Saturday, November 3, 2007

Crysis Single-Player Demo Review

Here's another game review for's Games Review contest. This time its on the Crysis pre-release demo.

Quite possibly the most anticipated (and hyped) PC game of 2007, Crytek has officially released a taste of what’s to come in the form of a pre-release demo. Does it meet the sheer amount of hype that the game has garnered? No, it obviously doesn’t. Nothing ever meets up to its hype. However, the Crysis demo does not disappoint nor does it ever cease to be fun.

The plot goes like this: the USA sends in a highly advanced Delta Force team to battle North Korea over a bunch of kidnapped American archaeologists in an illegally occupied island and more importantly over a strange “meteorite” that had recently crash-landed. Crytek has already revealed enough of the story as is and if that’s not enough you can read the entire game script in a file called english.pak. Just open it up with a file extractor and enjoy the various documents within.

The most hyped facet of Crysis is its graphics and they’re just amazing. Unfortunately for some, it comes at a price. In order to play the game at any degree of superior visual quality, you must have at least a GeForce 8800 card and an Intel Core 2 Duo. Without these you will suffer terrible framerates or a not so pretty game.

The gameplay is equally as impressive as the graphics. You take control of a commando clad in a nanosuit who can utilize several impressive superpowers or abilities. These include a Predator-like stealth, superior strength and jumping, super-fast sprinting and armor. These powers use up your energy rather quickly, so use them smartly. In addition, you can customize your weapons by adding flashlights, suppressors, different aiming and tactical devices, etc. to suit your needs.

Crysis’ AI is pretty advanced. Enemy soldiers flank, take cover and coordinate with each other to take you down. What really struck me was the life in them. When you are overpowering the North Koreans, one of them may fire a flare gun to signal for reinforcements. While not in combat or on patrol, enemy soldiers may occasionally stop for a leak and chat with each other. When you begin attacking they will show some emotion, be that a sense of urgency or fright. This is just as well displayed facially.

The physics in Crysis are very advanced. You can mow down trees and crash through roofs which adds an extra degree of gameplay. There are some neat subtle effects, too, such as when you swim underwater and surface, water will drip down your HUD. Voice-acting is excellent although I wish there was an ability to activate Korean-speaking enemies on different difficulty levels and not just on Delta (the highest difficulty setting) as their broken English is a serious turn-off.

The Crysis demo includes an unprecedented 1 hour of somewhat nonlinear gameplay (not as much as Far Cry, though) that can be elongated by using the included Sandbox Editor to add all of the game’s weapons, an alien enemy, vehicles (including helicopters) and much, much more, whether by design or accident on part of Crytek.

The Crysis demo, just as any other pre-release demo, still needs some polish and bug fixes but so far the game we’ve all been waiting for appears to be very well worth the wait, kick-butt computer or no kick-butt computer.

RATING: 9/10

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