Crysis Review

Crysis comes to consoles, and four years after its release on the PC, there's still nothing quite like it.

Any discussion of 2007's PC shooter Crysis inevitably turns to its graphics. It was--is--a beautiful game, boasting incredible technology that makes it one of the most lifelike adventures to date. For some, its excellence as a shooter is secondary, which is too bad: Crysis is a fun and challenging game that doesn't rely on its technological wonders to make an impact. Now, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners get to experience these wonders for themselves, and they should be pleased to learn that the game holds up well, due in part to some interface tweaks pulled directly from Crysis 2. The console Crysis isn't as beautiful as the PC original, or even this year's sequel, which may be why its flaws seem more readily apparent than before. Don't take that to mean that Crysis isn't a looker, though: It's absolutely attractive on its new platforms. More importantly, shooting humans and aliens amid lush jungle foliage and frigid ravines is as entertaining as ever.

Crysis tells an alien invasion story, though it's hours before you tackle the extraterrestrials head on. It's clear from the initial moments, however, that something's not quite right. You play as Nomad, a member of a special forces team dispatched to a verdant island in the Pacific, where North Korean troops have captured a group of scientists who stumbled upon something--important. Crysis isn't big on storytelling, but it makes effective use of its mysteries to keep you wondering. And when the moments of discovery arrive, they subvert your expectations. Entering an alien vessel doesn't provoke the sci-fi shoot-out you may have envisioned but a prolonged weightless reverie that is thick with atmosphere and conservative with action. Some defied expectations aren't as welcome: The final linear hours turn Crysis into a more typical sci-fi shooter than the first hours indicate, which isn't to say that the later levels are mediocre--they're just not as special as the early, expansive ones.

The first half is where Crysis makes its mark. The island is thick with foliage and dotted with outposts, where rickety structures and military depots might hide ammo and weapons. The environments are huge by shooter standards, allowing you multiple methods of approach. You could try a direct route, hopping into one of the game's many vehicles and zooming forth to unleash gunfire from the top-mounted turret. Or you could be surreptitious and snipe your North Korean foes one by one. However you proceed, you rely on your nanosuit to support your style. Thanks to this fine bit of technology, you can leap great heights, sprint at high speed, improve your armor, and cloak yourself. On the PC, you must activate these abilities separately. The console version takes a cue from Crysis 2 by smartly integrating speed and strength modes into its running and jumping mechanics. The nanosuit abilities and spacious levels lead to impressive flexibility, which is further enhanced by weapon mods. You can equip silencers, assault scopes, flashlights, and even special ammo, which allows you to further specialize your skills as you make your way from one objective to the next.

Nothing sleeps in this mighty jungle.

The resulting action is a blast, and the variety of environments and possible approaches keeps you on your toes. Helicopters hover ahead, forcing you to lay low or scavenge for missiles so you can bring the bird to the ground. Hop in a speedy all-terrain vehicle and zip past your attackers--or hop out and face them head-on. Your walking speed seems a mite slow, but the gunplay translates well to a controller. The autotargeting is not overdone as it so often is in other shooters, meaning you have to earn your victories with skillful shooting. Enemy AI occasionally undercuts the excitement, however. For example, drivers may stay seated when you approach, allowing you to blast them in the face with a shotgun. But your armored foes generally put up a good fight, and cloaked operatives further amp up the challenge in certain locales. Ironically, alien enemies aren't so tough, in part because you face them mostly in linear environments. Nevertheless, several battles against these hovering tentacled monsters are still enjoyable because you have to pay attention not just to the ground, but also to the sky above.

Crysis may last you 9 hours or more, depending on how much time you spend exploring and taking on side missions. While most games include harder difficulty levels, the higher levels here do more than just make enemies harder to kill. On hard, you can no longer fire a vehicle's mounted gun while driving; on delta difficulty, you get no crosshairs, no grenade indicator, and enemies speak Korean. This is as it was on the PC, though a few elements have been removed. One is the oft-maligned Ascension level, in which you shoot down ETs as an aircraft pilot; another is the online multiplayer. More importantly, the ability to quicksave has been removed. Checkpoints are often far apart, so expect to replay healthy chunks of action should you die at an inopportune time.

The alien vessel is appropriately otherworldly.

Then there are the visuals. They're beautiful, of course. The rays of the sun provide a luminous glow where they shine through gaps between trees. The ocean water ripples and flows realistically under boats and against docks, and destructible environments contribute to the authenticity. A well-tossed grenade might have the walls of a cabin falling to the ground, which is not only great to look at, but it's also a tactical consideration, especially if you are standing in that same cabin. That said, there has been some expected loss in fidelity over the PC version. Many textures--particularly those on vehicles, rocks, and buildings--don't look that great up close. Some objects shimmer into view, most noticeably in the later levels. Crysis looks impressive nonetheless, with countless shadows spreading across the forest floor so convincingly that you expect to feel a low-hanging branch brush across your cheek.

Crysis has stood the test of time, even if its faults are more apparent in retrospect. Parts of the campaign drag (a trek through a dark mine), while the final stretch sacrifices flexibility for scripted battles. But this first-person shooter's excellence is inescapable. Four years later, as more shooters embrace corridor shoot-outs and scripted set pieces, the expansive jungles in Crysis are as refreshing as ever. If you've grown tired of the same old turkey shoots and have yet to indulge yourself in the PC version's pleasures, now's a good time to take a tropical adventure. At $20, this downloadable island getaway is a real deal.

The Good
Vast, beautiful environments give the action lots of flexibility
Nanosuit powers make the shooting even more fun
Lots of enjoyable vehicles to drive
Great visuals and sound effects
The Bad
Linear, more predictable final hours
Frustrating checkpoints
8
Great
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GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

Discussion

11 comments
cbas420
cbas420

I gave this game a 2 because of the head shots rarely registering and the issue with the Tac gun. Just the fact that you can get so far without it and then can't go back and get it so you have to start the level over again ruined it for me.

OldskoolGamer80
OldskoolGamer80

This game was so hyped before it came to 360. it reminds me of far cry 3 except far cry 3 is better. the guns arent really effective sometimes. the korean soldiers say stupid nonsense. and the controls are not great. even the graphics are not impressive. this was the game that pc dudes used to show off there graphics. i got it cheap on sale for 5 bucks. its still worth having if you like achievments because its on rails. i give it a 7.4. not bad but nothing great. maybe pc is different.

karnage27
karnage27

Love this game, only played it recently and enjoyed it a lot.

donnerandblitze
donnerandblitze

Is crysis 1 for x box 360 a single player game as well as multiplayer and can it still be purchased as I can not find it on Ebay, only games 1 and 2

xtcrefugee
xtcrefugee

I just played the PC version for several hours. From a single player point of view, if ever there was a game that doesn't live up to the hype, this is it!

 

Yes, the graphics are very pretty. Crytek certainly know how to show off their engine. But IMHO that's all this game is - a glorified tech demo for CryEngine 2. EVERY single mission I've played is exactly the same - make your way to the waypoint on the hugely unhelpful map, kill/avoid the enemies along the route, find your way to the objective (a terminal, transmitter or person), trigger it, then another mission starts. No variation, and practically nothing to do with the plot. Navigation is frustrating at best - while I understand the terrain could make for some very interesting multiplayer action, trying to work out how to get round a mountain ridge for 30 minutes+ does not make for enthralling gameplay! Compared to most other recent FPS's I can think of, this is a huge disappointment in terms of both story and action.

 

I'd hesitate to even recommend this as a multiplayer game, as frankly there are much better examples. Halo, CoD, etc all give a much more satisfying and polished multiplayer experience, with fewer irritations. I loved FarCry, and as a sequel (of sorts) this is such a let down.

the22for4
the22for4

u are the one who write what i feel in this game 

ashfieldhammer
ashfieldhammer

just finished it last night spot on a very good game.

kornkid_vw
kornkid_vw

I'm playing this one right now and I have mixed feelings. I loved the game on the PC but I'm not a fan of the controls on the 360. They made the controls like Crysis 2 which they should have made it like the PC version. For example the 360 version your main suite mode is strength mode. The PC version you main mode is armour. I do how ever like the fact your suite power regenerates much faster. The visuals are amazing but I'm finding it very bright (please keep in mind this might be my tv or other factors). Overall they should have kept the controls the same but the it's still a great game and well worth playing.

NTM23
NTM23

 @donnerandblitze Oh, and you can't buy Crysis on consoles on ebay. It's a downloadable game, so you'd have to get it off XBLA or PSN. I haven't checked into that, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

NTM23
NTM23

 @donnerandblitze On 360 and PS3 it's only the campaign, but in a few -- and in my opinion -- major ways, there are aspects that are stripped away from the PC version. I'd say if you can, get the PC version.

 

There's Crysis Maximum Edition, and I believe if you find it somewhere, it'll be cheap. You'll not only get the original Crysis, but you'll get all of its multiplayer, and Warhead, which means you could get a possible 15 to 20 hours out of it, and then the multiplayer, which I'm not sure if anyone still plays it.

 

It's fine on console, and it may not be as much of a problem for you if you play it on consoles because of never playing it on PC, but on the flip side, you may say "Wow, I don't see what was so great about this. There's some OK stuff, but... Wow. Come on."

 

Both the console and PC versions have their separate bugs, but there are far more annoying ones and technical problems on the 360 I think. If you'd like me to elaborate, please have me do so, but I've written enough about this for right now.

malachi_27
malachi_27

 @xtcrefugee You're totally right:  astringent freedom, formulaic progression, and a multitude of quirks don't complement the game.  But I found Crysis as a whole rather enticing.  A great atmosphere, a comfortable yet eerie locale, and an intriguing plot really did it for me.  Multiplayer's bare-bones, but is a decent variant.

 

Crysis is easy to rebuke, but I also think it's easy to get the most fun out of it, too.

Crysis More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PS3
    • Xbox 360
    Crysis is a Sci-Fi FPS game for the PC in which mankind must struggle to survive in the face of an alien invasion.
    8.8
    Average User RatingOut of 21757 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Crytek
    Published by:
    EA Games, Electronic Arts
    Genres:
    3D, First-Person, Team-Based, Action, Shooter
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
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    Blood, Strong Language, Violence