Crysis 3 is a Beauty in 3D

crysis3

I did not care for Crysis 3. Also on that note, I was timid on Crysis 2, so maybe that was not a surprise.

However, Crysis 3 in 3D is a stunner. I’m speaking on the Xbox 360 version, so I’m sure the PC edition is even more dazzling. But, on such aging hardware – aging hardware with limited 3D capabilities to date mind you – Crysis 3 was an eye-opener.

The series has been built on the wow factor since its inception. “Can it run Crysis?” is part of the gaming lexicon. Now, let’s change it to, “Can it run Crysis in 3D?”

There is a moment in the game where, after traveling through underground facilities without much contrast, a door opens to New York. Boom. Think of Wizard of Oz when Dorothy moves from sepia tones to full Technicolor. It’s like that. Instead of a bunch of doors and hallways potentially prone to cross-talk, this is a rundown New York in the daytime. The farthest buildings feel like they are miles away. The tall grass up front carries a realistic depth that is hard to convey in 3D.

Prophet, the lead, runs around with a variety of guns that are startling sharp as they point towards their target. The bow is especially striking. With the HUD in full view, players can feel like they are in that suit. A handful of boss fights do all they can to poke and prod at the screen, selling a true sense of scale.

Oddly – and certainly disappointing – Crysis 3 does not offer a single cinematic in 3D. All of them are flatly rendered, which is a shame given how so many of them are driven by action. Crytek tries to keep most of them within the engine itself, while most fall to the wayside of dimmed 2D because of the glasses.

Oh well, you can’t win them all.