If you are anything like me, your mouth hung open when Crysis was first shown at GDC in 2006. Then you looked at your computer and openly wept because there was no way you could run it. Well, now even if your PC is not up to snuff, you can finally play Crysis (so long as you have an Xbox 360 or PS3). For the most part, the gameplay makes its transition well but there are a few graphical hiccups here and there.
Four years after the original came out, Crysis is a breath of fresh air compared to all the corridor-shooters coming out. If you bemoan the “Call of Dutyification” of so many games, then Crysis may be right up your alley. Just like in the original, you are a member of the Special Forces team Raptor. Given a nanosuit that allows you to sprint super-fast, punch holes in buildings, cloak and deflect bullets, your team is charged with the rescuing of a scientist from North Korean soldiers on a small island. The game is not open-world but each mission provides loads of flexibility in how you attack your objectives.
Crysis on the Xbox 360 differs from the original in a few major ways, most importantly the controls. Originally, you pressed the mouse wheel to select enhanced speed, strength, armor or cloak from a radial menu. Now, you have a default setting of enhanced strength, with armor and cloak toggled with a tap of the shoulder buttons. In the original game, you had two different sprints: normal and super. Now there is no normal sprint except when armor or cloak is enabled.
Another change to the console version is that Crysis is now a single-player affair only. So if you only have a console and want to take your Crysis experience online, you will have to pick up a copy of Crysis 2. The original Crysis included a unique multiplayer called Power Struggle that has been cut, but I honestly cannot blame Crytek for this move considering Crysis 2 came out in March. Why divide the multiplayer audience when you do not have to?
Crysis looks great… for a downloadable game and good for a console game. One thing that must be noted is that this version of Crysis is not an upgrade of the PC version but more of a side-grade if not a complete downgrade depending on what graphic level you are comparing it to. But another thing to note is that you could not get this game looking this good on a PC that has comparable specs to that of the 360 or PS3.
All in all, the game looks quite good, just not compared to its PC brother. Vistas still look great, lighting is still picturesque and character models are as detailed as most modern games. The frame rate holds up well too. I half expected it to tank at any moment but it remained solid. The drawback of Crysis’ port mainly comes in the form of texture and object pop-in. The pop in is not particularly bad, it is just not good given the praise Crysis received on the PC. Thankfully, most objects sort of “fade in” rather than pop. You will notice the pop mostly when flipping between the binoculars’ or sniper rifle’s different zoom levels.
Crysis is simply a fun game; I cannot over emphasize that enough. And it is possibly better suited for 2011 than 2007. In a market so saturated with heavily scripted shooters, it is nice to play in the sandbox Crytek created. Want to run into the thick of it, guns blazing? Do it. Feel like sneaking up to unsuspecting enemies and eliminate them without any else knowing? Go for it. Every wanted to snipe from more than 200k? Give it a shot. Between the suit modes and weapon modifications, Crysis differentiates itself from other shooters by giving you plenty of tools to work with and plenty of room to use them in.
The new control scheme also works extremely well. I would not say that it is any better than the original setup, but it does not hinder your ability to switch between the various suit modes. I personally found it a little easier to use than the radial scheme of the 2007 version.
Crysis has been a graphical benchmark to which PC games have been striving to reach for four years. Now it is on consoles and it is an undeniably good time no matter what platform it is on because despite having lauded graphics, that is not what makes the game great. The gameplay is fantastic too. Though not without its shortcomings, Crysis for consoles is an experience to be had by anyone that cannot play it on their PC. And since its only 20 bones, what are you waiting for?