CRYSIS 3Publisher: Electronic Arts Price: £49.99Format: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, PC)Age rating: 16+
Somewhere there’s a checklist for making rubbish post-apocalyptic games and it’s obvious that the developers of Crysis 3 have been studying it intently. Every cliché imaginable has been crammed into the game, from a war-ravaged New York City that’s become an overgrown jungle to a nano-powered suit of armour that makes its wearer almost invincible, and more besides. Ridiculously over-powered alien weaponry? Check. Predator-style ability to turn invisible? Yep. Evil corporation intent on world domination? Of course. Alien invasion through a wormhole in space? Hell yeah.
The incredible thing is – despite the hackneyed storyline – Crysis 3 is actually a very good first-person shooter. As before, players take on the role of Prophet, a muscular supersoldier encased in a nano-suit that grants him all kinds of extraordinary abilities, which comes in handy when you’re battling Cell Corporation mercenaries and alien invaders.
Like previous games in the series, your hi-tech exoskeleton is pivotal to the action. Its armour and stealth modes let you play the game in two different ways. Choose armour mode and you can launch a full-on assault on enemy positions with relative impunity. Opt for stealth mode, however, and you can turn invisible for a certain length of time, letting you sneak up on your prey before annihilating them in all sorts of ingenious ways. Even better, if you select the new Predator Bow, you can perform silent one-hit kills while remaining fully cloaked, so it quickly becomes your weapon of choice.
The single-player campaign can be beaten in eight hours, although replay value is high as you experiment with different tactics. Luckily, the game also comes with eight multiplayer modes – including king of the hill, capture the flag and team deathmatch – but it’s new mode Hunter that grabs the attention. This pits two cloaked players against a dozen or so soldiers, in a very violent game of hide and seek, with fallen troopers changing teams and hunting down their former comrades against the clock.
Crysis 3 is not without its problems. The enemy AI is feeble at times and there’s really no excuse for the linear nature of the solo campaign. That said, the game’s hi-tech nano-suit gives a real sense of empowerment to the player, making such shortcomings easy to overlook.
Score: 4/5 stars