Crysis is both visually stunning and packed with fun, thrilling game play. Quite possibly the best shooter ever made.
It was so hard to not be impressed by the stunning visual effects of Crysis. Created by the same people who created Far Cry back in 2004, Crysis was bound to be another big success. It was no fluke that they managed to get Far Cry looking as good as it was for its day, neither with Crysis. Crytek have made a new meaning to a first person shooter game, with amazing levels of detail and physics incorporated in to the game.
Crysis is an alien invasion game set in the year 2020. An archaeological team on a remote Pacific island is captured by the invasion of the North Koreans. Your US Special Forces team is dispatched to investigate and attempt to rescue the scientists that are trapped.
Dressed up in high-tech suits known as the nanosuit. Capable of boosting your speed, strength and armour, as well as being able to hide you temporarily from your enemies using cloaking when the going gets tough.
You’re parachuted into a tropical paradise that is covered with intelligent enemies and something else that is tearing both your US Special Forces team and the North Korean forces to shreds.
Like in Far Cry, the first half of Crysis is essentially a “sandbox” game where you’re put in the middle of huge levels and tasked with certain objectives to complete. How you get the job done is entirely up to you, which is the best part of the game’s design. There is a big environment and it gives you a huge range of latitude. Do you have to get to a certain point on the map to complete your objective? You can take the streets that link most of the island together or you can be adventurous and get there through the vegetation, with the danger of enemies showing up.
If you put these environments with the powers of the nanosuit, you have a huge variety of options how you can tackle the game. You can use your speed to your advantage and rush past any forms of danger, or you can play it more like the movie Predator and use your cloaking abilities to be able to sneak up on your enemies and take them out. Crytek have also programmed it so that the AI is much more aware of the current situation in-game. If you take out one of their team mates, they stand around in confusion if you did it silently or if you did it from a spot where they didn’t notice you. It could be that you use a silenced rifle to take out a guard, or use your incredible strength to grab him by the neck and throw him off the side of the cliffs, or against a vehicle, the choice yours.
With the enhanced speed or strength, you can jump up on to buildings and stealthily assassin your enemy. Drop down behind them silently and take them out. You can take on different roles in Crysis, from being a stealthy assassin to being a nutter and charging in. Although you got to be careful as you do not live forever. You have to play it smart if you want to be a true hero in Crysis.
It helps that the features such a high degree of physics. The destructibility in a highly detailed world is great. Getting caught in a battle in the jungle is a real treat, thanks to the way that the bullets chop down trees, while branches sway from the impact caused. This isn’t just a visual effect, if someone is caught under a tree it will kill them, or severely injuring them depending where it lands.
Trying to hit targets who are at a long distance are hard to hit thanks to the weapon recoil and other factors such as wind that have been modelled into the game. The North Koreans are covered in body armour, so they will take a bit of time to gun down, unless you aim for the head where there is no protection. It usually puts them down to the ground in one shot.
The most common weapon is the assault rifle, and the shotgun although throughout the game you do get to try out missile launchers, turrets etc. A nice feature of the game is that you can add/remove attachments to your weapons on the fly, adding scopes, silencers and even grenade launchers provided that you have found them. There are trade-offs for each add-on. Silencers let you take down the guys quietly although they reduce bullet damage. Make every shot count. Flashlights are useful on darks parts of a level although they will give you away to the enemy.
Crysis gives you all the toys to play with. The deeper you get in to the game, the more you unlock and the more you’re able to do. The closer you get to the end of the game, the more intense and the larger the battles become. In one stage you are in the middle of a tank battle, with planes and choppers flying right over your head. The creators – Crytek have really focused on the details. When you fire off a missile from the tank, you can see the smoke trail it creates. The vehicle explosions are so convincing, it really seems that it is the way it happens in real life. You’re not bound to your tank, you can get out and use your nanosuit powers to take the battle to the next level. Kill your enemies with rocket launchers, pick them up and use them to take out enemy choppers or planes.
The typical game play is around eight to ten hours long, although this can vary greatly depending how you wish to play it. It is also fun to go back later and take on an old battle that you have done because they’re always different due to the nature of the way the game has been programmed by Crytek. See if you can find new ways to defeat the Northern Koreans.
The AI is generally brilliant in combat scenarios; I have never come across another game which has AI so true to life. Hats off to Crytek for this one. However, as always it is a game and there are some glitches. Sometimes the AI doesn’t know what is happening just down the road from them, which is a shame but not all games are perfect!
There is a special hard campaign which is called Delta; this is the best one to play as it is much more true to life. The grenades are no longer highlighted, so you have to pay more attention to detail in the game to make sure you don’t get blown up by a nearby grenade. The AI is more alert, fighting back with more power and is generally smarter than on any other difficulty.
Crytek has not only done an amazing job on the single player campaign, but the multiplayer is a huge achievement too. Combining the best of Battlefields and Counter Strike games, they have come up with “Power Struggle.” The objective is to destroy the opposing team’s base, but in order to do so you have to have control of the two power stations on the map to be able to construct alien weaponry at a central prototype facility. In addition to this, the opposing team can also capture your weaponry and use it for themselves, as well as being able to spawn there when they die. When you kill a member of the opposition or seize one of their bases, you gain points which you can use to get better weaponry and vehicles. Do keep in mind that everyone has a nanosuit, and you will have a lot of people dashing around the place, or using cloaking to sneak up on you. Use it wisely, and it is a lot of fun.
There is also Instant Action, which is basically a death match. You still have your nanosuit powers, and it is a lot of fun dashing around on a lot of fantastic levels. Crysis multiplayer does have a built-in microphone support which means you can talk to your team mates on Power Struggle if need be.
Crysis has such true to life imagery, sometimes you have to realise you’re not actually there. Crytek has managed to create the most photorealistic game to date. The fact that nearly all of the buildings and trees are destructible just adds to the realism.
In order to play Crysis, you have to have a pretty high end computer. It has hefty requirements if you’re wanting to play it on high resolutions with high levels of detail. Unfortunately Crytek didn’t do such a good job on the game engine, and no system to date can play the game maxed out with 8xAA and all settings on ultra high. Drop the settings down onto high, the effects it creates is still visually stunning. Even though you can’t run the game on max settings, Crysis still blows any game straight out of the water with its realism and graphics. Crysis supports both DirectX 9 and 10, but requires you to be on Windows Vista to use DirectX10, as Windows Vista is the only Operating System that supports DirectX10. The visuals are stunning on DirectX10, provided you have the hardware to make it work properly.
The sound is also fantastic. It sounds as if you’re actually there, it is that real. You can hear the soft crunch that the dirt and the broken off branches make whilst you’re walking over them. It also sounds exactly like what you’d expect from in the middle of a jungle.
All put together, Crysis is just the best First Person Shooter ever created. It is truly remarkable. This game pushes both the technology and the game play to the next level. Crysis raises all the expectations for every shooter to follow when it comes to graphics, interaction, environments, AI and game play. All in all, Crysis represents a First Person Shooter at its finest, let’s hope Crysis WarHead (to be reviewed soon!) will be just as good if not better!
Brilliantly programmed AI
Different tactics provide you with different game play
Some parts are glitchy, but is easily sorted with the new v1.1 and v1.2 patches
Requires a hefty PC to play on any decent levels of detail
EDIT: To the request of fellow forumers; my system specs are as follows:
Intel Pentium E2140 @3.2GHz
MSI P35 Neo2-FR
nVidia 9600GT @750/1875/950
GeIL Black Dragon 2x2GB @800MHz 5-5-5-15 2T
ALL comments welcome, sorry for the lengthy essay! Images need to be found as a recent format removed them from my HDD and forgot to back them up