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Why you should buy it: Amazing single-player experience that ranks among the top in FPS history.
Why you should rent it: No such luck with PC games.
9.2What is This?

Buy It
Written by: Ted Dedon | Tags: Crysis, PC, EA Games, Crytek Studios

November 20,2007 – Far Cry managed to turn a lot of heads in its 2004 release. Not only was the game the best looking on the market at the time, but it was in many ways a superior FPS to the large majority of the market, yet it seemingly came out of nowhere. When Crytek announced Crysis for the PC people went crazy. What we saw was the most gorgeous game ever created and what seemed to be some very inventive and intuitive gameplay. Problems arose after numerous production delays, such as people doubting the ultimate quality of Crysis, despite the developer’s past treasured endeavors. Now that Crysis has finally released there’s nothing to worry about. It’s the best looking game on the market by a fair margin and, without a doubt, one of the best shooters you have ever played no matter what platform or what type of shooters you like to play.

In Crysis, you play as a super marine infused with a nano–tech suit that allows you to have pseudo-super powers throughout your journey. A team of archeologists is trapped on a remote island by an army of North Koreans. It’s your job to rescue them and to eradicate the North Korean forces in the process. However, there is more to this island than initially meets the eye. Through jungle, zero gravity, or an iced over paradise, you’ll find yourself struggling to survive.

This aforementioned tech suit you have is pivotal to the gameplay in Crysis. In fact, it’s what makes Crysis so brilliant in the first place. In the first act of the game you’ll find this sandbox styled island to be an absolute treat to explore and engage in combat. You can cloak yourself and sneak up on enemies only to switch into super strength mode and hurl them 50 feet in the air watching them plummet to their death. Or you could have your super armor on, run up to an enemy vehicle, switch to the super strength, and punch it right over. It’s pretty ridiculous. There are several different super modes you can get in throughout the game, and they’re available right from the start so there’s really no time to waste just running and gunning.
All five nanosuit abilities are very important to your survival throughout the game. Considering how varied all three acts are in terms of their gameplay, you’ll have to become fluent with switching in and out of your special abilities. Maximum strength, maximum armor, and maximum speed are going to be your three most common, but both cloaking and weapons modification are also useful if the time calls for them.

The action in Crysis is tense and varied. It’s really in another league from the large majority of other shooters. The enemy A.I. is comparable to Albert Einstein when you pit it against other shooters on the market. They act like real people, calling in support, using the environments accordingly just as you would, and also sometimes they are just as accurate as you are. They are soldiers, after all. The game is split into three acts. The first is an island adventure where you’ll fight North Koreans and try to find out exactly why they are there in the first place, but things soon start to get weird and you’ll get a vibe similar to ABC’s Lost when it first started. The second and third acts take place in a much longer and more brilliant segment. You’ll be fighting alien hordes, which are both strong and smart in comparison to the already strong and smart North Koreans.

The gunplay in Crysis is one of the most authentic and terrific aspects of the gameplay. Everything from the way they look, sound, and feel all the way to the trajectory of the firing itself is very realistic and fully engaging. The coolest part about this is that you can remodel or tweak your guns with accessories on the fly. For example, you can add a laser sight, a flash light, a silencer, or other things of this nature. It works seamlessly in to the gameplay while never taking you out of the fight itself.

One of the best parts about Crysis is how the technical side of the game works so well in enhancing the gameplay. This game takes a huge step forward in scripted events due largely to its wonderful graphics engine. The atmosphere and setting is practically unrivaled. It’s living and breathing unlike any game we’ve played in a really, really long time. If you’ve followed Crysis at all you know that this is a system hog. There really isn’t a GPU or CPU on the market right now that can max out Crysis while still running at a completely solid framerate. On our test system we had to tone the graphics down significantly and we still experienced slowdown at a fairly consistent rate. The system recommended specifications put the GeForce 8800 series as the recommended GPU, which is the first game to do so. This game is fairly optimized, all things considered. It will run functionally if you can meet the lofty requirements, but you’ll be missing a lot of what Crysis has to offer in terms of visual and atmospheric design.

There is multiplayer in Crysis, but it’s clearly an afterthought compared to the single player campaign. The best mode in multiplayer is Power Struggle, which is a lot like Counter-Strike or other team based operative games. The point is to use your team of 16 to destroy the other team of 16’s base using alien technology. It’s not as simple as just attacking, as you have to use your team to seize control points and essentially take power of the areas, hence the name. The mode in and of itself is great, but there isn’t much else there. There actually is a complete lack of a team deathmatch mode, which is really peculiar seeing as basically every shooter in the last decade has had that. It’s not a big deal, but it’s still worth mentioning.

Crysis as a whole is really a phenomenal game. One of the richest and most visually striking games ever made combined with a fantastic single player campaign that really never lets up after it picks up until it ends. If you’re looking for the game to blow away your new rig or simply looking for the next best thing, Crysis is here. It’s simply one of the best shooters released yet.
Crysis was announced to be the first game in a trilogy by Crytek. It is expected that the sequel will continue where the first game ended.