Platform: PC/PS3*/Xbox 360
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Players: 1
ESRB: Mature (Blood, Strong Language, Violence)

Crysis finally saw a release on consoles via their respective downloadable storefronts, giving those without a PC (and many with a PC considering the notorious hardware requirements of this game) a chance to experience it. This is a very welcome event, especially considering Crysis 2 was released on consoles before we actually got the chance to play its predecessor.

There’s a reason that Crysis has earned a reputation on PC – and it’s not just because it remains the benchmark for determining the prowess of your rig. This game is fantastic. I won’t go on too long considering its been out there for a while and the PC elitist crowd is going to scoff at me for not playing it in its original form.

The most obvious thing this title brings to the table is replayability. This game can be played stealth or guns blazing, made possible by the versatile nano-suit. This suit allows the player to invisible and harass enemies one by one or throw on a shield and run in guns blazing. The game also has an open feel regardless of the linear nature of the story. One can round an enemy camp and approach it many different ways.

If one chooses the stealth option, Crytek did make sure that you would still be guaranteed a taste of the action, as the game eventually gets to a point where your stealth armor won’t do you any good, so get the guns out and be ready to power up the armor. This versatility gives the game a lot of clout in a market flush with high-caliber, but often cookie-cutter shooters.

Another thing it does well is link the two versions of enemies. The game begins as a strike against Koreans, but eventually advances to alien enemies. It reminded me of FEAR 2, where the player had multiple factions of enemies. However, FEAR faltered in that you were most often shooting people, and the frightening supernatural enemies often felt far removed. Crysis avoids this, and instead seamlessly transitions between the Koreans and an island infested with alien scourge – enemies that pose entirely different problems.

And of course, let’s not forget how gorgeous this game is. Lush jungles and a frozen tundra are both flawlessly presented. Character models are beginning to show their age a bit, but they are easy to overlook for the sprawling landscape. Active foliage is a huge plus here, giving the player plenty of room to duck into bushes, throw off the cloak, and begin picking off unsuspecting Koreans with a sniper rifle or other silenced weapon.

I will say that the end got frustrating. The final boss and its weaponry are so large compared to the singular player, that it’s often difficult to determine where one is being attacked from, why one died or what the goal is. This gets frustrating on harder difficulties, but can be overcome with enough accuracy on the smaller enemies and sufficient ‘bob-and-weave’ tactics.

Overall, a great title. One can only hope that with limited chat of Crysis 3, Crytek UK is now picking up Free Radical’s Timesplitters series for a long-overdue installment. Alas, a waxing for another post.

Bottom Line: 9/10

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