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Games software Reviews
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Crysis first-person shooter PC game review

£34 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Electronic Arts

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Crysis PC game is magnificently rendered, with breathtaking graphics, but this first-person shooter has some quirks that leave it just short of perfection.

The Crysis PC game is magnificently rendered, with breathtaking graphics, but this first-person shooter has some quirks that leave it just short of perfection. UPDATE: Read our Crysis 3 review.

Stop the presses: Everything you've heard about Crysis is true. It's a first-person shooter game that features a massive Lost-like island to explore, revealing it in naturally occurring areas that can take several minutes to sprint through and hours to fully experience.

Crysis

Crysis simulates that island and its tropical ecology by employing visual technology so sophisticated that bullets fired through sun-streaked foliage cause leaves to shiver, while massive explosions thousands of metres away can produce clouds of dust that settle gradually over jungle canopies like smog.

Remarkably, everything in Crysis is interactive, from coffee cups and barrels to destructible shacks to the trunks of felled trees, which you can pick up and wield.

Your opponents, organised around the island in organic detachments, are not only tactically devious but work together with uncanny efficiency. And even without a gun, you're a lethal weapon, kitted out with special nanotechnology that lets you hit, run, and jump like a superhero. Developer Crytek promised something that would "move the shooter genre forward substantially," and with Crysis, it is firing on all cylinders.

Crysis battle

Crytek has also produced something of a flawed masterpiece. Your enemies are smart, but only to the extent that they play better hide-and-seek. Rules that apply to you are occasionally broken by the creators to ramp up a challenge, violating the game's internal logic and creating some of the most unnecessarily irritating moments in the story. And at the eleventh hour, the game's much-touted sense of openness gives way to a design that narrows as you advance, culminating in a final battle where someone barks orders at you like a drill sergeant reading a grocery list.

That is not to say Crysis isn't exceptional, and often extraordinary. But appreciating what it offers - an unconventional "emergent" adventure in an unspeakably beautiful setting - depends primarily on how you choose to engage it.

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Crysis Expert Verdict »

Windows XP or Windows Vista
2.8 GHz or faster (XP) or 3.2 GHz or faster (Vista) processor (Intel Core 2 DUO @ 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ recommended)
1GB RAM (XP) or 1.5GB RAM (Vista) (2GB recommended)
256MB video card
12GB hard drive space
DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS/640 or similar recommended
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Everyone wants to experience the genre-defining game. Crysis isn't that title, but it is a marked improvement over the ideas its designers danced around but failed to realize years ago in Far Cry. Whether it's the best shooter in a year packed with benchmark raisers comes down to whether you take your story strong with lots of narrative hand-holding (that's another game, and it's called BioShock) or you prefer making it up as you go along in bullet-tattooed vehicles among toppled trees and methodically bulldozed villages.


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