|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crytek||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-32 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Greig McAllister
Have you ever played a first-person shooter game wishing that you could go crazy, blow everything up, and mow down trees with high powered weapons? If so, then Crysis is the game you've been waiting for. Due for release September 2007, Crytek Studios has gone over the top to put out the best sci-fi first-person shooter game possible with the today's most cutting-edge technology.
Crysis takes place after a colossal asteroid crashes on a remote tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. You are a part of an elite Delta squadron in the year 2021, and you have been dispatched by the United States government to recon what should have been an extinction level impact. Things immediately heat up when you arrive to discover that the island has been secured by the North Korean government. On top of that, to your horror, a massive beam of light erupts from the meteor, creating a sphere, flash-freezing everything within its boundaries. You are now on the frontlines of an alien threat of terrible proportions. You must fight your way through the North Korean forces to get to the alien sphere in order to investigate this disastrous situation.
As an elite soldier in the future, you have access to the latest technology in weapons and armor. You have been equipped with a fully customizable assault rifle that uses a rail system allowing you to select between scopes, silencer, ammo type, and grenades. Equip an assault scope for better accuracy in close combat, or use a sniper scope and silencer to eliminate your enemies from a distance. For those of you who love silent, tactical infiltration, you will be interested to find that Crytek Studios has created a new type of ammo called tactical ammunition, or TAC ammo. This specialized ammo allows the player to implant a projectile under the skin of several unknowing enemies, after which you can use a remote detonator to eliminate them all in one fell swoop. Now for those of you who like a less subtle approach, you can switch to incendiary ammo and go crazy. The choice is yours.
In addition to your assault rifle, you are also equipped with an upgradeable nano combat suit which will upgrade throughout the game granting you armor attachments, active camouflage, thrusters, breathing tank, and many others. You can also control the power flow of your suit between armor, strength, and speed. For example: if you are in the middle of a heavy firefight, you can dial your speed to maximum and retreat into the forest at dizzying speeds, or you can dial up your armor, granting you more time to stand your ground and fight it out.
The gameplay of Crysis is entirely in your hands. You have the ability to make the game as fast paced and action-packed or as controlled and tactical as you want. If you prefer a run and gun style of action, simply dial up your armor and go crazy with a close combat variation of your assault rifle. If tactical awareness and strategy thinking is more your style, you have specialized binoculars that you can use to observe a situation before making your decision, but you better be careful upon your approach because now that foliage moves around you and is damaged by your footsteps, the enemy will have one more indicator to your presence and location. These specialized binoculars will also lock enemy locations into your radar once you have observed them, granting you a greater tactical awareness of the situation. Adding to the already impressive array of gameplay customizability is the fact that Crysis is a non-linear game. This means that there are multiple paths that lead to your objective. You must choose wisely though, because the most direct and obvious path may not be the safest. There may just be enemy forces lying in wait to ambush you, whereas a more stealthy approach may lead to a vantage point that will allow you to ambush the enemy as they await your arrival. The possibilities are endless.
Adding to the intensity of the game is the impressive array of sound effects and the very well done music score, all of which will undoubtedly increase your heart rate as you fall into the world of Crysis and become fully engaged in a fight for the survival of the human race.
Using DirectX 10 which runs off the new Windows Vista and the newly developed CryEngine 2, Crytek Studios has created a world in which nearly everything is destructible and no detail is too small to be overlooked. Never has a game had such an enormous level of environmental interactivity. For example: if you have managed to procure a powerful enough weapon and you open fire on enemy forces in a forested area, the trees just might come toppling down on the soldiers trying to take cover behind them, and that's just the beginning. All of the vehicles now have component damage which means that if you shoot out a vehicle's tires, they are instantly shredded. Right now you are thinking that is nothing new, you're right, it isn't. What is new, however, is the fact that if you shoot at a helicopter that is carrying missiles and you manage to hit one, then it will explode causing huge damage to the body of the chopper. Also, if you take out the tail rotor, then the helicopter will crash to the earth in a violent spin and, just like real life, it will not necessarily explode on impact. That will depend on how and where it lands.
With all this talk about the single player gameplay, I bet you're itching for info on multiplayer. Well, it's not in my nature to disappoint, so here it is. If you love fast paced multiplayer action, then Crysis is ready to deliver. With up to 32 players in a single scenario, you will very rarely end up in a situation in which you wander aimlessly unable to find a single enemy to shoot.. I know I get frustrated by that, and I'm sure that many other gamers share my feelings. Upon release, Crysis will support three game types; Tactical Deathmatch, Team Tactical Deathmatch, and Power Struggle, although other game types may become available through patches in the future. Of particular interest is the Power Struggle mode. Each scenario in Power Struggle can last as long as 10 hours, so if you intend to play the entire scenario you had better have a fridge and microwave right beside you. In this interesting combination of multiple game genres, each player starts on one of two teams, either the North Korean Army or the US Delta Force, with only a pistol and basic nano suit. You now have to fight to earn points which will then allow you to purchase weapons, upgrades, and even manufacturing plants that will produce things such as tanks and other vehicles. You can earn points by doing many things, but your primary source will come from killing your enemy. The amount of points you receive upon each kill will depend on what rank you are and what rank the player you killed is. The higher his rank, the more points you will receive. If you want to have a little fun with some vehicles, you can purchase them from your base or supply points that are controlled by your team, but if you want to think outside the box, Crytek has granted you the ability to combine your vehicles with alien technology resulting in an interesting vehicle that may be a human vehicle with alien weapons.
The possibilities with Crysis are endless. Whether you are looking for a single-player adventure or intense multiplayer action, Crysis delivers on both ends with groundbreaking innovations adding a level of complexity and customizability that has never before been manifested in the shooter genre. If you are worried that you will not be able to play such a cutting edge game on your setup, then worry no more because although you won't get the full level of crispness in the environmental detail, Crysis can be run with DirectX 9 for those of you who don't have Windows Vista and therefore will not be able to run DirectX 10. If you are a fan of Far Cry, or even just a fan of the shooter genre, whether tactical or run and gun, then Crysis is a must have for your gaming collection.
CCC Freelance Writer