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Platform

PC

 

Genre

FPS

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Crytek

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2007

 

 

- Looks amazing

- Neat-o special abilities

- Nifty sound effects

 

 

- Some aspects of the visuals strangely lacking in detail

- Many will need to overhaul their PC to actually play Crysis

 

 

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Crysis

Score: 8.5/10

 

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After quite a bit of waiting, and a fair amount of wondering if there's a PC out there strong enough to handle it, Crysis has finally come out. There's no denying it looks damn good, but the most important question is whether or not the game is fun, and guess what, it is. With solid core FPS elements and some super human abilities, there is a lot to like about this game.

 

Taking place on an island in the Pacific, a team of archeologists have come across something ancient, and deadly. However, before they can figure out what they've found, the island is overrun by the North Korean army. This is where the player comes in, as a member of an elite spec op group loaded up with high tech gear. As players make their way onto the island, it becomes clear that North Koreans aren't the only threat, as people are meeting gruesome ends by some mysterious force or creature. In time, players need to figure out what exactly is going in. It's a paletteable story, but not spectacular. The acting isn't terribly convincing, and Crysis' narrative has a number of undertones reminiscent of The Predator with how players are commandos running through the jungle trying to not die at the hands of some mysterious alien force. If you like that movie, it may be a good thing, if not, well, consider yourself warned.

 

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Of course, what most people will talk about most when discussion of Crysis arises is just how good the graphics are, and the visuals are insane. Most of the detail goes into the people, enemies, and foliage. Each of these look phenomenal; breathtakingly life-like. About the only thing about the graphics that doesn't quite work

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are the flat objects. Things like buildings, and vehicles look like they are really lacking in texture, and are so blah compared to other aspects of the visuals. It's a strange contrast, almost as if the developers ran out of time and just said "Screw it" when it came to buildings and such. Flat things not withstanding, though, Crysis looks great. You'll just need a high-end video card to actually play it, which could be a too much of a hassle for some.

 

Once the initial impact of the game's pretty visuals wears off, though, what players are left with is gameplay, and it is quite good here. The core elements of a FPS are here, with the added benefit of superhuman abilities provided by players' suit in Crysis. With it players can have super strength, speed, armor, or stealth. There aren't really specific times and places where players must use these abilities. Instead it is more that one can choose how and where to use them. If you prefer sneaking around undetected, while pegging off enemies, that's a viable option, or you can smash them up with brutal strength. Then again you can get in a big ol' fire fight with your armor up. It's really up to the player how they go about using their abilities. There's no "correct" way of going about things.

A particularly nice touch while playing is that players can use the environment to their advantage in a number of ways. If you see something that looks highly explosive, it may be a good idea to huck a grenade at it when the enemy gets close in order to take them down. This isn't just a matter of blowing up fuel drums, as there are some other very large objects that go boom in the game, making for some very nice explosions. Good times!

 

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Usually I don't have too much to say about sound effects in a game because they just don't pop out for me that much (or I'm just playing the wrong games!). However, those present in Crysis were a pleasant surprise. It's very well down in both quality and usefulness. Every little sound around the player from the water to the wind to the guns to the voice work is crystal clear. Moreover, every time one russles up the leaves a little too much they'll find themselves cringing in fear that the alerted the enemy to their position, even in stealth mode.

 

Crysis has been on the receiving end of a lot of hype for quite some time now, so there has been tons of pressure for the game to perform well. By and large it has. It looks very good, and the gameplay is solid with some fun new tweaks thrown in. Just be prepared for the possibility of having to upgrade your PC in order to play the game.

 

Jeff Nash

December 11, 2007

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