Review by JW ACE

"Great, but could have been better"

Crysis is a game that caught everyone's attention because of its graphics, but that's not all. It also is made by the same people who made Far Cry, which was generally considered a great game, although it had an issue or two. Any real gamer will tell you, its not the graphics that define a game, it's the game play. So is Crysis a good game or is it just a good looking game? The answer to that question isn't simple, not to mention surprising.

What is there to say? At the time of release, there wasn't a PC out there that could run this game on the highest settings with everything turned on. You have got to be kidding me with the way it looks on very high. Unfortunately, since you will probably not be able to run at ultra high, you will have to scale it down. The game will still look good, just not like in the screen shots you see in the magazines. I played on Medium for most of the options, and put a few to High, with AA off. I have an ATI Radeon 2900HD, and it played more or less ok, with a few slow downs when the action started to get crazy. The creatures that you meet later in the game are very well detailed and will cause slowdowns. Whether or not you like the fact you will need to trade eye candy for performance is up to you. Having said all of the above, the game looked pretty damn good on Medium settings.

One thing I have to give credit for right off the bat, in this game, the Koreans will speak KOREAN. Actually, they will speak their native language on higher difficulty levels only, so on easy they will speak English. I like this because North Koreans will not speak to each other in English with a Korean accent, they will speak Korean. Now that that is out of the way, everything else is pretty top notch. The vehicles and explosions are worth noting.

You got to love PC only developers. Everything is geared toward keyboard and mouse setup. It is your basic FPS controls with many added options. Grenades, night vision, and the new tech suit controls are all easy to learn and do. The best done is the suit, because it uses mouse wheel. You press down the mouse wheel and then move in the direction of the menu that pops up. Awkward the first few tries, but you quickly get use to it.

Game play
For those who have played Far Cry, this game is the same, only a little more fast paced. There aren't any Trigens in this game either, but some kind of Alien instead. Throughout the whole game, you are given a sense of urgency to complete your missions. On the other hand, stealth is emphasized more as well. Plus, the quick save feature is back. Gone is the pathetic checkpoint save, which is the main issue with Far Cry.

Now, the big addition to the game play is the fancy nano-tech suit you get to wear. The suit has 4 modes: Armor, Cloak, Strength, and Speed. The names should say it all, however each has its strengths and weaknesses. First, Armor is the one you will use the most. It basically uses your suit's energy to block attacks, but it doesn't last very long. You still have to get cover, you can't rush into anything, and you will die quickly regardless of your armor. Cloak is great for hiding and otherwise going the stealth route. However, if you move fast it drains your energy VERY quickly, and it will disable if you attack. Strength is great for letting you jump very high and through heavy objects at enemies, but while doing this you are exposed and your suit isn't in armor mode so you die very quickly. You can also get better aim in Strength mode because you hold the gun steadier against recoil. Finally, Speed lets you run very fast. Although, just like Cloak, it will drains your energy too quickly to be very effective.

If you can sneak your way through, that is clearly the best thing to do. Enemies nearby do call for reinforcements once you begin to clearly kick there ass. There are levels where you are better off just running in Rambo style because there is no benefit at going in stealthy, except to maybe find a good cover point. You are given the same feel of freedom as in Far Cry, but the levels all seemed a little more linear. Maybe its because you are constantly in contact with your allies and they are yelling at you to get a move on. Far Cry was more “you are at point A...find a way to point B and don't get killed”. Crysis is the same only you got to nip-along-smartly.

You also have a lot of friendly NPC's in this game. Not just the characters that are part of your squad, you will eventually have a whole military squad fighting along side you. This leads to some intense levels in the middle of the game although, just like in Call of Duty, its up to YOU to plant the bomb on the tank. The best level that has great NPC action is a level where you get to drive a tank, because you have a bunch of your buddies driving along side of you. All of them are shooting at all the enemies, some die and some survive with you.

Probably the best level of the whole game is the level on the Aircraft Carrier. Without giving out any spoilers, you basically go through the carrier and are fighting small enemies, then you go top side and fight the big boys. However, there is one other complaint: you get a killer gun in the middle of the level, but you don't really get to use it. It would have been nice to use this “dooms-day” weapon at will instead of at scripted moments.

To do a quick summary of the game play, its really a like it or hate it. If you liked Far Cry you will probably like this game. You have the same free to do as you please atmosphere, but it lacks the original charm of Far Cry. The suit features are cool, but you will most likely just use Armor and possibly Cloak if you try to go stealth. The others you will probably just use as you need them. The AI is pretty good for the human enemies…not so good for the non-human enemies. Overall, the game is fun to play. Please note that I did NOT play the multi-player.

This game has a pretty driving story. You are a special agent going in to rescue hostages. One by one your teammates die but you don't know by what. You meet with the hostages and discover that they were part of an archaeological dig and found something that probably shouldn't have been found. I can't explain much further without spoiling too much…so we will just leave it at that. Needless to say, it's the story that keeps you playing. The ending is great but it demands a sequel.

Now, the biggest problem with this game is its length. My first play through of Far Cry took about 20 hours. This took about 12 hours or so. It can easily be done in less than 10 if you know where to go. However, as stated above, the game is a blast to play. The next biggest problem will be getting your PC to run it. That shouldn't be a problem, as the low specs should be able to run on any graphics card made in the last year.

Crysis is a technologically advance game and manages to have fun game play as well. I didn't find it to be a awesome as Far Cry, but it is close to it. Any FPS fan should have this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/28/08

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

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