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Xbox 360 first look: Crysis 3

Despite being a new developer, Crytek quickly made a name for itself as a developer of cutting edge games, at least on a technical level. 2004's Far Cry was impressive, but it was the release of 2007's that really put the developer on the map. The game's impressive level of detail and graphics customisation infamously strained PC systems at the time of release, and it would only become playable on its highest detail settings several years later, once the technology caught up. Improvements in development techniques meant that not only did the sequel, 2011's Crysis 2, appear on consoles simultaneously with the PC version, but the developer would go back and re-release the original Crysis on consoles in the same year.

Crytek is now rounding off the Crysis trilogy with its highly anticipated third instalment. The developer know what the strengths of the series are, namely fierce fire fights in amazing set pieces, and the third game wisely takes the same route. The first two games had recognisable urban settings, though Crysis 3 takes the interesting route of featuring overgrown and dilapidated landscapes. This creates a tense athmosphere that is not unlike that in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games that came out a few years ago. The satisfying gunplay of the past instalments is intact, thought it gets an additional boost with the inclusion of the bow. While there is a tendency to rely on the regular bullet weapons throughout most of the game, the silent nature of the bow makes it invaluable in certain parts of the game, particularly when it is paired with the abilities of the nanosuit.

No Crysis game is without impressive graphics, and the same goes for Crysis 3. It is a nice looking game, with impressive environments, both indoor and outdoor. Weapons and character models are also impressive in their level of detail, with the enemy AI showing a shrewd level of competence during fire fights. While it is a given that the PC version looks significantly more detailed, even when the game settings are bumped down to attain playable framerates, it is still amazing to see the amount of detail the developers were able to get out of an eight year old console. The only real complaint with the game is the same one with the past instalments, where the story tends to get lost amongst the all of the shooting and level progression.

Pros

- Great looking graphics.

- Satisfying gunplay that the series is known for.

- Amazing set pieces that blend urban with nature.

Cons

- Story is a bit undercooked as with the past games.

- The game starts to run out of steam near the end.

Bottom Line

Crysis 3 is a well crafted shooter that tops off the franchise in a great way.

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