysis 2, in that you get some flexibility in tactics and approach but not the same as the pure open world of the first game.

To be honest, I prefer the first game's approach, it truly just said to you Here's your objective, go and complete it any way you like. Crysis 3 appears to be the same initially, but due to the increased linearity your choices and the impact they make are lessened.

The trademark nanosuit makes an appearance again and performs in much the same way it did in the other games. You can choose to have increased armour (at the expense of agility) or to cloak yourself to successfully sneak around.

I always preferred the sneaking approach; it feels like that is the way the developers intended for you to play the game. Much like Dishonored, you can go through guns blazing but you miss the subtle parts of the game and level design that make the game what it is.

And then there is the trademark Crysis aspect ... and that is the visuals. As mentioned before the original game is heralded as a stunner, and Crysis 3 is better than that. The level of detail in the environment is stunning, the physics and animation is outstanding (aside from occasional glitches), and the whole game is a polished diamond. I really doubt we'll see any better from this generation of consoles. It's a cut above.

If you enjoyed the previous games, then you'll lap this up. It's a tightly refined experience that is sure to hit all the buttons. Newcomers are perhaps best served trying out the first two however, to see if nano-suiting up is the thing for them.

- Simon Bishop

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