|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crytek||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-32 (online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Crysis provides an unparalleled visual experience, and a staggering level of detail is crammed into every aspect of the production. Whether it's the near photorealistic character animations, impressive explosion and weapons effects or the breathtaking scenery, the graphics are jaw-dropping in almost every case. The trade-off many PC gamers will have to deal with is the game's demanding system requirements. It would be wise to check, double check, and triple check whether your current system and graphics card will handle the awesome CPU crushing power of Crysis.
An extremely useful built-in features is the ability to change your graphics settings on the fly from anywhere in the game. The process is simple, and it only takes a matter of seconds to adjust. It's doubtful whether there are many PCs available currently which can provide unified smooth performance with the graphics turned up to its highest settings. In most cases, this cranking the detail to the max will result in a gruesome molasses slide-show mockery of how the game is meant to be played. Looking down the road, this will definitely be a title also worth picking once it has aged a bit and improved computer technology is cheaper. The good news is Crysis is a huge amount of fun even with the details toned down. On its lowest setting the game is still quite visually impressive, but turning the bells and whistles up a few notches - assuming your machine can handle it - is the best way to play.
The solo campaign takes a solid amount of time to complete, and there's plenty of room for replay since each mission can be completed using completely different tactics and strategies. The game's two multi-player modes are also worth the time to explore. Instant Action lets you jump right in to a high octane free-for-all, nano-suit powers and all, across a handful of large maps. Since everyone is going to be cloaking, leaping, running, and engaging in all manner of technology enhanced craziness while gunning away at one another, it's hard to stay in the action for long when up against lots of human opponents. Being in a nano-suit is one thing, but fighting a whole map full of (presumably) smart nano-suit wielding human opponents quickly turns into orchestrated chaos.
Players looking for a more structured, goal-oriented, and lengthier multi-player experience will absolutely love the Power Struggle mode. Power Struggle pits the Americans versus the Koreans in an arms race that has you vying to gain control of numerous outposts, gathering alien resources, and obtaining super weapons to wipe the heavily guarded enemy base clean off the planet. A large array of destructive land and air vehicles can be manufactured and piloted out on onto the field once you've captured the necessary structures. Completing objectives or taking down opponents will earn you prestige points which can be spent on weapons, equipment, and assault vehicles.
Crysis is about as well-rounded and balanced as a first-person shooter can get without turning into something else altogether. Every aspect of the game is developed to its fullest and it's truly hard to find anything wrong here besides the fact there's a good chance the game will not run smoothly on your computer without some major upgrades. Having a big bag of tricks and the complete freedom to approach each encounter from so many different strategic angles is a great thing. Each individual area of the game is overwhelmingly impressive, but when considering what Crytek has accomplished with the game as a whole package it's hard not to be blown away. Will everyone run out to get a new PC capable of playing the game? Probably not. Is it worth the investment in the end? Absolutely.
CCC Freelance Writer