Review

Crysis Review (PC)

Crysis is one of those types of games that sets out to redefine quality in its field, while the FPS community have their latest and greatest champion – so too does the gaming industry as a whole.


They’d make one kickass Halloween costume A harmless mellowed out tortoise ...or a lethal North Korean sympathizer?

First of all, too really and I mean really enjoy this demon-beast of a game its best you have an equally unholy rig to power its tantalising gorgeousness. Visually the game is near untouchable and goes to show just what the games industry can muster when it sets its targets on a goal. Couple the mind blowing environments with advanced physics simulation and this Philippine island wouldn’t be so bad to live on if some Hollywood-inspired vortex suddenly sucked you through the monitor, aside from all the North Korean military and the infestation of bad alien mojo of course.

Cranking up the options to DirectX10 is worth the journey getting there, the whole place from some insignificant pebble or rock to the water and waving flora and fauna are staggering with their level of detail. Take into account the size of the land mass you’re navigating about and you’ll realise just how crazy it is with what Crytek have gotten away with. Even if you can’t manage the crème de la crème of graphics options you’ll still be treated to textures far above other titles around. Sounds are just as phenomenally well done as the visuals all throughout, from crushing dirt, quaking mountainsides, snapping branches, tons of gunfire to character voices and that’s not including the engaging and immersive composed scores which just keep all the action and edgy thrills blasting on.

You start off in the back of a cargo plane with your fellow squad mates, all suited and booted in nano-suits just like your own. Not only do these things look the damn business but they ARE the business. Soon enough you’re lobbing yourself out the back and sky diving to this little slice of paradise while being treated to a quick on-the-fly tutorial just to get you orientated. Now comes a perfect moment to just stop and admire the technology giving you this experience. Once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor the real fun can begin.

Your suit isn’t just eye candy, like the game itself; it’s got big surprises in store and just waiting for you to discover them. You have a standard health bar which regenerates while you’re not being pummelled or having large explosions roast your delicate areas. One of the most important modes of your suit will be Armour, it helps reduce damaged taken and acts like a thick skin or an early shield device if you will. It won’t be able to protect you for long under fire so it’s best to use it when you know the enemy is as good as dead already otherwise you’re just putting good nano energy to waste. Another great mode is Speed which pumps your body fully of crazy adrenaline so you can outrun most things. The problem is you become susceptible to damage especially if you ‘accidentally’ run into some objects ...like a cliff wall. Strength mode will let you not only smash enemies with greater ease but also lets you jump much higher than you could normally.

Of course combining speed mode and running at a soldier then quickly changing to strength for an uppercut is deliciously satisfying, especially in a kickass suit like this. Cloak mode may sound fantastic but don’t go thinking this is some Metal Gear style stealth device that lasts forever, it uses up energy fast when you’re moving so tactically its good for quickly disappearing to catch your breath while they search for you. Lastly is the weapons modification mode which lets you add or detract attachments to the weapons you’ve been running around with, things like sniper scope, laser sights, silencer, light attachment etc. Always check what you can change with a new weapon as some can alter their ammo type too. New weapons can just be picked up off dead enemies so you’ll always be on a scavenger hunt really.


Weapon attachments can make life a lot easier, and quieter Viewing the map and objectives are quick and easy

The story is one mean mother in Crysis, when you think things really have hit rock bottom for the team it just keeps on spiralling into more crazy mayhem. I won’t mention anything to spoil the ride suffice to say the North Koreans are the very least of your concerns even when your leading a charged counter-offensive against their little invasion of the island with full US military backing. To help along the way are vehicles scattered about that you can ‘borrow’, they could be civilian, North Korean or even US military.

You’ll be following mission objectives all through-out the game and they’re easily displayed along with a map of the island section you’re in. There’s no strict path per-say to reach an objective so you can approach from a number of routes through the jungle. You’ll have primary and secondary objectives given to you and all mean you’ll be soaking up the Crysis experience for longer so they’re no chore. Plus things get mixed up to keep things from becoming a simple line of “rush here and destroy that” monotony, flying a VTOL is one hell of an experience when under fire – I certainly developed an appreciation for their pilots. It’s a cross between a Chinook and Harrier and makes for one juicy target for flying enemies and for tornadoes to play with, yes I said tornadoes.

So amazing visuals, loads of bad guys, guns, vehicles and a whole lot of island ...now comes the kicker for the lot – physics. Tossing a grenade right into the side of a watch tower and then to see said watch tower and occupying guard fly about from aforementioned grenade is just very cool. When you’re blasting away with weapons you’ll get an accurate kickback so there’s no Hollywood style ‘physics’ but a very realistic simulation that stops things like the mini-gun developing the precision of a sniper rifle. Plus, seriously, the grenade thing is hilarious if you lob one inside a building with guys and then stealth into the jungle; while the impending victims try to figure what the heck just went on; suddenly their little shack tumbles down on top of them.

Don’t expect the AI to be some bumbling, dribbling bunch of morons though as even on easy they’ll utilise enough smarts to flank, suppress and flush you out. You may have a big bad nano-suit with a “come get some” attitude to go with it but they know when you’re outnumbered and are quick to press home that advantage. Of course for the veterans of first person shooters then perhaps you need your mettle tested; Delta mode which has its difficulty filename aptly dubbed “Bauer” is for you. You won’t be facing off against an enemy given mountainous perks – you’ll just have some of yours taken away. Health will regenerate slower, no more incoming grenade warnings from your suit and of course since when would North Korean soldiers (who don’t get out much internationally) be speaking fluent and plain English?

Multiplayer isn’t some quickly hashed feature just bundled on, it’s taken a life of its own much in the way Counter-Strike has, except there’s nano-suits all round. Death match naturally is included for the most blood lusting of players who can hardly distinguish between a tree and foe let alone a friendly, or just because they can’t be bothered. For more of an all out war though you can choose for a “Power Struggle” game, essentially it’s a team death match but with the added goodness of bases and the excuse to pursuit your prey with more structured purpose. You don’t have to destroy the opposing base though as matches can just be limited to kill scores or put on a timer. Multiplayer also comes with exclusive weapons and gadgets to help make war more interesting like mines or the trusty TAC Launcher which deploys a miniature nuclear warhead for localised nuisances, and for that warm and fuzzy “oh yeah” feeling.


Detail of the foliage and fauna is just amazing given the scope Explosions rock, in more ways than just eye candy

Crysis is a truly evolved first person shooter, both in terms of just how photorealistic the whole immersion becomes and the gameplay its highly attuned physics simulation brings to the player. Seriously the only thing I could feel more passionately about than the game itself after blitzing through jungle, NK troops and a swathe of aliens was when the heck is the sequel coming out!? Until the grand day that Crysis 2 is announced though multiplayer and the games modding capabilities are more than enough to give the community their nano-suit fix, for the time being. Crysis shows not only are Crytek one heck of a games studio to set new crazy standards for more than just action shooters, but also that the PC is far from feeling left out in this ‘next-gen’ war of the platforms.

Top Game Moment:
Blazing through jungle is fantastic just to witness how great everything looks and ‘feels’, then to have an obscure winter invasion which looked just even more awesome.

Videos

Comments

By jondragonpage (SI Newbie) on Jun 29, 2008
jondragonpage
Lovley looking game, hyped up a little to much i think, and it might just be me but i would prefer a slight turning down in the graphics, if it means making the game longer, this was he only problem i had with it, just to damn sort, but if you like the shooters then your gunna want to play it
By Hunter_Raj (SI Member) on Sep 06, 2009
Hunter_Raj
hey , i realy like this game, it's so cool