A manageable ‘Crysis’
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 22:02
It seems like every game that comes out these days is some kind of shooter. Since the beginning of the year, four of the 360’s five disc-based releases have involved gunplay in some way, barring only the hack-and-slash “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.” As a result, the market’s been glutted; a game with guns needs to be especially compelling to stand out in today’s crowd.
The newest shooter of the year yet, EA’s “Crysis 3,” doesn’t quite stand out. It’s a vivid, ambitious FPS, one of the better ones to reach shelves recently, but all the bells and whistles in the world can’t save a game like “Crysis” from its wavering difficulty and, self-defeating above all else, its typical FPS trappings. While it has some cool features and is more than worth a spin, there’s nothing in the game that goes above and beyond. It’s never great; it’s merely content to be consistently good.
The game’s story isn’t as fun as the goofy commercials would have you believe, but there’s a lot to be enjoyed. It’s the third game in the series; I was unaware the series wasn’t PC-only, but apparently EA’s released the first two on consoles in 2011, with the second game in the series seeing shelves before the first somehow. The story is somewhat easy to follow with no prior knowledge, as missions boil down to the average “run here, shoot things” variety, albeit with a great setting.
The main character has a genetically-enhanced, possibly alien biosuit that gives the player a detailed, built-in HUD and a fairly fun suit upgrade system. He’s got a lot of skills; each weapon attainable has a different upgrade system and accessories, a button on the d-pad is responsible for hacking and biothermal scanners, he’s got a bow that can be equipped with explosive arrows like Hawkeye in “The Avengers,” and his suit can alternatively armor and cloak him from enemies. These are all fun to fool around by themselves and can complement each other well as missions progress. That being said, nothing about the game really steps outside of the generic FPS realm. It’s nothing that hasn’t been released a thousand times before, it’s just done well enough that it’s not offensive while it’s being repetitive.
That being said, the game’s graphics are beautiful, pushing the 360 to its limits (the PC version, built for even stronger tech, must look even better) and the setting, an abandoned, ruined New York City circa 2047, looks stunning, supporting characters looking startlingly lifelike at times. If you want the peak of modern-day graphics power, this is the game for you. The vast scopes lend themselves well to the game’s shooting, especially when zoomed in with the bow. Every arrow fired can be seen whistling to their target, though strangely it’s nearly impossible to find leftover arrows from missed shots.
“Crysis 3” isn’t the next coming of “Half-Life,” but it’s EA’s second good game of the month, which is better than nothing. Shooter fans desperate for a fix will find a lot to like about this one, but it doesn’t have the depth to hang with the biggest A-listers of today.