Guest Author - James Shea
Using the powerful CryTek engine, the First-Person Shooter "Crysis" provides a graphical treat, decent gameplay, and some neat ideas.
In Crysis, you play as a member of an American special forces unit in North Korea. Equipped with a nano-technological supersuit, you have to use your abilities and your wits to move through hostile territory and uncover the reason behind the North Koreans' recent hostile movements. Your supersuit provides most of the game's gameplay. It can switch between Maximum Armor, Maximum Strength, Maximum Speed, and a Cloak mode. Every mode uses up recharging energy to do its job; Maximum Armor blocks damage until its energy runs out, Maximum Strength can punch down small houses and kill soldiers in a single hit, Maximum Speed lets you sprint at gazelle-like speed, and Cloak makes you invisible and lasts longer if you stay still.
Of course, it's easy to assume that with all these abilities, you'd be an unstoppable death machine. In reality, you're more like a somewhat above-average regular person. The different abilities are more useful when used intelligently; Armor, for example, can only block four or five bullets, and speed only provides super-fast speed in bursts of a few seconds. Therefore, the game lies not in simply overpowering your enemies, but using your abilities well. However, the game still does a good job of making you feel powerful - there's nothing quite as neat as jumping over a wall, then killing the guard on the other side with a single punch. Creative use of your powers
While the variety of guns isn't particularly great (the standard FPS assortment of assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, and so on), the real appeal of the guns lies in customization options. Each gun can take a variety of scopes, laser sights, silencers, and grenade launchers. The run-and-gun action in the game is reasonably fun, but as mentioned, it's better to play Smarter than Harder. The guns don't handle particularly well, and it's possible to hit an enemy 10 times in the chest without killing him, or hit him once in the head and have him die.
The graphics in the game are its main attraction; the open maps consisting mostly of jungle environments look great and feel immersive, with near-realistic trees and grass. The huge maps and lush lighting effects complement the great feeling of the game. This is one of those games that people buy when they've just bought a top-of-the-line computer and want to show off what it can do. The sound design isn't that great, but it's serviceable.
Overall, Crysis is a fun game, and if you've got a computer that can run it, then it's definitely worth picking up. The one major problem in gameplay is the twist near the end of the game. Not a simple storyline alteration, the twist results in a major change of gameplay. Overall, however, the game is fun and rewards creative thinking, a rarely-seen trait in most modern games.
Buy Crysis from Amazon.com