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Score: 95%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Crytek
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 32
Genre: Shooter/ First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Crysis is the latest offering from Crytek, developers famous for their 2003 shooter Far Cry. With clear blue waters and lush greenery, both Far Cry and Crysis look like an ad from a travel brochure. Luckily they dropped a pretty good shooter in with the pretty scenery again.

Crysis once again drops you into an island setting, but this time, the drop point is a few thousand feet higher. As you descend in a HALO jump over the Philippine Sea, you can tell again the visual presentation here sets the bar higher. Condensation forms on your visor during the jump, and later in the game you'll be treated to an impressive gradual sunrise. There are other visual effects like a motion blur when you swing your viewpoint around quickly. You might even find yourself chasing around crabs, birds, and other local wildlife while you enjoy downtime from combat. Only in online Multiplayer mode are the graphics cut down, probably in an effort to curb lag. Lag still did report for duty quite often in online Multiplayer mode.

The score is nicely executed as well. Crysis keeps you in first-person view at all times, but still tells a story with movie-style cinematic scenes. The soundtrack comes in at appropriate times to heighten the emotional pull. Sound effects are realistic: grenades go off and afterwards give a temporary deafness effect, gunfire and other weapons sound full and real as well. A pretty unique feature of this game is that if you go up to the highest difficulty, Koreans will start speaking Korean instead of English. It's an interesting feature, and it says a lot that they went through all the trouble of recording two separate enemy sound sets.


Crysis is set in the year 2020 and in it you're a member of a recon team sent to rescue a group of civilian scientists who are investigating a meteor crash that brought something unexpected with it. You're called in because the North Korean military is also interested and decides to take them hostage. When you land, you are welcomed with another discovery: something is killing both your men and the opposing forces alike, and it's not human.

If Crysis has anything to say about it, 2020 will be a year of big government spending on really cool top secret projects. Your Nano suit is a technological wonder that offers the soldier wearing it several physical enhancements. Maximum Speed will give you super-speed while depleting the suit's power reserves. Maximum Armor will passively remain on until you're hit. Similar to the shield in Halo you are only vulnerable after the power has been depleted by several hits. Cloak allows you to hide in plain sight by letting the visible light spectrum pass around you, showing only the scenery behind you rendering you invisible, but you have to keep in mind laser sights and other tactical modifications may give you away. Maximum Strength does what it sounds like and gives you boost of strength that allows you to hit harder and throw objects with more force. It also allows you to jump higher, something you'll be forced learn early on in the game. MOD is less of a suit power, and more of just an options menu for your weapons. You can outfit your weapons with tactical modifications such as a silencer.

Multiplayer is once again a bit of a ghost town at the time of writing this, but it's probably more due to the price tag of the system required to run this game than anything else. It seemed like a straight gun fight, however, rather than a battle between opposing suit powers. Post-Christmas time, with bigger and better rigs out there, it will probably be easier to tell how good this component of the game is, but it shows a lot of potential.


Even at lowest difficulty, Crysis isn't a cakewalk. You really do have to earn your progress through the game. Easy does give you highlights over enemies when you hit them once or if they have shot at you, allowing you to follow them even if they run for cover. It gives you grenade warnings that include a red highlighted box around the grenade and a graphic that shows the life of the grenade (when it's going to go off.) Of course, if a grenade is thrown behind your back, then it makes no difference. The map itself may present some problems, but it's all part of figuring things out. For example, you may be given a checkpoint on your map, but when you try to head toward it, you'll discover a mountain in your way. You're not told exactly what to do, so it may be hard to find that you're supposed to climb the mountain using the Strength mode of your suit. You're free to roam in the wrong direction all you like, however, and enemies do respawn, providing a reoccurring, if not repetitive challenge.

On the highest difficulty, enemies stop speaking English for your convenience, and start speaking in their native Korean tongue. You might be able to learn a few choice Korean phrases, however, as they still seem to yell "Grenade!" to let you know a dangerous explosive is coming your way.

Game Mechanics:

Crysis would be a pretty solid shooter on its own. The suit enhancements, however, add a bit of variety to take it to a different level of strategy. You'll find yourself mixing and matching your suit powers to suit different situations, or just to add some flair to your job of shooting down enemies. The stealth Cloak mode for example, can be used in more than one way. If you stand still, it drains power slowly, but if you move, it drains power very quickly. This lets you sit and wait for the best moment to sneak up on your foes. But if you hit your Strength mode before you hit Cloak, you can sneak in for a one-hit punch kill. You could see this as a problem or a challenge, but you won't get suit upgrades. Learn to live with the "battery" life you've got is the idea here.

Enemies exhibit some pretty aggressive A.I., while on foot at least. They'll search for you and work together to take you out. If they're in a vehicle or a gunner position, often they'll just sit and wait for their demise even when you're right on top of them. And actually, the fact that they telegraph everything to do by yelling out things like "I'm going in," "Cover me I'm reloading," doesn't put them high on intelligence rankings. They're very honest for people who are out to kill you. Still, while you're in the midst of the action, it actually does work. You'll get more than a few surprises from enemies and they make themselves a genuine threat to you.

With all the different styles of gameplay it offers, Crysis is an enjoyable and interesting shooter. The graphics are once again spectacular, and will justify the large chunk of change you would have to put in to your gaming rig to run it. While the general ideas behind the story and the enemy A.I. don't really break new ground, the presentation is top-notch. If you ask for more from your shooters than just a gun and something to shoot at, you can definitely give Crysis a try.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

Minimum System Requirements:

OS - Windows XP or Windows Vista
Processor - 2.8 GHz or faster (XP) or 3.2 GHz or faster* (Vista)
Memory - 1.0 GB RAM (XP) or 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
Video Card -256 MB**
Hard Drive - 12GB
Sound Card - DirectX 9.0c compatible

* Supported Processors: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista) or faster, Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista) or faster, AMD Athlon 2800+ (3200+ for Vista) or faster.
** Supported chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT or greater; ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or greater. Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Integrated chipsets are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.

Recommended System Requirements

OS - Windows XP / Vista
Processor - Intel Core 2 DUO @ 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
Memory - 2.0 GB RAM
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS/640 or similar


Test System:

Win XP Professional, Intel Pentium D 820, Nvidia 8800 GTS (Extreme Edition), 4 Gb Ram DDR2 800, SATA 2 HD, Creative Labs Soundblaster X-Fi

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