By Rob Hill
Every time I fire up one of these new fan dangled games that I have heard so much hype about and been told how many levels of pixel shading is going on, that the AI has been so far improved that â€œyou will never play the same game twice no matter how often you playâ€ and that the physics apply to each and every individual item in the game I tend to start with an air of scepticism. Yeah yeah we’ve been told this before and yes we have seen an improvement but that much of an improvement?
In a word – Yes! Crysis is that much of an improvement and refreshingly so. It is the long awaited spiritual successor to Far Cry and is visually BEAUTIFUL putting all other games in the shade!
The story is based around the North Korean forces having taken occupation of an island in the South China Sea in the year 2020 because they have â€œfound somethingâ€ and, true to form, the American Delta Force is sent in to find out what. The ensuing carnage that follows is a well thought out story filled with all out action, controlled incursions or ballisticaly correct sniping – which ever takes you slaying fancy. The physic’s are awesome to the degree that in all out action, if you enemy is behind a tree, well that’s ok just shoot down the tree.
Towards the half way point you realise that you are also going to be dealing with an alien or fifty giving rise to a completely different approach to your game play. Your character, Jake ‘Nomad’ Dunn, is clad in the newest tech called the Nano-Suite which allows him to regenerate health (thus eliminating first-aid packs), gives him temporary physical advantages (strength, speed and armour) and enables him to become virtually invisible for brief periods of time, morphing in and out like a Predator (A v P style).
The game play is awesome and having played this game through 4 times now I believe that each time was a very different experience. Nomad is easy to control using keyboard and mouse or gamepad and gives you control of a whole plethora of goodies such as the nano-suite functions and the accessories of each and every weapon you may choose to pick up. The weapons are easy to use and very varied in there assortment – there is a weapon for every task at hand.
The only small niggle I would pick up (and I am almost looking for fault cos let’s face it, it can’t be perfect) is the AI. While the bots respond differently each time I play they still run out into the road or beach when under fire instead of taking cover like any normal soldier. This only a small issue in an otherwise outstanding game and doesn’t detract from the game play at all.
Be warned though – this game takes a monster computer to run at high settings. I ran it on a quad core system running at 3.4GHz, 2GB DDR3 RAM and an 8800 Ultra GPU in both windows XP and Vista. In XP I was getting a playable 34 fps and with a little tweaking got full (ok almost) Dx 10 glory and it was beautiful. You will notice that in XP the Ultra High setting is disabled – this is reserved for Vista but there is the above â€œtweakâ€ that will give you almost all the Dx 10 goodness. In Vista you get all the bells and shaders and ….. well…… WOW! It is awesome. It does, however, bring most systems to their little aluminium knees. There is a patch out (surprise, surprise) which does improves performance a little and with the most up-to-date graphics drivers you should at least be able to look at the highest settings. Game play, however, is the same right the way through the spectrum so…
Load it up, get the Red Bull out, take a week off work and enjoy!!!
Last Updated: February 28, 2008