Despite not having the chance of playing the original PC version, I bought this from Xbox Live Arcade. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is this one of the best shooters out there on the market(even comparable to Halo, Far Cry 1&2, and to some extent, even Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops), it's also one of the most visually stunning games out there too.
Crysis has quite a history as it was notorious for being technically demanding as having the latest PC hardware is the only way to get the full effect of this visual powerhouse. As I stated before, I never played the original, but the current version is graphically excellent; due in part to the phenomenal CryEngine 3, one of the best game engines out there. No matter which version you have, both games are still a tour de force.
You play as Nomad, a super-soldier armed with a high-tech "Nano-suit" that gives him augmented strength, speed, agility, and durability. He is sent on a mission to answer a distress call on the fictional Lingshan islands. As the mission progresses, Nomad soon realizes that not all is well on the island as mysterious events began to occur.
I won't spoil the plot and although is not original by any means, it does have a great narrative structure with many twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. Nomad has a sense of duty and will achieve his mission no matter what. Though tense and suspenseful, there are some moments of humor that lighten up the tone and it gives the game lots of gravitas to grip even the most veteran of FPS gamers.
Not only is the story very good, I was surprised by how strategically tactical the game is. With it's open-world structure, the game gives you many options on how to complete your missions. Wanna go in guns blazing? Wanna take a more stealthy approach? Wanna use multiple attachments on your foes? Wanna waste enemies with some vehicular combat? You can do it all and more as Crysis lets you mix it up in any way you see fit. And unlike most FPS, Crysis also lets you explore and admire the scenery as well.
And boy how lovely it is. Not only beautiful to look at, it also packs some really impressive special effects such as trees and grass swaying in the wind, buildings crumbling apart realistically, sunrises and sunsets during missions, moonlight reflects the water, and even some wildlife. All of this makes for truly living environments that's realistic as possible while also being highly interactive. You can pick up objects and hurl them at the scenery and even enemies; especially explosive and non-explosive barrels, crates, sticks, chairs, you name it. Almost anything can be interacted with and it really makes the game even more special.
Kudos is also given to the superb voice acting as well. The main character sounds just like any soldier would and it's very convincing indeed. But the most hilarious moments come from Michael "Psycho" Sykes with his no-nonsense attitude but also with heart and determination. Some of the one-liners are really cool, as is expected in an action game of this caliber. I was really impressed that the enemy soldiers talk in their native language and it gives Crysis a sense of culture; something that's seldom seen in FPS games as well as the AI of enemies. They'll call reinforcements, duck behind cover, throw grenades, and even stalk you!! Never has a game been of this kind of intensity and tense excitement. High marks for the developers for putting this much thought and heart into a game. It's the final moments of the game that feel truly epic in scale with well-thought out and surprisingly original action set pieces. I know games are cutting edge and whatnot, but what makes them even more memorable are it's action set pieces and this game's got it in spades which I will not spoil for anyone new to this franchise.
All goodness aside, there are some graphical glitches such as enemies(and some cases, the player) freezing in place, slowdown, pop in,lack of multi-player and Co-Op modes, but none of these diminish what is otherwise a stellar game.
In conclusion, I'd say that Crysis is one of the most surprisingly well-made games ever made. With cinematic production values, top-notch voice acting, interactive environments with a lot of life in them, great visuals, memorable set pieces, and balls-to-the-wall action, this is one action FPS that you should definitely not pass up.
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