They say clothes make the man. And in the case of Crysis 3, that couldn’t be more true. It’s not the large-caliber guns, high-tech-laden baddies or low-down grit that separates this franchise from the pack. Those elements are all a part of the equation, but it’s the battle-armor nanosuit that makes the difference here.
Way back in the first Crysis game, the special suit was introduced as its soldiering occupant landed on a jungle-filled Philippines island in the year 2020. The hero used his supersuit skills to try to rescue a group of kidnapped scientists that had found some world-changing alien tech. After scads of sneaking, shooting and nuclear bomb-dropping, Crysis 2 slipped a different soldier into that fancy suit and sent him off to battle mercenary CELL agents and reawakened extraterrestrials in New York City.
Now it’s 2047. A few more players have changed names and faces. And the suit has been upgraded to a 2.0 version with some whiz-bang alien tech. But the larger point is that the battle rages on.
You play as a Force Recon Marine named Alcatraz, a guy who has now literally melded with his high-tech armor and even taken on the persona of the nanosuit’s original owner. He, his former fighting comrade Psycho, and communications expert Claire (Psycho’s girlfriend) all hit a nanodome-encased NYC on a mission of revenge. The Big Apple is now a battle-ravaged mound of rot where shattered skyscrapers poke up out of a canopy of leafy foliage and crumbled ruin. It’s the OK Corral where the good guys must face off with CryNet Systems—the organization behind those CELL mercenaries I mentioned—and foil the company’s world energy-dominating schemes.
No Dry Cleaning Needed …
Who will win the war? Only the nanosuit knows for sure. In this superduper outfit, gamers can run like a streak and leap small buildings with a single bound. They can jump off rooftops, kick cars around like empty soup cans, turn invisible for short stretches and even recharge their batteries with an energy-absorbing force field.
They can spot and label opposing forces in both bright daylight and the black of night with an easy-to-engage visor. They can hack into gun turrets and roving alien robots with a long-distance radio-wave mechanic. And with a little practice they can switch quickly between all those high-tech skills and an arsenal of sniping, riddling and fire-belching weaponry, making themselves bigger and badder than Iron Man and Superman combined.
So what do you do with all this built-in virtual power and pizazz? You kill things and break stuff, of course. The game is made up of seven relatively open-sandbox missions chock-full of alien and human predators you must outmaneuver, outwit and otherwise blow to smithereens.
See those black shapes moving through the deep grass in the distance? Better gain the high ground on top of a nearby truck, equip your electrified assault rifle and puree those stalking critters. Or if you’re suddenly surrounded by a squad of armor-clad CELL guys, it’s time for the Typhoon, a high-powered bad boy that propels 500 rounds per second, mowing down everything that moves. Plasma rifles, a quick-fold-out bow with explosive or electrified arrows, alien mortars … the list of death-dealing weapons goes on and on.
… But There Are a Few Spots
That equals, of course, quite a lot of spatter as the scores of targeted enemies fall. It’s not as gushing as some M-raters—no dismemberment or large pools of gore—but obliterated aliens still erupt into goo. Cinematic close-ups of sniper shots spurt red, and stealth kills on human enemies center the focus on a knife sinking into an exposed throat and the resulting arterial spurt.
Sidekick Psycho adds more “color” by way of his limited vocabulary. By that I mean this is a man of very few words, but those he feels comfortable with—especially those of the “f” variety—he uses with great frequency. And he’s not the only guy spewing as much profanity as blood.
It’s enough to give even somewhat calloused gamers a bit of a, well, Crysis of conscience. And there’s no nanosuit—virtual or otherwise—that’s a good enough shield to soothe it.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.