by Brian Robbins

For years PC gaming has arguably been on a slippery slope. Many of its past hits are now staples of console gaming: Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament and now even Minecraft. With Crysis 2, EA decided to port the title to the consoles, with mixed results. The framerate was sloppy and the gameplay just didn’t seem to fit entirely with the use of the controller. Unfortunately, Crysis 3 suffers the same fate. It’s a solid first person shooter but with so many other titles doing it better and with more polish, you would do well to look elsewhere.

The single-player portion begins 24 years after the events of the previous game. New York City is basically a jungle, The main character, Prophet, is on a personal revenge quest. The main antagonist is the human corporation CELL; without giving too much away, they aren’t exactly the brains of the operation. Not especially riveting stuff but the pacing proceeds quite nicely.

What was really awesome was the optional re-cap of the previous games’ storylines- I wish more developers would do this with sequels. When you first boot-up the single-player you’re given a choice of reviewing the stories of the older Crysis games. This was a very nifty feature, and especially handy for such a confusing and tangled narrative.

 And that leads us to one of Crysis 3‘s biggest missteps: the actual storyline. It’s a bad sign when you’re more focused on standard first-person shooter mechanics and the pretty visuals than actually listening to the guy who keeps buzzing in your ear about this and that. In fact, the confusing storyline actually got in the way of the bread-and-butter shooting aspects of the game. You simply don’t care which characters live or die; you just want them to shut up so you can start blasting things again.

Speaking of blasting, Crysis 3 has a lot of it. The gameplay seems like standard first-person shooter mechanics- and it is- but with one main difference: the game is stunningly beautiful. Even when it slows down because of the framerate issues, it’s still fun to see how many things you can blow up at once.

If you’ve played a first person shooter in the last 5 years, you’ve played Crysis 3. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it’s not exactly fresh. You can cloak and assassinate things from behind, load yourself with armor and detach a turret and do your best Rambo impersonations. All of these things are extremely fun but again, you’ve played all this before. With so many better game options on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, it’s hard to recommend this game.

Once you finish the relatively short single player, you have the now standard multiplayer to tromp through. It was enjoyable but again too familiar. Despite this,  I did thoroughly enjoy Hunter, where two players are randomly assigned as the overpowered super soldiers from the single player and the rest are standard weakling soldiers. As the soldiers you’re forced to work together as you’re systematically hunted by the sharply dressed predators. It was fun to work together with your other teammates, while holding hands singing kumbaya and hoping for the best.

Like Call of Duty, you can level up and customize your profile. You can edit your dogtag, background, weapons, etc. Just like Call of Duty, once you hit maximum rank you can also reset your rank and continue up the ladder. All of this is fun and familiar. It’s just not going to keep you around for very long.

Crysis 3 felt like a “been there done that” experience. You’re not going to have this game in your console for months to come. The gameplay was solid, the storyline was predictable and probably the biggest offender was the console version’s framerate. If you have the rig, definitely buy this game on the PC. It feels like it never really belonged on the consoles, sort of like Half-Life 2 when it released on the original Xbox. Maybe EA will release this title on the next generation of consoles? We can only hope! With just about standard everything, I can’t recommend this game to a whole lot of people. With a 60 dollar price tag, I would definitely wait for a used copy or a price drop. In the meantime, try Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2 or even Halo 4 from last year. Pick up any of these at your local Slackers.