Crysis Updated Hands-On - Assault and Power Struggle

Learn more about the epic assault in Crysis' single-player campaign, and read up on the intriguing power-struggle multiplayer mode.

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With 2007 entering its final months, PC gamers are looking forward to one game in particular more than the rest: Crysis. The eagerly-awaited shooter is due out in November, and with the game's completion nearing, EA and Crytek gave us a chance to play a never-before-seen level from the single-player campaign that shows off what Crysis' gameplay is all about. On top of that, we got to play an intense game of the power-struggle multiplayer mode and check out two new levels. So let's get on with it, though we'll warn you that what follows contains spoilers.

Armada is set aboard an aircraft carrier. Talk about a highway to the danger zone.

The single-player level that we played is called assault, and the name describes it all. The mission takes place after the opening levels of the game, in which you and your Special Forces team attempt to infiltrate a North Korea-held island. However, the infiltration attempt falls apart, and you have to return in force for an old-fashioned aerial assault. You begin in the belly of a transport aircraft surrounded by fellow soldiers, at least one of whom is wearing a high-tech nanosuit like yourself, but the rest of your team are outfitted in more-conventional body armor. After a short amount of chitchat and bravado, the transport does a combat landing, and you emerge onto a battlefield where artillery is exploding everywhere. It appears that the assault has bogged down, US forces are trying to advance, and it's up to you to turn the tide of battle.

Assault is basically a giant sandbox, and it's a great showcase for what you can do in Crysis. Your goal is to take out three antiaircraft platforms that are located throughout the level, and then destroy the radar jammer aboard a docked North Korean warship before laser-designating it for destruction. How you do it is entirely up to you, and judging from the discussions we had with others, there are countless ways of attacking the level. For instance, you can take a stealth approach by trying to sneak around the map, or you can engage in running battles with the enemy. You can try navigating the long way around, or swim across the harbor, or steal a vehicle. That's just a simple description of what's possible, given that there's plenty of room to maneuver and hide on this level.

However, what elevates Crysis above its predecessor, Far Cry, is what the nanosuit can do for you. The nanosuit is high-tech body armor that can temporarily boost your strength or speed, grant you a personal armor bonus, or cloak you from plain view. Whatever you select changes the conditions of the battle, and you can do amazing things when you balance its abilities. For instance, we stuck to the beach for the first part of the mission and used the suit's super-strength to leap up small bluffs and over large obstacles. Once we got in position to snipe at enemy machine-gun posts, we used the strength ability again to steady our aim through the weapon scope. When the machine-gunners were killed, we dove into the water and used speed to swim quickly to the next spot, where we switched back to strength to leap up the cliffside. At that point we battled it out with the defenders, who threw grenades in an attempt to flush us out from cover. However, when we spoke to another player, he mentioned that he had used speed to quickly dash up to the heavily-defended antiaircraft gun, plant explosives on it, and then dash off and detonate them before the defenders could properly react.

We don't have any screenshots of the assault level, though here's a glimpse of the refinery multiplayer map.

Later on in the mission, we engaged in a brutal dockside battle against a squad of North Korean soldiers backed up by a helicopter and a vehicle. Using the suit's armor and speed, we retreated to a nearby warehouse and battled it out with the defenders in there. With the intent to attack the warehouse another way, we leapt onto the roof and went through an office window, eventually clearing out defenders. At that point we used speed and armor to advance on the dockside defenders, and then used strength to leap aboard the North Korean warship tied next to the dock. Considering that the gangway had been removed, there was no way for the dockside troops to get to us.

To say that the battle was intense would be a bit of an understatement. The hairiest moments came when North Korean helicopter gunships arrived on the scene, which forced us to find a rocket launcher to take the things down. We should note that we didn't realize until after the battle was finished that we began the fight at night, shortly before dawn, and that the time of day had actually advanced through the battle. That was a pretty amazing thing. One helpful piece of advice: Quicksave, or F5, is going to be your best friend in this game. Use it, and use it often, because if you die without quicksaving, you'll have to start a mission at the very beginning. And it probably took us about an hour to get through this level.

On to multiplayer, which let us play the power-struggle mode that's featured in the multiplayer beta, though we got to play it on a different map. Power struggle is Crytek's attempt to create a Battlefield-style virtual battle with objectives, and it's a pretty interesting mode. You play as either the North Koreans or the Americans, with the goal of destroying the opposing team's base. However, to do that you need alien weaponry created at the prototype center. Furthermore, to create weapons at the prototype center, you need alien energy that's harvested at crash sites where alien wrecks lie. So, basically, you and your team need to control at least one crash site and the prototype center long enough for it charge. You can then use points, which are accrued by killing the enemy or helping your team, to buy powerful weapons that can be used to destroy the defensive turrets that protect the enemy base, and eventually the base itself. On top of that, there are weapons factories you can seize that let you build tanks and other vehicles, as well as bunkers that give you forward respawn points, and places where you can purchase new weapons and equipment.

Power struggle is a fairly involved mode. There's a lot of teamwork required, but our session was a blast; the tide of battle turned several times before we ultimately lost. For a different type of fun, we jumped into a regular deathmatch mode on the Armada map, which takes place entirely aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. This mode is just very cool because you can run around the hanger and guts of the ship, or on the flight deck itself.

Power struggle is going to require a lot of teamwork, but it can make for a pretty intense multiplayer mode.

It goes without saying at this point that Crysis looks amazing. We played on dual-core and quad-core PCs that had a single 8800GTX video card, and the performance was fairly smooth, though there were slight pauses at the beginning of each mission as textures and assets were loaded into the game for the first time. Although we were running machines capable of DirectX 10 graphics, EA and Crytek had us playing the DX 9 version of the game, and it still looked amazing. There are too many cool little optical effects to even mention. It's a bit puzzling why DX 10 isn't being shown off, though we suspect that Crytek is waiting for the video-card manufacturers to finalize drivers. Crytek was, however, running DX 10 on a machine that had the game's built-in editor on display, and the big news is that the demo that will debut later this month will include the same toolset that Crytek used for development of the game. This will give players a chance to start creating mods and levels.

When we spoke with Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli, he sounded relieved that the game was almost done (he mentioned that it was within days of completion), and also a bit wishful that he could have kept more of the game under wraps. Crytek wants to unleash surprises on gamers with Crysis, from the game's wondrous visuals to the gameplay, along with the nature of the aliens and alien threat. Judging from what we saw, it's safe to say that the game has plenty of surprises left in store. We'll see for sure when Crysis ships on November 16.

Discussion

290 comments
Nirkon
Nirkon

this doesn't come out for the ps3... or the xbox 360, only PC :)

jaredrichards3
jaredrichards3

I hope you don't have to play this online? if you do ill be getting it on ps3

ODST_Shade
ODST_Shade

This is just awesome! I like that it can just on DX9 as well as DX10.

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

PS360Fanboy is it me? or does haze look a lot better? Lolz, Haze looks like a mish mash from 3 different games and a bad one at that. grandterra, just upgrade when you can. Spring next year may see a welcome reduction in prices.

grandterra
grandterra

damn i need to get that new graphics card before the 16th but thats the day assassins creed comes out... damn i'm so confused. this game looks sweet and i need to get it but i will need one big upgrade in spec before i can so i'll prob have to wait till christmas, oh well at least i get to play it over one of my mates houses.

PS360Fanboy
PS360Fanboy

is it me? or does haze look a lot better?

NukeU
NukeU

This game looks great! I plan on buying it as soon as I can. Now where's 40 bucks?

xXproslayarXx
xXproslayarXx

halo 3 is a great game, CSS is a great game, Crysis is a great game. BUT THIS LOOOKS FRIGGIN SWEET

Brassaren2000
Brassaren2000

Crysis is for ppl that know what a good game is. All other tards play CSS or Halo 3. BLOW

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

md206 You have got to be taking this piss, Halo3, Bioshock, :lol: UT3 looks great but the others cannot compare at all to the likes of Crysis, they define perfectly what a over rated game is.

BenXL
BenXL

Just preorded the special eddition of crysis from game cant wait!!! OMG LOL

acarrillo
acarrillo

this is my Game, nice details work! shadow ! Good!anyway is perfect i cant wait to have it

aussieboy911
aussieboy911

heres the final list of requirements from http://www.crysis-online.com/?id=421 this is definately the final official list and this means i definately will have to upgrade to play it off my 6600 ;) heres the list: Minimum Requirements CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista), Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista), AMD Athlon 2800+ (3200+ for Vista) or better RAM: 1GB (1.5GB on Windows Vista) Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or better VRAM: 256MB of Graphics Memory Storage: 12GB Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible ODD: DVD-ROM OS: Microsoft Windows XP or Vista DirectX: DX9.0c or DX10 Recommended Requirements CPU: Core 2 Duo/Athlon X2 or better RAM: 1.5GB Video Card: NVIDIA 7800 Series, ATI Radeon 1800 Series or better VRAM: 512MB of Graphics Memory Storage: 12GB Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible ODD: DVD-ROM OS: Microsoft Windows XP or Vista DirectX: DX9.0c or DX10

aussieboy911
aussieboy911

is there a list yet of compatible graphics cards for crysis? everyone says ive definately gotta upgrade but i dont wanna if i dont have to. links anyone?

hazzard85
hazzard85

Looks like im gona hav 2 save a few penies and upgrade my pc. The game looks great and i dont want to miss out! no chance this will work on my currents set-up. An old sempron 3000 @ 2400mhz and a measly 6600GT (AGP), yep, gona hav 2 upgrade.

Zee666
Zee666

Aliens, nanosuit thingies, killing, sounds good to me. As far as i'm concerned, multiplayer beta's are stupid, if the singly player campaigns are crap then why bother buying the game. With a beta, you have no idea how either is because it's a crappy beta. Bummer really.

maxaitor
maxaitor

fable_lord You can do the same thing again and again, or just don't buy anything, sneak over to his position, change nanosuit to power and kill him, for example. Or buy a riffle yourself or a tank or rpg and kill him because you know where he is. There are lots of posibilities, more than in any other game.

maxaitor
maxaitor

md206 The MP beta is a beta to test net code, not graphic performance. Based on what you say, it appears that I get the same performance as you on a 7900GTX and a 4800+ cpu. This is because the bottleneck isn't on the gc or cpu, it's on the net code, that has been enhanced to gather a lot of data, so they can implement better server and clients. The retail version will run better. Also since it is a beta, they make some things so you can find bugs better and such. Remember the textures and shaders loading after the game starts? A beta is never a showcase of the final product, it's only a way to better it. As for the physics thing, that doesn't happen to me. I think you should report it as a bug.

Brassaren2000
Brassaren2000

"Fable_Lord" all i say is l2p! I guess u are used to CSS gameplay. This is a game with new fresh ideas. This game demand more of ppl then CSS will ever do, in this game u need to think not just play.

rah_mhambrey
rah_mhambrey

md206 its not on the ut side dude its more on the bf side with much better gameplay elements

Frost_Mage
Frost_Mage

Well, my PC parts should be showing up in the mail today and tomorrow. I spent a lot of cash for them. Crysis is one of the reasons I went all out. I hope the game doesn't disappoint. It could be a great game on a powerful PC.

Fable_Lord
Fable_Lord

I am playing the MP beta it's really fun game, but it aint verry action. i mean, the maps are too huge to have intensive battles between more than 2 players. and, it's kinda stupid gameplay online, you spawn, buy your weapons, jump into a car, drive to the other side, without finding any enemy (32/32 players) en than when you step out of your car to capture a point, you get shot by a sniper that is on the top van of hill this game is really overrated. the only good in it, is the gfx and pshysic, but it's the **** gameplay that make's you play the game, not the gfx

md206
md206

1 things for sure the beta for unreal tournament will kick ass seeing bioshock was also made from unreal engine 3. I played the beta3 of crysis and omg i hated that game. Movement compared to unreal tournament 2004 physics suks!...They dont know how to do character physics. 1 minute a guys here the next well dont ask. Its also boring respawning all the time after a 2 shots only to waste time BUYING the same guns again and getting a car to go to where u were before. OMG all my hopes have been crushd.i waited so much and speent so much to upgrade. I dont think at this point the full version of the game could be any better. I bought a 8800 gts 640mb and core duo 2 (1.8ghz)____ and my optimal settings are set to medium for smooth play! I want to overclock my cpu soon but i dont see the point.OMG!...Im soo disappointed. Just wot kind of upgrade is needed?! This game is all graphics no gameplay. Maybe , just maybe the single player is worth it but im sure HL2 ep2 will kick ass .this game by the rate its going and bioshock will rain over it. while UT3 will Slaughter it. HECK! halo3 plays awesome on the 360 that has lower specs than my PC! one things for sure. Ubisoft screwd up.. All the hype!. FOR WOT? They better make my day when this game ships cos for now i want to try the UT3 beta demo. Im sure its wonderful

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

If you don't like the quicksave system, don't use it. Simple as that! I for one enjoy the feature of resuming where I left off because I don't get much time to play anymore and it really helps, I've heard some levels take an hour to complete? Well quicksave should come in handy for most of us that have a life. I'm sure lots of us have lives :)

beastmr2
beastmr2

i hope this comes to ps3 sooner or later, i got me a split-fish and i cant wait to try it out on somthin other than resitance: fall of man

termadoyle
termadoyle

waiting for the console version.

eck053o
eck053o

wow nice looking game..can't wait for this one..kick ass graphics..anybody interested in buying a 8800gts 640mb? holla at rhino_530@yahoo.com waiting for the 9800gtx =)

mathishard226
mathishard226

cheating, is generally defined as deliberately acting outside of the rules. If one accepts that definition then quicksaving cannot be considered cheating, because it is a viable, creator accepted avenue to save within the game. If you want to call it cheap, ok. But ultimately it was included by the designers with a purpose. I don't play games all the time. In fact, these days, very rarely and for brief periods. So when I do, the ease of being able to save something quickly and not taking a couple minutes to back out into a menu is useful. Ultimately it is optional for the user. I choose to use it for the convenience.

gtarmanrob
gtarmanrob

i agree with arrrpirate. quicksaves are just the same as pressing ESC and going in to save your game. its EXACTLY the same except it saves time and allows you to stay immersed in battle. why complain? checkpoints are a total failure and not an option when implemented in a non-linear based game, as pirate said. the game wont expect players to do some of the things that we are gonna try, so checkpoints seem pointless. also, granted it may take a small edge of the difficulty and 'realism' in a game allowing players to quicksave at will (i believe saves should be limited per level, the limit depending on difficulty setting. like Hitman:BM), the game will grow very tiring for those wanting to complete it at the highest difficulty and constantly dying. after restarted the same level 5-6 times the game will get old very fast

arrrpirate
arrrpirate

I would like to know why people say that quicksaves are cheating. I agree with Musashi that it sucks to play a level over again because you need to go do something else. As for the guy who said that it was lazy to put in quicksaves instead of making checkpoints, some games just don't lend themselves to a checkpoint system very well. Checkpoints are well and good in games like Halo or Call of Duty where the path you take is pretty linear, however, in a game like this where you can pretty much go anywhere and do anything how you want, I don't see how they could implement a checkpoint system. It just makes sense to use quicksaves in a game like this if you want to be able to quit somewhere in the middle of the level at all.

KreepLX
KreepLX

I do not have any problems with quick saves. Some games have checkpoints and quick saves to make the game seem more user friendly to their playing styles and habits. I just don't understand how people can actually have some sort of controversy over the save system instead of look at the positive developments.

SrTVBR
SrTVBR

I want better drivers from video-card manufacturers cuz i want to play crysis full dx10.

Oldwolf62
Oldwolf62

I hate having to wait, but wait I shall, but then when this game is available I will disappear into what is now known as the Vortex (my computer room) and play, play and play :D

MusashiFilms
MusashiFilms

@noncreativeman: I always sigh when people complain about quicksaves. Here's your solution: don't use it. To allow for quicksaves gives the player freedom to experiment, stop playing whenever they want, and doesn't punish you for dying right before the next ill-placed checkpoint. Bottom line: if you don't have the willpower to *not* use quicksaves, stop complaining about their inclusion in games. I don't want to have to play 30 minutes of a level and then have to start over because I died or my girlfriend wants to get freaky.

amulbocus
amulbocus

Oh boy, watch the console owners mouths salivate with jealousy, HAHAHA. They will never get to play Crysis unless its a dramatically cut down version. The geforce 8800 cards have been waiting for a game like this to really put its Unified shaders to the test, hopefully my 8800 gts will be up to scratch.

noncreativeman
noncreativeman

First, to Maxim, it's clear you're not a shooter fan so don't bother posting since you're ignorant and uninterested. Second, DamageIncM, I agree with you, quick saves are a bad system. They also ruined far cry, which was too difficult at points, but with the addition of quick save you never felt in danger, even though you were frustrated by having to repeat the same scene over and over. I don't know if devs. use quicksave because they think their game is too difficult to complete a level at a time, or if they were just too lazy to implement checkpoints. Either reason speaks poorly of them, and if it is the former, then they should rebalance their game to make it challenging but playable.

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Zahad00m
Zahad00m

Yep, that's Crysis for you. This game sounds great... hopefully it'll run on my computer. One thing that is great about Crysis is the fact that you CAN do whatever you want, unlike older "pop-and-shoot" games where you are restricted to a linear level. The graphics for the game also look really good. I don't really care how good a game's graphics are, as now days they must be decent for the game to even sell, but the graphics look beautiful.

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

Wonderful, I am ticking off the days till me life will be inCrysis. This game is worthy of all the great accolade it gets, it's going to be simply amazing. I am no graphics buff, I love Nintendo first and foremost but this game has converted me fully to appreciating what this game and other such DX10 games will mean for the gaming populous. I now have a great PC created for this game initially, and I cannot wait. Check trailers in my Blog

SA80_Assault
SA80_Assault

We should all have a public holiday when this comes out.

siiixon
siiixon

all4lal: of course 8500 will run on medium, the beta runs perfect on low but 1280x720, and on medium 1280x720 a bit to slow BUT i only have a 6600gt so sure as hell your card will run it on medium with over 30fps

JxGTR
JxGTR

it looks like Halo for some reason!

blkgto
blkgto

Can't wait...This is going to be an amazing game, I am going to take a day off work when this comes out.