reviewed on PC
Crysis will be ‘familiar territory’ to veteran Far Cry players. Smart enemies, beautiful landscapes and deadly creatures, it is all there. Like Far Cry, Crysis lets the player approach each situation as he or she sees fit. Stealth enthusiasts can chose the silent way, using cloak and silenced guns as their main weapons. But you can elect to play the game ‘one man army’-style too. Throwing grenades, using human shields and shooting oil tanks for shiny explosions is just as much fun as cloaking your way through the game, albeit in a very different way.
By allowing you to solve the situation at hand in so many different ways, Crysis offers the gamer a truly unique experience. You can customize your weapons according to your current needs and wants and actively using your suits special powers, encourages you to play the game in any way you feel comfortable with.
Of course trying to kill everyone with your fists is a bit of a suicidal crusade but if you manage to combine Speed, Strength, Cloak and Armor with the right timing and weapon, you are practically unstoppable. That doesn’t mean that the game is easy. The difficulty bar is carefully set to provide enough of a challenge to force you to adapt to every situation presented to you.
The game offers a multitude of places to visit, each beautiful, detailed and with their own weather, flora and fauna. There are indoor and outdoor scenarios and entering a new area will excite you and will make you want to explore. As you progress through the game, levels tend to become smaller and feel more scripted. Your human adversaries are replaced with all sorts of creatures in the later level, offering quite a bit of variation. Robot squids a la Matrix aren't exactly boring to fight, but using your suit isn't as vital as it is when fighting human opponents.
Even if it shares similarities with its predecessor Far Cry, Crysis evidently has come a long way from Jack Carver’s adventure on Ape Island. We say farewell to baldy positioned savepoints that often served as a source of anger. They are replaced with a welcome quicksave option.
Crysis offers unprecedented visuals. The screenshots accompanying this article were taken on my mid-range PC and even for me the game looks fantastic. Most gamers will likely have to wait a year or two (or sell a kidney) before they can afford the gaming rig that will play Crysis with all details to full. I found that AA isn't as important for me as HDR, water effects and shadows so I decided to turn AA off. While that led to jagged looking edges, the rest looks great. I do suggest turning ‘Physics’ to the highest level possible. This feature really affects gameplay. You do want houses to blow up when they are hit by a missile don’t you?
Lonesome gamers will go through the game in about 15 hours and can then try at a different difficulty level. Those who like to play Multiplayer games can enjoy the uniquely fun Power Struggle mode. In this mode, you and your team set out to capture factories. These factories can be used to buy high tech weaponry and vehicles that are paid for by points gathered from kills.
It is worth noting that you will likely be a lot more attached to your character (and your team mates) than you were in Far Cry. I couldn’t care less about Jack Carver’s fate but somehow Nomad, Psycho and the others are a lot more likeable. Helena Rosenthal isn’t exactly Alyx Vance but you will like her enough to at least care about keeping her alive. About how many games can you honestly say the same?
With state of the art graphics, excellent voice acting, mood-affecting music and challenging gameplay, Crysis manages to overcome its predecessor's flaws and prove it is the better game. The single player campaign will leave you hungry for more and hopefully we will see additional content of the same quality from the people at Crytek very soon indeed.
No Pros and Cons at this time