After so many years of anticipation, this excellent shooter truly hits the mark
Since it was first announced, Crysis quickly gained popularity and eager anticipation from the industry. The developer Crytek’s first effort since the good, but somewhat flawed Far Cry, was said to be an impressive experience that combined both excellent visuals and fresh, exciting gameplay. Years later, when the game finally hit the PC, it was actually almost everything that fans have hoped for. Without much doubt, Crysis is a stunning achievement, in gameplay, graphical design, and polish. The game sets the bar far ahead of any competition, present or future. It gives all shooters, present and future, PC and console, something to aspire to.
The game begins in 2020, when North Korean forces take control of the fictional Lingshan Islands following a distress call from a group of American researchers, indicating that they discovered something significant. In order to recover the scientists, an elite army group is sent in to find the missing people and save them – if possible, without triggering a war with North Korea. Players take on the role of Nomad, who is part of the squad sent in for the rescue op. However, as soon as the team lands on the island, things go unexpectedly. Team members are killed or go missing, and strange artifacts appear all over the island. In addition, the Korean forces are not too happy to see the rescue team, and stop at nothing to kill you.
Halfway into the story, Nomad discovers that the island contains a huge ancient alien ship, recently awoken by something. This causes the whole island to become overrun with aliens and experience an astronomical climate shift. The story goes on to become quite exciting, if not original, and does a good job of supporting the background for the gameplay. Things end on a cliffhanger, which is too bad, but at least the game is confirmed to be part of a trilogy. The plot in Crysis is well laid out and serviceable, though don’t expect any huge twists or clever situation outcomes.
One of the frustrating miscomprehensions about Crysis is that the gameplay is somehow generic, and the game is little more than a tech demo for the engine. In reality, even if Crysis lacked its amazing visuals, the game would still hold up as one of the best of 2007. The players are equipped with a Nano suit, a futuristic body suit that has a few select functions. There is an energy rating, which allows the suit’s functions to only operate for a short amount of time, before needing recharge. Recharging the suit’s powers merely requires a break from using the suit’s abilities. The abilities of the suit are strength, speed, armor, and cloak. Strength allows the player to become unstoppable in melee combat, jump higher, and reduce recoil from weapons. Speed allows the player to run very quickly and perform other motions with rapid succession. Armor is the basic attribute that protects Nomad for longer periods of time from enemy fire. Lastly, cloak makes Nomad invisible and nearly silent to enemies, allowing for stealth gameplay or even avoiding firefights altogether.
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