Video source: Game Trailers
Story: Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have reached critical mass as they square off on a small island located in the South China Sea. Why? A team of U.S. archeologists have unearthed an artifact of unknown origin that may pre-date the existence on humans on earth! North Korea moves in and takes control of the dig so the U.S. dispatches an elite Special Forces Unit outfitted with the latest in Nanosuit Technology to assess the situation and try to rescue the trapped archaeologists. The ensuing battles trigger the artifact to come to life releasing a new enemy bent on all our destruction!
Back in October EA and Crytek re-released the modified and enhanced version of the game that killed your computer Crysis. If you want more info. check out my article HERE. I downloaded Crysis shortly after it was quietly released onto Xbox Live and started playing; I’m only now posting my review due to the glut of Holiday season game releases, work and well… Skyrim delaying me finishing this excellent campaign.
Visuals: The first thing I noticed was that for a DLC title this games visually rivals that of any newly released game that hit in the last year! Re-mastered using Cryengine3 this game looks stunning right down to the expression on an enemies’ face while you gab and crush the life out of him! This tropical landscape looks amazing, and if it weren’t for the bad guys bent on my demise would be a great vacation spot. When the game transitions from: tropical to “alien” and then to frozen wasteland the environments really come to life with stunning lighting and water effects, and environmental conditions that change almost on the fly. But, not all is perfect in thelandofCrysis, watching some explosions (BIG BOOM, yes please!) I noticed some pixilation and blocky-ness. Also in dark or low light rooms the gamma is preset way to dark but this just my personal opinion because I love to see as much detail as possible.
Sound and Musical Score: The sound was re-mastered as well giving complete satisfaction to every pull on my RT trigger button and toss of every grenade. Voice overs were ok but nothing amazing the Korean solders would speak some Korean but mostly English with a generic asian accent. Musical score was as epic as it should have been adding depth to the story and alerting you to upcoming large engagements and story progressions.
Control Scheme: Controls are tight and well layed out for the most part. The usual button apply LT aim, RT fire, Y change weapon, X reload, A is jump, B is used for menu options like inventory, map and quests, LB and RB are your nanosuit abilities, the BACK button has dual purpose of weapon loadout and map, the start does it’s normal fuction and the D pad does as well. My only real complaint is that there is no way to quickly throw a grenade without equipping it first by going into your inventory or holding Y for the popup menu ala’ portal and Halflife. The down side trying to grab fast-moving enemies or melee’ can be a major chore are times
Gameplay: I tend to play single-player campaigns on harder settings just so I have more of a challenge and, in this time of the six hour story, so the game takes longer to complete. My play-through clocked in somewhere between 8 and 10 hours (on hard difficulty not Delta I’m not man enough of that) so, above average length for the campaign. The game is fairly open world but you are moved in the liner fashion of: receive a mission, then a secondary mission, engage, clear, and move on which works well for progression of the story. Now, you think that with all the complaining and since the game was being reworked anyway that, well, maybe Crytek would do something with the freaking A.I. and they didn’t! Sadly the A.I. is just as retarded as in the original PC release leading me to believe that the helmets the solders wore were not to stop bullets but to protect from walking into walls…. I would shoot an explosive barrel next to a group of solders and the few that survived would not react and say “what was that?” or “Is anyone there?” and start skulking around until I was in their line of sight. One final gripe and this is more the aging hardware more that the game but when there was a lot of action on-screen at once the game would drop down to less than 10 FPS it seemed but this only happened a few times.
Overall: Crytek has done a awesome job in “enhancing” Crysis and squeezing some juice out of the ole’ Xbox 360. Cryengine3 looks great and this PC port is a classic that deserves some props! The A.I. maybe still the same but Crysis has very much to offer and for the $19.99 price tag (1600msp) it is so very worth it!
+ looks great Cryengine3 makes this game look fresh and worthy of being compared to full retail releases
+ Sound design and music score are top notch
+ Story is interesting and compelling
+ Controls are tight for the most part
- Great visuals come at a price of some blocky-ness and pixilation
- Ho-hum voice acting at times
- Truly short-bus A.I.
- Would have liked easier access to grenades and the grab/melee can be very frustrating
In the Grey Zone:
~ The old Xbox 360 is still breathing but it sometimes drags this title down with its obviously aging hardware