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Published: Thursday, 4/11/2013

Crysis 3 is another short but solid hit for EA Games

BY TOM FISHER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Welcome to the urban jungle. The year is 2047 and the New York landscape has been terra-formed from an abyss of concrete and steel into a labyrinth of moss-covered ruins slowly submitting to Mother Nature's will and sinking into the foliage. Towering trees grow from crumbled rooftops and song birds bellow out shrill tweets and then go silent.

Suddenly you notice there is something lurking in the grass and it's watching you, stalking you. Your heart pounds with excitement. You want this moment. Not out of an insane lust for thrills but because you are not the hunted. You are the hunter. And it's time to get your kill on.

Crysis 3 is another sci-fi shooter from EA Games that tries to submerge gamers in a sense of realism. The story follows the events in Crysis 2 but things have changed significantly. Cell Corporation, the entity credited with saving the world from an alien force known as the Cephs, has now developed super-domes to house the major cities and imprison the population.

The protagonist, Prophet, a sort of cyborg-type soldier with a "nanosuit" that gives him special abilities, is reawakened by a rebel faction and now seeks revenge on Cell, his creators.

The story is fairly engaging and is helped along by good character acting and incredible graphics. More emotionally charged than past Crysis games, the story focuses on the characters and tries to make us care about their fates. The story is a culmination of the events in the first two versions and finishes off the plot in solid fashion.

As with another release from EA Games, Dead Space, the visuals are stunning. They are well rendered with texture mapping that rivals real life. Some of the character models are a bit stiff at times but only in the cut-scenes that further the story. The in-game graphics are phenomenal. Every drop of water, every spark of electricity, and every reflection of light plays on the torn cityscape to create an atmosphere of destruction.

Game play is decided by the player. You can choose to rely on the cloaking feature of the nanosuit to avoid detection and sneak past hordes of Cell soldiers or you can wade into the midst of gunfire and start slinging lead and explosives with deadly abandon, all the while relying on your nano-armor to thwart incoming shots. There is no difference in the outcome but the stealthier mode of play will allow for a longer game with less intense moments.

Most gamers will probably finish it in a relatively short six or seven hours, a theme that has plagued EA Games for some time.

Firepower is where the game really shines. There is the normal heavy weaponry, but the real fun comes with the bow and arrow. This bow fires explosives and electro-tipped bolts that can knock a helicopter from the sky or fry baddies. Paired with the nanosuit's cloaking feature the bow makes Prophet an assassin among assassins.

There are no major boss fights and the few that come close are easy. The game is good but not great and would have benefited from a few tougher sections and some beefier bosses.

While shooter fans and Crysis aficionados will no doubt find faults in the story and the difficulty, Crysis 3 is a standout game that offers a lot to the casual gamer and those new to the series. There's just something fun about turning the tables on the hunters and making them your prey. It's refreshing, and maybe even poetic.

Contact Tom Fisher at tfisher@theblade.com.


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