Review by sgrif345

"An amazing shooter that pushes the limits of gaming technology"

18 months ago, Crysis was shown for the first time. And everybody was drooling over the stunning graphical effects that were shown. When I bought this game on release day, I was just hoping that the game and the graphics would be as good as what was promised.

They are.

Graphics - 10/10
Simply put, these are the best graphics that gaming has to offer. The level of detail put into these jawdroppingly beautiful worlds is just mindblowing. The trees, weapons, vehicles, and characters are near perfect in every way. Some of the buildings have a few wall textures that are a little lacking in resolution, but it's a minor flaw that you may notice once or twice throughout gameplay, but then quickly go back to drooling over the lush forests and sandy beaches this game has to offer.

The game is capable of both DX10 and DX9. There are some minor visual differences between the two, but for the most part they look the same. However, performancewise, DX10 is way WAY better than DX9 as always, and you won't be able to get the high settings with DX9.

This game's graphics push the limits of what consumer technology can do. I run the game on High with an 8800GTX, and I can only get about 20 FPS average. I doubt there's a machine built (That costs less than 8 grand...) that can run this with everything maxed out. If you're waiting for that game that's calling to you to get an 8800 card, this is it.

Music - 8/10
Crysis has a pretty diverse soundtrack behind it, with music for every mood the game portrays. The music has a cinematic style to it, and it usually comes in at just the right time. It's good music, but it's nothing to call home about.

If I had to make one complaint about the soundtrack, it'd be that many times thoughout the game, an enemy will be somewhere near me, and without either of us seeing each other, the "Enemy is looking for you" music starts playing. This of course tells me there's an enemy nearby. It's not a huge deal, but I don't like to cheat.

Sound - 9/10
There's not too much to say here. The bullets sound realistic, the voice overs are good, and there's nothing particularly annoying in the sounds. The footsteps are a tad loud when you're crouching, though.

Gameplay - 10/10
This is where the game really shines. This game offers a style of gameplay that I love and that's hard to find in games. A crappy game will drop you in a level, you'll have one path to go down, and 5 minutes later, the level's over. A good game will have levels that blend together, with 3 or 4 paths to choose from. Crysis is above that.

This game will put you in some of the largest levels I've ever seen. Although there's distinct objectives to accomplish, how you get there is completely up to you. There are no paths. You've got an island, a gun, and a butt load of koreans spread about it. There's very few restrictions on where you go, who you fight, and how you go about it. If you want, you can even just hijack a boat, go out to sea, and bypass as many fights as you can.

It doesn't stop there, however. When you play through the game, you basically have a choice of how you do it. You could run in with your guns blazing, and hope you can kill them before they call for reinforcements. You could put a silencer on your gun, sneak in, and pick them off one by one. Or you could use your cloak and sneak through without firing a single bullet.

The cloak is one of 4 "powers" that you have. You are equipped with a special nanofiber suit that pretty much keeps you alive. The suit has a power meter. It regenerates at a pretty decent speed as long as you aren't using any. Your powers are armor, speed, strength, and cloak. Armor basically turns your power meter into an armor meter like most games have. Strength increases your damage, makes you jump higher, and lets you do cool things like snap a korean's neck. Speed... Makes you go fast. And the cloak makes you invisible for a short time. These powers are what form a great deal of the gameplay.

You can also change your weapons outfitting on the fly. By that I mean your scope, silencer, attachments, etc. Just press one button any time, and you can change anything that isn't bolted to your gun. You'll be picking up new attachments as you go throughout the game. Some of the modifications are simply for your playstyle or the situation (i.e. type of scope, or things like grenade launchers) where some of them will seriously impact the game. For example, you can put a laser sight on any gun to replace your crosshair with a red dot on things. However, enemies will get a nice red line pointing directly to you. Your choice.

This doesn't mean you are free to use any attachment on everything, though. I know what you're thinking. No. You can't silence a shotgun. You can put a sniper scope on it, though!

And you can use that sniper scoped shotgun to chop down trees! Everything in this game is destructable. Shoot a line through a tree and it will fall down. Through a grenade into a hobble and the roof will fall! Fire an RPG at a sniper roost and laugh at the poor SoBs. And watch out. Falling trees kill. And you can play through almost the entire game using only trees you shoot down as your weapon. Doesn't work too well, though. I've tried.

I could go on and on forever about the different aspects of the gameplay, but I'll be nice and finish with one other feature that really stands out. In most games, when you switch to a higher difficulty, your enemies will start taking more bullets to kill, get stronger weapons, and in a lot of games, they gain psychic vision and always know where you are. Not in Crysis! In fact, the super hard (called "Delta" in game) mode is actually the normal mode. By this I mean that as you go easier in difficulty, you gain more crutches. As you go harder, you lose crutches. Crutches like... A crosshair! (Laser sight looks a lot less useless when you don't have a crosshair.) My personal favorite is; In easy, medium, and hard, the enemies speak english. You'll hear them say "I think I hear something" or "GRENADE!". In Delta mode, the Koreans speak... Korean. This is something that I personally think more games need to do.

Storyline - 6/10
It's enough to not be stupid or agonizing. There's not going to be some epic story that will be told for generations. This game doesn't try to do that. It doesn't need it. As a result, you don't have much of a story.

Multiplayer - 8/10
This game has 2 multiplayer modes. Deathmatch (obviously) and "Power Struggle." Power Struggle is basically Battlefield 2 meets not sucking. Each team has a base. You need to destroy the other teams base. To do that you need to capture the alien prototype factory. But wait, the prototype factory needs to get power, so you need to capture the power plants. But you keep spawning all the way back at your main base, so you need to capture the bunkers.

The game also has a little bit of counter-strike style weapon purchasing. You start out spawning with a minimum of 100 prestige. If you die, and you have less than 100 prestige, you will spawn with exactly 100 prestige. This is enough to get a second pistol, a SMG, or a shotgun. As you get kills and capture points, you'll go up in rank (This is on a game by game basis. If the game ends, or you leave the server, you're back to private.) Each rank increases your minimum prestige by 100. You can also get prestige through... doing stuff. Most obvious of which is killing people and capturing points.

All this is a little mind blowing at first, and your first 2 or 3 games will likely involve a total of 2 kills and 36 deaths, but it makes for an interesting and refreshing gameplay style.

There's no team deathmatch mode, but honesly, who cares. Power Struggle is more fun.

Replayability - 10/10
Everything in this game is dynamic. No two play-throughs will be the same. This leaves us with a game that's still amazingly fun the 20th time through (And not in a "Sheik's a guy... Big shocker" kind of way, either.).

Innovativeness (ITS A REAL WORD) - 10/10
This game does a lot of things that have been done before. But it also does a lot of things that haven't, or haven't been done *right*. The gameplay style as a whole is something that's never been seen before, and I hope to see again. And finally, FINALLY, there's a good zero-gravity level out there. I've always wanted to be able to move my mouse up and not hit that "You can't look up anymore without breaking your back" barrier. It's a good feeling.

Conclusion - 9/10
Need I say more? If you haven't bought this game yet then you are a horrible horrible person who should go out right now and buy it. There's some minor flaws, but this is an amazing game that pushes technology's limits, changes the way we think about shooters, and causes drool stains on shirts everywhere. Have fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/19/07

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

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