Crysis is a brand of first-person shooter that has become synonymous with pushing PC technology to the point that it taps out in virtual agony. Though never the most challenging or impressive gameplay wise, the unique wrinkles that it provided to the traditional shooter had helped the developer Crytek etch out a corner of the market where high production values were paramount above all else. As is the case with most FPS games, it would seem that the “run-and-gun” mentality of most titles would not lend themselves well to strategy guides. If you commonly think this way, oddly enough, this time you couldn’t be more wrong with the Crysis 3 strategy guide.
If chess and the garden variety first-person shooter were to have a baby, the result would be Crysis. Combining the diversely different tech found in the player’s nanosuit with all of the different weapons at the player’s disposal renders the game approachable in virtually every way known to man. Like getting the jump on enemies? Slap on the invisibility perk and shank those bastards like you are the new kid in the prison yard. Prefer to run into the middle of the fray and unleash all hell? Fire up the hardened shell and start throwing some ‘bows. The other two primary skills of speed and strength also work to compliment playing through the campaign in either a stealth or action mode. In response to this flexibility, the Crysis 3 strategy guide’s walkthrough is actually covered twice in the text, breaking down both gameplay options.
Splitting the walkthrough into two pieces is by far the best approach to covering the single-player component. This also makes it easy for the player to switch back and forth between gameplay approaches, on the fly. As long as you are familiar with how a table of contents works, you should be good to go. One important thing to note when comparing these parallel commentaries are that rather large chunks of text are re-used in both sections. While this isn’t really all that horrible considering it is more story based synopsis or observations, it might have been nice to have a different dialog between versions. Regardless, the writing is solid enough that it isn’t that big of a deal in the broad scheme of things.
I personally found the descriptions of interactions throughout the campaign breakdown to be extremely amusing. Using phrases like “start popping heads” to describe sniping is just one of many examples of text used to provide cheeky, yet completely worthwhile analysis of a situation. The call-out sections are also extremely useful when learning how to down specialized (and primarily alien) enemies for the first time. There is both important information that applies to that specific encounter, as well as any others that may come later on down the road. Be sure to pay close attention, because understanding these key concepts pay dividends in the long run.
Thankfully, the enemies are tightly scripted in Crysis 3 . This means that virtually every aspect of the walkthrough is spot on. Everything from weapon drops to enemy locations are spelled out in detail and can be either dispatched or avoided (depending upon which approach the player is using) by following the directions to the T. Rarely ever is there a case where something in the text proves to be inaccurate, which says quite a bit about the time that the author invested in the game. Sure, it is one patch away from rendering the walkthrough nothing more than expensive kindling, but as of right now things seem damn near spot on.
As useful as any guide can be helping a player through the single player campaign, rarely do you find a strategy guide that is even remotely as useful when it comes to the multiplayer portion of the game. The Crysis 3 tome is a rare exception to this rule, dedicating a staggering quarter of the entire text to the often neglected mode. Considering that this is where many would argue that the meat of the overall game lies, it is an extremely welcome change from the norm.
The author really had their work cut out for them in trying to concisely describe each of the title’s numerous multiplayer modes. If you are familiar with online shooters, most of this section will be old hat, but in the case of Hunter and Extraction mode, even seasoned veterans would be wise to take note of some of the knowledge dropped on the pages. It could make the difference between digital life and death. Another nice touch are the different suggested player roles in a team, as well as suggested loadouts for these respective positions. Additionally, every single perk and power-up is discussed, which should help the inner strategist in everyone.
In one final victory for the reader, each map has a full page dedicated to the a top-down view of layout, with certain specific locations called out for spawn points, weapon drops, or other places of interest. These maps are then complimented by a half page writeup, which discusses both strategy and the kind of gotchas that would only come from hours of trial and error. The smart gamers out there would be wise to take all of these pieces of commentary to heart if they plan on getting a leg up on the competition.
If there were one downfall to this otherwise exceptional guide, it would have to be the lack of pages dedicated to showing off the fantastic art assets of the game. Crysis 3 is the type of experience that looks beautiful, so why this wasn’t taken full advantage of is a bit baffling. Yes, these sections are certainly not crucial to the overall value of the book from an actual “guiding” perspective, but why not give the reader the chance to stop and smell the proverbial roses?
Players that are looking to improve on all aspects of their Crysis 3 experience should look no further than this strategy guide. It provides more than enough guidance to the audience, while not inundating them with useless information. Plus, the addition of a stellar section dedicated to multiplayer makes this far and away the most comprehensive guide for a first-person shooter that I have ever encountered. So what are you waiting for? Get down to business and send those aliens packing, thanks to a little help from your buddies over at BradyGames!