It's a tense sequence in a great-looking first-person shooter. Crysis 2 left behind the original game's literal jungle for one of the urban type. Crysis 3 melds the two, returning you to a New York City where destruction and decay have been softened by overbearing greenery. The private military company known has CELL has erected a dome over the city, turning the crumbling metropolis into a gargantuan greenhouse in which trees take root in building foundations and rise through their stairwells towards the sky. Like its predecessors, this sequel aims for realism--or at least, as much realism as can be expected for a game featuring high-tech nanosuits and flame-spewing extraterrestrial walkers. This mix of nature and destruction makes Crysis 3 look striking; you couldn't accuse its makers of sacrificing artistic creativity in favor of technology.
The visuals may not sing as sweetly on the Xbox 360 as they do on the PC, but it looks marvelous, regardless. The attention to detail is laudable, even in the character models, which is just as well, considering how often you get up close and personal with your co-stars. Only in a few select cases does the camera pull back and let you see player-character Prophet from a third-person view. This means that you always see supporting characters express their anger, fear, and distrust from Prophet's perspective, which magnifies the tension of various personal exchanges.
Indeed, Crysis 3 tells a much more personal story than the previous games, focusing on three main characters: Prophet; former Raptor Team comrade Psycho; and Claire, Psycho's girlfriend and communications expert for a group of freedom fighters seeking to take down CELL once and for all. CELL has ripped Psycho's nanosuit from his body--a painful process that has only fueled his abhorrence of them, and leaves Prophet as the sole "post-human warrior" left to fight. Claire doesn't trust Prophet, who sees him more as hardware than human, and for good reason: his nanosuit makes him increasingly prone to visions apparently originating from the grandaddy of ceph aliens known as the Alpha Ceph.
Prophet's connection to this being fuels much of the story, as does Psycho's seething desire for revenge over those that forced him to be simply human. There are a number of touching moments that spawn from rising tensions--a newfound emotional heft that the series never before portrayed. The final level, unfortunately, is problematic, because it leaves behind the game's make-your-own-fun structure and requires only a little stick maneuvering and a button press. But you can at least come to Crysis 3 with the comfort of knowing that the game brings the series' continuing story to an apparent close.
Happily, several hours of entertaining action precede this moment, and it's the game's futuristic bow that sometimes drives that entertainment. With it, you zoom in, pull back, and unleash silent fury on the human or alien grunt of choice. Firing standard arrows has just the right feel: you sense the weight of the pull and release, and feel the impact when the arrow reaches its mark.