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Visually stunning (if your PC is good enough) but is short and feels like an empty gaming experience
on 9 March 2013
Crysis 3 is the lastest installment of the franchise. After reading some great reviews online, and thought Crysis 2 was better than a lot of other people, I took the step of preordering the game...the phrase "act in haste, repent at leasure" springs to mind.
Visually it is stunning, however the PC requirements are for the more top end PCs. Even if you have the specs to run it, it doesn't mean you can play it with the high graphics setting. I would check out the site I posted in the comments box to see how your graphics card performs for this specific game (other factors, ram, cpu etc not withstanding).
It is certainly next generation graphics, and you can't help but gawp at the beauty of the surroundings. Grass blowing in the wind has never looked so good. Until you go outside. Snide comments aside, this is one aspect of the game that is easily 5*.
The gameplay is a slick but empty experience. Your two choices again are stealth or blast your way through. Stealth is helped along with the introduction of a bow and different types of arrow that don't cause you to become uncloaked when you fire. This certainly makes the game less challenging depending on how often you want to use it. You also have the usual upgrades to the suit, improved armour, longer stealth etc. This side of things hasn't really advanced from Crysis 2, but I guess since it's the same suit, you can't expect much to be different. There is one difference however. Sprinting no longer saps your suit energy, although if you are cloaked it drains it fast. You also have the option to drive veichles on some missions, and there's part of a mission where you get to shoot aliens from a plane. You are the gunner and sadly don't get to drive. Nonetheless, this is one of the visually stunning highlights of the game.
Let me also mention the cut scenes, some of which you can skip, some you can't. I know the developers have tried to develop the story a bit for this installment, but there's just too much dialogue and the story isn't engaging enough to really care about what's happening. This would be fine if the game was actually long enough in its own right where a bit of story padding doesn't detract from the experience but it's over before you even get into double figures in terms of hours played (including the cut scenes). It has little replay value, I wouldn't go back and rush to do it again on the hardest difficulty.
I purchased the "Hunter" edition, which on the day of release wasn't vastly more expensive than the normal version. Unless you are desperate to have an advantage in multiplayer, there is no real reason to get this. Given the difference in price at the time of the review, if you are tempted to buy I'd stick with the normal version.
The best analogy I can use is that this game is like going to an expensive restaurant, picking a really tasty sounding a la carte dish, it turns up on a large plate, immaculately presented but you only get a tiny portion. You finish it still feeling hungry and look at the size of the bill and end up thinking it probably wasn't worth it. The chef and restaurant owner however are looking pretty smug.
This is a pretty bleak review and I'd have loved it to be more positive. The graphics are its saving grace, and multiplayer is ok. My advice would be to wait until it comes down in price, or save your hard earned pennies for something better.