Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Welcome to the jungle, baby

               “It was never about the suit.” One of the central characters reveals only seconds before death, yet another attempt at an emotional moment falling flat, a drop in the ocean of flat moments with forced emotion. This quote alone defines the lack of understanding Crysis 3 presents in its story and its characters. First off, it’s hundred percent about the suit, Prophet would not exist in any capacity if it wasn't for the suit. (Remember, the guy killed himself at the beginning of Crysis 2?) That's like trying to say living was never about breathing. Listen, I understand what he’s trying to say, in fact, it’s a core component of the game, the man makes the suit sort of thing but my problem with that is my second point. If this is to be your emotional payoff at the spiraling end, then you might want to make a point that hasn’t been on full display, spoon fed and shoved down our throats the entirety of the game, so as to at least appear meaningful, possibly as a reward for the reflection the story may have caused.
To put it plainly, Crysis 3 hits the ground with a resounding thud. It’s missions are short and lacking interest, the story long winded without intrigue or sense. The game was so brief, I often found it hilarious whenever a character referenced a moment or quote from earlier in the game, because that was generally 30 minutes of playtime ago. Not to mention how lame it was to hear poorly conceived dialogue twice in one game. The repetition of which this terrible dialogue is spewed will have your head spinning. There was so much talk of Nanosuits at one point I thought Robin Williams had written part of the script. Wait what? If the nanu nanus link up with shazbots, we’ll all die!
Crysis 3 is one of those games where the narrative has been constructed so poorly that you have no clue where you are in the game progress wise. Is this the middle or the end? Is this guy the ultimate bad guy? No.......is this guy? It just keeps going until it ends and when that happens you find yourself saying, that’s it?
It’s no wonder Crysis’ characters question Prophet’s humanity, what I find strange and definitely unintended was how often I questioned theirs.These characters are simply ‘there’. I suppose a possible caveat of having a graphics engine so adept at creating realistic faces, means more attention is being paid to make them look real then there is to make them feel or sound real.

One of the easiest ways to facilitate a plot is to have a character, whose death was not confirmed, save the day, amidst the chaos when there’s no time to explain just how he escaped a massive explosion. It’s clear to me Crysis 3 didn’t want us to ask many questions. Such as, where are we going? What did we just do? What did you just say? Why do I care?
One of the biggest draws of the Crysis franchise has always been the freedom to approach each encounter as you like. The freedom to choose between stealth or run N’ gun. I always enjoyed stealth-ing through areas, quietly dispatching enemies, discreetly slipping by, but in Crysis 3 the problem is both offer an effortless difficulty, stealth just requires more of your time. I found myself running and gunning more than ever. Whether it be the Cell or the Ceph, I felt as though neither deserved a second thought.

All of that aside, it boasts some outstanding visuals. The sight of an overgrown jungled New York City is truly one to behold. Its characters are painstakingly detailed; their movements are charted nearly flawlessly. It easily has the best graphics we have ever seen in a single player campaign. Unfortunately, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, if some random IP released a campaign like Crysis 3’s without the graphics, it would be considered mediocre at best. Beautiful, haunting and mesmerising are all words that could be used to describe the visuals of Crysis 3, just as lifeless, apathetic and vapid can be used for its story and gameplay.
In Crysis, we were dropped onto an island and given a direction with no restrictions, exploring the environments around us for ammo or weapons. In Crysis 2, we landed on the shores of a war-torn New York, given a direction that came with many restrictions, but despite that fundamental change, it was still a fun game. Crysis 3 is just Crysis 2 with a bow and seeing it copied and pasted here brings about a diminished return in what is a straightforward and ultimately unsatisfying game.

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