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Crysis reviewed

Crysis

 
Crysis: A Gamer's Paradise?

Superb technology, astonishing graphics, crisp sound and, most importantly, missions and situations right out of a top action movie – Crysis could be the dream of every action player. And that’s only talking about the solo mode, there is a huge multiplayer component, too. But some aspects of Crytek’s second 3D shooter are deeply flawed. For example, the A.I. can be brilliant and lifelike – or just plain stupid. Nine of the eleven acts of the game are very well done – two are not. Our 10 page multimedia review tells you more.

At the beginning of our review, let us address a concern many readers might have: Yes, Crysis needs a fast machine, but not an outrageously fast one. If the opening minute or two of the demo or full version runs only as a still photo presentation for you, don't lose all hope: Once you're on the ground, things will improve. If you've got a Core2Duo (even the slowest one running at 1,8 Ghz) and a last generation Geforce (like a 7900 GT) or comparable Radeon board, you should be able to play the game in 1600x1050 and with all graphical settings at "Medium", but no Antialiasing. Rest assured that at “Medium”, Crysis looks better than most actual games at “High”. If you exchange the aforementioned 7900 GT with a Geforce 8800 GTS (or similar board), you can have about 4x antialiasing with all other settings at "High" -- again, in 1600x1050 resolution. We could even use the "very high" settings (see our how-to-news) and still had a fairly good frame rate! So yes, Crysis needs a good 3D board, but it doesn't need a 2500 dollar state of the art super computer. For multiplayer, though, where every frame counts, you might want to decrease some performance eating settings like shaders, AA and perhaps also the resolution.

Graphical settings

The six pictures below show details of two different scenes in three standard settings. You can have a look at the original 1600x1050 screens (at "very high") here (Waterfall) and here (Tanks). "High" setting is not shown in the pictures, it would be closer to "very high" than to "medium". 1 At "very high", notice the seemingly 3-dimensional tracks in the ground, the detailed shadows (especially on the tanks), the lush vegetation in the upper left and the general color tone of the scene. 2 At "medium" setting, the tracks are clearly two-dimensional, there are much less shadows, the jeep in the background is less detailed, and a lot of bushes are missing. 3 "Low" setting takes away even more vegetation and most of the shadow play on the tanks. Also note that the tree in the top left is no longer a vector object but a simple 2D sprite. 4At "very high", the waterfall scene has everything: highly detailed vegetation, smooth, reflecting water and little twigs and leaves on the sand. "High" would nearly look the same, by the way. 5 At "medium" settings, the "spray" has gone from the water, the lighting is a little less sophisticated, and the water's surface is simpler and not as reflective. Some vegetation is missing. 6 At "low", the waterfall is not as "steamy", the lighting is simple, the sand very plain and without objects, and the water uses a very simple shader.

A Crysis developing

It’s 2019. The North Koreans have invaded a little island in the South China Sea where an American archaeologist team had been researching an asteroid crash site. The scientists have gone missing, and an elite fighting force is sent by the U.S. Marine Corps to find and rescue them. Not only are these Deltas specially trained soldiers who can kill from afar as easily as in close combat, who can drive tanks or pilot planes – they also have high-tech combat armor called Nano suits. These will, draining an self-replenishing energy source, make their bearer extra fast, extra strong (higher jumps, stronger throws and punches). Or he will get an energy shield to help him keep alive, or it will cloak him, making him more or less invisible. We’re using the term “more or less” for a reason: A cloaked soldiers’ shadow can still be seen, but not the flashlight he might have attached to his weapon. While this has little consequence in the solo game, your own shadow can lead to very unpleasant surprises in multiplayer mode.

Before we come to the story, we'd like to show you a video we've made which demonstrates the impressive stunts the game stages to immerse you in the action:


You are Ltd. Dunn, callsign Nomad. You are part of the Delta team jumping from the plane. But in these first minutes of the mission, something goes terribly wrong. You start alone in enemy territory – but as it will soon turn out, the trigger happy North Korean soldiers are not your worst enemy, although you’ll fight them for more than half of the game. By the way: Perhaps you’ve read in various previews that, depending on your play style, the North Koreans might help you in the later stages of the game. We did not see anything of that, nor can we imagine a point in the very linear story line where “friendly North Koreans” would fit in. They simply play their role until halfway through the game, then they are never shown or mentioned again.

[Cutscene]
Other characters like your team leader Prophet are incredibly detailed and use lifelike facial expressions.

j3ster (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 17, 2007 - 21:20 #

whoa, awesome presentation. especially the boxes. why didn't anyone come up with these before!

Another nomad (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 01:35 #

Interesting review, well presented. But don't you think that 9 out of 10 is too good if the AI really is that dumb?

Phlexonance
555 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 10:33 #

On Page 2:
But the next Delta you find is already dead, and from now on, loosely oriented an the first Predator movie, your team mates vanish or die at an alarming rate.
I guess this needs to be an "on".

On Page 3:
After a interlude
After an

On Page 4:
which, for this review, was a Geforce 8800 GTS, which is relatively high in the GPU good chain
not food chain?

also on page 4 is an open link (end tag missing)

On Page 5:
Physics are there because of the simulated laws of physic, they work everywhere, whether it's relevant for a mission or not)
missing opening paranthese

Not everything is destructible, though, and sometimes it seems weird that a fance made of thin sheet metal will stop a tank.
fence made out of

On Page 6:
which was not always so in FarCry. Most acts will require you to reach certain points and to certain things
germanism? which was not always that way in Farcry
and do certain things

On Page 7:
And as in those WW II games, you’ll constantly have decide whether to keep
have to decide

On Page 8:
the A.I. is good and acts life-life.
life-like

btw, feel free to delete the comment after fixing

Very well done. It was interesting and informative.
I am looking forward to trying it myself =)

Jörg
5433 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 15:19 #

Thanks for pointing the typos out, I've corrected them. Having said that, "which was not always so in FarCry", to my knowledge, is perfectly fine, although "the case" would be better "proper English". But I invite all native speakers to correct me.

Phlexonance
555 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 15:58 #

I am no native speaker myself, I just point out what seems odd to my ears =)

Flo_the_G
405 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 18:36 #

As the next best thing to a native speaker, I second that "not always so" is indeed quite all right.

Phlexonance
555 EXP -
November 19, 2007 - 21:22 #

I did believe Jörg in the first place ;)

AlanPartridge (not verified)
0 EXP -
December 4, 2007 - 13:29 #

I am German and some of those mistakes were made because German grammatik was simply transferred to English language, I wasn't aware of them until you pointed them out ^^

Overall this is the best review of Crysis I have read so far. Very useful description of details, like ammo managemenet or scripting mistakes.
Other reviews like the one at "Gamestar" simply state that the graphics are beautiful blabla... I really love this review, it was really helpful, Jörg keep up the good work

gross.tim
4474 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 14:28 #

@ another nomad: 9 out of 10 is not too much. as it was said, the a.i. has its flaws, but as i played it, it was really good most of the time. and the rest of the game is just a voucher for the outstanding experiences you can have with this game. i love it and think it´s as good as half life 2 (in singleplayer, didn´t play mp yet).
(forgot to log in)

Big Jim (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 18, 2007 - 22:10 #

You point out the pros and cons of Crysis quite well. I also like the open jungle levels of the fist half much better than the linear second half. The tank battle is indeed a superb highlight. On the down side, the carrier sightsseing tour in the final levels feels a bit like as if Crytek wants to show us how well they can craft a carrier in 3D; this level makes me think I'm playing Quake 5 and not the successor of my beloved Far Cry. I wish they had made more exploration levels. Your rating is ok, though.

Simon (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 20, 2007 - 12:37 #

Great job! Best review I read so far.

Trent G. (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 20, 2007 - 15:17 #

I liked your screenshots best, although I would like to be able to click on them to see the original resolution (like you've done it with text links in the first box, graphical settings). Any chance for you to add that feature in the future? You do have the full res screenshots, anyway...

Jörg
5433 EXP -
November 21, 2007 - 17:26 #

Thank you. We are not sure yet whether we want to make all screenshots clickable, because we think it somewhat destroys the layout of the article (readable captions and so on). On the other hand, it would mean only a little extra work, although it would cost about eight times as much server space per picture (at 1600x1050). Again, that shouldn't be a big problem. Let us think about it, and if other people feel like Trent, just tell us, please.

Flo_the_G
405 EXP -
November 21, 2007 - 19:42 #

Clickable pictures would be great. They wouldn't even have to be full size, 1024x768 would be enough, in my mind, as long as they're big enough to make out the details.
And they would prevent me from futilely clicking each and every picture in the hopes that at least this one links to a larger version. ;)

Chris
158 EXP -
November 21, 2007 - 16:21 #

Doesn't this article have any +/- buttons to give it a rating? I'd like to spend a "+" :)

Jörg
5433 EXP -
November 21, 2007 - 17:22 #

Thank you very much! I hope Jan reads this and will code one, but for now I'm going to take the "+" from your comment and print it out :-)

Farter (not verified)
0 EXP -
December 28, 2008 - 22:16 #

Smell my farts!!!!

Super (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 22, 2007 - 03:58 #

This is a nice, to read/view, review. I love the detail in the writing!

Anonymous (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 26, 2007 - 12:20 #

Yeah, great article. Pictures are great. You could still work on the videos (the voice-over), though.

Phlexonance
555 EXP -
November 26, 2007 - 18:39 #

It may be not what you are accustomed to by the media, but this english skills are very good when compared to the whole world and not only to us/uk.
I think Jörg has done a good job for a non-native speaker.

Morrison (not verified)
0 EXP -
December 28, 2008 - 22:14 #

I Farted on an alien once, and it blew up :) XD

writers help (not verified)
0 EXP -
September 7, 2011 - 11:55 #

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