The final instalment in Crytek's Crysis franchise is the best-looking of the bunch by quite some distance, a big budget action extravaganza that looks and sounds incredible as you blaze through its five hour long campaign. But can the Switch handle it? Well, we're happy to report that yes, it can. Saber Interactive has delivered a fantastic port here, with very little in the way of technical hiccups, that lets you get on with the important business of stealthing and shooting your way through its impressively flexible levels.
Crysis 3 rocks an interesting mix of both of its predecessor's gameplay practices. Its levels are still much more confined that the original game — there's no wide open sandbox to endlessly muck about in here — but there is far more scope, more space for messing around with your powers and toying with your enemies than we were afforded in part deux. It also features much more satisfying and fully-fleshed out stealth play, with a sleek new bow that doesn't interrupt your camo and a much-improved visor targeting system combining to really let you get into a satisfying silent assassin groove.
Yes, in hindsight Crysis 3 may actually be the high point of the entire trilogy from a purely mechanical point of view. It hits a real sweet spot, giving you plenty of freedom to do as you please in its spaciously designed levels, while tightening up the stealth and strategic aspects so you don't find yourself falling foul of enemies who seem to be able to spot you through solid rock or alert an entire base because you stabbed someone in the back. This is a super slick shooter, no doubt, a step up from its predecessors graphically and a game that just feels better to move through from moment to moment.
It drops the rather overbearing hand-holding of Crysis 2, as well. No longer is every tactical opportunity flagged up with a great big yellow marker in your visor — you're actually left to think for yourself a little more. There are also some neat side objectives introduced that see you rewarded for your extra efforts, encouraging you to slow down and investigate the entirety of levels instead of just blazing through them. You can take enemy air support offline to make the infiltration of a base easier, for example, or even help a bunch of soldiers out in return for support during your next firefight. It's worth taking your time here instead of making a beeline for that blue objective marker, and the net result is that Crysis 3's action feels like the most well-designed and properly polished offering of the lot.
However, and it's quite a big however, this is also a very short game. We blasted through the campaign here in just over five hours, and that was taking our time to do side missions. Crysis 3 is a short-lived experience and one that also loses the run of itself in its final hour, giving up the ghost and fully embracing an ill-advised finale that sees gameplay take a backseat to some rather raggedy set-pieces and a story that's now absolutely disappeared up its own nether regions.
We also need to take into account that this remaster arrives sans any form of multiplayer so, if you're picking this one up individually, rather than as part of the Crysis Remastered Trilogy, this third entry becomes a little more difficult to recommend in terms of value for money - it's a fairly slim package.
That being said, there's still plenty of fun to dig into here and those more open play areas afford you the opportunity to experiment more than you could do in Crysis 2. There's also some much-needed replayability to be found in collectibles that can be hoovered up from around the game's levels and harder difficulty modes up the ante enough that fans will definitely find themselves returning to take this one on more than once.
In both docked and handheld modes this game run fantastically well too, with only very minor frame rate issues in a handful of intense battles and a little bit of stutter when loading into new areas to complain about. For Switch-owning FPS fans, Crysis 3 Remastered is probably the weakest link in the franchise given that its had its multiplayer ripped out and runs so much shorter than its predecessors. All things considered though it's still a super solid effort and one that's well worth picking up, so long as you're happy enough with that rather short running time.
Crysis 3 Remastered stealths its way onto Switch in a fantastic port that delivers super solid gameplay and very little in the way of noticeable technical issues. However, with its multiplayer aspects completely excised, this is now a fairly slim package that ends up being the hardest to recommend of the three Crysis titles available on Nintendo's console, especially if you're considering picking it up as a standalone title. What's here is still top-notch stuff, it's just a little too short-lived.