Review by LordShibas

"The Best First Person Shooter I Have Ever Played"

With so many FPS games flooding the market these days, it's hard for developers to make a game that stands out above the rest and demands your undivided attention. Each game tries to captivate you with its own nuances to differentiate itself from the others. Crysis is a game that not only demands your undivided attention, but it will captivate you from start to finish, and leave you begging for more. Cryek has really upped the ante on what an FPS can be, and not only is Crysis the best FPS game I have ever played, it's one of the best games I have ever played in my entire gaming life.

Crysis is an FPS game with linear missions and objectives, but you can accomplish them however you want to and at your own discretion. You can choose to go the stealth route and use your cloaking abilities, you can go in guns blazing, you can often circumvent entire groups of enemies, you can commandeer almost any vehicle in the game and use it to your advantage, you can take multiple paths to each objective, and the options do not end there.

Many games claim to have open environments with plenty of gameplay options, but Crysis is one of those games that really comes through with these claims, and the amount of gameplay options available to the player is staggering.

I can honestly say that playing through Crysis again could be a completely different experience depending on how you choose to do things. The game does become a bit more linear in the later missions, but the game focuses more on the story later, so it seems appropriate.

For those of you that are not familiar with Crysis, I'll give a brief rundown of the game. In Crysis, you will be following the wartime exile of a character named Nomad. Nomad is part of an elite special force unit, that have all been equipped with high tech Nanosuits. This Nanosuit will give him special abilities that will allow him to temporarily boost certain abilities. He will be able to temporarily increase his strength to be able to jump higher, make his aim more steady when firing his weapons, move large objects out of his way, and open un-accessible doors. The Nanosuit will also allow him to augment his speed, so he can run fast, make long jumps, and move at a faster pace overall. The suit can also be switch to armor mode, which will slow him down a bit, but will allow him to take much more damage and become a walking fortress. The final ability of the Nanosuit is the ability to cloak and become invisible to the enemy for a short period of time.

The amalgamation of the suit's abilities is clever indeed, and the gameplay is set up in such a brilliant fashion that you will be switching between the different modes of the Nanosuit constantly in order to get through the missions and accomplish your objectives.

The powers that the Nanosuit contains will no doubt give you an advantage over the enemy, but the game evens things out by only allowing you to utilize one of the Nanosuit's abilities at a time, and giving you an energy meter that depletes when the suit is being used for any give ability.

I'll now give you a small sample of how the Nanosuit can be used to diversify the gameplay. Let's say you come across an enemy bunker, swarming with enemy troops. There are land mines in front of the bunker, and enemies patrolling everywhere. In order to get past the land mines and get inside, you have a ton of options. You can simply take out the enemies with regular gunfire and duck behind cover for safety. You can use your strength ability, pick up almost any nearby object, throw it into the mines to set them off and get the enemy's attention that way. You can throw a frag grenade at the mines to set them off and then proceed in. You can use your cloaking ability to sneak in, via the pathway that the enemy troops are using to get in, ducking for cover and recharging you cloak shield as needed. You can turn on your super speed, run over the landmines, which will trigger them, but they will blow up after you have crossed them since you are moving so fast. You can find a precision rifle and snipe the enemies from far away with the rifle. You can use a rocket launcher to blow up the bunkers and the mines as well. You can get into a close by vehicle, literally drive right into the bunker, jump out at the last second, and watch as the vehicle collapses the entire bunker and takes out anyone that's inside. You can sneak up on an un-suspecting enemy grab him by the throat with your strength ability, use him as a human shield and take out the other enemies. So, you get the idea. This is simply one encounter from the game, which encompasses a tiny part of a mission.

The depth of gameplay in Crysis is unbelievable. There are just so many options, and I won't even get into the more advanced tactics.

Nomad will have support on some missions, but for the most part, he will be alone and will be getting orders and objectives from headquarters. The objectives and secondary objectives seem routine at first, but later on in the game, things take an interesting turn, and you will be fighting a different kind of enemy, causing you to rethink all of your gameplay strategies.

Yes, Crysis is touted as being a sci-fi shooter. Despite it seeming like a run of the mill shooter at first, you will be engaged by aliens later on. I've seen some awkward transitions in games changing from a regular shooter theme to a sci-fi theme, but Crysis does a slick job of pulling it off. There is tons of build up in the story and locations that eludes to big things happening, and indeed they do. It just makes it all the more rewarding when they finally do happen, and you will sit in awe, as the events transpire.

Well I'll get on with my review, since I've already talked too much.

Graphics 10/10

This should really go without saying, but Crysis looks incredible, in fact it's the best looking game I have ever seen in my entire life. Nothing else even comes close. I ran the game on medium settings at 1600x1200 and I can't imagine what the game would look like on the highest settings. I was able to run the game on high, but it had some frame rate drops when the action heated up and I prefer a smoother gaming experience.

My systems specs while running the game: AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 5000+, 4 gigs of RAM, 2 XFX Geforce 9800 GT 512MB video cards in SLI mode, Windows XP Professional.

Without a doubt, juxtaposing other games in the genre with Crysis is a joke. Crysis knocks everything out there on its ass graphically.

The outdoor environments are breathtaking, and nature has never looked so good in a game. Trees sway in the wind, individual leaves will move aside as you sneak through the brush, and water will look so realistic that it will make you thirsty.

Later on, you will be in a frozen area, and things look just as good. The storm that's currently ripping through the frozen mountains is almost convincing, and you will often stop, just to admire parts of the scenery.

The indoor environments are not as detailed as the outdoor environments, but they are cluttered with items everywhere that make it look like people have been there before you. Keep in mind that you can pick up and interact with almost anything in these rooms.

Crysis is a game that truly has to been seen to be believed. Whether you are trudging through a swampy mire, or flanking the enemy by way of the beach, the game looks incredible, and holds a great framerate, as long as your computer hardware can handle it.

Still screenshots of Crysis do the game no justice. Youtube videos of Crysis do the game no justice. You simply must play this game to understand how incredible it looks. The reason being: Those screenshots you are looking at are not pre-rendered cut scenes. Those screenshots are realtime.

Sounds and Music 10/10

While Crysis gets most of it's recognition from its graphics, Crysis also sports an incredible game soundtrack that rivals soundtracks found in epic sci-fi movies. While subtle at some points, the music will ramp up during huge fights and really draw you into things. Crysis also does something with the music that I've never seen before. It's almost like there are scripted moment in the music that will make you slightly jump or make your heart stop when you come across certain areas. It's kind of hard to explain, but after finally coming out of a desolate mine mission, you will see daylight, and the music will increase in tension and send out a relieving tone that makes you feel like you've accomplished your goal. It's a really neat effect.

The sound effects are also perfect for the game. The constant switching between Nanosuit modes will produce a digitized voice of “Maximum Speed” or “Maximum Armor”, and you would think that it would get old after a while, but it will never seem to annoy you, and it can often be rather exonerating when you hear “Cloak Engaged” and you know you are safe from enemy fire for a brief moment.

All of the weapons have their own distinct sound and some of them will really shake your speakers if the sound is turned up enough. In spite of the awesome sounding weapons, almost all of your weapons can be silenced through the weapon customization features of the game, to muffle out the sounds of your gunfire. (more on weapon customization in the gameplay section)

The voice acting was also very much to my liking. Nomad has a cool, yet confident voice actor that sounds incredibly convincing. He's not too arrogant, but he's far from a wimp, he's just the perfect medium of the two. The other members of your team are voiced well, especially Psycho. Psycho is a narcissistic, bald soldier that has an awesome British accent. Almost everything he says sounds cool, and you will be incredibly happy when he is by your side supporting you.

There is much to talk about in this section too, but I need to stop since it's getting a bit long. The sounds of Crysis are almost as epic as the graphical feasts that await you in the game. I don't think I've ever played a PC game with the speakers turned up as loud as I did when I played Crysis. It just sounds great.

Story 9/10

The story in Crysis is great for an FPS game. You will play as Nomad, a member of the Elite Special Forces. Your main squad mate will be Psycho, and you will be getting orders from the head of your squad, Prophet. For the most part, you will be on your own, but there will be brief moments in the game where you will reconvene with Psycho to swap information and intelligence.

At first, you will be infiltrating Korean resistance, head by General Kyong, who has plans for much more than simply taking out your band of troops. Everything will eventually culminate into something even bigger than that, and it will spur an alien invasion that will alter the course of the game and make your objectives change.

The story does a great job of keeping you moving forward, in spite of the non-linear environments. The good thing is that most of your objectives are not timed, so you are free to explore to your heart's content and accomplish the missions as slow or fast as you see fit.

Crysis definitely has one of the best stories I have ever seen in an FPS game.

Gameplay 10/10

Crysis is a fantastic achievement on so many levels, and the gameplay is just as engaging and inviting as any other aspect of the game. The open environments beg to be explored, and taking out enemies in your own way can be incredibly rewarding.

The limits on the Nanosuit ensure that the game will not be easy, in fact, the game can sometimes be downright brutal. You will often come to an enemy camp, and as you are scouting it out with your binoculars, you will see dozens and dozens of enemy troops. You will instantly wonder how on earth you are going to accomplish your goals given the circumstances, but don't worry, you will find a way. As open as the gameplay is, solutions are intuitive and a few sweeps of the area will calcify a solution for you to implement.

I'd also like to comment on the controls in this section. The controls are great, and being able to switch between your Nanosuit functions with your mouse wheel button and a direction provides easy access to all of the suit's functions. Everything else is pretty standard in the controls area. You can aim down your sight with the second mouse button, fire your weapon with the left, etc…

Speaking of the sights on the weapons, I should now talk about the weapon customization options in Crysis. You have the ability to customize any weapon with a slew of different scopes, sights, aiming devices, and add on attachments. This can all be done in realtime and you don't even have to go to a menu for it. You can switch between standard sights, scopes, silencers, laser pointers, flashlights on the end of your guns, grenade launcher attachments, and a few other things as well.

Sneaking around may cause you to use a silencer, but the silencer slightly reduces your damage, so when you are in large fire fights, it's wise to remove the silencer to maximize your damage. This comes in handy when you are being pursued by helicopters. Helicopters in this game are relentless and they will spot you from almost anywhere. The best way to deal with them is to take them down. However, having your silencer equipped will cause you to unload clip after clip into the helicopter's tail rudder. If you remove the silencer, the helicopter will fall in much fewer hits. It may seem trivial, but its simple little gameplay tactics like that which force you to stay on your toes at all times and be aware of your surroundings.

Crysis plays just as good as it looks, and I've experienced very few games in my life that leave me with a feeling of catharsis after I'm done playing, but Crysis is one of them.

Longevity and Re-Playability 10/10

Crysis is a very long game for a first person shooter. It has 11 missions, and some will take you hours to get through, depending on your play style. I played the game very conservatively and tried to take out as many enemies as I could, which makes for some long missions. The diversity of the gameplay makes this an easy game to want to play again, and as I said before, it really does allow you to weave your own path and play the game however you want to. I'm seriously fighting the urge to play Crysis again, and employ all of the gameplay tactics I've learned into a new game.

If this was not enough, Crysis has an expansive online component that I did not even explore. I've heard that it has a few decent modes and is worth checking out if you like online, multi-player gaming.

Conclusion

Crysis is just an incredible package. Everything about the game comes together in such a perfect way that it will bring a smile to your face. It really ups the ante on what an FPS game is capable of. To give you some comparative analysis of how Crysis compares to other FPS games, I'll say this. One of my favorite FPS series of games is the Halo series. I've been a big fan of it for a long time. However, after seeing the intensity, graphical presentation, and the sheer amount of gameplay options that Crysis offers, Halo now seems like a joke to me by comparison. Don't get me wrong, I still like Halo, Crysis just takes things to another level.

I cannot recommend Crysis enough. Everyone should play this game at some point. The system requirements may turn some people off, but when you have the means to play this game, you should reward yourself, and bask in the light of one of the greatest FPS games ever made.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/09

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


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