These games are ESRB rated M for mature 17+
The Crysis games, Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, are futuristic FPS’s (first person shooter) that put you into an island filled with lush forests filled with trees and plants of all shapes and sizes, rivers, mountains, and sea front beaches. Both games provide any number of assorted topographical environments for you to explore and use as cover against enemy fire. The level of detail put into these games is highest I have ever seen, especially concerning in-game human faces and dismember ability, (things that can be blown apart). Most of the houses in the games can be completely destroyed with any of the explosive weaponry which includes frag grenades, remote detonated bombs, and missile launchers. Many of the vehicles can be blown up when you shoot the gas tank, wheels can be shot out, head and tail lights can be broken, and even the windows can be shattered into segments. Plants and trees also react to weapons fire, shuddering when explosives go off near them and breaking apart when shot.
Of the many weapons available to you in both games, the one you will use the most is your nanosuit. The nanosuit gives you 4 abilities; shield, strength, speed, and invisibility. Shield simply gives additional protection against any kind of offensive weaponry aimed at you. Strength lets you jump higher and throw things farther, (in the game most objects are able to be picked up and/or thrown–including enemy soldiers), as well as decreasing recoil when shooting weapons. Speed increases your movement speed for short periods of time allowing you to run through enemy lines or mine fields without being harmed. Invisibility can be used to sneak behind enemies or stand in front of them without being detected, so you can take your time and aim.
The game Crysis begins with an air drop over the beach of an unnamed island in the Philippines where an archeological site (digging for artifacts) was invaded by the Koreans for unknown reasons. The Koreans have taken the archeologists hostage. You play as Nomad, a member of a US Special Forces team equipped with nanosuits. Your mission is to rescue the hostages and find the reason for the Korean invasion.
In Crysis: Warhead you play as Psycho another member of the same team whose mission is to secure a highly advanced alien technology that the Koreans captured. Though the storyline is good in theory, the events that happen in the game do not immerse you into the story line and you don’t get a sense of feeling for any of the main characters. You really don’t care about how the story turns out just so long as you get to blow things up.
Game Play (Single player)
Though the four abilities provided by the nanosuit are visually appealing and fun to use, the usefulness of shield and invisibility far outweigh that of the other abilities. You will find yourself rarely using speed, generally using only to get from where you are to the objectives. You’ll only use strength for high distance sniping and jumping up rock faces. There are a number of weapons, each with attachments to use, with a variety of capabilities each being unique and useful in many situations. However, because of the massive number of enemies, most of which only use the FY71 (a glorified version of the AK-47), the only gun with enough ammo to be really useful is the FY71. (In Crysis: Warhead a few weapons are added but this aspect of the game remains the same.) Most of levels of the game consist of two objectives; blow something up/press a button and move to an extraction point. There is no problem-solving, no puzzles, and there are no mazes. There is no uniqueness to the levels, with the exception of the occasional vehicle based mission; you do the same two things over and over again. Nonetheless using the weapons, vehicles, and abilities to blow things up while running though levels with such incredible graphics and scenery, is still a very entertaining experience.
Each sound in Crysis is realistic, when you shoot different materials like wood, sand, rocks and metal you can clearly hear the difference. The vehicles all have engine revs. The guns have unique firing sounds. You can tell the difference between a frag grenade and a missile launcher from a distance just by sound. Everything sounds real. You can even hear the bullets whiz past your head.
The graphics in the game are of the highest level I have ever seen in a computer game. Every inch of every level is covered in visual detail including; dense forest, trees, grass, small animals like frogs, crabs, turtles, fish, butterflies, small birds and I even encountered a great white shark in Crysis: Warhead.
All of the palms trees can be shot apart. All the leaves react to gunfire and explosions. Even the water visuals include extra details, showing waterfalls with rainbows.
One thing about this level of visual quality that may be construed as a downside to the games is the hardware requirements. You must have a very powerful computer to run this game, even on low settings.
One specific aspect of the graphics I am particularly impressed by is the facial detail in-game. Many games use a very high detailed model for cut scenes, but then use a low detailed model for in-game. Crysis uses the exact same high detailed model for both.
Each vehicle has a unique feel with different speeds and control sensitivities: the bigger the vehicle, the slower the turn speed. When you shoot out one of the tires on a moving vehicle it will spin out of control. This is unrealistic but very entertaining. Sometimes you can get the vehicle to flip. If you shoot the gasoline container on most vehicles they will blow up.
Crysis employs a realistic gravity based controller that makes dropped and thrown objects fall at realistic speeds. It also employs an antigravity controller that lets things float through the air (like in space). This is encountered in the later levels of Crysis. Things can spin and roll through the air after you apply a force to them.
A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
The A.I. for the Korean troopers is very advanced. When shot at from a distance they will lay down for cover. When you are in open combat with a large number of Korean troopers they seem to spread out and surround you. Another surprising feature in the A.I. that I have not seen in other games is if you equip the silencer and aim 5-10 feet behind enemy units they will turn to check the point where the bullet hit. Unfortunately you can sometimes shoot an enemy three or four times in the back with a silencer attached and they won’t notice. Also, the A.I. of the alien spec ies (enemy units you will face in the later levels of the games), is more straight forward. They move around quickly avoiding fire, change direction when hit, and then attack.
Crysis multiplayer consists of two game play modes; instant action and power struggle. In instant action you are spawned into a map where guns are placed throughout the map and your objective is to grab a gun and start shootin’ in a free-for-all mode of destruction. The most kills wins. Power struggle is a series of bases that must be captured. Capturing the bases unlocks weapons and vehicles, which are bought in-game to use in an effort to unlock enough munitions to destroy your enemies’ main base, (which is protected by large automated deck guns which must be destroyed before you can assault the main base).
Crysis: Warhead adds a third mode: Team Instant Action. This is the same as instant action but with two teams instead of being a free-for-all. The team with the most kills wins.
In multiplayer you can play as the USMC (United States Marine Corps) or the KPA (Korean People’s Army). Both have nanosuits. You don’t get the option to play as the alien species. The nanosuits battery decays slower, but also regenerates slower. The map sizes are mostly extremely large with a few exceptions. This limits the amount of combat in which you will actually participate. This is why in Crysis: Warhead, the creators of the games added a series of arena based maps, (very small maps), for instant action and team instant action modes so you will be able to see an enemy at all times during game play. The spawn points in Power struggle, with the exception of your main base, have only two exits. This makes camping (staying in one spot for long periods of time) exceedingly easy, especially in a tank which costs little more than a couple of sniper rifles when you go to buy it. This makes ground troops useless except as live targets because there will almost always be two tanks camping the spawn points that are on the front lines of the battle.
The ranking system for both games is based on kills + captured bases. The ranks range from private to general. For each promotion in rank you get more “prestige” (money) each time you spawn to buy more/better weapons or vehicles. However your rank is reset during each new game and the ranking system is not applied in instant action or team instant action mode.
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz (3.2 GHz for Vista), Intel Core 2.0 GHz (2.2 GHz for Vista), AMD Athlon 2800+ (3200+ for Vista) or better
RAM: 1GB (1.5GB on Windows Vista)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (Radeon X800 Pro for Vista) or better
VRAM: 256MB of Graphics Memory
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
OS: Microsoft Windows XP or Vista
DirectX: DX9.0c or DX10
CPU: Core 2 Duo/Athlon X2 or better
Video Card: NVIDIA 7800 Series, ATI Radeon 1800 Series or better
VRAM: 512MB of Graphics Memory
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible
Pros & Cons
Unique nanosuit abilities
Many weapons with different add-ons
Lots of vehicles
Levels for the most part are very similar
Abilities and weapons not equally useful
Combat usually plays out the same way
Overall these games have the ability to impress on the visual and auditory levels, but the games become repetitive when it comes to combat situations. You almost always use invisibility to take the enemies out one at a time with the FY71. If you use any of the other guns you always seem to run out of ammo. Despite that limitation, it is still fun to shoot things and blow things up.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|