darkyhbk's Crysis (Collector's Edition) (PC) review

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Stunning graphics,unique experience!

Four years ago,back in 2004, Ubisoft & Crytek brought us FarCry,a virtually stunning FPS, maybe the best FPS experience 'till Half Life 2.The game started quite normal,with some mercenaries to shoot in a superbly designed jungle & environments.By half of it the genetically mutated humans & monkeys started to appear,dragging us into the not so good part of FarCry, the SF part (& quite thrilling also).Well, Crytek was bought by EA & in early 2006 they announced Crysis,catalogued as a SF FPS.Some thought that it was the sequel to FarCry,but it's far from being.When Ubisoft announced FarCry 2 as being a mercenaries FPS in the savanna,things were clear.Crysis has exactly the same concept as FarCry did.
A US Special Forces team is sent into North Coreea to investigate a strange artefact & rescue two scientist, Helena Rosenthal & her father,held captive by the coreeans.There are some strange sightseeings at first,but after that Crysis becomes a military (& ocassionally squad based) shooter against coreans.The beauty of the graphics makes itself seen immediatly: from the sky you can admire volumetric clouds & the incredibly real landscape. The water really looks like real water,the beach is inimaginably real also.The jungle is BEAUTIFUL:leafes on the ground,different kinds of vegetation & fauna too:you'll see parrots flying around,many other birds,turtles,frogs like to get out after a rain.In villages you'll also see chicken,pigs & more domestic animals.The wind makes trees move,leafes fall.All is incredibly close to real life.I'll say more but now let's speak more of the story.
As I said you'll be kicking corean a$$ trough half of the game,& it's hell lotta fun.You & your squadmates have special designed suits calles nanosuits.Your nanosuit has an easily accesible menu from where you can select one of the different abilities available.One is maximum strenght,which makes you more powerfull ,jump very high & also stedies your aim.The real buddy for this one is cloak.You get invisible as long as you have energy in your suit.So you can sneak on a corean guy without being seen,grab his neck,disable cloak & enable maximum strenght & throw him to hell!This also works in vehicles,& the coreans will be quite disoriented when they see an empty jeep coming towards them!A very useful power is the maximum armor:you can get more shots without getting real damage & it also recharges your suit power fast.Go with the cloak undetected,get to cover & activate maximum armor to recharge the energy,than activate again the cloak & continue.Simple.One other would be maximum speed,so that you run very very fast.You can also customize your weapons piece to piece.From a stock machine gun you can make it a machine gun with silencer,sniper scope, some tactical attachament, laser dot sight & grenade launcher.How about that?Cool,huh? Now let's take different situations & different ways to solve them:

1)A guy is standing 10 metres from your position,you have three bullets & a grenade.How will you handle?You can always aim at his head & shoot,but that's lame.How about shooting the palm tree he is sitting under,so that it would fall directly on his head & kill him?A grenade would also do it,throwing him & some trees in thin air.One other method is to activate cloak,sneak near him,grab his neck & trow him in his little guard post,destroying it with him!But you could also grab a brench/rock/chicken (lol) from the ground & throw it in his head,than do whatever you want.Or you can also hit him with the jeep.

2)You get the objective to download some data from a laptop in a corean base from a village.The village is near some high cliffs,a main road goes trough it & it also has ocean access.There are,of course,about 20 soldiers patrolling inside the village,& about 5 more outside,in jeeps or sniper towers.How will you complete your goal?You can make it a lot easier by climbing those high cliffs,aided by maximum strenght,take a good position up there & start sniping guys.If you're a good spotter,you will know what to do with a gas station...it makes a fine blow.Another solution would be taking a jeep or MCV, speed up to the village,blast the main gate & get in,guns-blazing.It's a bit risky but it sure is lots of fun!If you want a direct,but on-foot approach,combined with a bit of tactics,you can do it lovely!But the snipers are annoying you & you can't get a clean shot at them...no problem.You don't need to kill the snipers: take out your rocket launcher & blast down the whole damn towers!!!When you make it inside the village & take cover in a solid building with one exit that you've got covered,you'll feel secure.Well,you shouldn't.A grenade can bring the whole building down & compromise your advantage.If you take cover behind some trees,the trees will be shot,fall down & you'll be exposed.Nothing is solid cover in Crysis.You'll always have to run,while using your suits abilities,from cover to cover,applying military tactics.What if a boat comes & starts shooting at you.It's quite hard to shoot the pilot,so you'll have to get creative.Get a gas can,shoot it so that it leaks,activate maximum strenght & throw it in the boat,so that it blasts to hell!Speaking of boats,you can also take a boat to get inside the village,or you can go stealthy.

3)You can accopmlish your objectives in any order suits you better.You can go wherever you want,do whatever you want to do, in any style you want to do it.Crysis is all about your imagination.The only obstacle would be very natural:mountains you can't even expect to climb or the shark in the water.Nothing is artificial.It's not the one pathed FPS that Call of Duty 4/Bioshock/STALKER/Orange Box is,it's all about being creative!

As I said I can't describe the graphics of Crysis in words,you'll need to see it for yourself.Sure,it demands a high end PC to be played on very high with DX10 support on Vista,but it's worth the money.I played it on a Quad Core 6600 at 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM & GeForce 8800 GTX 512 MB & it ran great,only that after about 3 hours the computer needs a restart.It's much but that's one of the PC's qualities & that's why it's always one step in front of the consoles:upgrade!Of course,it can run on a single cored processor at 1.8 GHz ,512 MB RAM & Ge Force 7 series at 256 MB,& if you're down with an overclock,you can run it even on high,with a lower but fluent framerate.

The sound is really great & contributes much to the incendiary atmosphere.Crysis isn't a frightening shooter,not even in the alien part of the game,but it really makes you feel there ,with the finger on the trigger & activate the cloak every time you hear a coreen talking.The music suits the game perfectly,& the voice acting is good.Also,the AI is very very good & reacts accordingly,despite some reviewers say.It has its problems,bloody hell,it's a sandbox game,but still it remains one of the most advanced AI systems out there,if not the most advanced one.

The multiplayer is somewhat like the one in FarCry only even more enjoyable.The new mode called Power Struggle is very interesting.You'll have to capture & defend some alien crash sites as one of the two teams.Sure,it's nice,but it doesn't exeed the complex multiplayer mode in Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare.

The story isn't as good as in other 2007 productions such as Bioshock,The Witcher or Command & Conquer 3-Tiberium Wars,but at least it's interesting.It's not fragmented by cutscenes,so the so-called cutscenes are playable,something like in Half Life 2 or Bioshock.

Well a game like this cannot exist without a few weak points.I've saved them for last,so here they are:

-the second half of the game,when the aliens come in,isn't so nicely done.The aliens aren't what they are supposed to be really,& they don't react too inteligently
-ugly graphics inside the mountain/alien artifact level
-poor voice acting in english for the coreeans
-choppers are annoying & sometimes they kill you too fast
-very high PC specs needed in order to enjoy it at full capacity

Despite those few weak parts,Crysis is one of the best first person shooters available,so you've got absolutely no excuse to miss it.An upgrade would ensure that you'll enjoy it at full potential.Now go & play it!

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