Crysis Updated Impressions - Dynamic Environments and Adapting to the Cold

Crysis is a game that will continually force you to adapt to changing conditions, as you'll battle in steamy jungles as well as brutally cold environments.

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The first-person shooter genre could be in for a very big wake-up call when Crysis debuts. The sophomore effort from Germany's Crytek is one of the biggest games on the horizon, thanks to the impressive screen shots released thus far and the reputation the company has earned from the superb Far Cry. As we covered in our last preview, the designers at Crytek want to create a game with a story that's as flexible and advanced as the cutting-edge graphics engine that powers it. In other words, you'll be able to go through the game in different ways instead of experiencing a rigidly linear storyline like that found in so many other first-person shooter campaigns. However, another goal of the design team is to create a believable and dynamic environment to battle in. The graphics in Crysis aren't just there for eye candy, as the game's physics engine means that everything behaves like it should, even when the conditions change drastically. Please note: this preview story may contain minor spoilers of some of the story elements in Crysis.

When you first arrive on the island, you'll find a jungle paradise like the one depicted in this image.

In Crysis, you'll play as Jake Dunn, a member of a US Special Forces team that is sent to a remote Pacific island after a mysterious object lands on it. Unfortunately, the North Korean military secures the island first, so your mission will be to infiltrate and investigate what's going on. However, you'll quickly discover that events will spiral dangerously out of control, as the meteor is actually an extraterrestrial spacecraft full of aliens that don't want us to take them to our leader. Instead, they want to wipe us out.

When you first arrive on the island, you'll discover a tropical paradise not unlike that seen in Far Cry. Giant palms sway in the wind, the sun burns brightly in the sky, and the jungle can be used for concealment from the North Korean soldiers who patrol the island. The first chapter of the game will require you to participate in what could best be described as guerilla warfare. You'll recon the island, choosing to ambush or bypass North Korean forces. This part of the game should feel quite a bit like Far Cry, Crytek's first game. Far Cry also had you crawling around a jungle while ambushing (and being ambushed by) foes, and one of the cool features about that game was that you could choose how you navigated through the gigantic levels. You could blitz your way across and engage enemies in a running firefight, or you could take the long way around and remain invisible.

This all changes when the aliens finally announce their presence by flash freezing the island. The designers told us that they went through hundreds of designs for the single alien race, with the goal of creating something truly alien. While the aliens themselves remain a mystery for now, we do know that their goal is to turn Earth into a frozen world, and that's why they're messing with the global weather system. Their first step, however, is to freeze the island that you'll be fighting on.

Paradise turns into frozen paradise in the game, and you've got to adapt or die.

In a lot of games, "frozen" usually means that the ground textures are painted white instead of brown to convey the sense of snow. Otherwise, not much else has changed in those games. That's not going to be the case in Crysis. Thanks to the game's impressive physics engine, the cold will have significant effects on the gameplay, as well as the tactics that you'll want to employ to survive.

For one, the lush jungle that you battled in during the first chapter in the game is now frozen. That changes the properties of the vegetation, and branches will no longer bend if you brush by them. Previously, you could detect an enemy by observing how the vegetation in the distance reacts to their passage, but now that won't be the case. Even worse, frozen objects have a tendency to shatter, so the environment is suddenly a lot more brittle--and harder to sneak around in because of the noisy shattering ice--than before.

You'll also discover that some of your weapons and equipment won't work as well as before, since mechanical items tend to have problems when dealing with brutally cold temperatures. This may require you to adapt your tactics to using what works. Thankfully, the aliens, being cold-lovers, have an aversion to fire, so it makes sense that you'll want to rely on incendiary weapons to take them on.

Crysis is scheduled to ship this winter.

The aliens use cold as a weapon, as well. They may attempt to ice you with their freeze ray. You'll become frozen in place if you're hit by the ray, and you'll see the ice build up around your body. Thankfully, you have your state-of-the-art nano suit to help you break out of the ice. The nano suit can be configured to your tactical needs. If you need to move faster, you can dump power into the suit's speed to get a boost. If you need more strength to move a heavy object, lift a heavy weapon, or shatter ice, then direct the suit's power to augment your strength. This flexibility means that you can tackle different tactical situations in a number of ways. You could stick around and fight it out or try and flee to escape your pursuers.

Of course, your tactics will have to change again when you get to the final part of the game, which takes place in zero gravity. This happens after you battle your way to the aliens' vessel and discover that it has some exotic properties. Unfortunately, that's all Crytek was willing to tell us, as the rest of the final chapter is remaining a tightly kept secret for now. Still, it's clear that Crysis is a game that will keep you on your toes, as your tactics will need to adapt to all the different environments the game throws at you. Crysis is scheduled to ship this winter.

Discussion

225 comments
davonas
davonas

this game is old oh crap

davonas
davonas

this game is really awesome

nick2shy
nick2shy

I hope this game is never ever released on any console, I get really pissed when I can't play games which are not released on the pc, so, the pc also needs games that are exclusive to pc and for once the console owners can feel the hurt.

radiostyle
radiostyle

The graphic is awesome, physical engine is also awesome, too. However, how about the story? EA and Crytek don't know what is the most important thing when the developer make the game. The graphic is very important thing these days but what is the most important thing? I think the story. Is this story awesome? Absolutely no. The story is definitely same as SNK's METAL SLUG 2. what the hell is that? maybe Crytek's chief really enjoyed to play MS2 and he wanna make it with high-definition and high quality graphic. That's all. :(

devilnevercry9
devilnevercry9

really cool!! must have..!! but it releases at Q3 2007. that's not easy to keep excitment down. graphics and scenes are just make me just getting to fight

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

OMG!!!!! Stop delaying, stop putting up all these previews and give us a demo already!!!!!!!!!

champmanfan
champmanfan

This will be THE game to own when I get my new PC with Windows Vista & a new DirectX10 GPU - so I really hope that this high-end game doesn't get held back (like Stalker did). Looks like you'll be affected the same way by the environment as Stalker but it looks way cooler ; ) I'll play the demo as usual to make sure it can play OK when it comes out, but I'm dreading the recommended specs. By then, I'll have at least a 1Gb GPU with 4Gb RAM to enjoy running about in the jungle and getting the full cinematic experience with that cool looking focus blurring when you zoom in - just like how the eye works.

AdMordem
AdMordem

some damn exciting scenarios!!

Kajados
Kajados

The combat in this game is intense but just enough to be good.

don_juvin
don_juvin

yeah its definantly one of the most graphical games around.

doomhesoka55
doomhesoka55

I think I should change my PC just win this game released >

seemanrun
seemanrun

This game looks absolutely stunning. Might have to finally drop 500 bucks for a video card...

nimonimonimo
nimonimonimo

Amazing. They say that they are scheduled to ship this winter, how is that possible if they wanted to put directx 10 and it's not out and plus this game needs lots of work, did they already do that?

7_armageddon_7
7_armageddon_7

Awesome game. I guess an upgrade is in order sometime in the next year... No console could ever beat this.

thingamebob
thingamebob

Looks cool can't wait till it comes out! =]

jpwiz
jpwiz

I wouldn't worry about this game being too short. Far cry was long as hell and depending how you played it could last even longer, this looks to be the same way.

mareaper
mareaper

Yet another game that makes me want to upgrade my aging system. Games like this help to assure me that I made the right decision when I chose to leave the console world alone in this coming generation(XBox360,PS3,Wii). They can not compete with the likes of this.

einarabelc5
einarabelc5

Does it matter if it is short if it is sweet?... Either you're kids or longtime experienced players 15+ years who played King Quest, Lucas games and the sort...the times have changed. If you do not like it then stick to consoles and their k.o.--kapow--30 hitpoints 4 combo stuff...I thought Halo was short too... I loved it though..

broen_faction
broen_faction

simply amazing. i personally never believed that forest environments could ever be mimicked this well, the future of gaming is about 2 see a bright future

pixelstuff
pixelstuff

Crysis definitely seems to be the most impressive game on the horizon so far. On a side note. I thought this was an interesting article on Windows gaming. http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_games.asp After a long time in the desert (metaphoricaly speaking) it looks like Microsoft might actualy do something to impress me with their integration between the Xbox and PC worlds. And I really like the idea of the compact Games for Windows packaging and requirements that those branded games will also install and run properly on 64-bit Vista. Sweet. Hopefuly Crysis will be branded like this for both of these systems. Even if the PC version ends up having better graphics on Direcx 10.

Sheegot
Sheegot

"Nice.... If it's not too short." Cough*PREY*Cough! That was the worst part of prey, and i dont think this game will be any different.. It seems that there will be put a lot of focus on tactics, and i guess that wont take long to "complete". too short.

kern111
kern111

looks excellent so far

5telio5
5telio5

Nice.... If it's not too short.

Destrin
Destrin

this game looks cool, but it really doesnt look that impressive

streetpkp2
streetpkp2

7950 GT 512MB amd 64 3800+ dual core 2gb ram will be enough for the game?

Mech049
Mech049

Physics... yeah baby

KainWeylin
KainWeylin

Actually, as of now it will not be coming to the 360, a PS3 adaptation is more likely.

_Sam_
_Sam_

looks pretty good

184him
184him

Yeah I'm pretty sure it is, they showed it at the E3 2006 Microsoft Confrence

a1charb
a1charb

anyone know if crysis is going to be available on the 360?

rad_2xl
rad_2xl

PC game? No, thank you.

leonheart_z
leonheart_z

..so beautiful..this is why the pc platform remains the grandaddy of all platforms out there! i just hope i upgrade my rig...soon!

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

I think this beautiful game will be ported to PS-3/360 in 2-3 years ;)

SoberWarock
SoberWarock

DAMN, graphics may be too real there might be a Warning for that :P WARNING: before playing the game make sure you buckel up and remove any sharp objects around your area.

Hemanthk
Hemanthk

I am gonna upgrade my computer to the latest graphic card and will load vista after the game releases.Then I will unleash the tiger within me.

E-Tiger
E-Tiger

HA... holy smoly... heck I'm a PC guy... and I have "wished" games like "Halo 2" and "Gears of War" where on the PC. I dig the games... make them and people will be there. Make good games and people will pay the $$ for the platform to play it on... heck... had to have an Atari to play Pong. A Nintendo for Donkey Kong... and a PC for Wolfenstein 3D. Make the games and make them so each person can get whatever tickles thier collective fancy... and make them so we can play together... etc. I think it would be rather slick playing online in Crysis... me on my PC... and some dude (or dudess) playing on an XBox360 (or XBox363...) in Michigan. And no PCs... are not God's gift or "Holy" or whatever... this is PC game we are talking about... so of course PC players are going to talk about it... and discuss how good it might be. And to tell you the truth.. (and this is a BIG news flash)... YUP... it takes $$ and time and in most cases sweat to build and upgrade the PCs as time marches on. Most folks don't need to spend a ton... and shouldn't... however if you can... then do so. People spend serious $$ on Spinner Chrome wheels for thier SUV... because they dig it. PC gamers are gonna do what they can to get the best gaming experience they can and since the industry has TONS of upgrades and options available we do it. Console fans if given the option to buy the "hard drive" version are buying it... and if they offered a "mega" video card upgrade pack for $300 there would be a line to get that too... Ironic but we are all the same... the console people just don't have the same upgrade options (yet)... L8

sirx
sirx

How dare people hope that this game might some day come to the consoles!?!? Woulds't thou defile the holy PC by bringing God's holy games to the Satanic consoles!?!? Anyone who dares hope that any PC game will come to a console will be henceforth drawn and quartered, and their thumbs will be broken so that they may never use a controller AGAIN! HAHAHAHAH!!!!!

BuckyBlade
BuckyBlade

I agree with E-Tiger... I've also been playing PC games for longer than I'd care to admit - wrote a few of my own back when Apparat was providing the O/S for Z80 chips. Gaming is a universal passtime which requires very little localization based on the interactions. In this space, I'm wondering why we're still struggling with the poor usability of console controllers? For example, *why* can't I connect a USB keyboard and mouse to my 360 to play Perfect Dark Zero? Why have the Human Interface Engineers at Microsoft not created something a little more accurate for gaming input? IMHO the PC will always be the most formidable gaming platform, and the most costly. Keeping your PC upgraded and tuned for the latest-greatest is hideously expensive, while consoles are typically a one-time expenditure. What I'd like to know is when will we have the usability of a PC for input on a console? Nintendo comes close with the DS, however it's not grand enough for serious games (although I've played the H-E-Double-Toothpicks out of Metroid). I think what's really needed here is a HIE dedicated to console usability for every type of input. Perhaps Nintendo's Wii approaches this? I can't be the only usability professional in enterprise software that still likes to play games (embarrasingly, 40 years old and *still* addicted)... So where are the folks that can make a difference here?

Jiggly_Wiggly
Jiggly_Wiggly

"The Radeon X1950 XTX is able to run both Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering at the same time, while the GX2 can run only one at a time." "Utter bilge. I think you're confusing HDR with AF." QUOTED QUOTED QUOTED QUOTED QUOTED u2i_lover I think your being confused with AA and Hdr

E-Tiger
E-Tiger

I have been playing PC games for more years than I would like to admit... and more than most I like the flexibility and customization that a PC gaming rig allows. I have yet to see much of any of that from console yet... which is not to say it might not get there someday. I am not sure what some of the posters are referring to when the say no good PC games lately... WOW... the list is endless.. from awesome to superb games for the PC. Crysis is a good example. The majority of them never show up on the consoles... mainly because of the interface (aka Mouse/keyboard combo). If the console builders would allow that as a standard option to the horrible (to fairly horrible) gaming controllers... I think there would be a MUCH bigger jump over to the consoles (I know there is some limited support for some games... from what I hear). Especially the folks that don't want to run gaming rigs all the time... and deal with the updgrade$. I still enjoy the gaming rigs that require some thinking... and technical knowledge to build and optimize... especially a custom gaming specific rig. Your average Dell web browsing PC is not really "meant" for gaming to begin with... but people will try anyway and then wonder why Crysis doesn't play well... etc etc. Anyway... the Console/PC debate is healthy... and games like Crysis are not going to make or break either camp. As long as we all have fun playing games... what does it really matter... ? I personally wish the games on the Consoles would allow them to play with and against the PC players. Not just for FPS or RTS... but sports games... etc. No worries... and good luck to all

troll86
troll86

no, Crytek said themselves that neither xbox360 nor ps3 could handle the graphical intensity of the game, sorry., but hey for about 600 bucks you could upgrade your current pc to handle the game.

dcoy8
dcoy8

i wish my pc was good enough to fully enjoy this title, maybe in a couple of years it will be for ps3 as well?

Gromstar
Gromstar

catch up slimmy, they said ages ago it was pc only