Review: Crysis 3 (PC)
STORY PT. 2 (SPOILERS)
Now, newcomers to Crysis will never suspect something is amiss with this plot, because the game simply glosses over many of its major plot overhauls, but veteran players will recognize the series’ annoying tradition of rewriting the entire framework of the story from game to game.
Let’s recap to give you some perspective: The second game in the series turned the nano-suit from a marvel of modern military engineering (which was then copied by the North Koreans) into a machine built with alien technology (which has since been impossible to replicate). Admittedly, at no point in Crysis 1 was it ever explicitly stated that the suit was made entirely from human technology, but it was assumed, and the story was designed to give that impression.
Honestly, alien or not, that suit is still as cool as a Fonzie on the north pole.
Similarly, the aliens you “discovered” in the first game were revealed in Crysis 2 to be old news to both Prophet and the US military. Again, there’s room in the plot for this twist, but it’s clear that the story wasn’t originally planned to contain this element. As a result, the entire feel and mood of the first game changes completely: You’re no longer playing a soldier who discovers something incredible on a south pacific island; like playing an episode of Lost. You’re just a soldier who hasn’t been briefed properly and is being sent on a field testing of an alien suit. The magic… kinda disappears.
In Crysis 3, the changes continue in the same annoying “you’ve changed everything but you’re still within the bounds of what your plot allows” way. At the end of the previous game, Prophet, who had died in the beginning of the game, revealed that he had survived inside the nano-suit; his consciousness integrated into the suit itself. Though it was never made clear exactly what happened at the end of the game, Prophet spoke to the player, explaining that they’d have to fight together to defeat the aliens once and for all. I assumed that in Crysis 3, he’d take a role similar to Cortana in the Halo series; a persistent companion who lived inside your armor.
(Crysis 2) – See, Prophet's dead. But not really. But yeah. But no. Make up your mind, game!
Instead, Crysis 3 opens with the revelation that Prophet has assimilated the body of the protagonist from Crysis 2, replacing his mind and seizing control of his body. That’s a really weird direction for the plot to go, and kind of creepy. Again, with the way the previous game ended, I can’t say it’s beyond the bounds of what the plot could get away with, but it changes the mood of the story entirely. You’re no longer continuing your previous adventure; you’re playing as the man who erased the mind of another person. There’s no real reason for why they had to do this; it isn’t a plot necessity.
Ultimately, they are indeed free to write the plot however they want to, and if it clashes with my personal taste, then that isn’t really their problem so long as the plot stays within the framework it has set up. Still, it has become an annual thing for me to be put off by the game’s universe, and that can’t be a good sign. The fact that Crysis 1 is by now so detached from the second and third game that I have trouble seeing them as a singular franchise, says quite a lot about the cohesion of the story.