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Crysis
(hx) 08:23 AM EST - Feb,10 2008

Developed by German company Crytek (Far Cry makers), Crysis is a first-person shooter set in 2020, right here on our very own Earth. Archeologists, working on a remote island in the South China Sea, have discovered something strange. Before they can tell the world exactly what they've found, North Korean Government quickly seals off the island chain, claiming the mysteries of the asteroid for themselves. In response, the United States sends in a squad of Delta Force commandos armed with various futuristic weapons, bad attitudes and high tech nano-suits. Of course, nobody knows exactly what's going on with the Koreans, the scientists, or anything else, so it's no surprise that the CIA is involved, aliens... Amid rising tensions between the US and North Koreans, the asteroid suddenly bursts open, revealing a massive, 2km high alien ship. The ship generates an immense force sphere, freezing a vast portion of the island and drastically altering the global weather system. The invasion of Earth has begun!

Crysis' first half is basically an improved version of Far Cry as you fight the North Koreans on the island. The enemy AI in the game is quite challenging and you will likely find yourself dying a lot, especially in the first couple of levels as you find yourself out gunned and out numbered. Half way through, the game stops being sandbox and is more linear. You enter a system of caves that belong to aliens that are against you and the Koreans. Suddenly you are in zero gravity and have to find your way out while dodging aliens. After escaping, the landscape changes again and now everything is covered in snow and ice.

As with Far Cry, Crysis is an open-ended game with many ways to meet objectives. How you get the job done is pretty much entirely up to you, which is part of the brilliance of the game's design. You have the choice of going in all stealth and silently taking out guards as needed, or jumping straight in and shooting everything in sight. Yet be careful with the latter strategy, because enemies will immediately call in reinforcements and send up signal flares once they're aware of your presence. After the stealth approach gets botched, the game includes numerous ways of disposing enemies. Drivers can be shot through windshields, tires can be blown out from under vehicles and shooting a fuel tank causes a nice explosion, etc. You must learn to interact with the environment as much as possible, laying down in high grass to hide from tanks or using superjumps to leap up to a prime sniping position. You are also capable of selecting various modes in your military prototype "Nano Muscle Suit." The suit is capable of four modes: armor, strength, speed, and cloak. These modes allow you to absorb and heal damage, lift and throw heavy items and enemies, reload and run faster, become invisible and reduce noise output, respectively. All of these actions, however, use rechargeable energy reserves that power the suit; energy is recharged most quickly while in armor mode. You can only use one power at a time, and they all have limited energy. Choosing which powers to use in every situation is the heart of the gameplay. For the most part the powers are excellently balanced. Each has its drawbacks and situations where it's appropriate to use.

In term of weapons, Crysis features a wide variety of weapons, ranging from the simple pistol to the TAC Cannon, with its miniature nuclear warhead. But the variety of weapons is effectively quadrupled thanks to the wide variety of customization options. Pistols and rifles can have silencers added to them for silent kills. For those who are challenged by short-range marksmanship, laser sights are available. Extra firepower can be added via the grenade launcher attachment. For those who feel that diplomacy is best conducted over long distances, there are sniper scopes. There are also some drivable vehicles to use. The choice varies from boats, SUVs, jeeps, trucks and tanks to helicopters and the so-called VTOL. It all just works towards providing an extension of your own style of play.

Crysis' graphics look incredible. If you have a high-end PC, you will be able to see the most breathtaking scenery to date. Not only does all the vegetation, water, sand, lightning, snow, ice and explosions rock! Water glistens as the sun rises on the horizon, environments look almost photo-realistic and leaves flutter and break off as bullets pass through them. There's no doubt the Cryengine 2 supports some of the best graphics ever before witnessed by gamers. Intensely realistic environments with destructible trees, houses, fences, Heck almost everything can be destroyed some way! I would say this is graphically the best game I've ever played and the first FPS where having a destructible environment didn't feel like a tacked on gimmick. On the other hand, the quality of the physics engine and its level of destructibility in game causes one to expect things that are beyond the normally expected. This can most easily be seen in a lack of bullet penetration, hence you can shoot a high powered rifle at an enemy the other side of a wooden door and kill the door but not harm the enemy. Another example is that you can rocket a guard tower with a sniper in it and the guard tower will be destroyed but the splash damage doesn't hurt the guy standing 0.5 meter behind the aluminum wall and he walks away from the ordeal unharmed?! Well, maybe I want too much :-)

In addition to single player, Crysis boasts a robust multiplayer element. You can opt for the deathmatch-style Instant Action mode, but the real heart of the online game is the Power Struggle mode which mixes the best from Battlefield 2 and Counter-strike. This multi-step game mode involves capturing and holding power stations and weapons factories until one side obliterates the enemy's base using hand-held nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, you gain points which to purchase personal weapons and equipment, in a Counter-Strike-like fashion. Almost every feature from the single-player portion is present here as well, which includes weapons, vehicles and, yes, nanosuits. Everyone can use speed boosts, max armor, max strength, cloaking and so on. So far, there are a total of nine maps which are huge and require vehicles to get across them, which makes defending areas difficult. One thing lacking in the multiplayer maps, be it Deathmatch or Power Struggle, was any decent amount of indoor action. Sure, there are a few rooms here and there but can you imagine the damage a few claymores can do in a confined space? So, let's have some smaller maps and more indoors stuff please! :-)


The AI in Crysis is somewhat of a touchy subject. The AI suffers from the same problem all shooters seem to have - mainly that enemies sometimes don't know what's going on down the road from them. Besides, the enemies have pre-determined stop points (once you progress past a certain point, they will all just cluster at the point and scream like idiots in Korean), they are too focused in staying in a spot, they can't climb ladders (go sit in a tower, and shoot them in the top of the head), tanks like shooting dirt (stand right in front of a tank behnd a small hill, and it will shoot an infinite amount of rounds at the ground instead of driving 15 feet to shoot you in the face), etc. The AI is quite lacking for being a next-gen game...do you think? It seems to me like Crytek didn't make any noteworthy improvements from enemy behavior patterns seen in Far Cry. Of course, for the most part of the game I think the AI works fairly well, but if you approach certain situations in certain ways the flaws are exposed in pretty irritating ways.

However, there are some issues though which are hard to ignore. After spending up to the last 12 months hearing nothing about how much we are going to love this game, getting a single player campaign that only takes ~10 hours to complete on a PC only title is a pretty disappointing. You end up wishing for the game to have been longer since you have been hearing about it for so long....

If you liked Far Cry, you'll like Crysis. Maybe not as much, since the open-ended level design has been partially castrated by the demands of the new game engine. But yeah, it's still a GREAT game. However, the one thing that you're going to have to seriously consider before purchasing the game specifically for the visuals is the power of your PC. Crysis may very well kick your computer in the balls at Very High settings. So, purchasing Crysis might also mean purchasing a new video card (at least 8800GT), or adding RAM for some gamers just to allow their system to run it.

related links: demo, patch 1.1, map pack, video-review, demo-cheats, cheats, trainer +4, trainer +6, trainer +11, tweak guide.

System requirements:

Windows XP: Intel P4 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon 2800+ / Intel Core 2.0 GHz or higher, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA 6800 GT 256 MB / ATI 9800 Pro or better, DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card, 12 GB or more of free HDD space
Windows Vista: Intel P4 3.2 GHz / AMD Athlon 3200+ / Intel Core 2.2 GHz or higher, 1.5GB RAM, NVIDIA 6800 GT 256 MB / ATI 9800 Pro or better, DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card, 12 GB or more of free HDD space
Multiplayer: 2 to 32 players, network or Internet connection required (512Kbps Cable, DSL, or faster connection)
Ed.Note: I would recommend at least 3GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB RAM and 8800GT.


snd: 5/5 - perfect, sounds and feels like a movie, amazing voice acting
gfx: 5/5 - top-notch (CryENGINE 2), jungle and water effects on high are simply stunning, explosions look almost photo-realistic at Very High, impressive physics engine
playability: 5/5 - addictive and immersive, variety of vehicles, weapons and gadgets, robust multiplayer (up to 32 players, Power Struggle mode), unresolved AI issues, abrupt ending may disappoint you
genre: sci-fi first-person shooter
platform: PC
release: November 2007
developer: Crytek Studios
the game is similar to: Far Cry
publisher: Electronic Arts
Excellent
Overall: 88%


last 10 comments:

devilhood(08:39 AM EST - Feb,10 2008 )
Personally, I liked Crysis more than FarCry.
The sound, graphics and presentation have all been vastly improved, so my initial thoughts were a lot more positive.

I agree with your comments about the AI, with all the fantastic work put into CryEngine's graphical ability, the AI lags behind.
The fact that Frog entities hop around when they are in water, instead of swimming, just goes to show that AI had a half-hearted focus.
How can they miss something like that? :lol:

The multiplayer element, for me, remains the best part of the game.
Once Patch 1.2 comes out, which addresses some very serious issues, I will be very happy, but more people need to buy this game instead of whoring private servers! it deserves the cash! and hurry up CryTek and release that bloody SDK already :P

Stumpus(10:18 AM EST - Feb,10 2008 )
Crysis was a huge leap forward, but that was its downfall. It came out so full of problems it's divided the community.
I cannot abide by a next-gen hyped game that is released in such a poor,poor state that there is no immediate 'day of release' patch.

I stayed away from reviews and (my own fault) looked at those dazzling movies of 'what will be' and thought, 'hey it's Crytek, these guys do no wrong'.
Instead, i play a game where cutting edge AI & physics mean every animal dies as soon as you lightly toss it on water or on the ground. Also newspapers have the physics of odd-jobs bowler hat! (James bond) and have the ability to cut through steel :lol: You cannot shoot through corrugated steel, you can't destroy bricks with an RPG...yeah sooo cutting edge..... :roll:

lots of bad triggers and scripts and lost storyline -in the alien nonsense level. Spawning useless NPCs and linear level design, NO support from EA/Crytek on day of release, utterly ended any respect i had for this 'next gen' hype.
I finished it eons ago! Exactly how long do people wait for a patch for a FPS??
Oblivion for eg, i'm still playing. That's like 250+ hrs into it. Patches could come and go and i will get my value out of it.
Spending 100's of dollars or euros etc on hardware for a game like Crysis is just crazy.

Titles like this are killing the PC games scene off through stupid hardware demands and poor value, imo.

devilhood(01:51 PM EST - Feb,10 2008 )
I'm personally only waiting for the patch for MP/Modding reasons, same as everyone else on the forums; that's what you get when the game is so short though.
I couldn't care less about any SP related fixes unless it is something that benefits the engine on the whole. Maybe user created SP campaigns will be more interesting!

psolord(03:29 AM EST - Feb,11 2008 )
I will play Crapysis in a couple of years when i will have hardware capable of running it at 1920*1080 at 60fps.

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