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Crysis 3 Review

  • First Released Feb 19, 2013
  • Reviewed Feb 19, 2013
  • PC

Crysis 3's amazing visuals are a pleasure to behold, and the game is plenty of fun, though not up to the high standards of its forebears.

There are aliens out there in the chin-high foliage. You hear the rustling and glimpse a black carapace between blades of grass, but you can't tell if you're being stalked by a single grotesque beast, or a horde of them. You sprint through the derelict trainyard, surrounded by lush overgrowth and rusted railroad cars, then vault to the top of a car to get a better view of your surroundings. A disgusting alien leaps upon the car as well--and you gun him down with your electricity-infused submachine gun. The creature erupts in goo, and you scan the yard, looking for more telltale signs of crazed attackers.

It's a tense sequence in a gorgeous first-person shooter. "Can it run Crysis?" was a criterion for the value of a gaming PC upon the release of the original, yet as wonderful as Crysis 2 looked, it never inspired the same system-crushing awe among PC enthusiasts. Crysis 3, however, seeks to annihilate modern PCs, many of which will suffer under the weight of its "high" setting, let alone "very high." And you can admire the fruits of developer Crytek's labors the moment you enter the first level as returning character Prophet. Your buddy Psycho gets up in your face so that you can see every pore and every facial tic. The pouring rain clouds your vision, sheets of water bending the light and prompting you to head to the game's menus and tweak the settings, seeking that sweet spot between beauty and performance.

There's no shame in lowering your settings even if your machine can handle most other games without trouble: Crysis 3 is undoubtedly a beauty even on medium settings. Crysis 2 left behind the original game's literal jungle for one of the urban type. Crysis 3 melds the two, returning you to a New York City where destruction and decay have been softened by overbearing greenery. The private military company known has CELL has erected a dome over the city, turning the crumbling metropolis into a gargantuan greenhouse in which trees take root in building foundations and rise through their stairwells towards the sky.

This mix of nature and destruction makes Crysis 3 look striking; you couldn't accuse its makers of sacrificing artistic creativity in favor of technology, though like its predecessors, this sequel aims for realism--or at least, as much realism as can be expected for a game featuring high-tech nanosuits and flame-spewing extraterrestrial walkers. The attention to detail is astounding, even in the character models, which is just as well, considering how often you get up close and personal with your co-stars. Only in a few select cases does the camera pull back and let you see Prophet from a third-person view. This means that you always see supporting characters express their anger, fear, and distrust from Prophet's point of view, which magnifies the tension of various personal exchanges.

New York City has gone green.
New York City has gone green.

Indeed, Crysis 3 tells a much more personal story than the previous games, focusing on three main characters: Prophet; former Raptor Team comrade Psycho; and Claire, Psycho's girlfriend and communications expert for a group of freedom fighters seeking to take down CELL once and for all. CELL has ripped Psycho's nanosuit from his body--a painful process that has only fueled his abhorrence of them, and leaves Prophet as the sole "post-human warrior" left to fight. Claire doesn't trust Prophet, who sees him more as hardware than human, and for good reason: his nanosuit makes him increasingly prone to visions apparently originating from the grandaddy of ceph aliens known as the Alpha Ceph.

Prophet's connection to this being fuels much of the story, as does Psycho's seething desire for revenge over those that forced him to be simply human. There are a number of touching moments that spawn from rising tensions--a newfound emotional heft that the series never before portrayed. The final level, unfortunately, is problematic, because it leaves behind the game's make-your-own-fun structure and requires only a little stick maneuvering and a button press. But you can at least come to Crysis 3 with the comfort of knowing that the game brings the series' continuing story to an apparent close.

Happily, several hours of entertaining action precede this moment, and it's the game's futuristic bow that sometimes drives that entertainment. With it, you zoom in, pull back, and unleash silent fury on the human or alien grunt of choice. Firing standard arrows has just the right feel: you sense the weight of the pull and release, and feel the impact when the arrow reaches its mark.

Scorchers look terrifying, but it doesn’t take much effort to bring them down.
Scorchers look terrifying, but it doesn’t take much effort to bring them down.

As before, you can activate your nanosuit's cloak to hide in plain sight, which amplifies the feeling of being a bow-wielding predator in the urban wilds of New York. Special explosive arrows and those that electrify liquid can also be a blast to play with, just for the kick of finding new ways to make CELL soldiers die horrible deaths. The bow's downside is that combined with cloaking, it makes the game too easy; you can annihilate a huge number of foes this way without breaking a sweat or fearing the consequences of being caught. It doesn't help matters that Crysis 3's soldiers and aliens are not the intelligent type. While they're not the dunderheads they could be in Crysis 2, enemies take no notice of arrows that land right next to them, run into obstacles and just keep trying to run, and sometimes ignore you even when you're in plain sight.

You can boost the level of challenge by choosing higher difficulties, and if you find that the cloak-and-arrow method is too exploitative, you can go in guns blazing. Even so, Crysis 3's battles lack the grandness of its predecessors'. Remember Crysis Warhead's raging exosuit battle? What about Crysis 2's Grand Central Station encounter with the pinger? Crysis 3's central battles are fun but not as thrilling, and its two primary boss battles are easily won, requiring little in the way of tactics. Certain stretches do a great job of drawing you into the world, flooding your vision with awe-inspiring collages juxtaposing nature's bucolic touch, the remnants of humanity's metal-and-stone triumphs, and fearsome alien technology. But the tension such exploration creates is not always relieved by explosive battle.

Yet even if Crysis 3's action doesn't usually burn with the intensity of the ceph's home galaxy, it's still good, in part because the series continues to hew its own path with regard to level design and structural openness. Crysis 3 is neither a pure linear shooter in the way popularized by Call of Duty, nor an open-world romp like Far Cry 3. Instead, its levels are sometimes large but always manageable, giving you freedom to put as much room between you and your foes as you like. The nanosuit encourages further experimentation, once again allowing you to activate the aforementioned cloak mode (which renders you invisible) and armor mode (which lets you soak up more damage). And once again, you can leap a good distance should you wish to reach higher ground in a hurry.

You can really feel the zing when using the K-Volt.
You can really feel the zing when using the K-Volt.

Stirring weapons into this mix makes for some rousing fun. The bow provides one way to approach battle, but it's not the only notable method of alien destruction. You can select various weapon attachments like scopes and silencers to suit your preferred approach. The basic guns feel just right: their power is properly communicated via plenty of muzzle flash and recoil animations that give the shooting a kick. A large battlefield patrolled by giant ceph allows you to pull out all the stops, firing rockets, manning rumbling battle tanks, and scanning the environment with your binoculars to mark enemies, ammo stashes, and available vehicles. But much of this action is optional: you can sprint right through Crysis 3's most intriguing battlefield, getting only a taste of what it has to offer.

Prophet isn't just limited to using human weaponry, though. The plasma-spewing pinch rifle is the most common alien weapon you stumble upon, but the incinerator is more gratifying to use, especially when you aim it at the meandering alien sentries that equip the same flame-spewing behemoth. Watching these ceph scorchers soak up all that fire before dramatically erupting is a mean-spirited delight. You equip alien cannons and mortars too, and they are enjoyable to shoot because they feel so powerful.

Stealth remains unchanged for the most part, though there are reasons to cloak yourself beyond the gruesome pleasure of a silent takedown. You can now hack into turrets, minefields, and other systems, which often means cloaking and sneaking close enough to your electronic target. Hacking requires you to perform a simple, easy minigame--and while it's enjoyable to watch a pinger walk into a hacked minefield, hacking isn't a game-changer. In fact, gaining the assistance of a ceph-murdering turret only makes the surreptitious route even easier.

They don’t call him Psycho for nothing.
They don’t call him Psycho for nothing.

Crysis 3's multiplayer modes don't encourage such exploitation, however, and are an improvement over Crysis 2's. The returning Crash Site mode provides plenty of entertainment, and is essentially a king-of-the-hill mode with a moving hill. Teams must capture and retain pods that are airdropped in, which keeps players moving around the map. Pods typically drop in open spaces, reducing the possibility of players finding hidey-holes to camp from--and allowing pingers to get in on the action. Indeed, a team lucky enough to nab a mech is sure to put it to good use, gunning down and stomping on their unlucky victims.

The addition of nanosuit powers keeps the flow fast-paced and unpredictable. One scenario: you rip a riot shield from a dropped pod so that you can defend yourself while retaining control of the area. An enemy combatant approached and cloaks, hoping to fill your backside with bullets. He uncloaks and begins to fire, and you rapidly turn and fling the shield at him, sending him flying and successfully defending your life--and the pod. The other modes--Team Deathmatch, Assault, and Capture the Relay among them--benefit from the same mechanics.

Standing apart is the new Hunter mode, which also features two teams in conflict, but with much different results. This round-based mode initially pits CELL operatives against a couple of fully-cloaked competitors armed only with bows. Your goal as a stealthed hunter is to eliminate as many operatives as possible; each operative you kill then joins you as a cloaked hunter. One by one, hunters stalk their fully armed enemies, whose main purpose is to stay alive long enough for the timer to run out. Sometimes, the mode results in CELL members camping out in a small room and running down the clock, which can feel anticlimactic for both teams. But the mode can also capture a unique sense of fear as your teammates are felled one by one, and your beeping monitor betrays the presence of a nearby hunter.

These stalkers are no match for the power of the nanosuit. Also, the power of a big gun.
These stalkers are no match for the power of the nanosuit. Also, the power of a big gun.

Crysis 3 is stunning to look at, successfully portraying an uneasy partnership of the natural and the artificial. As the story presses on, the conflict deepens and the visuals darken; it's as if you can feel the evil spreading throughout the city. As a piece of technology, Crysis 3 lives up to the series' legacy. As a game, it doesn't reach the same heights. The campaign is several hours shorter than Crysis 2's, and doesn't reproduce the thrills that lit up the previous games. Yet on its own terms, this is a full-featured sci-fi shooter that makes it a lot of fun to torture extraterrestrial abominations with the burning rage of their own weapons.

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The Good
Fantastic visuals that present a unique mix of the natural and the industrial
Each weapon, including the new bow, is a pleasure to shoot
Open levels and nanosuit powers provide combat flexibility
Entertaining multiplayer modes
The Bad
Remarkably easy, all the way to the end
Lacks the standout battles of earlier games in the series
AI is easily exploited
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Crysis 3

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play bass in Rock Band.
1063 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for shiel44

It's almost sad that this game is going on three years old and is still probably the best showpiece for a new pc out there. Although the original Crysis is still one of the best looking games out there so maybe it shouldn't be surprising. It just goes to show how little graphics advancement has come in the last couple years.

Avatar image for bluebird08

this game is border line unplayable on PS3, the frame rate is that low.

Avatar image for GrayFlare

I'm playing this right now at 2560x1440 resolution at maximum settings and this is by far and away the most graphically impressive game I have ever seen or played! The amount of detail and polish is simply amazing. Individual blades of grass sway in the wind, you can see dirt marks on the suit's visor when you look into a light source, and the facial animations are even better than LA Noire. Loving this game so far, I'm about halfway through and so far I'd give it a 9.5/10.

Avatar image for Cryio

@GrayFlare Besides the grass, which indeed is amazing, Crysis 2 with MaldoHD still takes the cake.

Avatar image for prince__vlad

UltraredM just took my the wods from my mouth. Crysis 3 is not crysis anymore , the winning formula. First one was the best and even first Far cry is better than Crysis 2 and 3. Crysis 2 and 3 are just some "filling" for the dishes, nothing else. It's a shame that they ran out of ideas, original ones. Today crysis means just good graphic and that is all of it. Mr Cevat !! I think your days are numbered...

Avatar image for aruhela1994

Well i enjoyed the game !! Thumbs up to Crytek!!

Avatar image for Justforvisit

This game died for me yesterday after I installed it.

Nobody mentiones it FORCES you to use DX11 or it won't run at all!

Why the f*ck can't Crytek implement a DX10 option for those who don't have DX11 Cards yet?

Seriously, that was the last game I bought from them for this Impudence

Avatar image for Cartr1dgeBased

@Justforvisit quit crying

Avatar image for MariusGta

@Cartr1dgeBased @Justforvisit oh shut up....just because we're not all brainwashed kids like you that's why we complain,it's all marketing bullsh*t...i have 2 gtx260's and they tell me i cannot run it?....hmmmm maybe thats why this is the only pirated game i have and btw....our fellow pc gamers made a DX10 PATCH so no,we're not crying :)

Avatar image for UltraredM

All these people getting their rocks off with the visuals need to step back and look at the big picture. The game is just Crysis 2 with a shiny new paint job and a new storyline. It's all flash and no substance. Rehashed games like this shouldn't--and often don't--get stellar reviews.

Avatar image for Dark_Rage

I am not able to understand why Crysis 3 got a 7.5 rating. I have been playing the game for 2 weeks now. And there's not a moment in the game when i didn't have fun. The game is fun, it's a game, take it as a game. The visuals are stunning, it's a HUGE improvement over previous Crysis games, for example, when you're looking directly into a light or sun, you get these dirt marks which actually makes you feel like you're inside a suit and have a glass HUD on your head.

Also, the gameplay gives you the right feeling of actually hunting CELL and CEPH. Being on cloak and strafing from wall to wall tagging through the Visor or aiming the bow, you really feel like you're hunting them. Anyone remember Prophet's line from the trailer, 'Hunt them all down!' - Yes it works for me in the game.

Some gamers have such a high superiority complex that they keep saying Oh the game's too easy, well when was the last time you went to a game store and chose to buy a game like, 'Ahh now lets look for games that are too darn difficult'.

Avatar image for johnwck90

Finished it yesterday, amazing game. I thought the integration of cinematic moments and game aspects took the genre to a new level. I think what is overlooked in mention of the visuals is how well integrated different aspects of the game are. If you are bad player then the ease of the game is a great thing allowing you to consistently engage with the world the game relates you to via the forms of involvement its design aims to realise. I felt the game was a beautifully executed exercise in charity on the part of the designers, delivering a beautiful experience that was attainable. The ease of the game was obviously a design feature, one was supposed to be able to enjoy those aspects of the game as a sense of power. The reviewer writes like a professional gamer for professional gamer, overlooking what individuals want from the game. For me, the illusion of power is a central reason to play games because one experiences so little power in the real world. Maybe if you play games professionally on high-end gear provided by someone else you experience of the game takes on a different aspect.

Avatar image for cheese00701

cod 4 gets released perfect 10

Avatar image for shansss123

bad review

Avatar image for shansss123

i think it deserves a 9........ totally enjoyed it and stunning visuals too

Avatar image for bristalien

Totally agree with 7.5 as its a very forgetable shooter an uninstall soon as completed affair me thinks

Avatar image for andreluizspot

Kevin VanOrd, are you crazy? Crysis 3 is the best game of the category. You like rpg games and not FPS. Please, another editor can make a new review?

Avatar image for mustafaAG1985


Avatar image for Linctaskin

First Crysis was outstanding by all means. And the series crapped out "maximum" story wise after making 2 more games set in New York. Come on now, where's the Far Cry open world kind freedom? Just stuck in a destroyed city moving from building to building and you don't even have to fight anyone just cloak up and pass to the next checkpoint. Crysis series are visually amazing but no substance in it. Plain Boring.

Avatar image for tangibleghost

I had the copy few mins ago..

Wait.,, is it the prophet black dude or the prophet alcatraz??

Sorry im just at the beggining of the game.

Avatar image for hitomo

@ZOD777 @hitomo simply, no ... if you played crysis one you know only crysis 3 is able to beat it in terms of graphics, in fact crysis 3 is not just the best looking game it is two or three levels above anythng else out there ... it truly anihilates the border between pre rendered and real time graphics and it does this mainly with its rendering of human faces and bodys ... trust me this engine is the technialy most advanced piece of gaming and real time rendering software outthere ... giving this game anything less then a 8.5 is pure bad will or taste ...

Avatar image for Chui_GamingX

Kevin how long you need to review Heart of the Swarm ??? Did you already completed Campaign for Zerg ? Sorry my bad English )

Avatar image for Lord_Cocoo_Puff


Avatar image for dagamer667

7.5 is a little weak for a AAA title.

Not even going to bother with this one due to the patently absurd DX11-only requirement. My 8800 GTS still runs new games at a perfectly acceptable framerate and quality, there is absolutely no reason to lock out gamers without DX11 hardware when the exact same game will be released on consoles that never supported DX11. At least not until the next generation consoles come out.

Unfortunately, modern PCs are much like consoles in terms of upgrades. Upgrades beyond adding a bigger hd or extra RAM tend to either require a complete rebuild or be too incremental to justify the cost. For example, adding a new video card to an older system like mine may run into PCI-X compatibility issues. Then there's the matter of power supply and whether the CPU will be enough for the game (and changing the CPU will require a new mobo, RAM, and most likely new power supply). At least transplanting an existing windows install into a new box has gotten a lot easier than it used to be in the past. That's an awful lot of trouble for a game that's perfectly capable of running on non-DX11 GPUs. I'm guessing Crytek got some good sponsorship money in exchange for cutting out older GPUs.

Avatar image for TruSake

Rambo made an explosive bow and error as well and he didn't need no nanotechnology

Avatar image for patrickv

Until they fix the problems that are causing the game to crash. I am not sure if I will ever get through this game.

Avatar image for AustinH147

If this game seems too easy, i'll just crank up the difficulty setting like in the previous Crysis games :p.

Avatar image for hitomo

This is the first game to truly top Crysis in terms of visuals.

gamespot sais: industry leading games just can not be coming from germany, let alone on PC-Platform ... simply no way

Avatar image for ZOD777

@hitomo I guess you haven't played:

Metro 2033, The Witcher 2, Batman AC, and a few I am surely missing. Crysis was great, don't get me wrong, but people still hold it in such high regard for some reason even though it is nearly 4 years old now. Trust me, there are better looking games out there.

Avatar image for hitomo

totally saw that coming, its gearbox and its the game.industry of 2013 ... what elsse to expect

Avatar image for blackace

I wouldn't pay $60 or $50 for any of the Crysis games. Even the ones ones the PC. I'm pretty sure there will be a complication with all 3 games in a bundle for $39.99 in the near future. I'll check them out when that happens.

Avatar image for champmanfan

@blackace There's already 30% for the Deluxe bundle for the three Crysis titles plus extra online unlocks aka Hunter.

Avatar image for CaptainBerserk

Boring series, all style, no substance.

Avatar image for GOGOHeadray

Decent game but I wouldn't spend 60 bucks on it.

Avatar image for SipahSalar

Many people have complained before too but this reviewer(KEVIN VANORD) still doesnt give a crap about spoilers. You would do the GS community a huge favor if you stop reviewing games if you cant stop giving spoilers.

Avatar image for komil

Think like this "this game is easy cause you are wearing nanosuit"... If you were a normal soldier like psycho [in-game character] then this game will be in a different league... How about we have next crysis game in cell troops and fighting both cephs and nanosuits soldiers...?

Avatar image for Bowser05

@komil ? I could have sword thaT Psycho had a nanosuit as well? I seem to remember using the same powers as Nomad in Warhead...

Avatar image for umerjutt00

Crysis is my favourite game. Crysis 3 will be amazing.

Avatar image for komil

This game is easy because its AI is stupid and it has almost same pattern in every map... You can easily tag enemies through objects or walls which make us to figure out enemy movements very easily... And its repeatative (means you will do this in every level).. If it wasn't of the AI i would have given this game 10/10... Thanks crytek for this wonderful looking game ever...

Avatar image for max-hit

It could have been an amazing game if it wasn't only 5 hours and 40 minutes long even in the hardest difficulty level. And speaking of difficulty I should say the game had none.

Thanks Kevin your reviews are my favorite.

Avatar image for mcavcil

I haven't finished the game but so far I can truly say that with this gameplay and graphics, if this game would be a open world shooter with a better AI it would be EPIC! I thought Crysis 3 would be an open world game when they said it will be a "sandbox" shooter with side missons and progressing skill trees. However, I found myself shooting in large enclosed spaces with vegetation. Tagging the enemies with visor and one shot kill with the bow during stealth makes the game too easy. Especially when unresponsive AI is added to these facts, you feel like playing in God Mode. Ok, it's challenging when you have outnumbered of enemies and AI is better than the previous game but when you shoot a cell troop with a bow the soldier next to him just keeps walking through you, not responsing or getting into a cover. Multiplayer is good fun except some cheaters and too mixed level of players. I mean I can't compete with a level 50 guy or for him I'll be fooling around or not contrubuting to the team. In brief, shooting, enviorment, people look and feels great. I just wish to have more challenging AI combat and an open world game with freedom

Avatar image for Bowser05

@mcavcil Part of the same problem I had with Crysis 2. They took away the truly open feel of Crysis 1 and simulated an open feel that showed you the game truly did limit you. I probably won't get Crysis 3 because Crysis 2 left a bad taste in my mouth. They had something truly special with Crysis 1 and then decided to bastardize the series by trying to make it more like Call of Duty. Action/run-and-gun DO NOT EQUAL a good game guys. I'm disappointed games are going in that direction (I'm looking at you too Dead Space 3). /sigh

Avatar image for mcavcil

By the way I'm on chapter Red Star Rising (5 of 7) but I haven't seen any boss fights. When do we see a boss fight? Btw I hacked a Pinger on previous chapter but I thought I'd be controlling it just like in the multiplayer, instead it kept shooting around and destroyed all the enemies for me! wtf?!

Crytek, please release a patch and get rid of this hacking turrets thing and if I hack a pinger let me control it during the campaign! It's way too easy and not fun!

Avatar image for failboater

Im doing a playthrough right now on post human warrior setting, only to make it difficult I've turned the hud off. Not only hard but about twice as good looking without that junk cluttering the screen. The game is too easy, there is no doubt about that, but its fun. I'm on my third play through and I havent beaten a game in longer than I can remember. Still having fun.

Avatar image for visionedorange

you really have to suck to not play your games on the high difficulty off the bat, these days normal is easy, hard is normal, very hard is where its at, atleast thats the way i always play with the hardest difficulty available to get the most out of the game

Avatar image for Naswari

dialogues were cheap, story turned to nowhere, AI were weak, single player campaign is shorter than any game, in Crysis 3 everything were ruined except graphics,

Avatar image for gs_ntp2503

The game is still easy on Post-human Warrior difficulty. Prophet is nearly invincible in armor mode, plus the AI of both Cell and Ceph are very poor, even the boss is simple in term of strategy.

Crysis 3 More Info

  • First Released Feb 19, 2013
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Crysis 3 is a sandbox shooter set in 2047 where players take on the role of Prophet who is on a revenge mission after uncovering the truth behiind Cell Corporation's motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes.
    Average Rating1633 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Crysis 3
    Developed by:
    Published by:
    EA Games, Electronic Arts
    First-Person, Shooter, 3D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood, Strong Language, Violence