Crysis 3 boasts amazing graphics quality, and is based on an engine that takes the strongest PCs to their knees. Is it playable on low-end hardware? Can we run this one at its highest detail levels on today's graphics cards? Our benchmarks tell the story.
The Crysis franchise represents more than just triple-A first-person shooters. For PC gamers, it's the delivery mechanism for one of the most realistic-looking game engines on the market. Every new release sets a higher benchmark, portending the fidelity of what we might expect from games in the years to come. Although Crysis 2 let us down with its console-centric lowest common denominator approach, Crysis 3 promises to bring your system to its knees, just like the original. Crytek, it seems, went back to its roots with the latest installment, again catering to the PC crowd by delivering a game that's too difficult for even high-end hardware to handle at the uppermost resolutions and most luscious details.
We're getting ahead of ourselves, though. Let's talk about the game a little bit before delving into its performance. Crysis 3 takes place 20 years after Crysis 2, in a dystopian future where the alien Ceph are gone, and the CELL corporation is Big Brother. You assume the role of Prophet (yes, the guy who shot himself in the head at the beginning of Crysis 2) after being in stasis for a very long time.
I'll admit that this significant shift in the game world wasn't something I was expecting, although it does give us a tropical, overgrown, and abandoned New York City. If you wanted a little jungle action back in your Crysis, you have it.
As far as game play is concerned, Crysis 3 feels a heckuva lot like Crysis 2. You still have to manage your Nanosuit's energy, juggling between invisibility and extra armor whenever they're appropriate. Yes, there are a few fresh weapons this time around (including a bow that you can fire while cloaked), along with a hacking mini-game (handy versus automated turrets), a different suit upgrade system, and powerful new enemies. But the core game style remains untouched for the most part. That's probably a good thing. Crysis 2 did a great job of handling combat. As before, don't expect too much from the artificial intelligence, though bad guys may at least retreat and take cover when they need to.
Essentially, if you enjoyed Crysis 2, you will enjoy Crysis 3, with the added bonus of new environments and toys. It's a successful and refined combination.
With that out of the way, join us for a closer look at Crysis 3's image quality.