Review by ph4z0n17
Crysis started off as what many would call a tech demo. It was more or less some obscure title in a sea of anticipated shooters that only has its graphics separating it from the crowd of mediocrity. A few screens in the latest Game Informer here, some screens on the web there, and that was about it. When people saw Crysis, they saw the visuals, and that was about it. However, Crytek has made a tremendous effort from distinguishing Crysis from the tech demo stereotype it was getting, and have made an admirable effort on this front. Crysis has become a worthwhile shooter that is utterly engrossing and stunning in every guard. Crytek Proves through this title that Far Cry was no accident; rather, it was simply the beginning of a new age for FPS.
Visually, Crysis is the top of the line game out there. Nothing can compete with Crysis as it stands now, as on very high settings, Crysis is near photorealistic. Tree leaves sway when you touch them, sunlight is distorted in a strange psychedelic effect underwater, and the turtles have never looked so.... turtely. It is entirely possible to keep your screen aimed at the ground and stare at the dirt for an hour. Crysis is that good when it comes to visuals. However this all comes at a price. As of now, nothing in the known universe can max out every setting of Crysis at 60 frames per second. Until the next generation of video cards, don't even try doing it. Medium and high settings still look fantastic, however, and low settings look like a slightly better version of Far Cry. By no means is Crysis ever ugly; it is simply less beautiful than what it could be if you had the hardware. Crytek is planning to release patches providing more updates to the graphical engine as time wears on, so do not expect Crysis to look inferior in the visual department anytime soon.
In terms of audio, Inon Zur (The music composer) has done a fantastic job with some of these songs. All of them feel Epic with a capital "e". Trumpets Bellow as you engage the enemy, bullets slide out of the barrel of your SCAR assault rifle as the KPA screams orders at each other; you really feel like a super soldier here. Music themed for the Alien Menace is appropriately other worldly, and music aimed towards your Special Forces unit is suitably motivational with a hint of patriotism blended in. The music and sound is by no means lacking in any department of Crysis. The Voice acting can be quite hammy at times; but then again, it's the kind of hammy that will make you laugh rather than chuck your keyboard out the windows swearing at Crytek.
Enemy AI as a whole is 90% great. The KPA patrol regroups, shouts orders to each other, shoots flares for help, and sends out one or two from their group for recon whenever something - or someone- is nearby. However, the AI does have its breakdowns. Expect once or twice throughout the course of the game for the AI to simply stare at you in what can only be described as a sudden case of "Awesome-itis" (Your suit was so awesome, and the graphics were so good, that they decided to forget about the battle and look at you in a shocked face) However, the AI is dynamic. They do different things every time, and take note of fallen cover or debris. This is not COD4 where the AI is content hiding behind a rock blind firing at you; the KPA will actively hunt you down.
Game play wise, Crysis is like Zombo.com. The only limit is you. There are multiple ways to engage the enemy, and in most cases, you may not need to engage them at all. Crysis's open ended world allows you you to scout out the enemy, plan an effective, fun strategy for battle, and execute it with superhuman precision with your nano-suit. The nano-suit keeps the game play fresh; you are never limited to just shooting and stabbing dudes. Put on strength mode and throw a dishwasher at everyone you can see. Or, go in cloak mode and hunt down the KPA patrols with your silenced rifle, watching the panicked expressions on their faces. Go in speed mode, and start blitzing at people with the shotgun. Or, just take the typical approach and fire up armor mode and go for a full on attack. Weapons are fully customize-able on the fly; if you want an idea of how customize-able exactly, you can put a scope on a shotgun. Granted, no one in their right mind would even bother with such a permutation, but the option is there regardless. Alien weapons all themed around freezing something make an interesting debut, as you can finally relive your childhood fantasies of becoming Mr. Freeze. Crysis is open ended enough to reward snipers, so find a good hiding spot, get in cloak mode, and have fun. If you are ever board in Crysis try and figure out a new, more complex way to eliminate the target.
Crytek has made a FPS benchmark for other games to follow. Crysis redefines the typical corridor FPS genre and dares to place the player in an open tropical island and give him/her the freedom to fight however he/she wants. Crysis rewrites the genre for PC FPS games. Crysis is a modern day classic. Crysis is the reason to go out and buy that new video card just to see the game humiliate it in the most beautiful way imaginable.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/19/07
Game Release: Crysis (Special Edition) (US, 11/13/07)
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