Crysis Review

Crysis is one of the best first-person shooters available, and though you don’t have to go far to hear people praising the many things that it does, I’m far more impressed by what it doesn’t do.

When I first played through this game, I was expecting your typical shooter story that’s tacked on for the sole purpose of giving you a reason to further the plot. You’re given a mission, things don’t go as planned, blah blah blah, and then you finish the mission yourself by virtue of your sheer strength of will (yay you!). You know, a typical video game military grunt kind of scenario that turns you into some kind of machine gun-wielding Jesus character, existing solely to save a bunch of inexplicably incompetent non-playable characters from otherwise certain doom. Instead, I found myself getting sucked in by the mystery this game presents. Early on you find a bunch of bodies, one belonging to a member of your team. What killed all of these people? They certainly didn’t kill each other. Your mind is left to wander as you cycle through the possibilities, and the game’s realistic bent allows these moments to capture a certain level of superstition. I found myself thinking things like, “Could it be something supernatural? Nah, they wouldn’t put that in this game… would they?” What makes this so interesting is that you spend a fair portion of the game being completely unaware of what you’re dealing with. Admittedly, Crysis loses a bit of its magic once the curtain is drawn and you understand what you’re fighting, but the game still stands strong because, story aside, it’s an incredibly unique shooter experience.

This is the point where I would seriously consider a change in career.

You start the game with a nano suit that provides you with several interesting abilities. It can make you faster, stronger, resistant to damage, or even invisible. It can’t be used constantly, though, so you have to plan out how to best use it. If you’re saying, “I know how I’d use invisibility, hur hur hur,” then… yeah. Creepy. I know at least one person reading this had that thought, don’t lie. There aren’t any women’s locker rooms in this game, anyway—just lots and lots of North Koreans with guns, and I doubt you’d want to see any of them naked. Especially in the cold parts of the game.

Speaking of length, some of the sections near the middle of the game are a bit longer than they probably should be and can tend to drag, but that’s only a minor qualm. It’s also worth mentioning that this game, like many shooters, doesn’t have much replay value. For most, one run through should be enough.

This guy is remarkably cool about me pointing a rocket launcher at him.

Of course, then there are the graphics. They’re shiny and pretty and the art design holds up even when placed side-by-side with games that came out years later, but the tradeoff is that the PC version doesn’t run well unless you have some strong hardware. Like, hardware that’s been hitting the ‘roids for a few years. That’s not to say that the console versions are better, though, since they lack the ability to quicksave (and that can often be far more frustrating than some choppiness).

Here’s what you should do:

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