Review by Ofisil

"MAXIMUM... POTENTIAL"

People talk about Crysis' beautiful and extremely realistic graphics and about how strong your PC must be so it can run the game at full settings. But what about the gameplay? I'll say it from the very beginning: Crysis is a very enjoyable game… if you can keep your expectations low that is. Why? Let me explain why…

Story: 7/10
Presentation: 6.5/10

The year is 2020. You are Nomad, a member of the Raptor Team, an elite force equipped with the extremely potent nanosuit. You are sent to some tropical islands to investigate a strange distress call from some archeologists. They have discovered something extremely important but they are held captive by the North Koreans who seem to be quite interested in their findings. It won't be long though, till you realize that the jungle hides more things than just Koreans. Crysis tells a story that has already been told a thousand times and while it will certainly entertain it doesn't have any interesting plot twists or character development. The plot of Crysis looks promising at first but it gets more average with each step taken.

Gameplay: 7.5/10
Replay Value: 6/10

Let's talk a bit about the basics. You can carry two main weapons, dual pistols and 2-3 explosive weapons. You can find upgrades like silencers, scope and others and can customize weaponry in real time, something that adds a sense of danger and realism since you'll have to switch between gadgets in the middle of gunfights. There is a decent variety of weaponry, just don't expect any futuristic stuff, just shotguns, assault rifles and so on. There are also some vehicles available, like Jeeps, Tanks, Hovercrafts and so on, that unlike most games out there where they serve as a small gimmick, here they actually add to the gameplay. Finally the controls are absolutely perfect and fully customizable. But apart from all these, what does Crysis has to offer? What do we see in the intro? Your super-soldier gets into “Maximum Speed” mode, runs like Superman towards a group of enemies and kills them before you dare to blink. A voice in your hi-tech suit says, “Maximum Strength”, then you grab the enemy from the neck and throw him towards his fellow soldiers. You make a super-jump on top of a rooftop and kill the terrified troops underneath. “Maximum Armor”, your suit once again changes battle mode and enemy bullets become obsolete. You jump over an enemy jeep, shoot its weak spot and destroy the vehicle, engulfing a passing by helicopter in the flames. Unfortunately the actual game isn't like that.

The game revolves around the Nanosuit, a hi-tech piece of military equipment that can get into various battle modes! Maximum Armor raises your defensive potential. With Maximum Strength you can throw objects further away, hit enemies harder, make very high jumps and have a more stable aim. Maximum Speed lets you run very fast and also do various stuff a lot quicker. With the Cloak Mode you become invisible and silent. Unfortunately things aren't so simple. Max Armor lets you absorb a bullet or two, but after that you are as good as naked. Speed mode is the lamest mode since it depletes super-fast when you sprint and like with all modes apart from Armor makes you vulnerable to enemy attacks. Strength is a tad more helpful since it improves melee attacks and aiming, along with aiding you in leaping over large obstacles, but it gets very few chances to shine in the game. Stealth, the final mode, is so damn helpful that it will be the most overused mode in the game. Yes, you can totally enter like Rambo but resolving to stealth tactics and well-aimed headshots will make the game a lot easier.

Like with Farcry, Crysis' spiritual predecessor, the game is supposed to be non-linear… notice the word “supposed”. Sure, you can follow different paths in order to reach a goal, like going through the dense jungle, by water, along the coastline or the main road and so on, but is there really any difference? The level design makes all these almost obsolete. Most of the times, following a different route won't really give you any strategic advantage and in many cases the game will actually become very linear and only gives you an illusion of choice. Now, many people criticize Crysis' small length. In my opinion the length is just right… it's just that the game can get a tad repetitive after a while since all levels offer pretty much the same challenges, with most of them being like, “Approach base, kill enemies, move on to next base” with only a couple of them offering something more. The extremely small amount of enemies available doesn't make things any better and to say the truth the AI is quite simple. Oh, and don't get me started on the various problems of the game. Even with the patch installed there are myriads of problems. Tanks and Helicopters see through your cloak, objects kill you for no reason, missions cannot be completed and etc…

Graphics: 10/10
Design: 6.5/10
Sound: 7/10
Music: 6/10

CryEngine 2 is simply marvelous and makes FarCry and other, even more recent games look like cartoons. The jungle looks almost lifelike, full of plants that not only look good but also react to movement, bullets, wind and explosions and apart from the vegetation all levels are breaming with detail. Special effects, from water\weather to ones seen in firefights are breathtaking and the various small innovations make the game look even better than it already is! Like for example the way your view blurs when you quickly move your head, the scopes' refractions and many, many more. All characters look great especially the ones who wear a nanosuit who look way too cool for words to describe. Finally those who love creating a bit of mayhem in FPS games will love how you can destroy almost everything while you exchange bullets with your foes. Crysis suffers from a very common disease though… like with many other “beautiful” games, this game has all the right “stuff”, but doesn't use them!!! What do I mean by that? I mean that while the graphics are perfect, overall design is mediocre at best. Take the level design for example. It's always jungle, jungle, jungle, with little to no variation available. Enemy models look great, especially the non-human ones, but there are only a couple of them so they soon get too boring. Crysis has a wonderful graphic engine so it is a pity that there aren't many things that are worth looking at.

The music in Crysis reminded me of Call Of Duty… and Medal Of Honor and Castle Wolfenstein and a couple of Hollywood movies about WW2 and many other generic war themes that no one really cares about. It gets boring pretty soon and doesn't really add to the atmosphere. The SFX are very realistic most of the time and have a great variety although they could be better in certain ways. Ambient sounds are too few for a game with such an emphasis in looks and realism and finally certain weapons sound way too weak. Voice acting does its job done all right, especially for certain characters like Psycho.

[+]:
-Nanosuit abilities
-Non-Linear
-Excellent controls
-Breathtakingly realistic graphics

[-]:
-Repetitive gameplay
-Only a few enemies available
-Mediocre level design, plot and music
-Quite buggy

Also Play:
Crysis 2 (PC)
F.E.A.R. (PC)
Halo (PC, Xbox)
Quake 4 (PC)

Overall: 7.1/10

What happens when developers put all their might in creating an eye-popping graphic engine? They forget making their game better, that's what!!! And it's a shame because Crysis could be magnificent because it brings forth some great ideas, but just doesn't use their full potential.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/13

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


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