Crysis: Game Review

Mikey 15 comments
Crysis: Game Review

There is a certain level of satisfaction that comes along with just having handed over one hundred of your hard earned dollars for a game like Crysis. Knowing just how demanding the CryEngine2 game engine is, and knowing that the new system you just built especially for it will actually make it playable affords the right to a smug smile.

But let me get this out of the way now. I only bought this game for the eye candy. Oh come thought the story would actually be interesting? Here's the premise.

The US Nationals archaeological team located on an island in the Philippines Sea have lost communication. A final transmission indicated the Korean People's Army Forces have invaded and seized control. You and your Special Forces buddies are sent in to see what the heck is going on.

Hardly anything to get excited about, is it? The truth be told, the story does evolve into something more sinister and mysterious, but perhaps more on that later.


As mentioned earlier, CryEngine2 is Crytek's latest game engine, previously responsible for Far Cry (CryEngine). The best way to describe the look of Crysis is to say it's Far Cry on steroids.

Crysis makes every other game on the market look ugly. The beautiful eye candy does come at a price, with the steepest minimum system requirements of any PC game to date. 2.8ghz CPU (for WinXP) or 3.2ghz CPU (for Vista), 1.5gb Ram, 12gb Hard Drive space, 256mb DirectX 9 Video Card.

Bear in mind these are the minimum requirements, which means even with this hardware you will probably have to turn all the eye candy off and or run at an ugly low resolution. Just to let you know, my old system beats the minimum requirements, and I was only able to manage a lousy 2 frames per second with all details on high. In order to get a decent frame rate happening (20 FPS?), 800x600 was in order and all visual settings on medium. Yes, ouch. My new system thankfully is a massive improvement.

As you will see by the screenshots at the end of this review, Crysis looks bloody marvellous. After battling through a level, it's quite satisfying to just take a stroll down to the beach and gaze into the ocean. Then take a dip and interact with some of the wildlife before proceeding to the next objective.

There is simply nothing to fault in this department, except perhaps that the beautiful scenery can often be distracting to the point you don't notice an enemy patrol has sneaked up behind while you were looking at trees.

Speaking of trees, the jungle is thick and lush. Every single leaf reflects light and casts a shadow. On more than one occasion I was required to follow a team mate and if I let him out of my site for more than a few seconds I would actually lose him.


Game play centres on your Nanosuit. This is essentially a combat suit with amazing properties. It can make you invisible; give you increased speed and tougher armour. Naturally you have to manually manage your suit and make a decision what to go in with. Sometimes stealth may be required and at other times bleeding edge speed will serve you better. You can switch between modes at any time but there is a limit on how long you can maintain each status.

It feels like Far Cry, which isn't at all a bad thing except that we have all played Far Cry already. The freedom afforded to the player is still present, and a welcome change from the linear follow-this-path-until-trigger-point-is-reached style of game play present in just about every other FPS title. It's surprising other game companies still can't match the level of freedom shown in Far Cry and Crysis.


I am not usually a fan of the 'cut scene' but because CryEngine2 looks so damned gorgeous combined with a mysterious slowly evolving story line, I am willing to forgive. That said, the cut scenes in this game are actually something to look forward too.


I wanted eye candy and I got so much more. I would only recommend Crysis under certain circumstances though. If you enjoyed Far Cry and you have a top-notch gaming rig, give it a go. But grab the demo first to see how you system will handle it.

Now that I have finished the game, I would like to share a few observations.

Firstly, the graphics - OMG. Perfect and simply amazing.

Secondly, some annoying bugs. On occasion the enemy would stand still with arms apart in crucifix position and completely ignore me. Very unusual. This only happened on one level though. Another annoying bug was on the aircraft carrier when the floor would simply loose clipping, allowing me to fall through it. The only way to fix it was to exit the game and restart it.

Also annoying, and this is typical for a first person shooter, is the over-reliance on your character to drive the story line by wiping out waves of enemy soldiers. There is nothing stopping my team mates from parachuting in to give me support, but it never happens.

But by far the biggest and most unforgivable bug is the dodgy script triggering. There were a few levels where I simply could not proceed until I had killed all the enemy on said level. To make it worse, sometimes the enemy would be completely out of sight, stuck behind a tree or rock formation. It was only by pure luck that I noticed. The fact is I had arrived at the end of the level and I should be able to proceed regardless of how many dead soldiers I left in my wake.

Despite all this though, Crysis is still a better game than a lot of other FPS's that have less annoying and fewer bugs.

Click any image below for full resolution versions.

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Saturday 29th December 2007 | 09:44 PM

yep i got farcry and playing it again but i will wait till i get a better kick arse machine that can handle the requirements...

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 06:39 AM

Damn, your system's specs must be stratospheric! And I suppose you had "acceptable" frame rates? I tried the demo and managed medium settings at 800x600, and it still looked better than anything I'd every played, even if it did chug a little at times.

And you didn't mention the physics! That was the coolest part of the demo; throwing a grenade in a Korean hut and watching it fly apart and then seeing the rest of the wreckage slowly collapse on itself was incredibly immersing.

Though I think the developers made a mistake making it so mind-numbingly beautiful, to an extent. Most pc gamers won't be able to run this game in all it's glory for another year or so (what percentage even have vista, let alone DX10 machines?) But since most people will see picturesque screen shots of it, the average Jo will think "my rig'll burst into flames trying to render THAT!".

But nonetheless, it looks better than amazing, the gameplay is supposed to be fun, but more than anything, it borders reality in it's graphics.

Now if Far Cry evolved into this, imagine what technological wonder(s) this will spawn...

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 09:40 AM

Yeah there was so much more I wanted to say about this game but I ran out of time.

The physics are awesome but then what isn't in this game? Character animation is great as well. This is one of the few games I have played where I cared for a particular characters 'well being'. Some damn fine voice acting as well.

The graphics are border-line photo real as you said and I agree. That will be a double edged sword for the game publisher who typically wants as many sales as possible, but to get the best possible experience from Crysis you will need the latest DirectX10 hardware and Vista, both of which still have slow uptake.

Anyway...time to overclock my rig I think...nothing wrong with trying to squeeze a few more frames out of it :-)

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 03:54 PM

What are they selling here though - the game or the engine? Selling CryEngine2 would justify releasing a game with massive sys reqs.

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 05:01 PM

They are really selling an engine. Just like id software are a technology company and not a game company (think Quake, Doom, Wolfenstien etc...).

I would love to know what they charge for an engine licence.

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 10:19 PM

Merry xmas. Its freaking nice to look at and your screen shots don't even do it justice to see it animated in all its glory is something else. I can manage playing 1440 x 800 on medium settings and it still looks better than anything else on the market. It will be a year or 2 before most gamers will have systems powerful enough to play the game the way it was intended and by then we will be seeing screenshots for crysis2 with even steeper requirements.

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Sunday 30th December 2007 | 10:21 PM

I just completed a level where the jungle was so thick that I couldn't see sky except for some shards of sinlight breaking through the tree tops. The leaves shimmered and cast perfect shadows around me. It looks so damned good. I can stop saying it. Expect some more screen shots added soon.

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Tuesday 1st January 2008 | 03:56 PM

wow...just wow

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Wednesday 2nd January 2008 | 03:35 AM

But do you prefer it to Half-Life 2 Ep 2? I'm playing that at the moment, and it's narrative along with gameplay and pretty much everything else is warranting of the title of "epic" not merely a "game"

I'll still hold off on Crysis until my system can play it in all it's glory.

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Wednesday 2nd January 2008 | 10:31 AM

Heck no. The HL2 series is epic. Nothing comes close to the story telling and action in that game.

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Wednesday 2nd January 2008 | 09:52 PM

the screen shots look awsome!!!!

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Wednesday 2nd January 2008 | 10:02 PM

Just finished the game now. What an amazing ride. And judging by the ending, looks like a sequel will be happening!

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Thursday 3rd January 2008 | 10:03 AM

So long as I won't have to give my system major surgery for it, I'll be game; once I ring all the value out of the Orange Box that is.

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Friday 29th February 2008 | 09:36 AM

Commenting an old topic (hence nobody will prolly read this comment in a long-long time ^^), but just wanted to say that Crysis was a major disappointment for me. Okay, I didn't expect anything good from the story to begin with, but besides the graphics the game is pretty much rubbish. It gives the player a bit more freedom with the suit, but most players will just use "invisibility, creep close to some enemy, 2xback key (shield hotkey), shoot the enemy in the head with silenced weapon, 2x ctrl (inv hotkey)" which is too imbalanced strategy. They should have made the inv run out faster while standing for that would have rendered this strategy harder, but no - you can basically just stand around for a damn long time before you run out. And closing in on your enemies is far from hard using invisibility - proning behind some rock, 2x back, suit meter full, 2xctrl and onwards again.

On the machines side - the cars were pretty cool and it was damn fun to hit other cars on full speed (jumping out before the explosion of course), but the flying mission was just awful. The turning was too god-damn slow.

Now the map design - it's beautiful - we get it, but, man, the map design is just pure boredom. The jungle part is basically Far Cry - and don't get me wrong, I loved Far Cry, it was challenging (which I'll whine about pretty soon :P) and cool etc, but the jungle lasted for almost the whole game and the game wasn't exactly "very short" so I got pretty sick and tired of the jungle by the end and now Crysis basically forces the player back into the same beautiful, but boring environment. (Lil spoilers) The alien ship continued the "boring path". I mean - it's a alien ship and there's no gravity. Have you can go wrong with it? And, meh, they somehow managed to create it so it was boring. I loved the winter part, but that was mainly because snow is imo one of the most beautiful things in the world. :P Ship was, well, meh. Boss battles were too easy (no, I ain't some pro gamer, my aim is pretty crappy actually, but I found it too easy nevertheless).

Now the whining about difficulty - using the strat mentioned before renders the game very easy even on delta, but even without using it, it aint really hard. Far Cry turned into a hell on earth in the end even on weaker difficulties, but it seems Crysis people were afraid to scare of players with worse aim or they just didn't understand how much power they gave into their hands with the cloaking ability. I quit the game on my second run after playing just few levels with delta because it just offered so little challenge even when I came rushing into some village sending my car into the first house and banging the first people around me full of hot lead. And when you get the more deadly bullets for the assault rifle ... oh god, the massacre ...

On the gameplay part - meeeeeeh, the only special thin is the suit, most weapons are uninteresting stock stuff and the only alien weapon resembles one from half-life too much (different mechanics, but very similar still).

And the story ... well, I must be the only fool who hopes that every game I install has some entertaining story to offer.

In the end I'd say it was a pretty okay game, but that's that - I'm not blinded by its gfx so I'd say its engine was the only spectacular thingy in it. Everything else? Stock stuff.

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Friday 29th February 2008 | 09:37 AM

Oh yeah, I also wanted to say that my long comment was triggered by the anger at everybody praising Crysis as the messiah or whatever while it has little special to offer.

Or maybe I'm just eye-retard. :(

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