Crysis Review

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Graphics: 10
Sound : 8.0
Gameplay : 10
Multiplayer : 7.0
Overall : 9
Review by Will Smith
Pretty much everybody in the gaming community knows about Crysis, how it’s been flogged and what it’s capable of. It was all Direct X10 this, nanosuits that, next generation of shooter thinking the other! And do you know what?
They were bloody right!
Now, I won’t disappoint, because I know what everybody wants me to talk about here…the big juicy trees! No? OK. The graphics then, how about those?
Firstly, they’re wonderful, secondly, they don’t affect the loading times one bit, and thirdly, they slaughter pretty much every card out there.

Even on a lower end card, the graphics are beautiful, and the developers have got it just right, no matter how far you turn the settings down the faces look insanely well animated, and the nanosuits look bulky and perfectly capable of doing their job.
Textures look beautifully detailed and clear, and the weapon models are second to absolutely none whatsoever.
The only major gripe is the strain on lower end cards; this could have been helped hugely with an option to reduce foliage density and quality. I know this may raise questions of realism in the game, but I don’t seriously believe anybody is going to miss a little bit of grass or a bush, especially when sacrificed for better textures, models or shader effects.
I have a tip however for those on lower end cards; keep everything low but the shaders, they make a huge difference, especially at night, and don’t consume much power at all.

Crysis lives up to everything we were promised; collapsing shacks and huts onto Koreans, picking up most things, punch cars, jump insane heights, customize weapons, grab and throw enemies…
The last one, sadly, is disappointing, as once grabbed the Koreans tend to stay pretty static, with only the eyes moving. Some shouting, screaming and grappling would have been far better. On the contrary, chickens and frogs are much better for picking up, as they continue their natural behaviour in your kind, loving hands. (Before being used as flying target practice.)

Just to give you a feel of how this game actually works, you need to know about two of my brilliant experiences:

a) Grabbing a Korean by the throat, tossing him into the air and shouting “pull!†before shotgun blasting him over a cliff…into the sea…to his death…yeah.
b) Driving a vehicle insanely fast into an enemy truck, bailing out just as it exploded, blasting the faces off of the confused escorts and hiding in some bushes for ten minutes whilst a dozen Koreans looked in vain for me. Any who did come close, got a shotgun shell wedged in their ass.
See how much fun you can have with an oversized piece of Kevlar and some microscopic robots!

It isn’t without flaws though, as pretty much any contact from an occupied vehicle results in your immediate and untimely death, including any slight scrape from a bit of wobbling metal, which by all rights would bounce off of a nanosuit. It is also impossible, despite the strengths of the nanosuit, to take on a tank with your fists…believe me, I tried.

The game works in action bubbles, just as we were told, every so often you’ll stumble upon an enemy base, loaded out with jabbering Koreans (playing in Delta mode, all the speech is in Korean). This is where you stop and look around; just to find that one beam to break, the one sheet of metal to nudge…or the right vehicle to run the lot down with!
Most bases are completely open, with an obvious entrance, but a lot of the time, just scouring the cliffs will reveal a route which can be accessed by strength jumping your way up and hiding inside one of the many buildings, recovering suit energy and waiting for the right moment.
The next step after accessing these bases is totally up to you.

This really is a game for the free thinker.

The game works heavily on improvised action gameplay; pure spontaneity. Though you may find that you spend a lot of time trying the same sequence over and over because you keep dying, it often emerges that you’ll result in a totally different set of actions. This game really does require on your feet thinking, constantly and unwaveringly.
Do you know what? It’s a hell of a lot of fun. A lot of games promise to deliver this, but Crysis really hammers it home, add the nanosuit in and you can run away at speeds you never thought possible, hide under enemies’ noses (and jam a shotgun up said nose), throw them sky high like clay pigeons, or stand there and take the hits whilst manically cackling, mowing them down.

“Quickies†- The Good
• Insane Graphics
• Full DX10 support
• New dimension of FPS thinking
• Nanosuit powers fun to use and add to the improvised action well.
• Weapon customisation nice feature
• Half decent story
• Environmental destruction is second to none
• Can grab enemies by the throat
• Nice explosions
• Lots of improvised action (suit switching etc.)
• Enemies are smart (reinforcements, gang up on you)
• AI is realistic (i.e. can only see you when cloaked if they saw you cloak, AI doesn’t cheat).
• High speed stunts in vehicles are awesome!

The game doesn’t hold your hand much on first entry. The nanosuit powers get disabled after a nasty fall at the start and this is where most would think the powers were going to be reintroduced, one by one, as is the convention for almost any game involving multiple methods of killing stuff in multiple cool ways.
Nope. Not at all. Every function is given back to you within seconds, leaving you to flail around like a demented beached whale until you learn how to use a nanosuit.
You’ll find yourself dead quite often at the start of the game. It isn’t until you realise how smart you really have to be, then do you stop dying excessively.

Another major point they used to demonstrate Crysis was the AI, they said it could flank you, use fallen trees dynamically, and in essence predict your every move.
I’ll say this now…daaaaamn! They got it bang on; you can even see the squad captains making gestures at his AI team mates to flank around you.
If you raise an alarm, Koreans will storm from miles around to take you down, if a tree falls, the AI will go around it, over it or stay behind it.

It isn’t just the trees either; the AI will man empty guns, use barrels, crates, SUVs etc. in any way it chooses. Believe me, this makes the game damn challenging and damn mean ass. It also makes it far harder than many equivalent shooters on the same difficulty.
If you don’t keep your wits about you, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded and, pretty promptly, dead. Trust me, your health doesn’t last long without that all essential armour, which actually comes out as one of game’s flaws in using the nanosuit abilities, you can’t use any one for too long, or under too much pressure; it’s just that easy to end up pushing daisies.

The story is decent enough; Koreans find aliens, develop nanosuit counter yada-yada-yada…but your main motivation for working through the game, you’ll generally find, is to test yourself on how smartly, or how coolly you can tackle the next action bubble.

Everyone was expecting the same thing from Crysis’ aliens; Trigens. Not actually Trigens of course, but annoying, overpowered and generally irksome equivalent.
Instead what we actually have is an incredibly fun section of the game (albeit disorientating when the gravity goes off).
The initial aliens you fight are like fish-cum-ghosts, but the fights are actually fun as they whiz around, hide from you and try and slash your feet off at a moment’s notice. These fights are really nail-biters as the alien ship has so many varied hiding places for both you and them to use.
You’ll probably be low on ammo when you enter the ship, and will probably run out very quickly, but don’t worry, there are alternatives;

1. The aliens are beautifully grabbable, and there is now officially nothing more fun in this game than grabbing one of these fishy bastards and watching them squirm as you wring their necks, or punch them to death and hurl them across a gravity devoid room. The only problem here is that the game doesn’t recognise the grab point very well, and you often have to keep pushing F at funny angles to the little buggers.

2. The aliens collect stuff. They seem to be particularly fond of shotguns, crates and radio antennae. Throughout the ship you’ll find little floating alcoves such as these to top up your ammo accordingly! What nice people they really are!

The aliens outside are much, much worse (in a challengingly good way), but that’s too tantalisingly excellent to write about here…

The weaponry uses an interesting customisation system everyone is sure to love, every weapon is basically yours to modify as you like (with some limitations on ammo compatibility etc.).
You start of with a SCAR Rifle, but, you only get around 150 bullets, which run down pretty quickly, so you’re rather quickly relegated to using Korean weapons, such as the FY17 rifle and the shotgun.
Weapons can be customised with collectable parts through the nanosuit menu, and all you have to do to collect the part is find the weapon with it attached. You then get the part throughout the game.
Most parts are compatible with any weapon (e.g. it’s possible, albeit useless, to have a sniper scope on a shotgun), meaning you could configure different weapons for different purposes easily.
This results in a more than excellent addition to the gameplay, but it is a feature you need to keep track of, as disposal of a weapon (e.g. when picking up another) will lose you the configurations on that weapon, but not the parts. This means you have to reconfigure a weapon if you dispose of it then later pick another of the same kind up.

Environmental destruction is another of Crysis’ main features we were promised, and sure, we have it, the only problem is that it is far more compatible with Direct X10, so the Direct X9 crew are merely stuck with trees which break in predictable places, bushes which don’t move and buildings that often collapse rigidly and uniformly.
Direct X10 multiplayer servers also receive craters in the ground and other elements of destructibility not seen on the Direct X9 servers.

Speaking of multiplayer…well…as good as the single player is, multiplayer just doesn’t hit the mark. (Please aim all projectiles just to the left, thankyou.)
The server browser is annoying for a start…you need an account. WHY?! Why do I need an account for Crysis? There are no persistent stats or leaderboards, so why do I need an account?!
To make this even worse, despite claiming to want a Gamespy ID, my regular Gamespy ID didn’t work, and I had to create a new one just for this.
Annoying internet services aside, the multiplayer is pretty empty, isn’t awfully exciting or intense and can be awfully confusing sans tutorials in Power Struggle mode.
The Instant Action mode is very, very basic and not at all fun. You run around with a pistol, pick up an SMG or something or other left lying around and shoot people with it.
Now I know what you’re thinking; hang on there! Isn’t that what Unreal Tournament does? Or Enemy Territory Quake Wars? And isn’t that what games have been doing for years?!
Yes, I see your point, but Crysis simply does not make this half as much fun in Instant Action mode, not many weapons around, no blood, no guts, no gibs and most of the elements of single player (particularly the physics) have been removed for DX9 servers.

“Quickies†- The Bad
• Too demanding for all but the most advanced PCs.
• Multiplayer is pretty uninteresting in all modes but power struggle.
• Doesn’t feel complete without DX10.
• Multiplayer is pretty empty.

Kills are also pretty unsatisfying and the game runs much worse in multiplayer on the same settings as single player, on top of this, to add insult to injury; the maps don’t look anywhere near as damn good!

Power Struggle is significantly better at least, allowing you to purchase items using prestige points (gained from kills, captures and raising ranks) once you’re inside any of your team’s buy zones. This mode really requires an active tutorial for the first time, as most multiplayer controls aren’t in the key bind settings on the main menu, which isn’t really a good thing as it detracts from accessibility greatly.
Power Struggle is played very similarly to Onslaught in Unreal Tournament.
There are a series of bunkers, prototype factories, energy sites and war factories, all providing different benefits to your team.
Eventually, once your team has enough energy and a prototype factory, you can buy alien weapons, such as the Molecular Arrestor (freezes enemies) and the Molecular Accelerator, which fires deadly icicles, killing in seconds – but somehow it can overheat…(maybe if you use your imagination you could call it a recharge).
Once all that has been completed, you can buy a Tactical Nuke launching tank, or even better, a singularity tank which creates a black hole. Both of these epic vehicles create a humongous explosion which is capable of destroying the enemy HQ and winning you the game.
This mode has several advantages over Instant Action which contribute to its slightly more successful execution, not least of which are the vehicles and more room to explore.
However, if this is what you want, you would definitely be better off playing Battlefield or Quake Wars.

Crysis is one of the best first person shooters to be released this year, right up there with Bioshock and Halo 3 and drops action by the payload. However, the high system requirements mean it may be off limits for those who like to max out their eye candy 100% of the time, and those who want an excellent, intensive and thrilling multiplayer experience would be better off looking elsewhere. Although, there is certainly more than enough content to keep you going through the single player campaign time and time again, and with the promise of level editor material to come from the modding community, the multiplayer issues end up moot in comparison.

Buy If You Liked; Almost any shooter since…ever.