In a thread a few days ago the subject of Crysis came up and, as usual, it started to turn into a debate about the technical merits.
So, to change the subject to where it mattered (gameplay) I put forth the idea that the reason Crysis is an excellent game is because of excellent gameplay. This is the reply I got, and my response:
I remember how hyped this game was four years ago when they announced it. Then, it came, made some good money for Crytek, had an expansion pack and hasn't been heard much of since.
Crysis was great for a few hours, but it lacked the staying power of many games I have played. Graphics were very nice... but it just felt like another generic shooter. I beat it, and haven't touched it in years. It's still sitting on the shelf...
And Crysis 2 hasn't hyped me up all that much either. Oh no, aliens invading New York City? How original!
I can see where you are coming from, but I beg to differ.
The thing with Crysis is that the developer gave you all these amazing tools to play the game how you want to play it. Unfortunately, most gamers are so used to generic shootersthey treated Crysis as a generic shooter even though it is far from it.
Imagine youre given a recipe and the ingredients to bake a cake. You have everything you need to make an ordinary yellow cake with bland frosting. And that is exactly what 90% of the population would do; they would follow the directions, as they do with all other things, and leave it at that.
But what about the other 10% of the population? They would do something creative, something inspired...they'd say "Im not gonna make some ordinary cake, I have all the tools I need to make a grande gateau!" So they take these tools and ingredients and whip up an amazing, multi-tiered cake that looks and, more importantly, tastes amazing.
Crysis is exactly this. It is full of multiple tools and ingredientsa gamer can use for whatever they like. Unfortunately, only a small number of people really take advantage of such generosity and make the most of it. The rest? Well, they just leave armor mode on and shoot their way through the game.
This is why, imo, Crysis is the most misunderstood game in history. People judge it by its cover ("Oooh its just sexy, but lacks depth of gameplay") and dont see the true potential. People have become so used to Dooms and Quakes and FEARs and corridor after corridor and games tellign them how to play that they have forgotten how to apply their God-given creativity to games that let them play around for once. We have become slaves to visuals to the point where we almost equate looks with quality.
In short, Crysis is a true gamer's game. The sheer potential gameplay one can extract from it if they are willing to apply their mind to it makes it one of the greatest shooters in history.
Those are just my thoughts on the matter. Not to continue the cake analogy, but the visuals in Crysis are merely icing on the cake. The bulk of the game's success, imo, is due to an amazing singleplayer experience that is unique and unlike any other game I have experienced.
While it is not my favorite game overall (that goes to Halflife saga, for combining multiple elements to form a solid game), Crysis has the best FPS gameplay I have ever experienced.