Crysis PC Review

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Developer / Publisher: Crytek
10 minutes & 32 seconds read time

Crysis PC Review

It has been a great year for the PC, and in particular the FPS genre. With both the Half Life 2 and Call of Duty series seeing a new

release, multiplayer gaming featuring a new Enemy Territory and a new Team Fortress, and a new name to the scene in the brilliance that was

BioShock, it's safe to say this has been one of the most expensive years ever for the PC shooter fan with so many must have purchases. Of course, the

list of anticipated 2007 PC FPS games [img]crysis_pc_1[/img]couldn't

complete without perhaps the most hyped of them all - Crysis. From developers Crytek, responsible for the Far Cry series, Crysis was set

to redefine the genre from almost every standpoint, and while there is no doubting its technical and visual excellence, the lofty expectations, as they often

do, become largely unfulfilled with what is a rather ordinary shooter.

The main premise behind Crysis is a conflict between the USA and North Korea in the year 2020. Tensions boil when, in an area known as

the Lingshan Islands, a team of US archeologists discover what appears to be a mysterious alien artifact. The North Koreans act quickly to secure

the area taking the archeologists hostage, which doesn't sit well with the Americans. Not to act too hastily, the US send out a small elite special forces

team to scope the situation and extract the hostages. Little
knowing their true purpose on the island let alone the events that will ensue, 'Nomad' - the gamer controlled character - and the other special

forces team members find themselves in the middle of an escalating war with the North Koreans, and an escalating buildup of an unknown alien invasion


Being the year 2020, Crytek play off the real world buzz that has been created by military technology futurists who insist perhaps not even in the too

distant future, soldiers may be equipped with a "super suit" that enhances their strength, durability and even allowing for invisibility. The

'Nanosuit' as it is known in Crysis does all these things in-game while utilizing a limited power source that regenerates when not being used. The

motto of the game is &quo[img]crysis_pc_2[/img]t;Adapt, Engage,

which refers to having to draw the abilities of the Nanosuit at key times to deal with particular situations. For example, if you need to get up on a higher

ledge you may be able to jump up there with the Strength ability selected. If you need to escape quickly, the Speed ability will allow you to flee and if you

need to hide from overwhelming forces, you can initiate the invisibility cloak, which can last a reasonably long time if you keep movement to a minimal.

The Nanosuit is definitely the main focus of the single player gameplay in Crysis. Throughout the whole game you will experience moments and events

that are specifically designed to take advantage of the suit's abilities and this does add a nice degree of dynamic control to the gameplay. How you deal

with a particular situation is really up to you - this game can be a Rambo style gun showdown or more of a stealth hand to hand combat game, depending on how

you want to play it. This control over how to
play the game is extremely well supplemented with perhaps the most open ended and massively scaled environments you'll ever encounter in a shooter. Most of

the time you are in an environment almost as large as the island itself, packed full of tropical forest and hill sides that dictate how you can approach

certain objectives, but there are also often roads, rivers and other pathways to follow as well, and it is up you on how to move about - do you trek

through the concealing nature, or hop in any available
land vehicle or sea vessel for quicker but less covert movement? Crysis is definitely an FPS that leaves most of the decisions up to its gamer.

The Nanosuit and the environments you play in are definitely both very cool, but unfortunately these two aspects just about sum up the positives

in Crysis' singleplayer experience. Very early on in the game - probably within your first few kills - one rather glaring issue

will rear its head, and that's enemy AI. For those who played Far Cry, the AI in Crysis will feel all too familiar, and by this I mean you will

see robotic reactions and uncanny accuracy mixed with some very
stupid and uninspiring moments where baddies will fail to react at all to the obvious death of a near by buddy, or react by running around aimlessly. It

seems you'll only rarely encounter realistic reactions in this game from the AI enemies which really does a great job of limiting the enjoyment and enhancing

the frustration on offer.

For example, enemies in boats, tanks and choppers in Crysis are completely unrealistic most of the time. While going invisible and using the

environment to conceal yourself will help you keep out of the these enemy's sights when you attract their attention, all this does is stop them from opening

fire on you, and even then sometimes it doesn't do that much. They still know exactly where you are because they still seem to follow you despite being

invisible or at least very well hidden whenever
you're forced recharge your suit. Even if a building is blocking their line of sight, they will seemingly know the instant you pop your head out from

the bushes and open fire, sometimes not even moving to get an actual clear shot of you and simply firing into whatever is in their way. Your only hope in

situations like these is to either stumble across an anti air/tank gun, or simply crawl your way to your objective inch by inch remaining invisible for as

much of it as you can, which can be very time consuming
and tedious.

Crysis PC

Crysis PC Review

[img]crysis_pc_3[/img]To sit here and outline all the AI quirks in

this game would simply take too long, it really is that severe. At times the AI can be fine if not quite exceptional, but far too often it is anything but.

The problem stems from the open ended nature of the game. Some shooters can get around the possibility of even having bad AI by making each individual

enemy more or less useless on their own - they are designed to pop-up, take as much of your health as possible and then be killed, replaced by another enemy
who does the same thing. In Crysis, you get the feeling each enemy is a living breathing soldier in its virtual world that has a purpose beyond being

brought down in a few seconds which is a commendable approach to take, but the problem with this approach is the AI really has to be next to perfect for it

to work, and this just isn't the case in Crysis. I think the best way to put it would be the complex attempt at AI in enemies in this game often

falls over itself creating varied but usually
robotic, unrealistic and sometimes down right absurd reactions.

What's worse is the single player game doesn't really make up for it in any meaningful way. The shooting in this game is surprisingly quite dull, and

quirky in itself. For most guns in the game, you can bring up a customization screen that allows you to toggle between a few addons such as the type of

scope, a laser pointer, and other various weapon specific options. This is a pretty nice feature but for some weird reason this game has a hatred for

medium to long range combat. Unless [img]crysis_pc_4[/img]you have a

attention grabbing sniper rifle on hand (which doesn't seem to be very often), shooting at a distance not close enough for a reasonably easy head shot

kill is almost pointless in Crysis, as you can literally unload an entire clip into an ordinary enemy's torso in this game from a distance and not

bring him down, let alone the more advanced enemies you encounter later in the game. Now, I understand in 2020 body armour will likely be improved, but this

is just silly, and further exposed by the fact
even with the 'Excellent Armour' ability active on your Nanosuit, you can barely take a few bullets yourself before you need to retreat and heal, and I

mostly played on the regular difficulty setting. There just doesn't seem to be much balance between your health and the enemy's health at all unless we're

talking heading shots.

If there is one positive you can take from the often unrealistically robotic AI and the weird ineffectiveness of longer range shooting, it is that the

gameplay in Crysis will definitely offer a challenge to just about any level of FPS gamer. There are four major difficulty settings and as you

step up, the challenge will become noticeable greater; this has definitely got to be one of the more difficult shooters ever made for sure. As it would

happen though part of the reason for this is squad
combat takes a strange absence from Crysis despite the fact the whole premise of the game is you're a member of a special forces unit. In this day and

age, squad based combat in shooters is becoming a standard and it just isn't very authentic to see a US Army operative such as your

character undergo seemingly vital missions against the North Korean army and an alien force basically all by himself, Nanosuit or not.

I guess you can say at this point in the review the single player experience in Crysis is a bit of a let down. I think Crytek got the ideas and

framework right, the execution is just not quite there. It can certainly be a lot of fun and I don't think there have been as many intense moments in

any shooter before it, not to mention there seems to be a lot of storyline and gameplay on offer, but this was meant to be the "most advanced shooter

ever made", and I'm just not seeing that in the
game's AI and not even really the game engine itself, which again features a few undesirable traits from Far Cry, mainly revolving around the

occasional bug and quirk. Lets just say you shouldn't be surprised if you find yourself physically stuck a few times in this game, or if you reload

after death and see the burning carcase of your destroyed vehicle still there and enemy AI still alert to your presence despite the fact your save game point

was before they even saw and killed you. The game
engine is still quite impressive particularly the physics engine which allows for everything up to structures such as shacks and small buildings to be

leveled with the game's awesome explosions, but the same sort of short comings we saw in Far Cry remain in Crysis, resulting in what is really

quite an unpolished and 'rough around the edges' type of shooter that, like Far Cry again, could probably use a patch or two to smooth the experience


Crysis PC

Crysis PC Review

[img]crysis_pc_5[/img]Thankfully, Crysis does feature a

multiplayer component although the first impression I got from the Gamespy integration wasn't a very good one - I have nothing against Gamespy in

general, it just isn't the most reliable online authentication system. Once you do manage to sort out your account and bypass the login and server connection

difficulties, the multiplayer gameplay can be quite good. Rather than pack the game full of different modes, Crytek have instead opted to focus on two main

modes - Instant Action, and Power Struggle. The Instant Action is self explanatory and is best suited for some quick and simple deathmatch style MP shooting,

while the Power Struggle mode is a little more complex, involving the premise of team vs team gameplay with points and locations to capture and objectives to

complete. The multiplayer can be quite fun particularly the Power Struggle mode (Instant Action is a little too simple for my liking), but I think its

impact on the MP FPS scene will be comparable
to that of Far Cry's - minimal at best because there are just too many other more in-depth MP experiences out there. That's not to say there won't be

gamers playing it because I'm sure there will be plenty at least for the first few months after release, just don't expect multiplayer Crysis to take

the market by storm.

Of course, perhaps the biggest selling point for Crysis heading up to release with its screenshots and HD gameplay videos was the graphics, and

here the game does live up to the hype for sure. The environments can look stunning (although very familiar for Far Cry gamers), and the effects are

definitely up there with the best [img]crysis_pc_6[/img]seen in a game

to date regardless of platform. However, as we all knew heading towards release, not just any PC will tame the visual beast that is Crysis, you will
need some serious hardware to see this game in all its glory. I'm talking quad-core, high end DX10 SLI sort of stuff here. While this will be quite a

convincing positive for those who do have the gear, for the majority of us who are not only more adapt to mid range hardware but not even on Vista,

Crysis' visuals won't really be that big of a deal. In fact, getting Crysis to run at a reasonable frame rate on the same hardware I used to

review Call of Duty 4 (which I could run at max visuals)
resulted in average visuals at best, without HDR or AA being an option unless I wanted to play in slide show mode. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that

ATI may be partly to blame considering they just released a hot fix to fix some

issues (which didn't seem to help me much *shrug*), but in general unless you have a killer PC, the visuals in Crysis don't

really stand out much at all. As I said, on the same hardware, COD
was able to scale its graphics higher without frame rate issues for me, which again may come back to the likelihood mentioned above that a patch or two

will go a long way for this game.

I wouldn't go as far as to say Crysis is a complete disappointment, as it can be a very cool and intense shooter, but it just isn't the

genre changing PC platform defining experience it was being made out to be. The graphics, while great, won't be a huge selling point unless you have a very

high end PC, and in all honesty the gameplay feels like Far Cry even down to the same old AI quirks. Hell, even the environments look and feel much

like Far Cry's. The Nanosuit implementation
and the massive detailed environments produce some very interesting and intense moments but this doesn't save what is otherwise reasonably average FPS

gameplay that is regularly buggy and unpolished. I like the open ended approach to the gameplay but its execution just allows too much wiggle room for

issues to come to the surface. Like Far Cry before it, Crysis will probably end up being a better tech demo and videocard review center piece

than a true GOTY nominee, which isn't a bad fate,
just don't expect groundbreaking gameplay. A definite must have to show off your high end DirectX 10 rig, but otherwise it's basically just Far Cry

with a few new bells and whistles.

Crysis <br><br>PC

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Nathan founded Hardware Avenue and 3DAvenue in 2000 and 2003 respectively, both of which merged with TweakTown to create TTGamer in 2007. Nathan can be usually found composing articles and reviews from the PC gaming and hardware world, but has been known to venture into the realms of console gaming as well (but he insists he doesn't enjoy it as much!). As a senior gaming editor, Nathan's responsibilities are much the same as they were with 3DA; reviews, articles and ideas.

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