Published on October 11th, 2011 | by Derek Strickland, Contributor
Crysis Xbox 360 Review
Platform: Xbox 360 (XBL Games on Demand), PS3 (PSN)
MSRP: $19.99 (digital download)
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2011
Crysis has a story arc that blends science fiction and futuristic elements infused with the high-octane action found in next-gen first-person shooters, complete with cinematic scenes that piece the story together after completion of every level. The campaign is full of action and each level offers a unique experience with different environments and atmospheres.
Players take the persona of First Lieutenant Jake Dunn (a.k.a. Nomad), an elite U.S. Army Special Forces operative who utilizes the ultra high-tech Nanosuit technology, making him a virtual one-man army. Nomad belongs to Raptor Team, a Delta Force unit comprised of five members–Psycho, Prophet, Aztec and Jester–each of whom are equipped with Nanosuits.
The year is 2020 and North Korean forces–led by the infamous General Ri-Chan Kyong–have taken over the Lingshan Islands in search of an alien relic hidden deep within the earth. Archeologists working on the project send out a distress call, revealing that they have discovered the fossilized remains of a life form that predates humanity by two million years. This information may very well shake the foundations of science altogether, and Raptor Team is sent in to investigate the high priority assets.
The console version of Crysis was developed with CryEngine 3 technology, as Crytek had given the title a complete overhaul to prepare it for its console release. Everything from the graphics, lighting effects and physics dynamics were tweaked and refined to deliver the unforgettable adventure that gamers experienced on PC. This title is more than just a port release for consoles–it’s a re-mastered version that retains the same overall campaign experience and signature gameplay features.
Crysis is a very satisfying title that paved the way for the franchise and brought a fresh new take on the high-tech sci-fi shooter. The Nanosuits are the core of the game’s enjoyability, giving players the feel of being a tremendously powerful super soldier who’s capable of taking down whole armies on their own. With the Nanosuit’s versatility, gamers can apply the suit’s functions to any scenario in the game. Players who enjoy stealthily stalking their prey can easily do so with the active camouflage–or run in the fray and take on a horde of enemies with maximum armor activated.
The in-game HUD couldn’t be designed any better: every single part of the heads-up display helps players throughout the game. From the mini-map that displays enemies and locations to the danger indicators that show players where they’re getting shot, each aspect of the interface aids players when they’re making strategic split-second decisions in combat. The HUD’s visual aspects are stylish and modern, fitting in perfectly with the high-tech theme.
One of the most enjoyable features of Crysis is the combat. Whether you’re tearing down enemies in a frenetic firefight or super-punching them across fields, this aspect is the bread and butter of the title. While accomplishing varying objectives and taking down enemy KPA troops, gamers really feel as if they’re an elite special forces assassin that’s nearly invincible. This feeling can be short-lived if players aren’t careful, as it is possible to die in Crysis--especially when you get over confident and cocky.
Another unique feature in this sci-fi shooter is the weapon enhancements. There are around eight different weapons–which a huge arsenal compared to most shooters out there, yet Crysis puts emphasis on quality not quantity. Each weapon has its own applicable scopes and attachments to aid in certain situations, and the rifles even have two modes of fire: single-shot (for precision sniping) and automatic (for spray fire).
Holding the Back button brings up the weapon upgrade menu where the enhancements can be swapped during any time. The weapon attachments include a silencer, flashlight, laser dot, reflex scope, assault scope, sniper scope and even a multi-purpose grenade launcher which comes in handy when taking on groups of enemies. Players who make strategic use of each attachment will not only survive longer, but will complete objectives more efficiently. Oftentimes having the right weapon can be the difference between life and death in this game.
The control scheme for Crysis works quite well and is very fluid, keeping the standard multi-axis aiming mechanics made famous by classic FPS titles. Gamers can pick up the controller and fire up the game without having to study the layout for controls, making it an easily accessible title for all players. Overall the controls and button placement have a natural feel that gamers are familiar with, which is fitting for action FPS titles where players have to make decisions in the blink of an eye.
The weapons and guns themselves are quite accurate, however the crosshair reticule blooms out in a fashion similar to Halo: Reach. Players will have more accuracy while crouching and staying still–cloaking comes in handy during these instances. The general gameplay blends Modern Warfare with Halo, keeping MW’s intense action and precise weaponry and Halo’s focus on extraterrestrials and science fiction elements.
Environments in Crysis are superb, showing off the next-gen graphics rendered in CryEngine 3’s impressive technology. From labyrinthine forests with endless bush to dark moonlit shores, gamers traverse the Lingshan Islands and explore it’s lush landscape while completing objectives. The shacks and buildings are mostly destructible, giving players the opportunity to wreak havoc behind enemy lines.
The later stages are where the sci-fi elements come heavily into play, especially the Core level where Nomad enters the strange alien relic. The grim, stygian atmosphere makes players feel like they’ve stepped into a H.R. Giger painting, and the Abyss level that follows is truly bizarre. This part of the campaign is my personal favorite, as Nomad explores the strangely beatific extraterrestrial environment in zero gravity, which is something that isn’t usually in FPS titles.
From a standpoint of an achievement/trophy hunter, Crysis is an excellent game to amass extra Gamerscore or those shiny trophies for your collection. As the game contains no multiplayer the unlockable achievements are all based on the campaign, making them easier to get. A full playthrough on the hardest difficulty should cover every unlockable.
The debut console release of Crysis doesn’t disappoint and delivers the authentic sci-fi shooter experience that’s defined the franchise. With hours of gameplay through an action-packed campaign mode that features an expansive and mysterious story arc, players can explore the events that led up to the critically acclaimed sequel. Crysis features a robust world full of impressive environments and blends science fiction with the action elements of a next-gen shooter for unforgettable and unique gameplay experience unlike any other.
For more information on Crysis including news and updates, visit the official MyCrysis website. The console version of Crysis is exclusively available for digital download from PSN or Xbox LIVE’s Games on Demand.
+ Satisfying and enjoyable action-packed gameplay
+ Impressive graphics
+ Affordable for gamers on a tight budget
+ Nanosuit technology
+ A refreshing and unique experience
+ Expansive story arc
– No multiplayer