After the misfires of Crysis 2, the third and final Crysis game had it all to do. Restore a broken fan base and still manage to appeal to both sides; those that preferred the open-world of the first and those who enjoyed a more linear adventure. But the damage appeared to be done already after the divisive second game, and Crysis 3 was a financial failure. Does Crysis 3 Remastered give it – and the trilogy as a whole – a new lease of life?
24 years have passed after the events of Crysis 2, more than enough time for an ever-increasingly convoluted plot to truly ferment into mush. Prophet is back after killing himself during the prologue of Crysis 2. Or rather, the concept of Prophet has remained in the suit. Fused with Alcatraz, is the Nanosuit now capable of conscious thought? I honestly don’t know anymore.
And neither do many of the supporting cast; their primary concern is keeping whoever is in the suit alive, as it is their only sure fire way of defeating CELL once and for all. Prophet warns the resistance leaders that he has been having visions of the Alpha Ceph, despite the aliens being all but wiped out. These are dismissed however, because they believe whoever/whatever the Nanosuit is should not be capable of human emotions, i.e. Forewarning the world of impending doom.
New York is once again the location, though it has undergone a major revamp to improve both the world and the gameplay. New York has had a huge dome placed over it, changing the ecosystem to a more jungle like setting. Like a jungle similar to the original Crysis I hear you cry? Yes, exactly like that. Crysis 3 is a much more open game to play, far similar to Crysis 1 and a long way away from the linear sequel. Secondary objectives return, alternate routes are far more frequent and most importantly, the game is more fun. Crysis 3 isn’t fully open-world but does strike an excellent balance between that and linearity.
The new locations feel better designed and as a result, set pieces are far more explosive and engaging. Crysis 3 feels more cinematic as a result than what has come previously.
It is a crying shame then that Crysis 3 has easily the shortest campaign of the trilogy. Even with the more open nature of the game it can be completed in less than seven hours comfortably.
It isn’t just the lay of the land that makes Crysis 3 the most fun in the trilogy. New features such as hacking can use CELL’s technology against them, but there is also an easier Nanosuit upgrade system and the addition of the bow and arrow. Prophet’s newest weapon is a futuristic looking bow, capable of firing several different types of arrows such as explosive and electrified. But the best thing about this weapon is that it doesn’t break your cloaking when you use it. It is a real game-changer and makes cloaking a far more offensive option. Enemies will still be able to figure out the general direction an arrow comes from if they see it kill a comrade, but using it doesn’t explicitly reveal your location like using a regular weapon would.
This new bow and arrow won’t necessarily make you better at stealth in Crysis 3 however; enemies continue to have laser vision from long distances and if you turn cloaking off for even a second you will likely be spotted. It does feel easier this time around to at least run off and return to cloaking without being too punished, unlike the previous games.
This remaster does an excellent job of improving the appearance of Crysis 3 in almost every way. Being the most recent game of the trilogy put it in good stead to begin with, but the remaster still improves things substantially. Crysis 3 Remastered looks visually stunning. A jungle biome set within the ruins of New York was always going to be an enticing proposition, and thankfully Crysis 3 Remastered has done the best job it could producing this world for you to explore.
Once again though, Crysis 3 Remastered contains only the single player component, there is no multiplayer to take the fight online.
Crysis 3 Remastered on Xbox offers the best gameplay the series has, in a nice new shiny coat of paint. A fine balance is struck between previous Crysis games and it remains a real highpoint for the franchise. Or it would have been if fans hadn’t been too disenfranchised from previous instalments to actually play it first time around. There is a lot to enjoy with it if you are willing to put aside major issues such as the unnecessarily dense plot and short run-time. Stealth mechanics have been given a massive boost with the bow and arrow, but if you’re objectively bad at stealth games, it still won’t be enough to save you.
Whether or not this overall Crysis Remastered Trilogy will usher in a new lease of life for the dormant franchise remains to be seen. But at least we are safe in the knowledge that it gave itself the best future possible with this third entry in the series being the finest yet.
Crysis 3 Remastered is available on Xbox from the Xbox Store