Crysis, PC

Crysis is a futuristic first-person shooter developed by German company Crytek and published by Electronic Arts in 2007. It is the first game in the Crysis series and is known as a game that – at the time of its original release – had relatively high-end system requirements. It’s also quite similar to Crytek‘s previous game, Far Cry, in that it is predominantly combat based in a jungle environment, with vehicles like jeeps, trucks, cars, hovercraft and boats that can be commandeered and driven.

The single-player campaign in Crysis can be played at four different difficulty levels (easy, normal, hard, and ‘Delta’), but even on normal difficulty (which is what I played it on) the game gives you a serious challenge. You can save manually in the original version of Crysis, as well as the game auto-saving at certain points. The game also has a multiplayer component, which supports up to 32 players. Two different types of multiplayer games are available*, each with six maps. Instant Action is a deathmatch type game, and Power Struggle is a base attack/defence type game. * = Crysis multiplayer originally required a connection to GameSpy servers, which no longer exist, but a fan-made mod – called CryMP – is available (and required) to replace the GameSpy requirement and allow people to continue playing multiplayer. There’s also a Steam-based multiplayer fix too. That said: most people will be playing Crysis now for the single-player campaign, and multiplayer servers are reportedly (at the time of writing) fairly niche in terms of popularity. I don’t know, though – I haven’t played on them, so you’ll have to find that out for yourself.

In the single-player campaign you play the role of U.S. Army Delta Force soldier Jake Dunn – callsign: “Nomad” – who is part of a small elite unit sent to an island in The Philippines to investigate and find a missing team of archaeologists. Each member of the team is equipped with a technologically-advanced “Nanosuit” – a protective suit of armour that consumes power to enable use of four special abilities (extra strength, cloaking and noise suppression, bullet-deflecting armour, and extra movement speed). When the suit’s power has been completely depleted those abilities are no longer available until the suit has re-charged again. The suit’s facemask also has a HUD (Heads-Up Display) that provides diagnostic and mission data, as well as a tactical local map, a compass, and the location of your objectives.

Enemies in the jungle are mostly hostile North Korean soldiers, but as you progress you also begin to encounter an advanced alien race known as ‘The Ceph’. The combat in Crysis is a step up from Far Cry, with enemy tanks and attack helicopters sometimes baring down on you. At times it really does feel like you’re in the middle of an actual warzone. You even get to drive a tank in a later mission. Enemy AI is very good. If you’re undetected, enemies will patrol passively, but if you’re detected: all hell will break loose. Enemies also hide, dodge, and adapt their movement to the situation. Occasionally enemies do sometimes glitch out, and just stand there, aiming at you but not shooting, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Outside of your default weapon load-out (fists, pistol, rifle, and rocket launcher) you can carry one extra gun, which is a little disappointing – you end up having to constantly swap out if you want a shotgun or a different type of rifle (there are a variety), but you can dual-wield pistols and can also enhance your weapons with modifications and alternate ammo. That said: I sometimes found myself in situations where I was up against an entire battalion of enemies, but had no ammunition left, which meant having to backtrack to scavenge for ammo or cloak myself and try to run through them all by hopping from tree to tree (which is probably what the developers intended). Later on you also get to use alien weaponry, like the MOAC (a machine gun that fires ice shards), and the TAC (a hand-held nuclear grenade launcher).

Crysis does have a lot of nice touches, like the opening mission parachute drop (which is all too brief), dust being ejected from bullet hits to walls, heat haze from hot weapons, trees falling due to explosions or heavy machine gun fire, water dripping down your visor, being able to grab startled enemies by the throat (and throwing them afterwards), slowing down vehicles by shooting out their tyres, and even enemies peeing!

Graphically, Crysis is excellent. The jungle is realistic and atmospheric, and the lighting changes depending on the time of day. Later on, when the game goes more ‘alien’, the environments become bizarre and more complex and there’s a good distinction between different locations.

The music in Crysis changes depending on whether you’re under attack or not, and it sounds fairly similar to the music in Far Cry, mixing dramatic movie-style action themes with quieter pieces that use a similar wooden flute type sound that is so distinctive in Far Cry.

Story-wise, Crysis is very good too. The game does have a few surprises; the voice acting is decent, and the story flow is chapter-based and interspersed with short in-engine cut scenes. That said: Crysis is not what I would call ‘award-winning’ storytelling, but it will appeal to a fairly wide audience with it’s science fiction and military-based setting.

A standalone expansion pack, called Crysis Warhead, was released in 2008, and two sequels also exist: Crysis 2 can out in 2011 and Crysis 3 in 2013. All three Crysis games were remastered in 2021, although many of the reviews I’ve read don’t seem too favourable (I haven’t yet played the remastered version of Crysis, but I have read that manual saves have been removed, which is an oversight if true, and there’s also no multiplayer). A fourth Crysis game was announced by Crytek in 2022 and is currently in development (at the time of writing). The screenshots here are from the original non-remastered version of Crysis.

More: Crysis on Wikipedia
Steam: Crysis Remastered on Steam
GOG: Crysis on

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