E3 '07: Crysis Hands-On

We take an extended hands-on look at Crysis, straight from the E3 2007 show floor.

by

Crysis is a game that, at this point, needs little introduction. Crytek's upcoming PC first-person shooter has been one of the most hotly anticipated games of the last couple of years, and given the pedigree of the developer's previous shooter, Far Cry, that anticipation is quite deserved. At E3 2007, Crytek is on hand at Electronic Arts' booth at Barker Hangar to show Crysis in playable form. This is the first time that a complete level has been playable to the press, so we were eager to get our grubby little hands on it.

Click to enlarge!

We'll forgo detailed plot exposition at this point, since most people have undoubtedly picked up quite a bit of that in our previous coverage of the game. For those unaware, the quick-and-dirty synopsis is that you're a super soldier in a high-tech soldier suit that's been plopped down on a tropical island that is reportedly the site of some manner of alien invasion. However, you're not alone. The North Korean army has rolled in as well, and you'll have to simultaneously fight them off, as well as deal with the alien threat.

The aforementioned aliens weren't shown in the demo we played, as the level on display is the very first one in the game. You've just touched down on the island and are essentially left to your own devices at the outset. The HUD presents you with a radar screen in the bottom-left corner, but initially it shows a lot of static, as the North Koreans have set up a jamming tower. You don't have to do it, but you can run in and destroy that tower as your first objective.

Before doing that, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with your suit and weapons. Your suit comes equipped with some nifty futuristic technologies. By clicking in the mouse wheel button, you'll bring up a display that lets you choose from five different options: strength, speed, cloak, shield, and weapon mods. Some of these are fairly self-explanatory. Speed gives you a speed boost, cloak gives you a Predator-esque cloaking shield, and strength increases the amount of damage you do in hand-to-hand combat, as well as increases the accuracy of your shooting. Strength in particular is rather amusing, as you can throw objects and enemies farther when you grab them. You can even toss a bleeding enemy into the ocean a good distance, and if a shark happens to be swimming around the world, it'll attack the prone enemy.

Click to enlarge!

Weapon mods allow you to add multiple add-ons to your various guns. For instance, on the default assault rife, you could add in a variety of laser and sniper scopes. According to Crytek, with the exception of one weapon, you'll be able to add between three and five mods to each weapon you pick up.

Enough about that: on to the action. One of the things Crytek has talked up a great deal is how much freedom you have while playing Crysis. Though mission objectives are fairly linear, you can approach every area and objective a number of different ways. Over the course of our time with the demo, we got to see a number of different approaches, from running-and-gunning it, to playing through stealthily. It struck us that a more cautious approach tends to yield the least amount of player death, though that doesn't mean you'll be screwed if you want to play aggressively. This is a game that rewards those that scope out their surroundings.

And you'll need to, too, because if the opening level was any indication, you'll be dealing with loads of enemy soldiers. They're pretty smart, too. As we trekked through the beach, we encountered a wide variety of tactics from the enemies we encountered. Some came straight at us, guns blazing; some turned tail and ran when their cohorts were dead; and many chose to use any form of cover they could, ducking behind buildings, rocks, boxes, barrels, and anything else around. Of course, many of these cover points can be destroyed with liberal gunfire, so the landscape of what you and the enemies use as cover changes radically as fights go on. Save for a few minor hiccups, the enemy AI struck us as quite intelligent and formidable, even though we were admittedly playing on a lower difficulty level.

Much of our time with the demo involved encounters with pockets of enemies, and figuring out how to best deal with them. If you get into a minor skirmish with a couple of enemies, and don't immediately deal with all of them, one may get away and signal for reinforcements. How those reinforcements come will totally vary depending on the situation. An enemy might send up a flare, and infantry and jeeps with mounted guns might come. An enemy might just start flailing his arms out toward the ocean, and gunboats could arrive on the scene. Firefights in a semi-open space like the beach vary wildly from fights in tight, enclosed spaces inside buildings.

Throughout the game, you'll have the opportunity to try out vehicles as well. You'll be able to drive jeeps, trucks, and even the aforementioned gunboats around the environments. If you prefer just crashing onto the scene and wreaking havoc, these are definitely a good way to go. You can run down enemies, or fire at them using mounted weapons or your own rifles. Just make sure nobody shoots your gas tank while you're driving around. That would be, in a word, unfortunate.

Click to enlarge!

Oh, and by the way, the game looks pretty hot too. Far Cry was an extremely impressive looking game, but Crysis looks like it's going to put it a good bit to shame. It's difficult to pick out any one, specific thing that stands out--everything is just so sharp and crisp-looking. Walking around the beach, just looking down at the sand is enough to impress. But then you've got rocks, and plants, and buildings, and vehicles, and everything else to look at too. It's all beautiful-looking scenery that rarely fails to impress. Even enemies look fantastic, both as they duck and weave around the environments as you fire on them, and especially when you smoke them. Of course, all this beauty does tax on PC performance. Good chunks of the game ran quite smoothly for us, though some of the more intense firefights and sections involving explosions and smoke effects hammered the frame rate during our demo period. Hopefully Crytek will be able to tighten that up some before the game ships late this year.

The good news is that everything else about our time with the game felt extremely solid. Combat was energetic and satisfying, the game is a joy to look at, and the multitude of possible ways to attack each level sounds like it'll give the single-player campaign some legs. Of course there's also multiplayer features to consider, though sadly, none of that was on display today. Hopefully we'll be able to take a look at that stuff as well as much more of Crysis before its release date. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more on Crysis in the coming weeks.

Discussion

351 comments
kenuree
kenuree

tight. re u sure those r ur specs? well, it'll play it without a second thought.

Vortexien
Vortexien

I'm just simply gonna post my PC specs and u tell me if it's alright for crysis. My personal opinion is thath i could play it "Good" :) 2Gig DDR2 Ram DualCore CPU 3.8ghz GeForce8800GTX 768mb Version What'dya think?

Vangaurdius
Vangaurdius

Ok first off, jamesfffan is right, I am not saying do it now, I am saying finish the PC first, THEN work on a console version. I can't wait though, my computers going to get a revamp to an actual modern level so I might be able to play this game on at least everything on medium. Can anyone suggest a cheap place to buy parts. (perferably Canadian)

jamesfffan
jamesfffan

it can play on consoles, but at lower settings (fixed settings) dx9 style, so not as good effects

G-Master111
G-Master111

On pc you get the precision, more keys and mods. That's why I'm sticking to PC.

ljusticehk
ljusticehk

dood i am getting a comp with intel core 2 duo 2.7 ghz with a 8800 gtx 2gb ram with 320 gb harddrive and vista

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

it will play like an ass on my 1200$ computer so i wont be even buying it...

JPMcferran
JPMcferran

this is a PC game I dont think it is a Xbox360 game or PS3 i think it will be better on PC

mdcw9
mdcw9

"whoever said ps3/xbox 360 couldn't handle this game is on crack.. tri-core processors maxing 3.2 ghz and customized gpu's clocking over 500mhz. the only thing lacking is ram.. but even so, it's enough." Lol, you reckon 256mb of system RAM is enough do you? You my friend is the one on crack. But even so, the fact that the 360 has limiting factors isnt why they didnt get around to designing the game around the problems. Completely dismissing consoles makes sure the entire team is focused on making it the best pc game the world has ever seen. To run it on consoles they would have to change the way the entire crytek engine works. why do you think only 16 players can go into any game on a console anyway? RAM is a huge factor on this game, and just because the 360 has 3 CPU's doesnt make it uber, in fact, having that many just makes creating a game based around them more inconvenient. Besides, the consoles have lots of exclusives coming their way. It sounds to me that you are just very jealous that the most graphically intense game is coming to pc first . O and BTW, someone was going on about an 8600 running crisis. I hope you weren’t talking about DX10, because there is no way in hell an 8600 will max crisis on DX10, and even on DX9 your pushing it. The fact is, the 8600 is a low budget graphics card which was most certainly not intended for gaming enthusiasts. The gaming rig they tested crysis on had a 8800GTX, and they themselves said it handles “ok”. Not great, but “ok”. The 8600 is the equivalent to the 7900gt, if that, so I would expect “medium” quality and running at about 40-50 fps. Although they are optimizing for lower cards other than the 8 series and 7 series, I don’t think you should expect anything brilliant. I suppose you could push it to “high” quality, but don’t expect brilliant frame rates. Oblivion didn’t exactly have mind blowing graphics and even that challenges most graphics cards. Ever tried running oblivion on “high” with the 8600? Actually, have you ever tried running anything remotely graphically intense with the 8600? If so, I would very much like to know how it performed. The 8600 is the lowest of the low for DX10 btw, just so you know. Even the 8800gtx isn’t that special, it was the first DX 10 card, so expect far better cards this fall. Especially the nvidia 9 series.

NuZZ01
NuZZ01

Ian_Michael, ah, yes... DX10 in all its glory... The game will be by far more efficient in use of DX10 than any others for at least the rest of 2007... (It's being released 07 right... Too lazy to look it up) 7600GS + Crysis highest graphics and THAT RES!!? NO WAY IN HELL! You 'WILL' need at LEAST a 7600/6800 to run this with a decent (30 FPS or more) frame rate on low graphics. This is from personal experience with the 6 series and 7600GS. Of course... CryEngine is revolutionary and I have no real idea on how it will increase the performance of gameplay. I will be using an 8600GTS which will be OC'ed as far as possible, an OC'ed 4600 Athlon (3ghz) and 3gig o ram. :p! I expect to run her at highest textures, 1024x768 res while the rest of the graphics options as high as 40 FPS or more will allow!... CRYSIS FTW!

idunno1507
idunno1507

whoever said ps3/xbox 360 couldn't handle this game is on crack.. tri-core processors maxing 3.2 ghz and customized gpu's clocking over 500mhz. the only thing lacking is ram.. but even so, it's enough.

princegee4
princegee4

this looks like a PC game PC gaming is king of all time opps thats another matter its expencive but its paradise

Talon124
Talon124

Computer stuff are quiet cheap in Tiawan (maybe China, never been) so if you happen to go their for holiday..... also is this gonna have harsher system requirements than SUpreme Commander cause if it does I'm gonna cry :)

ryokinshin6x3
ryokinshin6x3

i can picture multiplayer some noob is going to be walking around cutting down all the trees and bridges upgrading/buying a new rig can be cheap if you kno where to look and what your doing

Revolution_DDM
Revolution_DDM

gonna need a new processor and more RAM. T-T Computers break me.

401225
401225

ill hope my system can handle it.... :P

gawakami
gawakami

Why are you making us wait? With its impressive and original gameplay and visuals I just can't wait. This game might be the first game I will see a person being run over by a jeep and actually survive or more likely win.

guyver23
guyver23

DAMMMIT THIS GAME AINT GETTING RELEASED TILL NOVEMBER NOW GOD SAKE I HATE GOD

Sam_Fisher_932
Sam_Fisher_932

Stofio, YOU obviously don't pay attention, Crysis actually DOES support DX9. Do some research before correcting people, in that way you won't get humiliated and laughed at.

Talon124
Talon124

thanks scarlet spider and if I were to upgrade to DX10 is the 8600GTS any good cause 8800 is too expensive.Also Stofio type in "Crysis system requirements" on google and go to the first link. It says it supports Dx9 and people on the forum says that a 7600GT will be in the recommended bit. It might even run on the 6 series Stofio. so HA :)

decilling
decilling

360 and ps3 can't handle this on full

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

no way in hell ! not gonna get a 400$ card for this game...

klasco
klasco

if this isn't on 360 then somebody is going to die, same goes for Far cry 2 i want both they are both pimp

klasco
klasco

if this isn't on 360 then somebody is going to die, same goes for Far cry 2 i want both they are both pimp

Xerran
Xerran

OMFG, i can not wait to play this game either as i say again i am Dx10 ready.

scarlet_spider1
scarlet_spider1

actually talon can play it. its dx10 and 9, so you sir are the one who doesnt pay attention. as for talon, if you would like to know some projected settings for your setup, check out the crysis site, as i believe they have a chart made up for that so very popular question.

stofio
stofio

Ok Talon, you obviously dont pay much attention, NO there isnt hope for you the game is DX10 which only plays on 8 series nvidia cards and those new ati cards

Talon124
Talon124

Is there any hope in me playing this game at 1290x768 with settings Medium-High??? I got Geforce 7600GS (overclocked to play Oblivion at High), 2.5GB ram and Pentinum Dual Core 2.9GHz btw I don't mind not using AA AF just getting textures up pretty high and HDR on.

joseMolina18415
joseMolina18415

the game it very very awesome in shader details and other real-life effects!!

mergirox
mergirox

I personally like this game more than Bioshock. It a shame I need to get a 400 $ video card anda 500 volt powersupply. IN THE MEAN TIME , ill stick with my Wii60 games.

mergirox
mergirox

I personally like this game more than Bioshock. It a shame I need to get a 400 $ video card anda 500 volt powersupply. IN THE MEAN TIME , ill stick with my Wii60 games.

Omar1985
Omar1985

muhahaha i cant wait till this game comes out i'm sure my 8800gtx can handle it easy.

jaflash
jaflash

whats so exciting its another game set in the forest.......................... and its pretty

commander1122
commander1122

~~ going play this game witf Q6600 and 2 gb ddr800 n XFX 8800 GTX ~.~.......hope can ultra high to game ^^

sellardwellar
sellardwellar

im building a sick pc just to play this game full blown...... $6000 in parts just waiting for the qx6850 to come out....

brood_aliance
brood_aliance

sadly I can't play this game even if it came out today. I've got a crappy integrated card, and a even crappier power supply. Sigh, If only I could find $600 somewhere...

gtjava
gtjava

sadly i cant play this game wit my crap comp...just hope it will hit ps3!

MaxBlaze
MaxBlaze

shai1441, the game will run pretty well with your card.

Annihilator-X-
Annihilator-X-

The only thing I don't like is with most FPS there's 1 hero who have super-power and save the world all-by-himself

shai1441
shai1441

dose the game works with this card- crd 1950 512 DX9?

StanSorensen
StanSorensen

I personally can't wait, i'm very siked. Although yes, it calls for a new gaming machine. My advice, get a cheaper custom built PC, on ibuypower.com , or at cyberpowerpc.com . Their usually pretty good, and well priced.

SirSmokeal0t
SirSmokeal0t

Imma gonna build a new PC next month, should i get a QuadCore for **** like this?

stuckboy
stuckboy

Looks fantastic. I probably won't be able to play it for a fewyears since I am a poor student with no money for DX10 GFX cards and the like.

MaxBlaze
MaxBlaze

You can build a computer to run this game quite well for quite a bit under $2000. $1700 sound good? Example: I just configured a rig with 2GB of RAM an E6420 Core 2 Duo which can be easily OCed to 3.0Ghz and an 8800 GTX for around $1600.

PseudoFinrod
PseudoFinrod

This game looks REALLY cool-I hope they are able to port this game to a console for those of us who can't afford a $3,000 gaming rig...