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First Person Shooters (Games) Graphics Games

Crysis 3 Review: Amazing Graphics, Still a Benchmark Buster, Boring Gameplay 211

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the better-than-the-real-world dept.
MojoKid writes "Let's get one thing clear up front. Crysis 3's graphics are absolutely stunning. Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar — it annihilates it. At the highest settings, Crysis blows Battlefield 3 out of the water, makes mincemeat of Max Payne, and makes the original Crysis — itself a graphics powerhouse — look more like the first Call of Duty. Crysis 3 really is that stunning, provided that you've got the graphics card to handle it. Like the first game, this title is capable of bringing even a high-end card to its knees. Everyone who worked in the artistic departments at Crytek, from character animations to texturing, deserves an award. The people who wrote the game's plot, on the other hand, don't. The game's design and some poor pacing decisions completely undermine what should be its greatest selling point. Crysis 3 could've been a great game but it feels like a science experiment. How much poor gameplay will players suffer through in exchange for utterly amazing graphics?"
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Crysis 3 Review: Amazing Graphics, Still a Benchmark Buster, Boring Gameplay

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  • "There's a unique Hunter Mode, in which most players start off as Cell operatives but transform into Hunters once killed, and an Assault mode in which each player only has one life." Nice to see them catching up to the modding community, snicker snort. What's next, a co-op mode? So it's not a good single player game, and it's not a good multi-player game, how many benchmarkers are out there?

    • by leathered (780018)

      Hunter Mode sounds like Rocket Arena's Red Rover mode, where if you get fragged you immediately respawn as a member of the opposite team.

      1997 is calling, and they want their Quake mod back.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      My dumbass roomie used to be like that. Typical exchange:

      Me: This game sucks. It's boring and unoriginal.
      Him: Yeah, but did you *SEE* those particle effects on that hangar level?!?

  • by bigdavex (155746) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:12PM (#43042197)

    Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar — it annihilates it.

    wtf? Now there's no standard to measure games?

  • Silly question... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:17PM (#43042233)

    How much poor gameplay will players suffer through in exchange for utterly amazing graphics?

    People will sit through literally metric shit tonnes of bad game play with poor to mediocre graphics.
    I would list examples, but I feel like getting a [citation needed] response instead of listing my overly subjective choices.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:19PM (#43042245)

    The original Crysis had some pretty brilliant sections, along with a lot of mediocre, boring or just plain terrible sections. I still haven't beaten the game, but I've played that one hostage-rescue mission a couple dozen times, along with a few of the other good parts. Seriously, if they had just stopped right when you enter the alien ship/base/whatever, it would have been a good (if a bit short) game. As it is, it's a game with levels you'll only play through once.

    So, then, how good is Crysis 3 at its best? Does it get back to that wide, open-approach gameplay, where you can plan things out and approach it several different ways? Do you ever get that Predator feeling? Or is it terrible from beginning to end?

    The review barely touches on this, mentioning one or two good vehicle sections, but FYI, don't bother with TFA. It's three pages full of no details. It's not a review, it's an executive summary of a review. I'll wait for better reviews and better benchmarks.

    • by sd4f (1891894)
      Crysis 1 took me a while to finish, i thought it went better towards the end, too much of the game was just running through forest from one area to another, because the mission took place there. Crysis 2, i got bored and never finished it. I always thought of crysis as dull games, just something to bring your pc to its knees. The good thing crysis 1 did was become the gaming benchmark, it had the graphics to justify it, but it spawned a period where nvidia and ati were bringing out good gpu's, getting them
    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      First crysis' biggest problem was the fact that they hid a lot of gameplay depth in the game, but there was no easy way to access it. I first played through the game essentially never activating maximum strength, as I didn't like melee. Then I read on what suit modes things actually did and I raged at how little it was explained in game.

      Warhead was awesome for me because I actually read up on mechanics before playing it. As a result it was a much better FPS experience then original for me.

      Apparently maximum

  • I feel pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:19PM (#43042249) Journal
    Looking at the images in the article make me feel pathetic, because they don't look all that much better to me than the previous gen. It makes me feel like I have a deficient art sense or something. Maybe it falls into the uncanny valley, but instead of a valley, it's a plateau, where incremental improvements just don't seem any more realistic.

    Here's a link to an actual graphics demo, instead of just screenshots [youtube.com]. It is impressive and I like it (I especially like the fractal plants that you can zoom in on), but ultimately it still feels like a cartoon, and in that way not any more immersive than Myst.
    • I was thinking the same thing, screenshot of bald guy looks good, but bald guys have looked good for awhile. Hair and fabric still looks wrong like they have for years. Obviously there's a ways to go yet, and I don't have the sense or education to notice the progress. Maybe if there were side by side images and/or someone was pointing out what I should be looking at.

    • Re:I feel pathetic (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:01PM (#43042523) Homepage

      Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). That the level of graphics this engine looks to be able to pull of in real time. Go ahead, Google some images and do a cross comparison.

    • Re:I feel pathetic (Score:4, Interesting)

      by steelfood (895457) on Friday March 01, 2013 @12:57AM (#43043009)

      When the CGI portion of frames for movies still take hours to render using a render farm, you know that it'd be impossible to get that kind of quality in real time on a small dinky mid tower. This is especially true if you consider that gamers want sustained 60+fps.

      I'm always a bit surprised that games haven't moved to more mathematical models of graphics, i.e. NURBS instead of polygons, procedural textures instead of bitmaps, etc. But then again, most video cards are probably so optimized for the old way that going to mathematical models of computer graphics would probably result in worse performance and quality.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      I think the core problem is simply that aesthetically Crysis 3 is a pretty ugly game, they overuse vignetting a lot and the way they tone map their HDR leads to far to many blacks. It doesn't help that the level design is extremely restrictive, so you never get to see any large open areas like you could back with Crysis 1. All of this makes the game feel quite fake. It essentially tries to imitate the look of summer block busters, not reality. It of course doesn't help that the game takes place in a destroy

    • Re:I feel pathetic (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday March 01, 2013 @05:38AM (#43043791)

      The post-process effects and a generall lack of resolution of sharpness in combination with wrong colors make games look so cartoonish. When I look around on a sunny day I see:

      1. sharp objects even far away (in other words, depth of field != blurriness at a distance),

      2. *everything* is crystal sharp (even at high resolution game graphics tend to be too blurry due to AA and if you switch minimal AA off you get shimmering artefacts)

      3. no matter what people claim, my vision does *not* blur when I turn my head - at least not in the way that "motion blur" effects do,

      4.same for objects at high speed, they don't appear to be blurred to me - never ever,

      5. bright objects shimmer and whirr much less in reality than in games,

      6. environments are less colorful in reality,

      7. there is more small movement in reality than even CryEngine can reproduce,

      8. HDR is often exaggerated; shadows are less dark in reality and my eyes adapt extremely fast to changes in lighting conditions, so fast that it's usually not noticable (exception: extreme changes like leaving a very dark room into bright sunlight),

      9. detail at distance and field of view are much higher in reality than in games

      Okay, 7 & 9 are performance issues, but I still sometimes wonder whether perhaps many game devs are vision impaired?

      • The post-process effects and a generall lack of resolution of sharpness in combination with wrong colors make games look so cartoonish. When I look around on a sunny day I see:

        1. sharp objects even far away (in other words, depth of field != blurriness at a distance),

        2. *everything* is crystal sharp (even at high resolution game graphics tend to be too blurry due to AA and if you switch minimal AA off you get shimmering artefacts)

        3. no matter what people claim, my vision does *not* blur when I turn my head - at least not in the way that "motion blur" effects do,

        4.same for objects at high speed, they don't appear to be blurred to me - never ever

        Perhaps a lot of these issues are due to the fact they are simulating a 3D world on a 2D plane? It would likely be different if there was good, glass-less 3D available (at least for DOF issues). The cartoonish quality is still due to lack of processing power and physical models that can be modeled in real time on a single tower.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:19PM (#43042251) Journal

    Before the "Crysis was always a tech demo" posts, nope, Crysis 1 wasn't at all. It was a very good game with a slightly weak end 1/3

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2790285&cid=39706557 [slashdot.org]

    Crysis 2 however, was an abomination and has scared me off considering Crysis 3.

    • by sd4f (1891894)
      I thought crysis 1 was a somewhat weak game with a slightly stronger ending. Once i left the alien space ship or whatever, I thought the game got better. No doubt it had incredibly good graphics for the time.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday March 01, 2013 @02:33AM (#43043279) Journal

      Certainly agreed on the original Crysis. I thought it was an absolutely awesome game for the most part, which suffered from having two particularly weak sections. First the "floaty" bit in the alien mothership, which would have been great as a quick diversion but ended up going on for far too long. And second the very final mission, on the aircraft carrier. Both, of course, were sections which discarded the game's usual open level design in favour of more traditional "corridor shooter" gameplay. Warhead was all the awesome stuff from the main game, minus the suck (though it was a bit short).

      Crysis 2 wasn't great. I didn't absolutely hate it; I'd rank it above most of the other "Modern Warfare" style shooters out there by quite some way. But it certainly wasn't as groundbreaking as the original.

      I beat Crysis 3 over the weekend and I think its quality as a game sits about half way between the first two. Aside from a few short sections, it's much less of a corridor shooter than Crysis 2; it's more a sequence of mid-sized areas strung together in sequence. Within those areas, you get a fair degree of freedom, with much less handholding than we had in Crysis 2. There's certainly much more of a stealth focus than in the last game.

      In fact, most of the game's penultimate mission (there are 7 in total) is a single huge wide open outdoors area, with three "main" objectives that can be completed in any order you prefer (there's an obvious "first" one to go for, but it's much more finely balanced where you should go next) and a few optional side-missions to find. In other words, it's right out of the original Crysis. It takes maybe an hour to beat and is supremely good. The game then closes down again for its (fairly weak) final mission, but that penultimate mission gives a glimpse at what could have been.

      The big problem with Crysis 3 is length. This is a short game. Probably no longer than Warhead, which was advertised and priced as an expansion. It's certainly quite a bit shorter than Crysis 2. It's really noticable that a huge proportion of the game's weapons only show up right near the end of the game, meaning that there's a lot of stuff in there that you barely get a chance to see. It reminds me of shooters from early in the current console generation, like the first Gears of War, where so much of the development time was going on the technology that there wasn't much resource left over to actually provide a decent length campaign. As the generation's gone on and the tech becomes much better known, games have gotten longer again, on average. If you take a slew of recent cross-platform releases; Resident Evil 6, Black Ops 2, Dead Space 3 - these are all significantly longer than other recent installments in their respective series.

      It might be available on current generation console hardware, but the PC version of Crysis 3 makes me suspect that what we have here is the first true "next gen" game. These are the sort of visuals I'd be hoping to see from the PS4 and the 360's successor once people have learned the hardware a bit (shouldn't take long with the PS4 given the architecture, hopefully). And once again, the length of the campaign suffers as the focus goes on making the technological jump.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Crysis 3 is a return to the open world levels of the first game. That, and the change in enemy design and abanding a lot of the characters/vehicles of the first game is why the 2nd was merely an OK corridor type shooter, and paled in comparison to the first one. That they abandoned the scope/scale of the first game int he 2nd, as well as the international conflict part of the story also didnt' help. Replacing the external, real, conflict with north koreans / chinese with a secret shadow group from out of no

  • Still irrelevant (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Khyber (864651)

    You could probably get the same stuff done on half the hardware if the engine were properly optimized and things were written closer to machine-code level.

  • "It has a lot of Graphics".
  • I'll just have to wait until they finish with all of their DLC and sell a "kitchen sink" edition for half price. Too bad, 'cause I've got a pair of 4gb GTX 680 video cards and three 2560x1440 monitors just waiting to be worked hard.

    Yeah, I'm sure I'll just buy the DVD version eventually but they'd already have my money if they sold it on Steam.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      by then you're a year out from when they can the multiplayer servers.. why the hell do you want it on steam so badly? steam doesn't make the game 'better'. if anything it's an annoyance.

      • I consider it the opposite of an annoyance. I don't need to keep track of DVDs to shove in the drive to play a game I've already installed. I get nearly instant purchase satisfaction. Certainly faster than driving half an hour each way to the nearest retail outlet. I can reinstall on a new machine without having to find the disc and key and without worrying about whether I have another activation left.

        I really don't understand how you can find that more annoying than dealing with physical media.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:31PM (#43042329)

    Just decided to actually do something non-boring with the time.

  • I was 'eh until the helicopter over the vegetation bit. That much geometry changing at once looked great.

    But I was unimpressed with Crysis 1/2 gameplay, who's signed up to license the engine so far?

  • No manual saves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by razorshark (2843829) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:47PM (#43042439)

    One thing that pisses me off with a lot of modern games such as Crysis 3 (and this also includes Crysis 2) is that they rely entirely on autosaving at checkpoints. No ability to quicksave at any point at all. Autosaves are fine, but the removal of traditional manual save functionality is such a huge step backwards it affects enjoyment for me. This was highly irritating in Crysis 2 because the game likes to highlight various tactics in infiltrating a base (assault, stealth, hybrid approach), but the lack of an ability to make your own saves when desired really screws up the ability to perform stealth properly. Mess it up and you'll find yourself throwing a grenade at your feet in order to force a reload of the last checkpoint, at which point you'll need to start the whole area again. Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dishonored have the ability to create manual saves at any area (and multiple saves too) and this makes performing stealth far more desirable. You can save several times during your progress and if you stuff up, just reload the last point which might be most of the way through a section, as opposed to a checkpoint which would only occur at the beginning and the end.

    But I need not ramble, because graphics do not appeal much anymore on their own if the gameplay is boring. Have them together, great, but graphics are nothing without some meat.

    • Re:No manual saves (Score:4, Interesting)

      by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:15PM (#43042583)

      I like this. It makes the game more challenging. You can't just safe at your own opportune moment. It changes your playing strategy. If you have a "save anywhere" game, that outright eliminates the need for cautious play.

      • Re:No manual saves (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:43PM (#43042695)

        I like this. It makes the game more challenging. You can't just safe at your own opportune moment.

        Good for you. Get a game with save anywhere... and don't use it.

        For the rest of us, who have actual lives, being forced to replay ten minutes of the game because it wouldn't let us save when we had to deal with something in that real life fscking sucks donkey ass and is one of the reasons why I play less and less games these days.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by razorshark (2843829)

        If you want to play like this though, you can already with a game which features manual saves. Impose that restriction on yourself if you want, but having it imposed for everyone is ridiculous.

        You still have to be cautious on a save anywhere game, it's just less frustrating if you fuck up. Moreso, a game with only checkpoints discourages experimentation. If it takes a single mistake to ruin 5 minutes of stealth gameplay and you can't save during that time to make a mistake less annoying, you'll end up gravi

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        it's a compeltely artificial/superficial challenge.
        it's not related to the game difficulty at all but instead dependent upon an inconvenience factor.

    • by Dins (2538550)

      Oh god, this. 1,000x this. I wish I had mod points for you.

      My biggest problem with the checkpoint thing is I can never really tell exactly when the game saved last. Sure they usually have some sort of spinny disk thing or "checkpoint" graphics, but sometimes I miss those depending on how they are designed. And when I'm going to turn off the game I can never remember how long it has been since I last saw one, so I don't know how much of the game I'm gonna have to replay if I shut it off right now.

      "Are you

  • Many of Crysis 3's gameplay problems can be traced to the pacing, as this review pointed out. The strange part is that Crytek largely got the pacing right in the previous two games. Crysis 2, for all its faults, was a brilliantly paced game. Even Yahtzee agrees on that point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0MblIn-lVc [youtube.com]
  • by ls671 (1122017)

    I agree with TFS. I have about 1000 to 5000 hours of playing Crysis 1-2 behind my belt and the only video games I have ever spent more than 50 hours on in my life is Crysis and The Godfather, Godfather made it with about 200 hours playing time total until I got bored.

    Crysis 3 sound great but I am trying to cut down on it ;-)

  • by Torp (199297) on Friday March 01, 2013 @01:06AM (#43043033)

    ... when I played the original Far Cry.
    Pretty engine, then zzzzzzz.
    Haven't touched a cryengine game since then.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      yes, judge an entire family of games based on the very first one rather than each on its own merits.

      I'd hate to see how you function in the real world.

      "My cup of coffee was rather too strong 18 years ago. So I've never gone to another coffee shop since."

  • by r1348 (2567295) on Friday March 01, 2013 @01:37AM (#43043123)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BeZneKBIVI [youtube.com]
    "I can take double anything you can!" Gotta love the quality of the dialogues, with lines that you'd expect to hear in some particularly competitive porn movie, rather than in a game about nanotechnological beefcakes vs. north korean aliens.

  • How much poor gameplay will players suffer through in exchange for utterly amazing graphics?

    For my part, not a lot. I think modern computer games (modern movies) are far too focused on "amazing effects" and too little on content; as it is, I still find the old COLOSSAL CAVES (it that old, so it requires all caps) game better than things like WoW. A good game should challenge you, it should stretch your imagination, it should be witty, intelligent, engaging and imaginative.

    Here is what I would like to see in a game:

    The game universe should be physically plausible - ie, things thrown should follow a

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