Crysis 3 Review: New York, Here We Come (Again)

Crysis 3 Box Art
by Rob Williams on February 25, 2013 in Gaming

Following the events of Crysis 2, we find ourselves back in New York – but this time, things have changed. The city has turned into an urban rainforest, and while CELL is working towards global domination, Ceph continue their war against humanity. Only one man can save mankind: “They call me Prophet”.

Graphics, Game Issues & Final Thoughts

In 2007, a meme was born. To date, it still hasn’t died. You know which one I’m talking about. With Crysis 3, that meme has good reason to keep on truckin’, because it’s one of the rare games that has the ability to make a high-end PC beg for mercy. At 1080p and max detail (1x SMAA), the game ran at about 28~30 FPS on my PC equipped with an Intel Core i7-990X six-core, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 amd 12GB of Kingston RAM.

As I pointed out in our look at NVIDIA’s Titan last week, in order for the game to be enjoyed at 5760×1080 (3 displays) at max detail and 2x SMAA, three of these cards would be required. That’s $3,000 worth of GPUs. After playing the game with my lowly GTX 680, I can begin to understand the reasoning for that.

Crysis 3 - PC

That said, the game is actually very playable at around 30 FPS, and because I was so stubborn and didn’t want to decrease the detail levels, I played through the entire game that way. The video at the start of this review was recorded using the exact same settings I played with, so you might be able to understand why I put up with the lower framerates.

Given all this, it should come as no surprise that Crysis 3 is one of the best-looking games to ever grace the PC, if not the best-looking. In fact, I believe it to be the only game that actually requires DirectX 11 to play. A bold move by Crytek, to be sure.

While you can expect tessellation in certain areas, the sheer level of detail goes beyond that. Even at a distance from something, zooming in with a good scope can show just how detailed some objects and surfaces are. Outside, you’ll see grass and trees swaying in the wind, incredible rain and water effects, and elsewhere, detailed particles, global illumination and volumetric shadows. These all combine to make this one of the greatest visual treats the PC has ever seen.

With all the good that Crysis 3 brings to the table, let’s round out this review by tackling the things that left a bad taste in my mouth, or at least weren’t ideal.

Crysis 3 - PC

A weaker aspect of the game is the enemy AI, which at times is hit or miss. Sometimes, it seems totally realistic – other times, not so much. Hiding behind a bush, it wasn’t too surprising if my stealth cloak ran out and an enemy could spot me from 100 ft away. In Crysis 3, enemies simply have eagle eyes if they’re looking in your general direction, and even when not, coming out of cloak mode directly behind an enemy could sometimes alert them to your presence, even if you don’t move.

There are other times when the AI simply doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. In one instance, a group of two friendlies were stuck inside a passage, disallowing me to get past. Thankfully, this happened to be an area that triggered a save point, so simply reloading fixed the problem. Another strange issue can be seen in the video I embedded at the start of the article. In one area, you’re apparently meant to kill every enemy on your way through, because if you use stealth mode to avoid everything, it risks the chance of bugging the enemies. You can see this exact incident at 11m 30s.

Crysis 3 - PC

Another complaint I have relates to the map. It’s found inside the pause menu after you hit an arrow to move from the objectives to the map. Why couldn’t the map be brought up with the “M” key as is commonly done? To make matters worse, the map isn’t exactly the easiest thing to follow.

The last niggle I can mention is somewhat minor. It relates to certain boss fights where I had no sweet clue if I was actually attacking them like I should be. It was never obvious that I was doing damage when I actually was. The last boss battle is exactly like this, so it led to some frustration.

In the end, though, I thoroughly enjoyed Crysis 3. Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the previous games, and ended up not playing either for too long. However, my interest has definitely been triggered to revisit the older games and given them an honest go after having completed this one. The game has a couple of flaws, but none that are major, and the fact that I feel like completing the game again a second time helps assure me that it was a good one.

Crysis 3 - PC

The downsides, of course, revolve around the game taking a mere 6-7 hours to complete. If you can get past that aspect, and know that you’ll replay the game, it’s definitely worth it – perhaps even moreso if you are a completionist like me and want to seek out all of the hidden items strewn throughout the game-world.


  • It’s fun – plain and simple.
  • Great story, continuing off of the previous games.
  • Lots to find and collect for completionists.
  • Nanosuit upgrade mechanic helps cater to your particular playstyle.
  • Tons of weapons and attachments to make use of.
  • Fantastic multiplayer component.
  • Top-rate graphics, both with the game world and models.


  • Enemy AI is at times too dumb, or too smart.
  • Hacking mechanic is mediocre.
  • Not enough vehicle use.
  • A more convenient map would have been nice.
  • Short campaign, at around 6-7 hours.
  • Loading the game has the tendency to resize some desktop applications.

Crysis 3

Page List

1. Introduction, Gameplay, Campaign, Multiplayer
2. Graphics, Game Issues & Final Thoughts
3. Extra Screenshots

  • Kayden

    Multi-monitor support isn’t great…..which is sad.

    • Rob Williams

      What exactly do you mean by MM support not being great? NVIDIA has been pushing the 3×1 configuration for this game hard. If you’re only talking about performance, that was to be expected. A single 680 @ 1080p Very High gave me 30 FPS if I was lucky.

      • Marfig

        I’m more curious about Kayden reference to the Titan. I find 3x 690 a much more economical and practical setup then going for a 3x Titan that really only justifies itself if you are into GPGPU, not games.

        • Rob Williams

          The 690 can’t be used in a 3x configuration, because NVIDIA’s SLI doesn’t natively support more than 4 GPUs. For some reason with Titan, it still decided to limit it to 3x.

          • Marfig

            Yeah. I did mean 2x 690. Was still thinking on the 3x of the Titan when I wrote that.

            The idea here is that 2x 690 is a much more economical and efficient setup for the small gain that a 3x Titan can give. If the game already offers 30 FPS with a dual 580 setups, I would have re-written Kayden post to read ” I do manage to get 30 or so average FPS on High with my dual 580 at 5760×1080, so a dual 690 should suffice”.

            It’s just a small pet peeve. According to our look at the Titan a few days ago ( ) I do not find much to be gained from the Titan. It’s an isolated card in the NVIDIA lineup and unless they start pushing it as a new line of cards it will become irrelevant with future iterations (the 700s and the 800s). So I wouldn’t think much of the Titan and would stay focused on the typical NVIDIA lineup.

          • Rob Williams

            The problem is that a lot of games just don’t scale well to 4 GPUs. Sometimes, 3 GPUs is a challenge. The sad reality is that a lot of people who DO own dual 690s will rarely have their 4th GPU touched outside of benchmarks. This isn’t an NVIDIA problem, because it also exists on the AMD side. The best configuration then, when possible, is a maximum of 3 GPUs. The more powerful those GPUs are, the better.

            I haven’t looked into real-world benchmarks with 2x 690 and 3x Titan, but I’d suspect that Titan will win more often than not.

      • Kayden

        “What exactly do you mean by MM support not being great?” The hud is spanned across all of the monitors, so the info on the lower right and left are on the far right and left monitor respectively in SP but MP has no such issue. I know that it can be cut halfway down but that still isn’t great. The damn hud should be on the center monitor if it was properly supported like is claimed, hell BL2 still has the same claim it’s MM compliant but certain things still don’t work in MM. I hate how they say it’s supported but choose to ignore certain issues, never comment or even fix them in later patches. I think of it like this, I don’t expect a CD player that says it supports MP3 on the box and the unit but doesn’t just because it says it does, if it isn’t supported or not working right, I should be able to send it back and get different unit to resolve the problem, I have the same conviction about games and claiming to support MM when they don’t. When a game doesn’t support what it is advertising says it does, we all should expect there to be some recourse but none exist and that pisses me off to hell and high heaven.

        • Rob Williams

          I don’t understand how NVIDIA can keep pushing multi-monitor gaming with titles that don’t even support it that well. I really need to get a damn multi-monitor setup going so I can experience this first-hand.

          • Kayden

            I totally agree. That is the main reason why I have NOT bought any of the DLC for Borderlands 2 because they don’t properly support MM. I can’t be heard with my forum posts to Nvidia or Gearbox so I am doing the only thing that I can do, it’s sad really cause I liked that game a lot.

          • Rob Williams

            I probably won’t be able to get a MM setup going soon, because I’ll be moving in a couple of months, but once I get into a new place I’ll make it priority. I could raise the issue with NVIDIA in the meantime if you could e-mail me the problems with both games.

  • Marfig

    Short, weak AI and pretty. Seems that Crysis won’t ever leave this formula. Pass.

  • JD Kane

    I’m probably very much in the minority, but I actually enjoyed all of the Crysis games. I’ve found them to be quite fun to play and just stunning to look at. Plus the story has been enthralling as well. That’s a big selling point to me.

    I’m rather keen on getting the funds so I can get this game soon, hopefully at a discount.

    • Rob Williams

      I didn’t get into the earlier ones, but I am thinking Crysis 3 is going to be the gateway drug. I plan to go back and play the older ones soon.

  • Kirk Apolo

    Crysis 1 & Warhead (amazing 10/10 singleplayer) > Crysis 2 (great
    singleplayer, good multiplayer, but the game is way too linear) >
    Crysis 3 Gratis Games (shitty 5 hours long campaign, all the same multiplayer)