When it was announced eighteen months ago, Crysis was a game that I personally thought would be left in the infamous reigns of a game that strived for too much. With scenes of lush jungles and fast-coursing alien machines, it seemed too good to be true to come close. Graphics do not make the game itself, but they can help and the delivery percentage was not looking too hot for this title. Germany’s Crytek has proven that Crysis is a game that delivers the best first person shooter experience to date on any console. Crytek has simply delivered an incredibly advanced and exciting first-person shooter that rewrites the genre.
Crysis revolves around the year 2020. An archeological team on a remote Pacific island is captured by an invasion force of North Koreans, and US Special Forces team is dispatched to investigate and rescue the scientists. The technology of the military is high-powered nanosuits capable of boosting strength, speed, and armor, as well as cloaking you temporarily to the enemy. The first scene places players jumping off the parachute and into the tropical jungles with unbelievable A.I. and a tension that is tearing North Koreans and US forces to pieces. Along the way, you discover that North Koreans are not the biggest threat, but aliens are in a vast domination for all of man-kind. Talk about serious mind warp.
The beauty of Crysis lies in the free-roam and intensely gripping sub-linear storyline fused with great atmosphere and visuals to profligate all senses. Crysis is essentially a “sandbox” game where you’re put in the middle of large levels and tasked with an objective. The game design is simply magnificent in this respect. You can take a route that avoids patrols and go stealthy, or try the up-front approach and try to blast your way through, with the danger of enemy reinforcements showing up.
The combination of nanosuits and environments are seamless. Use your cloaking abilities to stalk North Korean patrols; picking them off one by one and watching the survivors react in confusion. Grab a guy by the throat and send him flying against a tree or wherever you take him. Jump up on a house and smash it to break in from a dominant pose. You can switch between different roles, from stealthy assassin to seemingly unstoppable character. Crysis is simply a game that makes you feel like a comic character with special powers, but allows you to realize mortality as well.
As events in the game continue to expand, you will find yourself inside the alien ship where zero-gravity and all the speckles of the environment are beautiful and weird at the same time. Escape the alien ship and you are led into a frozen environment against the alien foe. After the alien vessel, the game becomes less free form and more linear, but it also brings intense action and more risk. The storyline and the way it subjugates itself to the design is beautiful and rewarding.
The one criticism that for Crysis is the story leaves you wanting more. You don’t want it to end in the note that it does. The single-player campaign is about 10 hours long with a lot of incredible replay as the enemies are not scripted thanks to the nature of dynamic combat.
Crysis multiplayer is pretty plain and nothing to amazing. The maps themselves are small, so it’s not like exploring an island together. There is no online cooperative gameplay action and most of the modes revolve traditional team deathmatch, deathmatch, etc.
Crytek has managed to achieve a visual fidelity that blows away anything seen to date, and there are countless moments when you will just stop and gape at what you’re seeing. Sometimes it is just the ordinary, like the setting sun casting all sorts of shadows and rays through the jungle canopy. Crysis achieves visuals respectively and Crytek has done a meticulous amount of effort into delivering them. The impressive aspect of the graphics is just how it manages to render huge, open, dynamic, interactive levels. Everything looks amazing. The player models, environments, and simple explosions look incredibly photo-realistic for a clandestine experience. Interacting with your squadmates lets you gaze upon the details of their nanosuit, or the incredible facial animation that brings them to life. They’re capable of the subtlest of facial gestures to help convey emotion. The absolute fact that many of the trees and buildings are destructible just adds a level of realism.
Crysis is simply remarkable in every aspect and form. Crysis redefines and redraws the lines in terms of both technology and gameplay and as a result, raises the expectations for every shooter to follow when it comes to interactivity, immersive AI, graphics, and pure gameplay. Crysis represents the first-person shooter genre in the highest respect and regard, and is quite possibly one of the best first-person shooters on any console.