“All images used belong to their respective owners. I will be putting up my own once I get the chance to collect a couple for this review.”
Better late than never I guess. My first review is going to be for this one game the entire PC World has been craving for.
Crysis is all about its visuals. Yes, the nanosuit abilities are a nice touch to the gameplay, but no doubt people are buying this game just for the graphics. And who is to blame? One quick look at any screenshot of the game and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Developer Crytek has crafted some of the most finest visuals in a game ever. Just like they’re first entry into game development, Far Cry, Crysis literally sets the bar for videogame graphics. Gears of War may have had some really nice texture work and Uncharted might have really good foliage and shaders, but Crysis just seems to have the entire package down. The only downside? System requirements and in-game performance. I ran the game on a pretty average computer and well, it didn’t exactly run as good as I’ve expected. Granted I played it on some pretty demanding settings since yeah I admit, I got the game to see the graphics as well. Amazingly, I was able to fight my through the slideshows produced by the ice level and that final carrier map and made it to the end.
So how was the experience? Despite some very low framerates and sometimes questionable AI, it was great!. It was fun running around the jungles and stuff thanks to some really nice physics with the vegetation. The engine allows you to interact with the plants unlike any other game I’ve seen. Certain trees can literally be shot down and bushes and other foliage react to nearby explosions realistically. You can even tear down little sheds and buildings with explosives, tanks and other vehicles.
Other than the amazing physics at work, the overall atmosphere of the game will literally make your jaw drop hard to the floor. The sun creates convincing light rays every time its obstructed. Day turns to night and vice-versa. Misty fog gathers around when night turns to morning. Dynamic clouds litter the sky during a sunny afternoon. Realistic depth of field effects come into play while zooming in with your weapon sights. Object motion blur simulates how the eye blurs objects at high speeds. Ambient occlusion combined with the engine’s dynamic lighting and HDR gives off an almost realistic look to how the world is lit, and allows literally every object to produce a dynamic soft shadow of its own. Etc etc etc….All these elements fall in the right places to create the most convincing game world ever built.
But enough talk of the game’s looks. How does the gameplay fare you ask? Its just your standard FPS-type of game with the added nanosuit powers. The nanosuit gives you 4 modes that can alter your style a bit: Strength mode, Speed mode, Shield/Defense mode, and Cloak mode. All these are pretty self explanatory and are pretty much needed if you want to survive. The Cloak mode though will be your most powerful (and cheapest ability if you ask me) mode as it grants you full invisibility (ala Predator). You could abuse this and almost always get through tight spots with it. The only catch is that using a weapon disables your clock and drains your nanosuit energy instantly so you got to be careful when taking down groups with it since enemy soldiers sometimes do a good job at flanking and shooting you down.
Now my only gripe with the game is the computer AI. Games have come a long way already in providing realistic AI, and with games like FEAR pushing the bar in terms of how enemies should react, I was hoping Crysis would at least get this aspect of the game right. And it does, sometimes. The korean soldiers do a good job at listening to audio cues and will try to surround and flank you. They shoot, throw grenades, even man vehicles. Seems pretty good at first but once you play around longer, you’ll start to see some inconsistencies in how they behave. These soldiers tend to get stuck in walls and you could sometimes even see them clipping through buildings. They also react too slow if you ask me. You could knock out a couple of soldiers who are standing just a few feet apart and they wouldn’t notice anything. They also seem to have an ungodly amount of health when shooting them from far. At one point, I unloaded an entire magazine clip on just one soldier (and I was sure they were connecting since you have this odd “thud” sound that plays whenever a hit registers from your gun) and that enemy was still running around wondering where to run and hide. These subtract a bit of points from the overall game since everything from the presentation side is so well polished. Well, I guess it’s improssible to have a perfect game anyway.
My final verdict for this game? If you’re a fan of the FPS genre and a hardcore PC owner with the need to buy the ultimate game just to see how many frames your thousand-dollar rig can pump out, by all means get this game. For the average Joe with the average computer, think twice because this game will bring your computer to its knees (and trust me, you do not want to run this game at anything less than medium-high. How good this game looks at high is how bad it looks at low). Plus the AI issues and forgettable story might turn a couple off. It’s still an enjoyable game though thanks to the Nanosuit and breathtaking technology at display. Hopefully, Crytek works more on the gameplay-side of things in future games since they got the technology all right and perfect (well, a bit of optimizing too wouldn’t hurt).