Small Disclaimer, I have no fucking idea what I'm doing.
Ladies and gentlemen here it is, the game that would melt PC's. A game that, if your computer for the time wasn't up to snuff and able to play this thing you must have been poor and shitty at FPS's in general. Yes, this was the first game to define the whole "graphics matter more than gameplay" idea of that era. This is Crysis. Does it still hold up in modern day times? Is it more than just a pretty face? Let's find out shall we.
Before we start I just want to mention the fact that I am running this on the Xbox One X in backwards compatibility, I'm sure it's not the "definitive version" of the game or whatever but you know what, you're not the definitive version of life. Deal with it. I will, however, be touching on the graphical aspect and overall "look" of the game throughout this review.
It was first released in 2007 for the PC, followed by console versions (Xbox 360 and PS3) in 2011. Utilizing the Crytek 3 engine for the console port. (Just FYI, the first Crytek engine was used in the original Far Cry, another amazing game that I'm hoping to review). However, on console they use the Crytek 3 engine; for all 3 Crysis games and Far Cry Classic. Crytek engine 2 was used on Crysis and Crysis 2 for the PC. Crytek 3 was used for both the PC and console versions of Crysis 3. So, all these games better be the best version they can be.
Crysis tells the story of Nomad, or Jake Dunn if you want to get technical, a member of the Raptor Team. Your first assignment is to track down a group of scientists that has been taken captive by the North Korean Army, which you gather via a little spooky audio file right at the beginning.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
Only solution to stopping this whole army basically single handedly? A powerful nanotech suit. Allowing you to cloak to the point of invisibility while standing still; armor that makes you more invincible than any major character during the Battle of Winterfell; super speed that turns you into the Flash; and a strength mod that makes your punches hit harder than the realization that everything good in life must end. Turning you into just an all-around American badass. Jumping out of a plane right off the bat doesn't hurt either.
From here you make your way through dense rainforests and beach-side shanties, fighting the Koreans the entire way. About half an hour in you'll discover that there are indeed aliens on this island, but they almost instantly fuck off and aren't seen until much later in the game. Full disclosure, I hate stealth in any shooter. If you're going to have a stealth game have that but for god's sake stop putting half-baked stealth mechanics into what should be a full-on shooter. I never found myself using stealth, as my game plan for that would usually involve sneaking up behind some bugger, punching/silently shooting him, his buddy alerting the entire base and still having 30+ enemies all come down on my head regardless. Much better to just ram the front gate like some psycho-terrorist and charge in guns blazing and grenades firing. At least in my mind.
No fucking doubt you do.
So, you make your way through this rainforest-jungle area. Shooting through enemy encampments and just be a general badass for a couple solid hours. Guns feel good. Auto-aim is almost non-existent in the console version and it can prove to be a bit challenging if you're not actively seeking cover and playing to the strengths of your suit. Also, the shotgun one shots basically anything if you stick the muzzle directly against their face, so that's nice. On a technical side it’s worth noting that on the X Crysis maintains a solid 30 FPS, whereas on the original One or 360 it hardly did. Usually dipping to 20-ish or so FPS when the action got hot. Graphics hold up serviceably, but this is a game that certainly shows its age on the consoles.
There are a couple vehicle sections too. One puts you in a tank and tasks you with taking out enemy vehicles as you make your way down rolling hills towards the ocean side. While nothing extremely noteworthy, they at least serve to break up the action a bit.
About halfway through the game is where you start to find the meat and potatoes of Crysis. You find out the Korean’s are trying to harvest an alien artifact for unlimited power, and the difficulty ramps up accordingly to this revelation. You start to encounter enemies with the same nano-suit as you. Able to melt your armor and your health in just a few seconds. Most of them also carry mini-guns too, so that’s just fantastic. Fortunately, you’re no slouch either and a solid clip from a machine gun or a few well-placed shotgun blasts to the face will quickly fell them.
From that point on the game goes full twilight zone. There’s a zero-gravity area that looks amazing, but sucks. They decided to take away your map in an area that has branching corridors and maze-like structures, so it’s easy to get lost. Plus you start to fight the aliens, which can zip around and knock 75% of your life off in one hit. It looks like it’s going to be a great area, but instead just turns out to be frustrating and goes on for too long.
Then you get to winter and god DAMN that's pretty.
Thank goodness after that you’re back on dry land, albeit in winter now (the aliens love their cold for some reason.) Not that it’s a bad thing, I’ve always been a sucker for winter levels in first person shooters, so bonus points for that. Bad side to this is it’s way too short, barely getting started before you get extracted out via chopper and are on the way to the final section of the game, which takes place on an aircraft carrier.
Someone better call Kenny Loggins
There’s a distinctly weird tonal shift here that finds you spending the first 20 minutes or so of this level running around it and talking to people. A stark contrast from the in-game exposition while bullets were flying of the last 8 hours or so. Regardless, America decides to be America and just nuke the ever-longing fuck out of these tentacle space bitches. Of course, this backfires and they actually use the nuke’s power to their own advantage and so, the final fight really begins.
Or at least, what you think is going to be the final fight. As stated previously, there’s an extremely strange tonal shift that happens around this point in which you’re sent through the ship’s guts to help people out; activate switches or whatever may be. The aliens hardly show up for the first 15 minutes you do this, instead relegating to weird noises that wouldn’t be too far out of place in a horror game. It’s like Crytek forgot you were just gunning down droves of these dudes not an hour ago and decided to attempt to make them scary. I had a minigun for about 85% of this section though, so joke’s on you assholes, come get some.
This guy G-Fuels.
Final boss fight happens, or what you think is the final fight. This was the only section I ever had performance issues, with my X locking up and forcing a hard reset not once, but twice. Apparently, this was a common issue when it first debuted on the 360, and it seems the extra power (6 FUCKING TERRAFLOPS GUYS) didn’t see to help this section. Once you beat him there’s another, bigger alien that honestly goes down easier than your mom on a Friday night (got ‘em). Once you take him down with a literal nuke cannon, yeah, nuke cannon; you hop in a VTOL and ride off into the credits.
Suck on this cannon.
Overall in 2019 Crysis holds its own as a decently solid shooter. Nothing too amazing by today’s standards but there seems to be a distinct lack now-a-days of new IP’s that just promise a good, modern shooting experience. Hopefully Crysis 2 can continue this trend, though in a bit more of an upward manner.