Review by a09

"So sad. So disappointing."

This game was disappointing in many ways.

The story – 5/10
The story behind Crysis is largely an arbitrary one. You are Nomad, a lieutenant in the US army, send to do some missions in an island in the Pacific. You have a special nano suit, a special piece of equipment that gives you a few superhuman powers. The characters are bland and much of the dialogue is simplistic. The story begins pretty exiting, which lots of mysteries surrounding the island. The revelation of the aliens is also very badly scripted, as there is a unrealistically blatant and nonchalant acceptance of the alien presence by all the characters. The aliens are “just there”. And you fight them. This part of the story ends up being very shallow.

Gameplay – 2/10
The most original thing about Crysis is the ‘nano suit', a rather special gameplay mechanic which, in the end, is really truly not impressive at all. As you play, your suit can change modes. Changing modes is easy to do, just hold down the middle mouse wheel and select a mode, and let go. But really, it's rather useless. There are 4 modes: strength, defense, stealth, and speed. Strength lets you jump higher and melee stronger. As fun as this seems, you won't be using it all that much, except where the game arbitrarily forces you to use it to jump over a fence or a big rock or something. Which basically makes it pointless. Defense gives you a minor boost in health. You're going to be using this a lot, if only just for a nominal piece or armor. Stealth makes you invisible, but you automatically switch off of it while shooting a weapon. So basically, it's useless. Speed allows you to run super fast, but it only lasts for a very VERY short burst, then you're forced to wait for several agonizing seconds to use it again. Overall the nano suit was a cool idea that simply did NOT get very well integrated into the game.

Another seemingly cool feature of Crysis is the weapon modifications. To each weapon you can add stuff such as sniper scopes, lasers, dart guns, silencers, etc. There's a great variety here, but there is VERY little reason to change up on these. You'll be using the sniper scope constantly, and simply aiming for headshots.

This brings me to the gun-shooting and bad-guy-killing experience, the fundamental crux of any FPS. Well, first let me say that there are two very distinct parts of Crysis. The first half of the game is fighting the Koreans present on the island. The second portion is fighting against aliens. The first half is MUCH more fun. And that's not saying much. Fighting against the Koreans gives you purpose to actually use the features such as weapon mods and nano suit powers. These defining features of Crysis are utterly useless against the aliens, since the aliens can FLY. Speed will do you no good, as the aliens can easily chase you. Strength also does nothing, as you'll never get close enough to the aliens to melee them. Stealth is pointless, as there is no point in being sneaky and hiding from the aliens, as they can't call for reinforcements and they are not susceptible to headshots. When the aliens become your main enemy about halfway through, the entire game goes in the toilet. You shoot at aliens until they die. That's it.

So you'd think fighting the Koreans would be more fun? Only barely. The problem with this part of the game is how simplistic and not tactical the fighting is. First of all, it takes upwards of 6 or 7 shots to the body to kill a Korean, which is disgustingly irritating. And only one headshot to knock him off. Which obviously means you'll be going for headshots all the time. Which means you will have almost no use for many of the weapons you encounter. Grab a nice assault rifle with good ammo, stick a sniper scope on it, and go to town. The actual sniper rifles are useless, as there is extremely limited ammo for them. Melee is also dumb and pointless. Once you get close enough to one Korean, a horde will be firing at you and you will die. Just keep your distance and make headshots. This is simple, but renders the gameplay shallow.

Oh also, the game is much too short. Even for a FPS. Beating it once is definitely enough, despite what others are saying about “Oh but you can play it again and approach it a different way!” No. You can't. The game is extremely linear. I really don't know how it was purported that this game is in the least bit free form, because it's not. The missions are very well delineated. You have a clear objective pointed out by a clear marker on your map, and I have not once stopped at a fork in the road and pondered which way to go. Because there ARE no forks in the road. If “free form” was referring to the many ways to kill the Koreans, well that's just wrong. Read the paragraph before this.

There's one chapter of this game that really annoyed me. The transition from Koreans to aliens sees you traversing through a mysterious mountain cave occupied by the aliens… that has no gravity. This was a HUGE WASTE OF MY TIME. There was virtually NO shooting, NO action, and NO fun factor. This was about half an hour of wandering through zero-gravity caves that I can only assume were meant to show off the beautiful graphics. Too bad I can't run the graphics high enough.

Graphics. 5/10
Technically? Beautiful. Just gorgeous. Extremely detailed. But also impossible to run. What is most surprising is how extremely, disproportionally steep the system requirements are. To give you a comparison, I ran Far Cry on my computer at high settings with a great framerate. And it looked fantastic. Crysis is a huge step back. On this same computer, Crysis would only run on low-medium settings. And at that point it looked much MUCH worse than Far Cry. I'm sorry, but this doesn't make any sense. Three whole years of technology and development by Crytek should have allowed them to make BETTER graphics for the same computer.

Another hated element of the graphics is that it completely lacks the lushness and vibrant colors that Far Cry had. Cloudy, dark, overcast skies are extremely common. I would say about 3/4 of the entire game has you witnessing these gray colors overhead. Which is truly a shame, since Far Cry's sunny paradise was amazing to look at.

At least the menu navigation and UI is very well implemented. But horrible optimization and bad choice of climate earns this category a 5/10.

Sound. 9/10
Sound is great. The music really sets the mood, and when a dramatic chord strikes before a big firefight it really gets you pumped. The voice acting is also very well done. No complaints here.

Overall (not an average) 3/10
Very very disappointing… The gameplay is shallow, the story is completely butchered at the end, and the graphics are agonizingly impossible as well as artistically mundane. And when the aliens come, you might as well just stop playing. The gameplay and storyline become even more shallow at that point.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/03/08

Game Release: Crysis (US, 11/13/07)


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