Upon first look, you're bound to fall in love with Crysis 3 . The latest shooter from Crytek is absolutely gorgeous looking, hits all the right notes and performs remarkably well mechanically - but that's just how it acts - mechanically. The developers have created what's easily one of the best looking and solid shooters of this generation, but it's so by the numbers and lacks much of any personality. Throughout the entire experience, I found myself just waiting for the credits to roll, which is a shame for such a well-done shooter. There are still plenty of reasons to pick up Crysis 3 - just don't expect it to hold your attention for very long.
Crysis 3 opens a few decades after the conclusion of the last game, after the nano-suit outfitted hero known as prophet saved the world from an alien race. The cell corporation has captured Prophet and is looking to dissect him to learn more about the technology. It isn't long before an old friend springs him and the two are locked in a war to escape the facility. These early levels do a great job allowing players to learn the mechanics of the game at their own pace, but the interior settings don't even hint at the beauty of what's coming next - and the game's real strength.
After making your way through the compound, you're given your first look at the ruins of New York - and you'll never see a set of ruins so lovely. The folks at Crytek have made it public that they are trying to release the best looking game ever made, and if they weren't successful - they've sure come close. The ruins are created with stunning detail, and it's tough not to stop and marvel at even the smallest blade of grass. Much of the original Crysis took place in a lush jungle setting, while the sequel moved the battle to New York, and Crysis 3 's setting feels like a mix of the two, with the big apple being half city, half rainforest.
The open world setting of the ruins of New York also serve to introduce you to the game's main mechanic of hunting and exploring. Much of your time in Crysis 3 will be spent sneaking around the open-world setting and trying to hunt your prey using a combination of your high powered firearms and the nano-suit's impressive abilities. You're given a compound bow early in the game - expect to use it a lot as it serves as that combined with the cloaking ability represents your best chance to stay hidden and avoid being shot down.
It also doesn't hurt that the game's enemy AI is so wildly unpredictable and uneven that it can get incredibly frustrating. In one battle you'll be able to go right up to an enemy and melee kill them, but another can seemingly see you through that set of crates you're hiding behind. Regardless, each battle ends up the same way. Take out one enemy, wait for the others to investigate and then pounce. You're given enough tech that the vast majority of these encounters won't be much trouble at all.
That being said, the core of the game, like its predecessor's, is definitely playing with the nano-suit and seeing just how you can use it to your advantage. There's a slew of upgrades available, and though the menu system is a bit harder to follow at first, it can be extremely liberating to charge into battle with some new abilities and waste your enemies.
If Crysis 3 has a saving grace, it's the competitive multiplayer mode, which features all of the modes you've come to expect from similar games, but it's a bit more fun to just watch all of these super powered beings taking each other on. It may still get caught up on the same hang-ups as giants like Call of Duty, but it's fun none-the-less.
Crysis 3 is a lot like its protagonist - fully equipped and technically impressive but also cold, dull and lacking any sort of personality. There's a good amount of fun to be had with Prophet's latest adventure - -and hunting with the bow is great fun (at first), but the game has a nasty habit of showing a trick once and then thinking it's going to amaze you over and over. Crysis 3 is the definitive version of the series, but it won't go much further than that.