I feel that I am in quite a unique position when it comes to First Person Shooter, Crysis; not having a clue what the game is about, bar it featuring the now famous Nanosuit. That’s not to say I don’t understand what the game represents though, as when the original launched on PC back in 2007 it made tech-heads squeal and computers cry; it was an absolute beast of a game, and one that few got to see running at maximum settings.
- Out now on Xbox LIVE / PSN
- Cost: £14.99 (XBLA) £15.99 (PSN)
- Download size: Approx 4GB (XBLA) 3GB (PSN)
Crysis takes place in 2019, where a team of US scientists makes a frightening discovery on an island in the South China Sea. All contact with the team is lost when the North Korean Government quickly seals off the area. The United States responds by dispatching an elite team of Delta Force Operators to recon the situation. Your character, called Nomad, makes up part of this elite team, and as such has access to a very cool piece of kit: the Nanosuit.
Not only does this Nanosuit make Nomad look rather dashing, it also grants him the use of several abilities, albeit only in short bursts, and one at a time. You can activate a cloak, which makes you almost invisible; you can run at terrific speeds if the need arises; you can leap tall buildings in a single bound (not really, but it’s pretty close); you can activate a strength punch and, last but not least, you can switch on an additional layer of armour.
At times it looks stunning.
It’s an interesting approach, and those who dislike linear, corridor based shooters will enjoy how Crysis deals with primary and secondary objectives. There are also a handful of vehicles scattered about, from armoured jeeps to tanks, giving you yet more ways to complete a task. Saying that, the game almost forces you to use stealth as, despite the fancy suit, you’re actually pretty weak.
Health regenerates, but Nomad can’t take too many hits before joining the big party in the sky. Some of the North Korean enemies, however, are total bullet sponges despite the fact they don’t seem to be wearing any armour at all. Some crumpled in one shot yet others just would not go down. One took a clear shot to the leg from a shotgun yet carried on regardless. I didn’t realise you could walk off a shotgun wound.
It’s inconsistencies like this that start to grate during the six to eight hour campaign. Enemies can’t hear you tramping through the undergrowth right next to them, yet I’ve been spotted when hiding behind a big rock 200 metres away. They also have magic rifles that seem to be able to hit you, no matter how far away you are.
The gunplay also feels a bit weak, with weapons lacking the punch we have grown accustomed to in games such as Killzone 3. Your initial gun feels, and sounds, like a peashooter.
This is a minor inconvenience though, when compared to Crysis’ biggest issue: the first half of the game just isn’t that interesting. It’s a horrible thing to say, but the only thing that kept me going at first was the fact I was doing it for review. The story isn’t particularly compelling, the characters aren’t engaging and the gunplay just feels a bit lacklustre. Luckily, things do eventually pick up but even then you never really feel like you move out of second gear.
At times it looks stu...oh, sorry.
It’s up close where things fall apart somewhat. Suddenly those trees look a bit flat and blocky, with objects further ahead of you popping into view as you get closer to them. NPCs seem to lack detail, especially in terms of facial expression, and the smashed windscreen effects on the vehicles are just plain bad. I’ve also come across a few glitches, such as enemies floating above jeeps, and one seemed to be doing something out of the ministry of funny walks.
The framerate can also take a bit of a tumble when the action heats up, making it feel like you’re running in treacle. This was particularly maddening when having to survive an onslaught from all sides. The game also has a habit of pausing for a couple of seconds when you pass a save point.
Is this me being overly picky? Perhaps, but Crytek has obviously gone to great lengths to create a realistic environment, and these issues constantly drag you out of any immersion.
- In places it looks amazing
- Not a bad price for eight hours of game
- The Nanosuit abilities are an interesting addition
- Multiple ways to approach a task
- The game never really gets interesting
- Weak gunplay
- Technical issues
So… Crysis on consoles; I can’t help but feel underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a competent enough game but one that suffers from a few technical issues, as well as never really managing to stir any emotions from the player.
It’s not bad for the money, but there’s much better out there.