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4.0 out of 5 stars It's Crysis 2 with more sauce, but EA have served too many ingredients on one dish, 30 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Crysis 3 (PS3) (Video Game)
Let's face it. Crysis 2 was a big step-up to the first game. It was an evolution for the better. A game that maxed out the graphics handling of the PS3. Everything was beefed up; the weapons, environment and characters - plus a wealth of new features such as weapon and suit upgrading.

The first thing you'll notice when starting Crysis 3 is that it looks and feels like its predecessor. This is a good thing - Crysis 2 was already excellent. However, the second game pushed up the expectations, it raised the barrier, much unlike the Farcry franchise. So, Crysis 3 had to turn on the innovation button in certain areas of the game. This landed mostly on the features side. So what's new?

Firstly, you now have a pretty sick (yes, "sick") crossbow at your disposal. Without pummeling you with synonyms of 'awesome' to describe its design, sound and feel, it can fire up to 9 normal bows, 3 incendiary ones, 3 electrified ones and 3 'airburst' ones for those who are not the best aimers (it explodes within a few metres of an enemy). You can also change the tension of the wire, depending on how you want to balance firing speed with impact damage. Aside from the bow, I noted only few new man-made weapons - e.g a special one called the 'Typhoon' (very rapid firing, 720-bullet LMG). There are, though, more very cool Ceph weapons to use - the 'Bolt Sniper' and the 'Incinerator', for instance.

Secondly, the suit upgrade function has been expanded. Personally, I found it too confusing. You now have 'Upgrade Kits' scattered about each map which you need to unlock different suit upgrades (I preferred harvesting each alien to do this, as on C2) There's now about 16 different upgrades to unlock in 4 categories. Once you have a set of 4 active upgrades, you can store three different combinations. Without going into loads of detail, I found it too complex to use as intended - it requires too much analysis when all I wanted to do is enjoy the game - enjoy the 'Crysis' experience. So for the most part, I chose a combo of 4 from the start of the game, collected Upgrade Kits for fun, and left further suit upgrading to the penultimate Chapter.

Thirdly, there has been lots of effort to add depth to the story, but in reality it's rather too basic. There are lots of collectable 'Black Boxes' which are usually the final words of fallen soldiers, and other files spotted via your visor. However, I found these more distracting than intriguing - they are unnecessary and a simple 'thing to do' to make missions seem 'complete'. There is more than enough info given during cut-scenes and during gameplay through character dialogue.

Finally, 'hacking' is now a central feature of the game. With the addition of sentry turrets (both CELL and CEPH ones), mines and special weapon crates, you can now hack by pressing 'Square' when within a certain distance of it. Then, it's a very unintelligent test of how good your timing of hitting the 'X' button is. Very different to the intelligent mini-games in Deus Ex. Again, more of a distraction to the game, which also detracts from the challenge and enjoyment of blowing the turrets and mines up yourself (or cleverly plotting a route to avoid them).

Now, a big new addition to the character side is the re-introduction of Michael 'Psycho' Sykes from the first game. It's great to team up with a character from a previous game, but I ended up not being able to relate to him at all - a real shame. I thought Psycho as a character was flawed. You see more to what he's been though in the later stages, and there's one point where he opens up. But, without giving too much away, if you went through massive physical trauma, would that make you want to jump into the heat of battle at every moment, again? Exactly. He talks too much, he swears way too much even for a British Marine-type, in fact he is one of the most annoying in-game characters that you'll fight beside for about two-thirds of the game. Fortunately, for the large part, most of his dialogue appears in the cut-scenes (skippable, but who wants to skip the epic Crysis cut-scenes?).

Crysis 3 is, in my opinion, unworthy of being called a 'significant' step-up over Crysis 2. The story is a lot shorter with only 7 chapters. Yes, it's visually stunning, but that's nothing new. Most of the enemies are the same, as are the weapons. So, what Crysis 3 has added, has been largely unnecessary, and what it has developed, has been largely distracting. However, it's still Crysis, and well done for keeping its 'soul' alive. The missions and cut-scenes are, as always, extremely well choreographed, and the landscapes are, as always, stunning. So, despite it being a very conservative development to its successor, which is in no way a bad thing, I just wish that the story was twice as long, so that I'd have as many memories of Crysis 3 as I do of Crysis 2.
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