Crysis Updated Single-Player Hands-On - The First Three Levels

The eagerly awaited Crysis is almost here, and we get to play the first three levels of this cutting-edge first-person shooter.

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After more than 18 months of anticipation, Crysis is almost here. If all goes according to plan, this highly-awaited first-person shooter will go gold in a matter of days, meaning that it's finished and headed for duplication and manufacturing. On Saturday, October 27, the single-player demo will be released, letting you play the entire first level of the game. We didn't have to wait that long, though, as we got the opportunity to play the first three levels of the game. We'll describe our experience below, but please note that what follows contains extreme spoilers to the plot. So stop now if you wish to enjoy the story unspoiled. Seriously.

Crysis begins with a radio call for help from a science team on a remote island. A female voice on a radio reports that the North Korean military has seized the island. There's more, though. "We found something buried in the rock," she says. The date is August 7, 2020. During the radio call, the screen shows images of something strange, almost alien. At the end of the transmission, the screen goes black and the words "Seven days later" appear on the screen. Then a C-17 transport appears high over a large, mountainous island. It's the Lingshan Islands in the Philippines Sea. Inside the transport are five members of the elite Raptor Squad, all clad in high-tech nanosuits. Everyone goes by a call sign here. The squad leader is Prophet. The guy with the Australian accent is Psycho. There's also Jester and Aztec, though they don't say much. And then there is your character, Nomad. The ramp opens, and the team jumps out of the plane at 30,000 feet. The mission: parachute into the island and rescue the science team.

Sure, you can shoot guys in Crysis, but grabbing by the throat is always a treat.

The freefall is a pretty cool experience. Condensation actually appears on your nanosuit's visor as you pass through the clouds, and you can stare at the island rushing toward you. When the parachutes open, however, something goes wrong. Some strange force causes the team to scatter, and your chute collapses on you, sending you hurtling toward the water. Thankfully, the nanosuit absorbs much of the damage, but you find yourself separated from the team. You've got to swim ashore, where your suit reboots, and link up with Jester, who landed closest to you. As you'd expect, this opening level serves as a tutorial of sorts, slowly introducing you to the many aspects of the game. You'll need to crouch and jump to navigate around the rocky beach, activate night vision to help see better, use stealth and silenced weapons to take out a lone North Korean soldier, and use binoculars to locate a North Korean patrol. You can choose to ambush the patrol, or bypass them. We chose the former, and using the nanosuit's cloaking ability we hid in plain view while the patrol stared right at our location. When they got close enough, switch to full auto on your rifle and take them out.

When you link up with Jester the next goal is to help out Aztec. His parachute got tangled in trees and he's helpless, plus there's a North Korean patrol near him. However, there's something else, too. As Aztec is screaming for help the sounds of battle erupt in the distance--and the sound of something unearthly, as well. You rush to his location, only to find the North Koreans and Aztec all killed. There's no time to mourn, though, and Prophet over the radio activates the self-destruct button on Aztec's nanosuit. Aztec and his suit disintegrate; the latter is far too valuable to allow the North Koreans to get their hands on it. You've got to move on and reach the next rendezvous point, which involves another long overland trek.

This island would make a great vacation spot if it didn't have any firefights.

You parachuted in at night, but now the sun has slowly come up and morning has arrived, which complicates things a bit, since your next goal is to knock out a GPS-jamming beacon at a small beach village, and then get across a bay to the next rendezvous point. We played this part of the demo back at E3, and it's just as impressive now as it was then, as you can try to take the long route and sneak around the many North Korean soldiers in the area, or you can engage in a hectic running battle. The beauty of Crysis is that there are so many different ways to get through each situation. For example, we fought into the village, blew up the jammer, jumped into a pickup, and screamed down a dirt road. Then we encountered a North Korean roadblock, so we jumped out of the moving pickup, then shot at the gas tank on the back of the pickup as it rolled up to the North Korean transport blocking the road. The pickup exploded, sending the wreckage hurtling into the North Koreans.

After you get past most of the North Korean resistance, you'll get a secondary mission objective to knock out an enemy command post. It's optional, and since we were in a hurry, we bypassed it and went straight to the rendezvous point. The team has found the location of the distress beacon from the science team, and the kicker is that while the beacon was on a boat, the boat itself is now sitting in the middle of a frozen patch of jungle. Jester and Psycho start to freak out at Prophet, demanding to know what exactly is going on, since the North Koreans obviously don't have freeze rays. However, an unearthly roar erupts nearby, the earth starts to shake, and a giant mechanical thing bursts out of the trees, grabs Jester, and darts away. The team runs after it, but it's too late. Jester's body is located and Prophet hits Jester's self-destruct button.

Jungle Warfare

With two squad members down, the mission is rapidly coming to a crucial point. Intel indicates that a member of Dr. Rosenthal's science team is being held in a nearby village, and a rescue is planned. It won't be easy; it's a fairly large village, and the North Koreans have had time to fortify it with minefields, machine gun nests, and a fence. Even approaching it won't be easy, as the surrounding forest is crawling with patrols. We will note that seeing the village for the first time is one of the "wow" moments of Crysis, as the village is in a lush valley. It's just an incredible vista looking down into the valley and seeing everything going on through your binoculars.

Use mobility to your advantage and jump atop things.

A direct assault on the village is difficult because the main entrance is heavily guarded. So we threw caution to the wind, used the nanosuit's speed to rush up to a relatively unguarded stretch of fence, and then used the strength boost to leap over the fence. That was a bit unwise, as it was basically the equivalence of jumping into a lion pit, only there are about 30 lions and they're all heavily armed. The ensuing battle was just frantic as we rushed from cover to cover, desperately trying to buy time for our nanosuit's armor and health to regenerate. The AI is challenging because it doesn't simply just stand and shoot at you or run straight at you. Enemies move, use cover, throw grenades, and make your life pretty difficult.

The main structure in the village is where the prisoner is being held. Get to that building and Psycho uncloaks next to you (thanks for the lack of help, dude), and you storm into the prisoner's room and take out her interrogators. It turns out that the attractive young researcher is a CIA operative who tells you that the situation is catastrophic. She's so shaken that she refuses to accompany you further. But there's no point to arguing, because at that point a whole bunch of North Korean reinforcements arrive, including a couple of tanks. And while the assault rifle in your hand makes short work of infantry, you're in for a whole other problem against heavy armor. It's time to find the North Korean arsenal in town and liberate some antitank missiles, though that means another running battle, dodging fire from the tanks while you find something to use against them. And here's one of the unnerving things about Crysis, as you may find yourself using what looks like a nice, solid building for cover, only to watch it collapse and disintegrate around you due to weapons fire. Yeah, that happens.

OK, survive that battle and time to move on. Next objective is to work your way to the excavation site. There's even more scenic trekking through mountainous tropical terrain, and battling a ton of North Korean patrols. These encounters are a lot more difficult than earlier ones, as the North Koreans are on alert now, so what used to be two- or four-man patrols are now eight or 10-man patrols. You'll link up with Prophet, only to watch as yet another one of those huge, metallic things bursts out of the jungle and flies off with him. At this point, friendly air units are looking to evacuate you, but you call them off, saying that you're in pursuit of the aliens. What follows next is a battle in a large tropical plantation, and then you'll work your way up to the toughest challenge in the game yet, an attack on a North Korean base that's located atop a small butte. There's just no easy way to approach the base, and to top it off, there's a North Korean helicopter gunship lurking around.

At this point you're probably about two or three hours into the game--but wait, there's more. Next up is the dig site itself, a small installation that is also heavily defended by the North Koreans. There are so many huge battles that even the most aggressive of players might want to start playing with stealth a bit more; it's far easier sometimes to bypass some of the smaller fights. Getting in a battle only raises the alarm, and that makes your job even tougher. Another option is speed; if you're in the middle of a huge battle, there's no shame in running away to fight another day. Switch your nanosuit to speed and get the heck out of there, find a place to hide, turn on cloak, and wait for the heat to die down.

Crysis is shipping on November 16, so get ready.

Regarding the graphics, we finally got to play using full DirectX 10 graphics, and the game looks phenomenal. The system we played on was using the recommended system requirements, which are a dual core processor (in this case, a Core 2 Duo) and an Nvidia 8800-class video card. We were also using the 64-bit edition of Windows Vista, which is supposed to offer better performance. The frame rate was smooth throughout the entire session, and the only noticeable stutters occurred during save points.

We could keep going, but you're probably getting a good idea of what the early levels of Crysis are like. There's tons of intense tactical action, but also lots of depth. We could probably replay the opening levels over and over again, each time using different approaches and methods. If we had more time during our play session, we would have definitely spent a lot more time skulking around in the jungle, sneaking up on North Koreans and dispatching them quietly. As it was, we took a very aggressive, run-and-gun approach due to time limitations. Thankfully, though, with the game coming out in a matter of weeks, we'll have plenty of time soon enough to explore the many possibilities of Crysis.

Discussion

246 comments
LsTr_Of_SmG
LsTr_Of_SmG

*terminator3d Vista probably doesn't recognise the full amount as you probably have the 32bit version of vista.

Gastello
Gastello

Messia is coming! Alilua brothers!

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

w00Tz! cannot wait for the release, on the same day as SMG here in the U.K,. My soul is going to be drawn in two! PC Gamer gave the game a 98%! I got a Razer Death Adder especially for the game knowing it would be the best to use.

CubePrime_basic
CubePrime_basic

4coreinjeoor add ram to your system, at least 1gb, i recommend 3gb.

4coreinjeoor
4coreinjeoor

Graphics: Ooos shiny! Sound: Oooh shiny! Gameplay: Oooh shiny! My PC: Oooh shiny(brag brag*) * Core2Quad Q6600 1GB DDR2 Interleaved Dual Channel 2x 8800Ultra 768MB per card (In Short: Muhahahaha)

wlodyka10
wlodyka10

It's like playing Far Cry with a combat suit instead of a red shirt....

Shad0wAssassin
Shad0wAssassin

modemmack... im not sure if you played the the demo but you only need 2 buttons and the mouse wheel. more is just a luxury. being able to bind it all to the mouse isnt a need. i just bought a new mouse tho and my old one had only 3 and the game was still great.

modemmack
modemmack

I have a feeling that this game might come out a little earlier than Nov. 14. They seemed to have already moved it up 2 days already. EA is really working our psychology on this one. Don't be surprised if this one comes out this Friday. As for the mouse thing doomsdaydave11 is correct that you "will" need a more than a 3 button mouse to compete in this game. I bought a Logitech optical GX700 something or other. It has 5 buttons (7 if you count mouse scroll up & down), but even this seems to be too few buttons for this game. Thankfully this game will allow the use of a controller which should compliment a gamer mouse quite nicely.

terminator3d
terminator3d

I have an Intel dual core processor @ 2.66Ghz, Nvidia 8800 GTX (with an ASUS 22" flat panel monitor), 4 Gig Mem (Vista only recognizes 3.07 Gig), and when I installed the demo it maxxed everything out. I believe this will be THE game to beat all games! I played and beat F.E.A.R. also. But, for what this game is intended, it is an awsome game. The demo just serves as a way of getting used to the controls so you won't be lost when the game comes out. You will be able to get right into it! I have played the demo 25 times already just so I can get used to the controls. I upgraded my system for Windows Vista just so I could play Halo 2. Now I'm ready for Crysis!

doomsdaydave11
doomsdaydave11

this game is going to be ridiculously good. I'm going to buy a new computer and mouse just to play this game on medium high lol. I definitely going to need a mouse with more then the standard 3 buttons because there are so many things you can do (prone, crouch, alt fire, gun attachments, suit mode) I can't freaking wait :D. This is going to make Halo 3 look like WarRock. It really doesn't seem like people appreciate how far this game has come learning from other games like Halo and Half-Life. There's the physics and incredible graphics that come from Half-Life 2, and the bashing, and grenade throwing that comes from Halo. People complain about the AI... wtf are you expecting? Do you expect them to know what you had for dinner last night? The AI is great, while not perfect, it has come very far from games that are even a few years old.

nanofear
nanofear

Agreed joe11king I have yet too find a game with a combat mechanic as satisfying as FEAR', I wish Crysis had better melle capabilities besides but check,punch, throw oh well. Tomshardware.com has an even more comprehensive REVIEW everyone should check it out aswell.

joe11king
joe11king

i actually didnt think the demo was all that spectacular in terms of gameplay. I guess i'm just spoiled by FEAR's combat system....( the awesomeness that was....)

bajamunib
bajamunib

Now i have overclocked my hd 2900 xt @ 850/999 i can run 25-40 fps @ al settings Very High except shader at high. Ohh yeahhh

nightcall14
nightcall14

They need to fix the bird glitch. When I picked up a bird when I was messing around when I tried to throw it, but I immediately died.

ldavidtw2000
ldavidtw2000

...you turned AI to higher level maybe....? wait you can do that? other than difficulty? btw I don't really see the difficulty changing as I beat all of em already...other than something like crosshair and enemy language...

bajamunib
bajamunib

I dont know what i did but now its runs 20 fps with al on ultra high. anyone knows what i did wrong?

bajamunib
bajamunib

With Fraps turned on i had 15-26 fps @ 1680x1050 and setting at medium/high. Now i have turned out Fraps i have 20-35 fps with al setting ong Very High, except shader on high and shadows on medium:D! Game looks awesome now! Using E6600 no oc(dunno how to do that?), 2 gb ram, HD2900XT. DirecX 10 and Windows Vista 32-bit.

nikh158
nikh158

Why does it take more shots to kill an unprotected enemy than it does to cut down a palm tree? Why are the enemy so stupid? I hope this game isn`t just another case of style over substance. I`d hang on to your Wii if I were you, Genok.

fatalsunny
fatalsunny

kuvze, dude the AI does have headshots and stuff and honestly, if you were getting shot at from god knows where you would just stand there and wonder wtf was happening not tihnk about ducking. The stealth mode is just a bit too uber maybe... beat the game on hardest and it was stil pretty easy stealthing around

Genok
Genok

so, i guess im selling my wii, to buy me a 8800 gt, to play the blody game

morbid_man_guy
morbid_man_guy

Australian accent? Come on, Psycho's a pom, no doubt. We don't say "bollocks", poms say that. Maybe those yanks get confused sometimes.

kuvze
kuvze

challenging AI?...comeon guys..it aint fair to lie..i felt the AI was terrible..!!soldiers who drive jeeps look lik paper tht dosen move once shot..they stand still..all have same faces..it takes a whole magazine to shoot down a guy..no different behaviour for different shots..i shot the head,the leg and found no diff..no headshot or what?deadbodies don bleed once down..they dont move even..soldiers who drive boats wont die and even if shot the boat moves on..its titanic..never sinks..terrible AI..NO AI..!!!!!!!!i loved the rest of the game..graphics r awesome..if the game comes out with these enemies it wud be less enjoyable..

hwatney
hwatney

How will this game run on an 8800GT? Answer: I got shot many times just standing around gawking at the scenery. Simply oustanding, and I am not running SLI. If you're in the market for a DX10/SM 4 card (and bear in mind it is NOT necessary to play this game, particularly if you're not running Vista - XP doesn't support DX10) start with this one.

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

Lolz, the usually consevative PC Gamer gave the game a WHOPPING 98%.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Citing the astonishing quality of the AI in the NK troops and a groundbreaking very playable game due to many new aspects. Yeah he is definitely a Londoner, Mr Campo

ChundaMars
ChundaMars

Australian accent? What the hell? That's not an Australian accent... you guys need to get your ears checked!!! That guy's got a British accent of some sort, definitely not Australian...

Bah-Humbug
Bah-Humbug

Damn it I read to much and had something spoiled that I wanted to find on my own. I can read extremely slowly at times and so I skipped the first paragraph and so I missed the spoiler warning! Well at least it was not the game ending I had part of Bioshock's spoiled by some ass on 2K's forms. Heed Gamespot's warning!

iScReAm612
iScReAm612

how well do yall think crysis would run on that new 8800 gt 512mb? High settings? what about in SLI, would i be able to run ultra high then? If so screw the 8800 ultra..

andrejsuibo
andrejsuibo

i have Quad Cor 2.66, 3 Gb of DDR2 ram(800 mhz), 2x GF 8800 ultras but crysis still doesn't go as smooth as i thought it would, it shows me about 20 to 25 fps....i'm running it on max at 1600x1200 or smth...what the c***?????

alexanderjanjic
alexanderjanjic

Well i have very bad stuff and it works without lagging ^^ (DEMO) AMD Athlon 1.91 GHZ Radeon 9600 Pro 1GB ram and it works fine maybe it isnt that detailed but at least it works oh yeah opivy if u want something and got money for it take the: Nvidia Geforce 8800 Ultra Its the best in moment and if that isnt enough take 2 of them :D

opivy
opivy

Guys, you think if I upgrade my video card (Which runs the demo on the medium settings) I could run it on the high settings decently ? I am aware that on paper my specs are right up there with Crytek's but I would like an opinion. Intel Core 2 Duo 6300 @ 1.9 GHz (Rated at 4.89 apparently...) 2GB DDR3 Ram Kingston Video Card : ATi Radeon x1600 Pro 512MB (I do think I need a DirectX10 card. But which one ?) Windows Vista Ultimate Anyways this game is by far my favorite FPS of all. Yesterday, after playing Crysis for a while, I played HL2 and it seemed like it was a really old game..lol...the graphics between the Source engine and the Crytek engine are simply incomparable. Thumbs up for the germans.

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

W00Tz! this games is AWESOME ! It has a fantastic gameplay mechanic that means you can play a area in the manner you want, be it defensive cloak and kill, or smash and grab with full awesomeness of maximum strength.

colinfirst002
colinfirst002

Nope, it would be using DX9 to do all the DX10 features if you do that cfg thing in XP, resulting in lower performance.

londonrider
londonrider

Marketing trick with VISTA- they claim that the game runs much nicer on VISTA than on XP. Yes, it does. Because the game is coded to disable ultra high settings on XP. But some minor tweaks in .CFG files can fix that and Crysis on XP will run smoother and nicer than on VISTA Search Google how to fix that

TheGreatGameGod
TheGreatGameGod

Windows XP: · CPU: Intel P4 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon 2800+ / Intel Core 2.0 GHz or higher · RAM: 1.0 GB · Hard Drive: 6 GB or more of free space · Video: NVIDIA 6800 GT 256 MB / ATI 9800 Pro or better · Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card this is what i need on my computer right ill went on control panel and system and i saw this intel(R) celeron(R) CPU 1.70GHz 1.70 GHz, 256 MB of RAM Is that bad what do i need to change, to get running crysis?

GuMMie_101
GuMMie_101

i run crysis SP demo just fine and everything on high, also enabled dx10 features via cfg file! Getting 30-45FPS at 1280x1024! Looks great, my rig 8800gts320 clocked to 600-1850, c2d 6400 clocked to 3.1GHZ and 2gb ddr 800 all running on a p5n32-e sli.... thats a ok rig! Not even a ultra or gtx! Great game, cant wait to see if they can get a few more fps for us in the full version!

necrolok
necrolok

Not sure I can run it good or not, My cp runs Bioshock ok.

Spider-Man_Toi
Spider-Man_Toi

They guy is Chill IN .... I wish that i can play this game :'(

Virgul
Virgul

OMG... i thought i would be able to play it with my M570RU... but i only can play at good frames when i put some options on medium... =( hope final version comes more optimized... =/

smithdiggity
smithdiggity

dude that accent aint australian - he's a BRIT or something

Rigges
Rigges

you didn't miss anything, gamespot were not playing the demo but a demo of the first 3 levels, in the demo we the normal people get you only play the first level up to that frozen ship and that is it, nice game though, even runs on my crappy macbook pro

POP-TTT
POP-TTT

Hey guys in this review they are writing gameplay until and after when you see that frozen ship.. And i played only until i saw the frozen ship animation that guy says WE HAVE TO GO WE HAVE TO GO NOW!! And then the demo is over.. And here it says something about a village and other stuff after the frozen ship.. Is my demo not full ? or i miss something?

TaiLaw
TaiLaw

Err, to ELFBOY69, there were no multiplayer in the Crysis Demo.

Ginomebhoy
Ginomebhoy

Wow this game is incredible. cant remember enjoyong a demo so much...

MWILL4100
MWILL4100

AFTER EXTRACTING THE FILES, LOOK IN THE DIRECTORY WHERE THE FILES WERE PLACED. IF IN A PROGRAM FILES FOLDER, EXPAND IT TO FIND THE "BIN" FOLDER. THE EXE ICON IS THERE, CREAT SHORTCUT AND PLACE ON DESKTOP. I HAVE A SIMPLE RIG, PCCHIPS SKT 775 MOBO, 3.4GHZ, 2GIGS RAM, INVIDIA 7600 512MB GRAPHICS CARD. JUST TINKERING AROUND, I HAVE A LONG SLOW LOAD TIME, BAD SOUND, THE SAME AS WITH THAT "BIOCRAP" GAME. I CHOSE THE MEDIUM SETTINGS, WHEN IT IS FINALLY THROUGH LOADING, I HAVE A SMOOTH RUNNING, BEAUTIFUL LOOKING GAME.

Raysta01
Raysta01

@elfboy69 Whow how old are you elfboy69? Cause if your still a kid, then u are bliddy spoilt

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

I wish I'll get this game but i don't know yet if the game will run on my XP or will run only on Vista I'm so waiting for this game!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

It's funny how when they get hold of a game from a smaller developer, it's always about the technicalities. Yet when we get a hugely hyped game like this, they never let us know what PC they played on, whether it chugs in places, and generally give us a run down on what PC THEY think it will need! All you get is the newsletter saying 'your mileage may vary' when talking about the fun he had with the demo! Oh, and elfboy69, how many people do you think have a rig like yours? I'd like to see how it copes with the minimum rig Crytek says it'll run on - and I expect Gamespot to do that test with every PC games that gets released and give us the results!

onlinepro
onlinepro

I downloaded the demo and everytime I click the icon it begins extrating files and installing again evertime it keeps repeating that so I cant play the demo why ??